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Dictionaries :: Queen

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


No explicit mention of queens is made till we read of the "queen of Sheba." The wives of the kings of Israel are not so designated. In Psa 45:9, the Hebrew for "queen" is not malkah, one actually ruling like the Queen of Sheba, but shegal, which simply means the king's wife. In 1Ki 11:19, Pharaoh's wife is called "the queen," but the Hebrew word so rendered (g'birah) is simply a title of honour, denoting a royal lady, used sometimes for "queen-mother" (1Ki 15:13; 2Ch 15:16). In Sgs 6:8, 9, the king's wives are styled "queens" (Heb. melakhoth).

In the New Testament we read of the "queen of the south", i.e., Southern Arabia, Sheba (Mat 12:42; Luk 11:31) and the "queen of the Ethiopians" (Act 8:27), Candace.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


kwen: The Bible applies this term:

(1) To the wife of a king ("queen consort") (malkah). In the Book of Esther it is the title given to Vashti (1:9) and Esther (2:22); compare So 6:8 f. Another Hebrew word for queen consort is gebhirah, literally "mistress" (compare 1Ki 11:19, the wife of Pharaoh; 2Ki 10:13, "the children of the king and the children of the queen"). In Ne 2:6 and Ps 45:9 we find the expression sheghal, which some trace back to shaghal, "to ravish," a rather doubtful derivation. Still another term is sarah, literally, "princess" (Isa 49:23). The Septuagint sometimes uses the word basilissa; compare Ps 45:9.

(2) To a female ruler or sovereign ("queen regnant"). The only instances are those of the queen (malkah) of Sheba (1Ki 10:1-13; compare 2Ch 9:1-12) and of Candace, the queen (basilissa) of the Ethiopians (Ac 8:27). In Mt 12:42 (compare Lu 11:31) Christ refers to the queen of the south (basilissa notou), meaning, of course, the queen of Sheba.

(3) To a heathen deity, melekheth ha-shamayim, "the queen of heaven" (Jer 7:18; 44:17 ).

(4) Metaphorically, to the city of Babylon (Rome) (Re 18:7): an expression denoting sovereign contempt and imaginary dignity and power.

Written by William Baur


Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g938 Greek: basilissa


the feminine of basileus, "a king," is used

(a) of the "Queen of Sheba," Mat 12:42; Luk 11:31; of "Candace," Act 8:27;

(b) metaphorically, of "Babylon," Rev 18:7.

Smith's Bible Dictionary


This title is properly applied to the queen‐mother, since in an Oriental household it is not the wife but the mother of the master who exercises the highest authority. Strange as such an arrangement at sight appears, it is one of the inevitable results of polygamy. An illustration of the queen‐mother's influence is given in 1 Kings 2:19, ff. The term is applied to Maachah (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16) and to Jezetiel (2 Kings 10:13) and to the mother of Jehoiachin or Jeconiah (Jeremiah 13:18 compare 2 Kings 24:12; Jeremiah 29:2).


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