Queen Makeda, (Queen of Saba)

The name Sheba is Saba in the Ethiopian Language and the two names can be used interchangeably: However We will
keep to the Ethiopian usage of Saba

About a thousand years before the birth of Christ, the Queen of Saba, (Sheba), a descendant of a powerful line of kings,
took the sovereign authority of her forebears with the throne name of Queen of Saba, and began ruling over ancient
Ethiopia and Yemen from her capital at Saba near Aksum. She inherited the throne from her father Tewasia as the
fifty-second sovereign of Ethiopia and reigned over her joint kingdoms for thirty-one years. The Queen of Saba was
known by various names, including that of the “Queen of Saba”, her throne name mentioned in the Old Testament. In
the New Testament she is known as the Queen of the South which literally means in Ge’ez “Negesta Azeb.” She is
known as Queen of the south because of the fact that she ruled over Ethiopia and Yemen, both located to the South of
Jerusalem. In the Kebre Nagast (Glory of Kings) she is mentioned as Makeda, her first name which was given to her by
her parents, meaning the king’s cushion which means support. Arab historians refer to her as Queen Belqis.

The Queen of Saba, considered as the greatest ruler of Aksum, ruled over both Ethiopia and Yemen. The history of the
Queen occupies a very important chapter in the history of Ethiopia, owing to the continuity in government and
traditions and administration and the memory of the greatness that has been passed from generation to generation
through oral history as well as books like the Kebre Nagast (The Kebre Nagast was written in Ge’ez by Nebure Id
Yishaq, the administrator of Aksum, in the 4th century A.D. It tells the story of Solomon and Saba, and describes how
Ethiopia came to possess the Ark of the Covenant containing the two Tablets of the Law written by the Hand of God. It
is the royal chronicle which records the glory of the sovereigns of Ethiopia.) The Ethiopia Emperors also traced their
lineage to Menelik, son of Queen of Saba, from the very beginning of the establishment of the Solomonic line until the
Ethiopian people’s revolution in 1974.

The Queen of Saba was an energetic ruler who maintained and expanded existing commercial activity, the trade route
of which extended as far as Palestine and India. To facilitate commerce, she had a fleet of seventy-three seaworthy
ships and a caravan of five hundred and twenty camels. These means of transport and the conduct of trade were the
responsibility of Tamrin, reputed to have been her trusted “Minister of Trade”. Ethiopian traders took with them
civet, incense, gold, ivory precious stones and ebony to foreign countries for trading purposes. Traders from other
countries also plied to and from Ethiopia carrying precious stones, gold, and civet and spread the fame of Ethiopia
and Queen of Saba far and wide.
Source: House of Tewahedo FB Post ~ November 9, 2018
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