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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 11

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-13

Solomon Turns His Heart Towards Idolatry 1 Kings 11:1-13 records the tragic account of Solomon turning his heart away from the Lord in pride and towards other heathen gods. Solomon opened the door for these sinful idols to establish strongholds in the nation of Israel. Although Solomon seems to have come to his reasonable senses according to the message in Ecclesiastes, he left these idols in the land for others to be corrupted.

These strongholds were never fully removed by later kings, and thus, they plagued God's people until the day they were led away captive into Babylon

1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1 Kings 11:4 Comments - It was a woman that tore the kingdom of Israel apart. In 1 Kings 11:11-13, God tells Solomon that his idolatry, which began with his marriage to foreign wives, was the reason why the kingdom was torn from him. King David almost lost the kingdom because of his adultery with Bathsheba. The rebellion of David's son, Absalom, was a direct result of Nathan's prophecy which judged the house of David because of his sin with Bathsheba.

1 Kings 11:7 Then did Solomon build an 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.

1 Kings 11:7 “in the hill that is before Jerusalem” Comments - John Gill cites Jarchi (Rashi), a medieval Jewish scholar, who says that the hill that is before Jerusalem mentioned in 1 Kings 11:7 is most likely the Mount of Olives. [30]

[30] John Gill, 1 Kings, in John Gill’s Expositor, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on 1 Kings 11:7; The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary, ed. A. J. Rosenberg (New York: The Judaica Press Company, 1963) [on-line]; accessed 13 December 2009; available from http//www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16445/showrashi/true; Internet, comments on 1 Kings 11:7.

1 Kings 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

1 Kings 11:11 “and will give it to thy servant” Comments - This is a reference to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:28; 1 Kings 11:35).

1 Kings 11:28, “And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.”

1 Kings 11:35, “But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.”

Verses 1-43

The Reign of King Solomon over a United Israel (970-930 B.C.) 1 Kings 1:1 to 1 Kings 11:43 records the story of the reign of King Solomon. The plot of this historical account of Solomon’s life takes a familiar structure as it discusses the establishment, prosperity and failure of his reign as king over Israel.

1. The Establishment of Solomon’ Reign 1 Kings 1:1 to 1 Kings 2:46

2. The Prosperity of Solomon’s Reign 1 Kings 3:1 to 1 Kings 10:29

3. The Failure of Solomon’s Reign 1 Kings 11:1-40

4. Epilogue 1 Kings 11:41-43

Verses 14-40

The Lord Stirs Up Adversaries Against Solomon After Solomon turns his heart towards idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-13), the Lord begins to raise up adversaries against the king. Solomon had reigned during a period of peace, when there was no need to fight wars and subdue nations. In the midst of this prosperity Solomon’s heart became lifted up with pride and he backslid. Therefore, it became necessary for the Lord to judge him in order to turn his heart back to Him. It is in such difficult times that we tend to seek the Lord with passion.

1. Hadad the Edomite 1 Kings 11:14-25

2. Jerobam 1 Kings 11:26-40

1 Kings 11:14-25 The Lord Stirs up Hadad the Edomite as Solomon’s Adversary 1 Kings 11:14-25 records the account of the Lord stirring up Hadad the Edomite as an adversary of King Solomon.

1 Kings 11:26-40 The Lord Stirs up Jeroboam as Solomon’s Adversary 1 Kings 11:26-40 records the account of the Lord stirring up Jeroboam as an adversary of King Solomon.

1 Kings 11:41-43 Epilogue to Solomon’s Reign 1 Kings 11:41-43 provides an epilogue to the greatest king that the Lord raised up over Israel.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Kings 11". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-kings-11.html. 2013.
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