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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 11

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-43

Chapter 11

Chapter eleven.

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughters of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites ( 1 Kings 11:1 );

Now turn back for a moment to Deuteronomy chapter seventeen, beginning with verse fourteen. Here under the law four hundred years before the time of David, before the time of Solomon, God foresaw that the day would come when the people would demand a king. And so even in the law, God gave certain commandments for the kings.

"When you are come unto the land which the LORD thy God gives you, thou shall possess, and shall possess it, and your dwelling there, and you will say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are about me; thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among your brothers shall you set as the king: that you may not set a stranger over thee. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, [Why?] that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write a copy of the law of the book which is before the priests of the Levites: and it shall be that he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn the fear of the LORD his God, to keep the words of the law and statutes" ( Deuteronomy 17:14-19 ).

Now Solomon you know just disobeyed in all cases. First of all, he multiplied horses. He had forty thousand horses. He began to go down to Egypt, verse twenty-eight, had horses brought out of Egypt. And then chapter eleven, he loved many strange women. And we are told in that he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And we've been reading how he multiplied gold and silver around Jerusalem. He did exactly those things that God said he should not do.

Now the reason why the Lord said the king shouldn't do these things lest their hearts be turned away from the Lord. And what happened to Solomon? His heart was turned away from the Lord.

There is an old saying that declares, "The dice of the gods are loaded." By which they are saying you cannot go against God's word and win. God has established His word. And you cannot, you cannot violate the Word of God and win. Anytime you violate God's word, you are a loser.

And Solomon, with all of his wisdom, all of his blessings, disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and just as God said, it happened. His heart was turned away from the Lord, verse three.

He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. And it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not completely towards Jehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father. Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, did not go fully after the LORD, as David his father. And then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all of his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods ( 1 Kings 11:3-8 ).

So for each of his wives he built a little shrine, a worship shrine that they might worship the gods that were native to their own ethnic groups. And "his heart wasn't fully towards Jehovah his God." And in his wives turned him away from the Lord.

So the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD the God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice, and he commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and you have not kept the covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and give it to thy servant. However it will not happen in your days but it will happen in the days of your son. So the LORD stirred up began to stir up adversaries against Solomon, [the first adversary was] Hadad who was an Edomite ( 1 Kings 11:9-12 , 1 Kings 11:14 ):

Now David had just about exterminated all of the males in Edom. In fact, Joab stayed down there for six months to make sure that they killed all of the men. But one of the princes of Edom whose name was Hadad escaped down to Egypt and there he married the daughter of the Pharaoh in Egypt and he became a very powerful man. When he heard that David and Joab were dead, then he requested the Pharaoh that he might be able to go back to Edom and the Pharaoh said, What's the matter? You've got everything here. Why would you want to go back there? But Hadad insisted and came back to Edom, gathered a company of men and he began to make excursions against the southern borders of Israel and harassment against Solomon. The other one who began to harass Solomon was up in the area of Damascus and he also began to harass Solomon in the northern borders of their land.

Now beginning with verse twenty-six, we find that

Jeroboam lifted up his hand against the king. And Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and when Solomon saw that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all of the charge of the house of Joseph ( 1 Kings 11:26 , 1 Kings 11:28 ).

Which would be the northern part.

And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh found him there in the way; and he had just bought him a new robe; and Ahijah grabbed hold of the robe and he ripped the thing. And then he ripped it into twelve pieces: And he gave unto Jeroboam ten pieces: and he said, Thus the Lord is going to tear the kingdom away from Solomon, [and from the house of David] and the Lord is going to give you ten tribes to rule over: (and He's going to just leave one tribe for the house of David:) ( 1 Kings 11:29-32 )

That is, one tribe outside of Judah. And so the Southern Kingdom was Judah and Benjamin. And the Northern Kingdom, of course, were the other ten tribes. They comprise the kingdom that became known as Israel and the southern two became known as Judah. So here is the prophecy of Ahijah to Jeroboam. The fact that he is going to become the ruler and the king over ten of the tribes of Israel.

And so the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon ( 1 Kings 11:41 )?

Now here is a book of the Bible that we do not have. There are many books that are mentioned that we do not have. They would add perhaps somewhat to the color and the life history of Solomon if we could only find one of these books, the acts of Solomon, the wisdom of this man. We do have the book of Proverbs; we do have the Song of Solomon. He wrote a thousand and five songs, we have one in the Bible, the Song of Solomon. I've never counted the number of proverbs that we have in the book of Proverbs but he actually wrote three thousand proverbs. We do have the book of the proverbs but there is also another book, the Acts of Solomon that we do not have that record, much of his wisdom and all. It would be very interesting to have but we really don't need it for God's revelation to us of His purposes and all.

So Solomon slept with his fathers, was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead ( 1 Kings 11:43 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-11.html. 2014.
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