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1 Kings 11-12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Solomon’s Unfaithfulness to God

11 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.” To these women Solomon was deeply attached[a] in love. He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away.

When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. Solomon followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the abhorrent idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not remain loyal to the Lord.

At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abhorrent idol of Moab, and for Milcom,[b] the abhorrent idol of the Ammonites, on the hill across from Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods.

The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had commanded him about this, so that he would not follow other gods, but Solomon did not do what the Lord had commanded.

11 Then the Lord said to Solomon, “Since you have done this[c] and did not keep my covenant and my statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, I will not do it during your lifetime for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of your son’s hand. 13 Yet I will not tear the entire kingdom away from him. I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem that I chose.”

Solomon’s Enemies

14 So the Lord raised up Hadad the Edomite as an enemy against Solomon. He was of the royal family in Edom. 15 Earlier, when David was in Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, had gone to bury the dead and had struck down every male in Edom. 16 For Joab and all Israel had remained there six months, until he had killed every male in Edom. 17 Hadad fled to Egypt, along with some Edomites from his father’s servants. At the time Hadad was a small boy. 18 Hadad and his men set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men with them from Paran and went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house, ordered that he be given food, and gave him land. 19 Pharaoh liked Hadad so much[d] that he gave him a wife, the sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes. 20 Tahpenes’s sister gave birth to Hadad’s son Genubath. Tahpenes herself weaned him in Pharaoh’s palace, and Genubath lived there along with Pharaoh’s sons.

21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me leave, so I may go to my own country.”

22 But Pharaoh asked him, “What do you lack here with me for you to want to go back to your own country?”

“Nothing,” he replied, “but please let me leave.”

23 God raised up Rezon son of Eliada as an enemy against Solomon. Rezon had fled from his master King Hadadezer of Zobah 24 and gathered men to himself. He became leader of a raiding party when David killed the Zobaites. He[e] went to Damascus, lived there, and became king in Damascus. 25 Rezon was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign, adding to the trouble Hadad had caused. He reigned over Aram[f] and loathed Israel.

26 Now Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His widowed mother’s name was Zeruah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, 27 and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces and repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David. 28 Now the man Jeroboam was capable, and Solomon noticed the young man because he was getting things done. So he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph.

29 During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as Jeroboam came out of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand. I will give you ten tribes, 32 but one tribe will remain his for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I chose out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For they have abandoned me; they have bowed down to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and to Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in my ways to do what is right in my sight and to carry out my statutes and my judgments as his father David did.

34 “‘However, I will not take the whole kingdom from him but will let him be ruler all the days of his life for the sake of my servant David, whom I chose and who kept my commands and my statutes. 35 I will take ten tribes of the kingdom from his son and give them to you. 36 I will give one tribe to his son, so that my servant David will always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city I chose for myself to put my name there. 37 I will appoint you, and you will reign as king over all you want, and you will be king over Israel.

38 “‘After that, if you obey all I command you, walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight in order to keep my statutes and my commands as my servant David did, I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give you Israel. 39 I will humble David’s descendants, because of their unfaithfulness, but not forever.’”[g]

40 Therefore, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt, to King Shishak of Egypt, where he remained until Solomon’s death.

Solomon’s Death

41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and his wisdom, are written in the Book of Solomon’s Events. 42 The length of Solomon’s reign in Jerusalem over all Israel totaled forty years. 43 Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.

The Kingdom Divided

12 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about it, he stayed in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon’s presence. Jeroboam stayed in Egypt.[h] But they summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: “Your father made our yoke harsh. You, therefore, lighten your father’s harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam replied, “Go away for three days and then return to me.” So the people left. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, “How do you advise me to respond to this people?”

They replied, “Today if you will be a servant to this people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and attended him. He asked them, “What message do you advise that we send back to this people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, “This is what you should say to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!’ This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.’”[i]

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had ordered: “Return to me on the third day.” 13 Then the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice the elders had given him 14 and spoke to them according to the young men’s advice: “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.”

15 The king did not listen to the people, because this turn of events came from the Lord to carry out his word, which the Lord had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16 When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered him:

What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Israel, return to your tents;
David, now look after your own house!

So Israel went to their tents, 17 but Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.

18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram,[j] who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to get into the chariot and flee to Jerusalem. 19 Israel is still in rebellion against the house of David today.

Rehoboam in Jerusalem

20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah alone. 21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized one hundred eighty thousand fit young soldiers from the entire house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah, the man of God: 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you return home, for this situation is from me.’”

So they listened to the word of the Lord and went back according to the word of the Lord.

Jeroboam’s Idolatry

25 Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said to himself, “The kingdom might now return to the house of David. 27 If these people regularly go to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, the heart of these people will return to their lord, King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and go back to the king of Judah.” 28 So the king sought advice.

Then he made two golden calves, and he said to the people, “Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here are your gods[k] who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan. 30 This led to sin; the people walked in procession before one of the calves all the way to Dan.[l]

31 Jeroboam also made shrines[m] on the high places and made priests from the ranks of the people who were not Levites. 32 Jeroboam made a festival in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the festival in Judah. He offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had made. He also stationed the priests in Bethel for the high places he had made. 33 He offered sacrifices on[n] the altar he had set up in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. He chose this month on his own. He made a festival for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:2 Lit Solomon clung
  2. 11:7 Lit Molech
  3. 11:11 Lit “Since this was with you
  4. 11:19 Lit Hadad found much favor in Pharaoh’s eyes
  5. 11:24 LXX; Hb reads They
  6. 11:25 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr read Edom
  7. 11:38-39 LXX omits and I will give... but not forever
  8. 12:2 LXX, Vg read Jeroboam returned from Egypt; 2Ch 10:2
  9. 12:11 Lit with scorpions, also in v. 14
  10. 12:18 LXX reads Adoniram; 1Kg 4:6; 5:14
  11. 12:28 Or here is your God, or here is your god
  12. 12:30 Some LXX mss read calves to Bethel and the other to Dan
  13. 12:31 Lit a house
  14. 12:33 Or He went up to
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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