1 Kings, 11
1: But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2: 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. 3: And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 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. 5: For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6: And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 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. 8: And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
9: And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10: And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 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. 12: 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. 13: 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 chosen. 14: And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom. 15: 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 Edom; 16: (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 17: That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. 18: 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. 19: 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. 20: 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 of Pharaoh. 21: 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. 22: 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. 23: And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 24: 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. 25: 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.
Jeroboam is to be Northern King
26: 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. 27: 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 father. 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. 29: 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: 30: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 31: 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: 32: (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 Israel:) 33: 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. 34: 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: 35: But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 36: 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. 37: And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 38: 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 thee. 39: And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 40: 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 Solomon.
41: 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? 42: And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43: And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
1 Kings, 12
C The Division of the Kingdom
The Northern tribes revolt
1: And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2: And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 3: That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4: Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 5: And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 6: And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? 7: And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. 8: But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 9: And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? 10: And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. 11: And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12: So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13: And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him; 14: And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15: Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16: So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. 17: But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18: Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19: So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. 20: And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
War is averted
21: And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22: But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23: Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, 24: Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.
Jeroboam’s false religion
25: Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. 26: And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 27: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28: Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 29: And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30: And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 31: And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 32: And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33: So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
1 Kings, 13
A Prophet warns Jeroboam
1: And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2: And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. 3: And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4: And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. 5: The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. 6: And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7: And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8: And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: 9: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. 10: So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
The Prophet killed
11: Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. 12: And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. 13: And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, 14: And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15: Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16: And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18: He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. 19: So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 20: And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22: But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23: And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24: And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25: And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 26: And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him. 27: And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled him. 28: And he went and found his carcase cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase: the lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29: And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 30: And he laid his carcase in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31: And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones: 32: For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. 33: After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34: And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
In the next few chapters we see the sad decline of Solomon – his sins and his troubles. During the closing days of his life Jeroboam revolts against his reign and faces the spectre of a divided kingdom. But after Solomon’s death the northern tribes revolt against the south. A prophet of the LORD speaks to Jeroboam but looses his life in the process. From the glories of the previous passages this is a sad comedown. From the beginning of these chapters we see that Solomon loved many strange women. Solomon sin was outright idolatry and this came from the wives that he married from nations which were not allowed to the Jews. He had Pharaohs daughter and then wives from the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. Solomon’s heart (mind) was turned away from the LORD by wives that were not godly. He had 700 wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines and they distracted him from complete devotion to the LORD. Ever Christian man should take note and pray that he marries the right woman and that her heart is faithful to the Lord. Solomon was a great influence on his wives but when he was old they were a great influence on him. He was not like his father who always remained faithful to the LORD. In the end Solomon sought after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And so the epitaph reads that Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD. Solomon even went so far as to build a place of worship to Chemosh, the abomination of Moab and it was in full view of Jerusalem, and he did the same for the god Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. The LORD was angry with Solomon and commanded him to not go after idols yet he refused to hear the LORD. The LORD told him that he would tear away the kingdom from him and give the kingdom to his servant. Solomon must have been shocked; however in respect to your father David l will do this when you are dead. The LORD stirred up an enemy to Solomon Hadad the Edomite. In the days of David Joab had gone down to Edom and killed every male except one – Hadad. Hadad had run away to Egypt he was just a child. Hadad was very much liked by the Egyptian king who gave him food and a house with land. He married the sister of Pharaohs wife. When David heard that David and Joab were dead he asked for permission to go to his home country. Pharaoh asked why he wanted to leave but Hadad said l want to go home. The Lord also stirred up another enemy called Rezon who ran away when David killed his King Zobah. He gathered a band of men and was a sort of king over them in Damascus. He was an enemy to Solomon all his days like Hadad was. Also a man called Jeroboam started to rebel against Solomon. He hated Solomon because he had met a prophet of the Lord called Ahijah, who took hold of Jeroboam and ripped his cloak into 12 pieces and told him to take 10 of them because the Lord says he will take away the kingdom from Solomon and give the 10 tribes to you. This was because Solomon had worshipped Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Milcom. Then the Lord promised the same blessing if he will serve the Lord his God as David had done. The Lord promised to be with him and to build up his house as he did with David. Solomon sought opportunity to kill Jeroboam so Jeroboam ran away to Egypt and lived there until the death of Solomon. Solomon reigned for 40 yrs and then he died and Rehoboam reigned in his place. The kingdom was now ripe for division. Rehoboam went to Shechem and the whole of Israel gathered to make him king and they advised him to be kind and lenient with his people but to take a very hard line and this split his kingdom. The old men counselled wisdom and the young men foolishness. (No wander the rulers were elders) The northern tribes rebelled and Judah gathered for war 180,000 chosen men. But a man of God Shemaiah told Rehoboam not to go to war against the northern tribes. Jeroboam had to build a rival religion in the north to prevent the people going to Jerusalem. So Jeroboam turned the people away from worshipping the Lord in the south because they had forsaken the Lord however he then set up a religion based on two golden calves, one in Bethel and the other in Dan. He also set up a false priesthood and false feasts. Then a prophet of the Lord came to warn Jeroboam of his sin to prophesy that a child would be born called Josiah who would offer burnt offerings with human sacrifice. When Jeroboam heard this he put out his hand and when he withdrew it was dried up so he pleaded with the Lord and his hand was restored. But the altar was broken and the ash fell to the earth. The prophet was offered food and drink but it was refused. Then an old prophet lied to him saying that the Lord had told him to eat. Then the word of the Lord came to him and he left on an ass but a lion met him and killed him and the ass and lion stood by his body. The old prophet when he heard of it went and took his body and brought it back and mourned over him and buried him in his own grave but he left instructions to be buried with him.