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Solomon’s Idolatry

11 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter. He loved Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. They came from the nations about which Yahweh had said to the people of Israel, “Never intermarry with them. They will surely tempt you to follow their gods.” But Solomon was obsessed with their love. He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 wives who were concubines.[a] In his old age, his wives tempted him to follow other gods. He was no longer committed to Yahweh his Elohim as his father David had been. Solomon followed Astarte (the goddess of the Sidonians) and Milcom (the disgusting idol of the Ammonites). So Solomon did what Yahweh considered evil. He did not wholeheartedly follow Yahweh as his father David had done. Then Solomon built an illegal worship site on the hill east of Jerusalem for Chemosh (the disgusting idol of Moab) and for Molech (the disgusting idol of the Ammonites). He did these things for each of his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

God Pronounces Judgment on Solomon

So Yahweh became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned from Yahweh Elohim of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 God had given him commands about this. He told him not to follow other gods. But Solomon did not obey Yahweh’s command. 11 Yahweh told Solomon, “Because this is your attitude and you have no respect for my promises[b] or my laws that I commanded you to keep, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you. I will give it to one of your servants. 12 But I will not do it in your lifetime because of your father David. I will tear it away from the hands of your son. 13 However, I will not tear the whole kingdom away from you. I will give your son one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I chose.”

Rebellions against Solomon

14 Yahweh raised up Hadad the Edomite as a rival to Solomon. Hadad was from the Edomite royal family. 15 When David had conquered Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, went to bury those killed in battle and killed every male in Edom. 16 (Joab and all Israel stayed there six months until they had destroyed every male in Edom.) 17 Hadad was a young boy at the time. He and some of his father’s Edomite servants fled to Egypt. 18 They left Midian and went to Paran. Taking some men from Paran with them, they went to Pharaoh (the king of Egypt). Pharaoh gave Hadad a home, a food allowance, and land.

19 Pharaoh approved of Hadad. So he gave Hadad his sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, to be Hadad’s wife. 20 Tahpenes’ sister had a son named Genubath. Tahpenes presented the boy to Pharaoh in the palace, and Genubath lived in the palace among Pharaoh’s children.

21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David had lain down in death with his ancestors and that Joab, the commander of the army, had died, he said to Pharaoh, “Let me go to my own country.”

22 Pharaoh asked him, “What don’t you have here that makes you eager to go home?”

“Nothing,” he said. “But let me leave anyway.”

23 Elohim also raised up Rezon, son of Eliada, as a rival to Solomon. Rezon fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah, 24 after David killed the men of Zobah. Rezon gathered men and became the leader of a troop of warriors. They went to Damascus, settled there, and ruled a kingdom in Damascus. 25 In addition to the trouble that Hadad caused, Rezon was Israel’s rival as long as Solomon lived. He ruled Aram and despised Israel.

26 There was also Jeroboam, who was the son of Nebat and an Ephrathite from Zeredah. His mother Zeruah was a widow. He was one of Solomon’s officers, but he rebelled against the king.

27 This was the situation when he rebelled against the king: Solomon was building the Millo[c] and repairing a break in the wall of the City of David. 28 Solomon saw that Jeroboam was a very able and hardworking man. So he put Jeroboam in charge of all forced labor from the tribes of Joseph.

29 At that time Jeroboam left Jerusalem. The prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him on the road. The two of them were alone in the open country, and Ahijah had on new clothes. 30 Ahijah took his new garment and tore it into 12 pieces.

31 He told Jeroboam, “Take 10 pieces because this is what Yahweh Elohim of Israel says: I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hands and give ten tribes to you. 32 He will have one tribe left because of my servant David and Jerusalem, the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 33 I will do this because he has abandoned me and worshiped Astarte (the goddess of the Sidonians), Chemosh (the god of Moab), and Milcom (the god of Ammon). He has not followed my ways. He did not do what I consider right or keep my laws and decrees as his father David did.

34 “I will not take the whole kingdom from him. Instead, I will allow him to be ruler as long as he lives because of my servant David whom I chose, who obeyed my commands and laws. 35 But I will take the kingdom away from his son and give you ten tribes. 36 I will give his son one tribe so that my servant David will always have a lamp in my presence in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to place my name.

37 “I will choose you so that you can rule everything you desire. You will be king of Israel. 38 If you will do all I command you, follow my ways, and do what I consider right by obeying my laws and commands as my servant David did, then I will be with you. I will build a permanent dynasty for you as I did for David. And I will give you Israel. 39 I will make David’s descendants suffer for this, but not always.”

40 Then Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to King Shishak of Egypt. He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.

Solomon’s Death(A)

41 Aren’t the rest of Solomon’s acts—everything he did—and his wisdom written in the records of Solomon? 42 The length of Solomon’s reign in Jerusalem over all Israel was 40 years. 43 Solomon lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.


  1. 1 Kings 11:3 A concubine is considered a wife except she has fewer rights under the law.
  2. 1 Kings 11:11 Or “covenant.”
  3. 1 Kings 11:27 The exact place referred to as “the Millo” is unknown.