Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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1 Kings 11
"King Solomon loved many strange women."
God didn't mind the number so much; it was their "strangeness" that he objected to.
Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy
(1:2) "The LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them,
neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods."
Note that Solomon is told to stay away from foreign women. Why? Because they have different
("strange") religious beliefs, and God disapproves of mixed-faith marriages.
"He had seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines."
(11:4a) "His wives turned away his heart after other gods:
and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God."
The wisest man that ever lived (1 Kings 4:31) was misled by his wives into worshipping other gods.
(11:4b, 6) "His heart was not perfect with the LORD his God,
as was the heart of David his father ... Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after
the LORD, as did David his father."
David was one of the most disgusting characters in all fiction, yet "his heart was perfect with the Lord." (See also 11:33-38,
(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."
Solomon (the wisest man that ever lived) worshipped many gods, including Ashtoreth, Micom, Chemosh, and Molech.
Solomon Loves Foreign Women
But king Solomon loved
many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the
Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:
Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall
not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for
surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto
these in love.
And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his
wives turned away his heart.
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.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after
Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after
the LORD, as did David his father.
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.
And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and
sacrificed unto their gods.
And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the
LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
And had 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 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
Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake:
but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to
thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have
"In thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son."
God is angry with Solomon, but decides to punish Solomon's
son rather than Solomon himself, because he liked Solomon's father
(David) so darned much.
Are we punished for the sins of others?
(11:14) "The LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite."
To punish Solomon for his strange wives and strange gods, God "stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite."
"Joab ... had smitten every male in Edom."
Joab (David's captain) spent six months
killing every male in Edom. Yet a few years later Edom revolted. (2 Kings 8:22)
God's 80th Killing
Religious Pluralism Angers God
And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he
was of the king's seed in Edom.
For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the
host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in
(For six months did
Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male
That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with
him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.
And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with
them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which
gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him
to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned
in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons
And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that
Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart,
that I may go to mine own country. ||
God Empowers Enemies of Israel
Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that,
behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing:
howbeit let me go in any wise.
And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which
fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:||
"And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon."
And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David
slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and
reigned in Damascus.||
And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the
mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.||
And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant,
whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand
against the king.||
Jeroboam and the Prophet
And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king:
Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his
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.||
And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that
the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad
himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:||
And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve
(11:30-31) "Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve
pieces ... for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of
They rent their clothes.
And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD,
the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of
Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
(But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for
Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of
Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the
goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the
god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that
which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as
did David his father.||
(11:33) "They ... have not walked in my ways, to do that
which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as
did David his father."
Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make
him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I
chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:||
(11:34) "David my servant ... whom I
chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes."
But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto
thee, even ten tribes.||
And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a
light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put
my name there.||
(11:36) "Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen."|
God likes Jerusalem better than any other city.
And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul
desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.||
(11:38) "If thou wilt ... walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes
and my commandments, as David my servant did...."
And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and
wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes
and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and
build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto
And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled
into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of
(11:40) "Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam."
"Are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?"
God Splits the Kingdom
And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom,
are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty
And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David
his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- David, a man after God's own
heart (WWDD?) (11:4)
- God's 80th Killing: David (Abishai, or Joab)
killed 18,000 (or 12,000) Edomites (or Syrians) in the Valley of Salt and then killed every male in Edom
- Roy Zimmerman:
I want a marriage like they had in the Bible (11:2-3)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- If He's So Wise, Why Did He Betray God?
- Christian Response
- SAB Author Answered