The clamor from a multitude of women conversing in various languages, shimmering fabrics of brilliant colors, and the aromas of pungent perfumes filled the morning air of the busy courtyard.
Zabud hurried into the Throne Room and bowed before King Solomon. “My King, your wives have come today requesting the privilege of your presence.”
“Yes, my King. The news of your great kindness in bestowing wisdom to any who ask have reached their ears, and now, they are asking that they too are allowed time with you.”
King Solomon breathed deeply. “Aahh yes, my wives… they are like many beautiful flowers full of splendor. On which matters do they wish to speak?”
“Matters concerning your garden.”
“Yes, the garden that is being overseen by your servant Adoniram. Apparently, your wives have taken a great interest in the plants that will grow there.”
“And what wisdom do they seek concerning the garden?”
“My King, I believe it is not your wisdom they seek but are here to make requests.”
“Yes, my King.”
“I see.” His eyes filled with a sense of wonder. “Are ALL of my wives here?”
“No, not all, but many wait in the courtyard. I have posted guards to watch over them, for they are a raucous mob. Some of them seem inept in proper conduct, and I am afraid bedlam will grow without adequate precautions. Should I send them away?”
Solomon gave a jovial laugh. “Oh, how wild can they be? They are like delicate pedals that quiver in a gentle breeze, and so lovely to look upon. Do you really believe they pose such a threat? Of how many of my wives do you speak?”
“Yes, my great King. I have failed to obtain an exact count. However, every nation you have chosen from are represented here today: your wives from the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. I believe more guards are needed.”
Solomon chuckled. “Oh Zabud, why do you worry so? I am willing to meet with them as they please. Let us start with the lovely tribe from Edom. Send them all in so that I may gaze upon their beauty.”
“Yes, my king.” Zabud bowed down, and then quickly exited the room. Once outside, he loudly clapped his hands twice and called down the long hallway. “Ahishar, have the guards escort the Edomite wives, along with their interpreter, into King Solomon at once!”
Moments later, a palace guard, wearing full armor, walked into the Throne Room followed by a growing throng of young women exquisitely prepared with silk gowns, fine jewelry, and braided hair. The thick aroma of rich perfumes wafted through the air. The guard walked to the King and knelt down before him as the women scurried in behind. Another guard herded the group from the back, as the din of murmuring women grew louder as they crowded the room.
Standing beside King Solomon, Zabud spoke harshly to the mass. “SILENCE! This noise is not suitable for our great King!”
Solomon calmly looked out upon the hushed women with admiration and pointed to one of them. “I wish for her to speak on their behalf.”
Zabud went to the woman and guided her before the King, and then beckoned the interpreter with a wave of his hand.
The interpreter stepped up to mediate their discussion.
Solomon leaned forward on his thrown and tenderly smiled at the woman. “Oh yes… I remember you well.”
A sad look fell upon her face.
Solomon scowled. “What is wrong, have I not visited your chambers?”
She shook her head. “No, my lord, it was not I, but perhaps my sister. We look very much alike and are difficult to tell apart. She is not here today.”
“Oh.” He paused, looking bewildered. “Well, what is your request?”
“My King, many of us are homesick and long for the flowering vines of Edom. We beg of you to send someone to our homeland to retrieve some vines - lots of them- along with some soil in which they grow, to be planted in your garden.”
Solomon furrowed his brow. “This is an odd request; however, I will grant you your desires. He glanced at his attendant standing next to her. “Zabud, see to it that this request is fulfilled and have these women escorted out.”
“Yes, my Lord. Guards, take these women away.”
Throughout that day, the many wives of King Solomon were ushered in to meet with him. The Moabites, Ammonites, Sidonians, and Hittites, each in their turn, crowded the room and made their many frivolous requests pertaining to his garden. With every silly demand made by the women, the great King Solomon slumped deeper on his throne.
Later that evening…
“Zabud, I am so tired and relieved that this day is over; for those women have worn me out. I had no idea my wives could be so wearisome.”
“Yes my King,” Zabud said, with droopy eyes,” and tomorrow presents yet another long day full of meetings.”
“Your many concubines.”