1 Kings 11:1-8

1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites.
2 The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.
3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD .
4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God, as his father, David, had been.
5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.
6 In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight; he refused to follow the LORD completely, as his father, David, had done.
7 On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.
8 Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.

1 Kings 11:1-8 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 11

This chapter relates the false steps Solomon took, notwithstanding all his wisdom, in marrying strange wives, and worshipping other gods, 1Ki 11:1-8 upon which the Lord threatens him to rend the kingdom in his son's time, 1Ki 11:9-13 and he raised up adversaries against him, Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam, 1Ki 11:14-26 of which last an account is given, and of his being assured by Ahijah the prophet of his having ten of the tribes of Israel given to him; which Solomon having notice of sought to slay him, 1Ki 11:27-40 and the chapter is concluded with an account of Solomon's death and burial, 1Ki 11:41-43.

1 Kings 11:1-8 In-Context

1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites.
2 The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.
3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD .
4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God, as his father, David, had been.
5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.
6 In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight; he refused to follow the LORD completely, as his father, David, had done.
7 On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.
8 Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
9 The LORD was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the LORD ’s command.
11 So now the LORD said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.
12 But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew Milcom, a variant spelling of Molech; also in 11:33 .
  • [b]. Hebrew On the mountain east of Jerusalem.
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