1 Kings 11 Solomon’s Apostasy and Adversaries

So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.  1 Kings 11:9, 10

Solomon’s wives:  1 Kings 11:1-13.  The law concerning kings forbids multiple wives.  And the general law strictly prohibits taking foreign wives.  But Solomon makes many political alliances, and these involve marriages between royal houses.  However wise this course seems, it leads Solomon into serious trouble and involves him in direct disobedience to the Lord.

Solomon’s love for God is gradually replaced by his love for his foreign women.  As he grows older “his wives turn his heart after their gods” (4).  Now the Lord appears to Solomon a third time, but this time to announce judgment!

It is during this later part of his life, when he has wandered from his spiritual foundations, that Solomon writes Ecclesiastes.

Enemies arise:  1 Kings 11:14-40.  Now the days of unmixed blessing are past.  Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, and Rezon, who will launch a dynasty in Syria, begin movements which will lead to the rebellion of these subject lands.  One of Solomon’s own officials who is a son of Nebat, Solomon’s servant, rebels against the king.  This ambitious and talented young man is told by the prophet Ahijah that on Solomon’s death he will become king over the northern tribes.  Solomon tries unsuccessfully to kill Jeroboam, who flees to Egypt.

31  And he (Ahijah) said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you 32  (but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), 33  because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David. 34  However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes. 35  But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and give it to you–ten tribes. 36  And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there. 37  So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel. 38  Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. 39 And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.’ ” 40  Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

In these rising external and internal enemies, the seed for years of agonizing strife for Solomon’s successors has begun to grow.

Solomon’s death:  1 Kings 11:41-43; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31.  After 40 years as king, the book is closed on Solomon’s reign.  He is buried in Jerusalem, the city of his father, David.




Kingdom Divided

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