1 Kings 11

1 Forsooth king Solomon loved burningly many alien women, and the daughter of Pharaoh, and women of Moab, and Ammonites, and Idumeans, and Sidonians, and Hittites; (And King Solomon burningly loved many foreign women, including the daughter of Pharaoh, and women of Moab, and of the Ammonites, and Edomites, and Sidonians, and Hittites;)
2 of the folks of which the Lord said to the sons of Israel, Ye shall not enter to those folks, neither any of them shall enter to you; for most certainly they shall turn away your hearts, that ye follow the gods of them. And so king Solomon was coupled to these women, by most burning love (But King Solomon was coupled to these women with a most burning love).
3 And wives as queens were seven hundred to him, and three hundred secondary wives; and the women turned away his heart.
4 And when he was then eld, his heart was depraved by women, that he followed alien gods (And then when he was old, his heart was so depraved by these women, that he followed other gods); and his heart was not perfect with his Lord God, as the heart of David, his father, was perfect.
5 But Solomon worshipped Astarte, the goddess of Sidonians, and Chemosh, the god of Moabites, and Moloch, the idol of Ammonites; (For Solomon worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, and Milcom, the god of the Ammonites;)
6 and Solomon did that, that pleased not before the Lord, and he full-filled not that he followed the Lord, as David, his father. (and Solomon did what did not please the Lord, and he did not follow fully after the Lord, as his father David did.)
7 Then Solomon builded a temple to Chemosh, the idol of Moab, in the hill which is (over) against Jerusalem, and to Moloch, the idol of the sons of Ammon. (Then on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a temple for Chemosh, the false god of Moab, and for Moloch, the false god of the Ammonites.)
8 And by this manner he did to all his alien wives, the which burnt incenses, and offered to their gods. (And so in this manner he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense, and offered to their gods.)
9 Therefore the Lord was wroth to Solomon, for his soul was turned away from the Lord God of Israel; that appeared to him the second time, (And so the Lord was angry with Solomon; for his soul was turned away from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,)
10 and [had] commanded of this word, that he should not follow alien gods; and he kept not those things, which the Lord commanded to him. (and had commanded this thing, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not obey those things, which the Lord had commanded to him.)
11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, For thou haddest this thing with thee, and keptest not my covenant, and my behests, which I commanded to thee, I shall break, and I shall part thy realm, and I shall give it to thy servant. (And so the Lord said to Solomon, For thou hast done this thing, and did not keep my covenant, and obey my commands, which I commanded to thee, I shall break up, and I shall divide thy kingdom, and I shall give it to thy servant.)
12 Nevertheless I shall not do (it) in thy days, for David, thy father (for the sake of thy father David); I shall cut it (off) from the hand of thy son;
13 neither I shall do away all the realm, but I shall give one lineage to thy son, for David, my servant, and for Jerusalem, which I chose. (nor shall I take away all the kingdom, but I shall give one tribe to thy son, for the sake of my servant David, and for Jerusalem, which I have chosen.)
14 Forsooth the Lord raised to Solomon an adversary, Hadad (the) Idumean, of the king's seed, that was in Edom. (And the Lord raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, of the king's descendants, who was in Edom, or Idumea.)
15 For when David was in Idumea, and Joab, the prince of his chivalry, had gone up to bury them that were slain, and he had slain each male kind in Idumea; (For when David was in Edom, Joab, the leader of his cavalry, or of his army, had gone to bury those who were killed, after that he had killed each male in Edom;)
16 for Joab, and all Israel, dwelled there by six months, till they had killed each male kind in Idumea; (for Joab, and all Israel, stayed there for six months, until they had killed each male in Edom;)
17 Hadad himself fled, and (some) men of Idumea, of the servants of his father, with him, that he should enter into Egypt; soothly Hadad was a little child. (and Hadad himself had fled, with some Edomites, some of his father's servants, so that he could escape to Egypt; for Hadad was still a young boy.)
18 And when they had risen from Midian, they came into Paran; and they took with them men of Paran, and entered into Egypt, to Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and Pharaoh gave an house to him, and ordained to him meats, and assigned to him land. (And after they had left Midian, they came to Paran; and they took with them men from Paran, and then went to Egypt, unto Pharaoh, the king of Egypt; and Pharaoh gave him a house, and ordained him sustenance, and assigned him some land.)
19 And Hadad found grace before Pharaoh greatly, in so much that Pharaoh gave to him a wife, the sister of his wife, (that is,) the sister of the queen, (the sister) of Tahpenes. (And Hadad found much favour before Pharaoh, so much so that Pharaoh eventually gave him a wife, his own wife's sister, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes.)
20 And the sister of Tahpenes engendered to him a son, Genubath; and Tahpenes nursed him in the house of Pharaoh; and Genubath dwelled before Pharaoh (and Genubath lived with Pharaoh), with the sons of Pharaoh.
21 And when Hadad had heard in Egypt, that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab, the prince of (the) chivalry, was dead, he said to Pharaoh, Suffer thou me, that I go into my land. (And when Hadad had heard in Egypt, that David slept with his forefathers, that is, that he had died, and that Joab, the leader of the cavalry, or of the army, had also died, he said to Pharaoh, Allow me to go back to my own land.)
22 And Pharaoh said to him, And of what thing hast thou need with me, that thou seekest to go to thy land? And he answered, Of nothing; but I beseech thee, that thou deliver me/that thou let me go. (And Pharaoh said to him, And what thing hast thou still need of from me, that thou now seekest to go back to thy own land to get? And he answered, Nothing; but I beseech thee, that thou let me go.)
23 And God raised (up) another adversary to Solomon, Rezon, the son of Eliadah, that fled Hadadezer, king of Zobah, his lord (who fled from Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, his lord);
24 and [he] gathered men against him, and was made the prince of thieves, when David killed them (of Zobah); and they went to Damascus, and dwelled there (and stayed there); and they made him king in Damascus.
25 And he was [an] adversary of Israel in all the days of Solomon; and this is (besides) the evil of Hadad, and his hatred against Israel; and he reigned in Syria. (And he was an adversary of Israel in all the days of Solomon, besides the evil that Hadad did; and he hated Israel, and he reigned upon Syria.)
26 (And) Also Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, of Ephraim of Zereda, the servant of Solomon, of which Jeroboam, a woman widow (a widow woman), Zeruah by name, was (his) mother, he (also) raised (up) his hand against the king.
27 And this was [the] cause of (his) rebelty against the king; for Solomon builded Millo, and made even the swallow of the city of David, his father. (And this was the story of his rebellion against the king; it happened when Solomon had built the Millo, and closed the breach in the wall of the City of David, his father.)
28 Forsooth Jeroboam was a mighty man and strong; and Solomon saw the young waxing man (to be) of good kindred, and witting in things to be done, and Solomon made him prefect, either sovereign, upon the tributes of all the house of Joseph. (And Jeroboam was a strong and mighty man; and Solomon saw that the young man was from a good family, and knowing how to do things, and so Solomon made him prefect, or the ruler, over all the taxes, or all the levies, in the house, or the territory, of the tribe of Joseph.)
29 Therefore it was done in that time, that Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem; and Ahijah of Shiloh, a prophet, covered with a new mantle, found him in the way (met him on the way); and they twain were alone in the field.
30 And Ahijah took his new mantle, with which he was covered, and he cut it into twelve parts;
31 and said to Jeroboam, Take to thee ten cuttings of the mantle; for the Lord God of Israel saith these things, Lo! I shall cut (off) the realm from the hand of Solomon, and I shall give to thee ten lineages (and I shall give ten tribes to thee);
32 but one lineage shall dwell to him, for David, my servant, and for Jerusalem, the city which I chose of all the lineages of Israel; (but one tribe shall stay with him, for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel;)
33 this cutting of the realm shall be; for Solomon forsook me, and worshipped Astarte, the goddess of Sidonians, and Chemosh, the god of Moab, and Moloch, the god of the sons of Ammon; and [he] went not in my ways, that he did rightwiseness before me, and my behests, and my dooms, as David, his father, did. (this breaking of his kingdom shall be because Solomon deserted me, and worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, and Milcom, the god of the Ammonites; and he went not in my ways, so that he did what was right before me, and followed my laws, and my judgements, like his father David did.)
34 And I shall not take away all the realm from his hand, but I shall put him duke in all the days of his life, for David, my servant, whom I chose, which kept my behests, and my commandments. (And I shall not take away the whole kingdom from him, but I shall keep him as the leader in all the days of his life, for the sake of my servant David, whom I chose, who obeyed my laws, and my commandments.)
35 Soothly I shall take away the realm from the hand of his son, and I shall give [the] ten lineages to thee;
36 forsooth I shall give one lineage to his son, that a lantern dwell to David, my servant (so that a light, or a flame, shall remain for my servant David), in all days before me in Jerusalem, the city which I chose, that my name should be there.
37 Forsooth I shall take thee, and thou shalt reign on all things which thy soul desireth, and thou shalt be king upon Israel.
38 Therefore if thou shalt hear all things which I shall command to thee, and if thou shalt go in my ways, and if thou shalt do that, that is rightful before me, and if thou shalt keep my commandments, and my behests, as David, my servant, did, I shall be with thee, and I shall build a faithful house to thee, as I builded an house to David, and I shall give Israel to thee; (And so if thou shalt obey all the things which I shall command to thee, and if thou shalt go in my ways, and if thou shalt do what is right before me, and if thou shalt obey my commandments, and my laws, as my servant David did, I shall be with thee, and I shall build thee a steadfast house, like I built a house for David, and I shall give Israel to thee;)
39 and I shall torment the seed of David on this thing, nevertheless not in all days. (and I shall torment David's descendants because of this, but not forever.)
40 Therefore Solomon would slay Jeroboam, which rose (who rose up), and fled into Egypt, to Shishak, king of Egypt; and he was in Egypt unto the death of Solomon.
41 Forsooth the residue of the words of Solomon, and all things which he did, and his wisdom, lo! all those things be written in the book of [the] words of [the] days of Solomon.
42 And the days in which Solomon reigned in Jerusalem upon all Israel, be forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David, his father; and Rehoboam, his son, reigned for him.

1 Kings 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Solomon's wives and concubines, His idolatry. (1-8) God's anger. (9-13) Solomon's adversaries. (14-25) Jeroboam's promotion. (26-40) The death of Solomon. (41-43)

Verses 1-8 There is not a more melancholy and astonishing instance of human depravity in the sacred Scriptures, than that here recorded. Solomon became a public worshipper of abominable idols! Probably he by degrees gave way to pride and luxury, and thus lost his relish for true wisdom. Nothing forms in itself a security against the deceitfulness and depravity of the human heart. Nor will old age cure the heart of any evil propensity. If our sinful passions are not crucified and mortified by the grace of God, they never will die of themselves, but will last even when opportunities to gratify them are taken away. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. We see how weak we are of ourselves, without the grace of God; let us therefore live in constant dependence on that grace. Let us watch and be sober: ours is a dangerous warfare, and in an enemy's country, while our worst foes are the traitors in our own hearts.

Verses 9-13 The Lord told Solomon, it is likely by a prophet, what he must expect for his apostacy. Though we have reason to hope that he repented, and found mercy, yet the Holy Ghost did not expressly record it, but left it doubtful, as a warning to others not to sin. The guilt may be taken away, but not the reproach; that will remain. Thus it must remain uncertain to us till the day of judgment, whether or not Solomon was left to suffer the everlasting displeasure of an offended God.

Verses 14-25 While Solomon kept close to God and to his duty, there was no enemy to give him uneasiness; but here we have an account of two. If against us, he can make us fear even the least, and the very grasshopper shall be a burden. Though they were moved by principles of ambition or revenge, God used them to correct Solomon.

Verses 26-40 In telling the reason why God rent the kingdom from the house of Solomon, Ahijah warned Jeroboam to take heed of sinning away his preferment. Yet the house of David must be supported; out of it the Messiah would arise. Solomon sought to kill his successor. Had not he taught others, that whatever devices are in men's hearts, the counsel of the Lord shall stand? Yet he himself thinks to defeat that counsel. Jeroboam withdrew into Egypt, and was content to live in exile and obscurity for awhile, being sure of a kingdom at last. Shall not we be content, who have a better kingdom in reserve?

Verses 41-43 Solomon's reign was as long as his father's, but his life was not so. Sin shortened his days. If the world, with all its advantages, could satisfy the soul, and afford real joy, Solomon would have found it so. But he was disappointed in all, and to warn us, has left this record of all earthly enjoyments, "Vanity and vexation of spirit." The New Testament declares that one greater than Solomon is come to reign over us, and to possess the throne of his father David. May we not see something of Christ's excellency faintly represented to us in this figure?

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries