The Lord’s warning in 1 Kings 9:6-9 seems pretty straightforward, and one would think that Solomon would have heed it. But chapter 11 makes it clear that he did not. God’s warnings concerning the king in Deuteronomy 17:14-17 were ignored, as well as what God said in Deuteronomy 7:3-5. Solomon took 700 wives and 300 concubines (verse 3), and seemed to have married princesses from every Canaanite nation. And just as warned over and over, they turned his heart to serving other “gods” (verse 5-8). He even built places of worship to these idols, including Molech, whom the Bible writers associated with child sacrifice in, as we are told in Leviticus 18:21 and other passages.
The Lord’s anger with Solomon was great, and he told him that he would tear the kingdom away from him and give it to his servant (we meet him – Jeroboam – in verse 26) and he will indeed be the next king of Israel. But God will not do this until Solomon dies, and he will leave one tribe with Solomon’s son for the sake of David (verse 13). So God raises up adversaries against Solomon – Rezon rises up from the north, and Hadad rises up from the south. Solomon now finds enemies on all sides. In verse 40, we find Solomon’s reaction to the promise of Jeroboam’s rise to king – he seeks to kill him, just as Saul did with David! How far he has fallen. Solomon dies in verse 43. Verse 42 says that he reigned as king for 40 years. Some believe that he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in his later years
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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