1 Kings 11International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Solomon’s Many Wives
11 But King Solomon loved many women who were not from Israel. He loved the daughter of the king of Egypt. He also loved women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 The Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not marry people of other nations. If you do, they will cause you to follow their gods.” But Solomon fell in love with these women. 3 He had 700 wives who were from royal families. He also had 300 slave women who gave birth to his children. His wives caused him to turn away from God. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives caused him to follow other gods. He did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. 5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon. And he worshiped Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what the Lord said was wrong. He did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done.
7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built two places for worship. He built a place to worship Chemosh, the hated god of the Moabites. And he built a place to worship Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. 8 Solomon did the same thing for all of his foreign wives. So they burned incense and gave sacrifices to their gods.
9 The Lord had appeared to Solomon twice. But Solomon turned away from following the Lord, the God of Israel. So the Lord was angry with him. 10 The Lord had commanded Solomon not to follow other gods. But Solomon did not obey the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “You have chosen to break your agreement with me. You have not obeyed my commands. So I promise I will tear your kingdom away from you. I will give it to one of your officers. 12 But I will not take it away while you are alive. This is because of my love for your father David. I will tear it away from your son when he becomes king. 13 But I will not tear away all the kingdom from him. I will leave him one tribe to rule. I will do this because of David, my servant. And I will do it because of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen.”
14 Now Hadad was a member of the family of the king of Edom. And the Lord caused Hadad the Edomite to become Solomon’s enemy. 15 Earlier, David had defeated Edom. Joab, the commander of David’s army, went into Edom to bury the dead. While he was there, he killed all the males. 16 Joab and all the Israelites stayed in Edom for six months. During that time they killed every male in Edom. 17 But at that time Hadad was only a young boy. So he ran away to Egypt with some of his father’s officers. 18 They left Midian and went to Paran. In Paran other men joined them. Then they all went to Egypt to see the king. He gave Hadad a house, some land and food to eat.
19 The king liked Hadad so much he gave Hadad a wife. She was the sister of Tahpenes, the king’s wife. 20 They had a son named Genubath. Queen Tahpenes allowed him to grow up in the royal palace. So he grew up with the king’s own children.
21 While he was in Egypt, Hadad heard that David had died. He also heard that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. So Hadad said to the king, “Let me go home. Let me return to my own country.”
22 But the king said, “Why do you want to go back to your own country? What haven’t I given you here?”
Hadad answered, “Nothing. But please, let me go.”
23 God also caused another man to be an enemy to Solomon. This man was Rezon son of Eliada. Rezon had run away from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 After David defeated the army of Zobah, Rezon gathered some men. He became the leader of a small army. They went to Damascus and settled there. And Rezon became king of Damascus. 25 Rezon ruled Aram, and he hated Israel. So he was an enemy of Israel all the time Solomon was alive. Rezon and Hadad caused some trouble for Israel.
26 Jeroboam son of Nebat was one of Solomon’s officers. Jeroboam was one of the Ephraimite people. He was from the town of Zeredah. His mother was a widow named Zeruah. He turned against the king.
27 This is the story of how Jeroboam turned against the king. Solomon was filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem. He was also repairing the wall of Jerusalem. It was the city of David, his ancestor. 28 Jeroboam was a capable man. Solomon saw that this young man was a good worker. So Solomon put him over all the workers from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
29 One day Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem. Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh, met him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new coat. The two men were alone out in the country. 30 Ahijah took his new coat and tore it into 12 pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take 10 pieces of this coat for yourself. The Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will tear the kingdom away from Solomon. Then I will give you 10 tribes. 32 But I will allow the family of David to control 1 tribe. I will do this for my servant David and for Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 33 I will do this because Solomon has stopped following me. He worships the Sidonian god Ashtoreth and the Moabite god Chemosh. He also worships Molech, the Ammonite god. Solomon has not obeyed me. He has not done what I said is right. He has not obeyed my laws and commands. He is not living the way his father David lived.
34 “‘But I will not take all the kingdom away from Solomon. I will let him rule all his life. I will do this because of my servant David. I chose David, and he obeyed all my commands and laws. 35 But I will take the kingdom away from his son. Jeroboam, I will allow you to rule over the 10 tribes. 36 I will allow Solomon’s son to continue to rule over 1 tribe. I will do this so that David, my servant, will always have a king before me in Jerusalem. It is the city where I chose to be worshiped. 37 But I will make you rule over everything you want. You will rule over all of Israel. 38 I will always be with you if you do what I say is right. You must obey all my commands. If you obey my laws and commands as David did, I will be with you. I will make your family a family of kings, as I did for David. I will give Israel to you. 39 I will punish David’s children because of this. But I will not punish them forever.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam ran away to Egypt. He went to Shishak king of Egypt. And Jeroboam stayed there until Solomon died.
41 Everything else Solomon did is written down. He showed much wisdom. It is written in the book of the history of Solomon. 42 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years. 43 Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. And his son Rehoboam became king after him.
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