1 Kings 11
Contemporary English Version
Solomon Disobeys the Lord
11 1-2 The Lord did not want the Israelites to worship foreign gods, so he had warned them not to marry anyone who was not from Israel.
Solomon loved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt. But he also loved some women from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, and others from Sidon and the land of the Hittites. 3-4 Seven hundred of his wives were daughters of kings, but he also married three hundred other women.[a]
As Solomon got older, some of his wives led him to worship their gods. He wasn’t like his father David, who had worshiped only the Lord God. 5 Solomon also worshiped Astarte the goddess of Sidon, and Milcom the disgusting god of Ammon. 6 Solomon’s father had obeyed the Lord with all his heart, but Solomon disobeyed and did what the Lord hated.
7 Solomon built shrines on a hill east of Jerusalem to worship Chemosh the disgusting god of Moab, and Molech the disgusting god of Ammon. 8 In fact, he built a shrine for each of his foreign wives, so all of them could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods.
9-10 The Lord God of Israel had appeared to Solomon two times and warned him not to worship foreign gods. But Solomon disobeyed and did it anyway. This made the Lord very angry, 11 and he said to Solomon:
You did what you wanted and not what I told you to do. Now I’m going to take your kingdom from you and give it to one of your officials. 12 But because David was your father, you will remain king as long as you live. I will wait until your son becomes king, then I will take the kingdom from him. 13 When I do, I will still let him rule one tribe, because I have not forgotten that David was my servant and Jerusalem is my city.
Hadad Becomes an Enemy of Solomon
14 Hadad was from the royal family of Edom, and here is how the Lord made him Solomon’s enemy:
15-16 Some time earlier, when David conquered the nation of Edom,[b] Joab his army commander went there to bury those who had died in battle. Joab and his soldiers stayed in Edom six months, and during that time they killed every man and boy who lived there.
17-19 Hadad was a boy at the time, but he escaped to Midian with some of his father’s officials. At Paran some other men joined them, and they went to the king of Egypt. The king liked Hadad and gave him food, some land, and a house, and even let him marry the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 Hadad and his wife had a son named Genubath, and the queen let the boy grow up in the palace with her own children.
21 When Hadad heard that David and Joab were dead, he said to the king, “Your Majesty, please let me go back to my own country.”
22 “Why?” asked the king. “Do you want something I haven’t given you?”
“No, I just want to go home.”
Rezon Becomes an Enemy of Solomon
23 Here is how God made Rezon son of Eliada an enemy of Solomon:
Rezon had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 24-25 He formed his own small army and became its leader after David had defeated Hadadezer’s troops.[c] Then Rezon and his army went to Damascus, where he became the ruler of Syria and an enemy of Israel.
Both Hadad and Rezon were enemies of Israel while Solomon was king, and they caused him a lot of trouble.
The Lord Makes a Promise to Jeroboam
26 Jeroboam was from the town of Zeredah in Ephraim. His father Nebat had died, but his mother Zeruah was still alive. Jeroboam was one of Solomon’s officials, but even he rebelled against Solomon. 27 Here is how it happened:
While Solomon’s workers were filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem[d] and repairing the city walls, 28 Solomon noticed that Jeroboam was a hard worker. So he put Jeroboam in charge of the work force from Manasseh and Ephraim.
29-30 One day when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, he met Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh. No one else was anywhere around. Suddenly, Ahijah took off his new coat and ripped it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said:
Jeroboam, take ten pieces of this coat and listen to what the Lord God of Israel says to you. “Jeroboam, I am the Lord God, and I am about to take Solomon’s kingdom from him and give you ten tribes to rule. 32 But Solomon will still rule one tribe,[e] since he is the son of David my servant, and Jerusalem is my chosen city.
33 “Solomon and the Israelites are not like their ancestor David. They will not listen to me, obey me, or do what is right. They have turned from me to worship Astarte the goddess of Sidon, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of Ammon.
34 “Solomon is David’s son, and David was my chosen leader, who did what I commanded. So I will let Solomon be king until he dies. 35 Then I will give you ten tribes to rule, 36 but Solomon’s son will still rule one tribe. This way, my servant David will always have a descendant ruling in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to be worshiped.
37 “You will be king of Israel and will rule every nation you want. 38 I’ll help you if you obey me. And if you do what I say, as my servant David did, I will always let someone from your family rule in Israel, just as someone from David’s family will always rule in Judah. The nation of Israel will be yours.
39 “I will punish the descendants of David, but not forever.”
40 When Solomon learned what the Lord had told Jeroboam, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But he escaped to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.
41 Everything else Solomon did while he was king is written in the book about him and his wisdom. 42 After he had ruled forty years from Jerusalem, 43 he died and was buried there in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam then became king.
- 11.3,4 other women: This translates a Hebrew word for a woman who was legally bound to a man, but without the full privileges of a wife.
- 11.15,16 Edom: See 2 Samuel 8.13,14.
- 11.24,25 troops: See 2 Samuel 8.3-6.
- 11.27 filling. . . Jerusalem: See the note at 9.15.
- 11.31,32 ten tribes. . . one tribe: By this time the tribe of Simeon had become part of the tribe of Judah. “One tribe” refers to Judah. Instead of “one tribe,” one ancient translation has “two tribes.”