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11 King Solomon married many other girls besides the Egyptian princess. Many of them came from nations where idols were worshiped[a]—Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from the Hittites— even though the Lord had clearly instructed his people not to marry into those nations, because the women they married would get them started worshiping their gods. Yet Solomon did it anyway. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines; and sure enough, they turned his heart away from the Lord, especially in his old age. They encouraged him to worship their gods instead of trusting completely in the Lord as his father David had done. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the horrible god of the Ammonites. Thus Solomon did what was clearly wrong and refused to follow the Lord as his father David did. He even built a temple on the Mount of Olives, across the valley from Jerusalem, for Chemosh, the depraved god of Moab, and another for Molech, the unutterably vile god of the Ammonites. Solomon built temples for these foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.

9-10 Jehovah was very angry with Solomon about this, for now Solomon was no longer interested in the Lord God of Israel who had appeared to him twice to warn him specifically against worshiping other gods. But he hadn’t listened, 11 so now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept our agreement and have not obeyed my laws, I will tear the kingdom away from you and your family and give it to someone else. 12-13 However, for the sake of your father David, I won’t do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. And even so I will let him be king of one tribe, for David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”

14 So the Lord caused Hadad the Edomite to grow in power. And Solomon became apprehensive, for Hadad was a member of the royal family of Edom. 15 Years before, when David had been in Edom with Joab to arrange for the burial of some Israeli soldiers who had died in battle, the Israeli army had killed nearly every male in the entire country. 16-18 It took six months to accomplish this, but they finally killed all except Hadad and a few royal officials who took him to Egypt (he was a very small child at the time). They slipped out of Midian and went to Paran, where others joined them and accompanied them to Egypt, and Pharaoh had given them homes and food.

19 Hadad became one of Pharaoh’s closest friends, and he gave him a wife—the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 She presented him with a son, Genubath, who was brought up in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s own sons. 21 When Hadad, there in Egypt, heard that David and Joab were both dead, he asked Pharaoh for permission to return to Edom.

22 “Why?” Pharaoh asked him. “What do you lack here? How have we disappointed you?”

“Everything is wonderful,” he replied, “but even so, I’d like to go back home.”

23 Another of Solomon’s enemies whom God raised to power was Rezon, one of the officials of King Hadadezer of Zobah who had deserted his post and fled the country. 24 He had become the leader of a gang of bandits—men who fled with him to Damascus (where he later became king) when David destroyed Zobah. 25 During Solomon’s entire lifetime, Rezon and Hadad were his enemies, for they hated Israel intensely.

26 Another rebel leader was Jeroboam (the son of Nebat), who came from the city of Zeredah in Ephraim; his mother was Zeruah, a widow. 27-28 Here is the story of his rebellion: Solomon was rebuilding Fort Millo, repairing the walls of this city his father had built. Jeroboam was very able, and when Solomon saw how industrious he was, he put him in charge of his labor battalions from the tribe of Joseph.

29 One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh (who had put on a new robe for the occasion) met him and called him aside to talk to him. And as the two of them were alone in the field, 30 Ahijah tore his new robe into twelve parts 31 and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces, for the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I will tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and give ten of the tribes to you! 32 But I will leave him one tribe[b] for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen above all the other cities of Israel. 33 For Solomon has forsaken me and worships Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; and Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. He has not followed my paths and has not done what I consider right; he has not kept my laws and instructions as his father David did. 34 I will not take the kingdom from him now, however; for the sake of my servant David, my chosen one who obeyed my commandments, I will let Solomon reign for the rest of his life.

35 “‘But I will take away the kingdom from his son and give ten of the tribes to you. 36 His son shall have the other one so that the descendants of David will continue to reign in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen to be the place for my name to be enshrined. 37 And I will place you on the throne of Israel and give you absolute power. 38 If you listen to what I tell you and walk in my path and do whatever I consider right, obeying my commandments as my servant David did, then I will bless you; and your descendants shall rule Israel forever. (I once made this same promise to David. 39 But because of Solomon’s sin, I will punish the descendants of David—though not forever.)’”

40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until the death of Solomon.

41 The rest of what Solomon did and said is written in the book The Acts of Solomon. 42 He ruled in Jerusalem for forty years, 43 and then died and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.


  1. 1 Kings 11:1 where idols were worshiped, implied.
  2. 1 Kings 11:32 I will leave him one tribe. Of the twelve tribes, Judah and Benjamin were left to Solomon’s son. These two tribes were often called “Judah,” the larger of the two.

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