1Kings 9-11

Sunday Evening Bible Study

June 9, 2002


Solomon has become king.  He has taken twenty years to build the Temple and his own house.

1Kings 9

:1-9 God answers Solomon’s prayer

:3 I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication

God has heard Solomon’s prayer and promises to honor the things done in His name at this house, the Temple.

:5 I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever

God makes a promise to Solomon about his kingdom.

If Solomon will follow the Lord, God will make his kingdom last forever.


Blessings of obedience

Living a life of obedience isn’t easy.  Sometimes we can find ourselves wondering, “Is it really worth it?”
It is.
On June 6,1981, Doug White and his bride, Sylvia, were escorted to their hotel’s fancy bridal suite in the wee hours of the morning. In the suite they saw a sofa, chairs, and table, but where was the bed? Then they discovered the sofa was a hide-a-bed, with a lumpy mattress and sagging springs. They spent a fitful night and woke up in the morning with sore backs. The new husband went to the hotel desk and gave the management a tongue-lashing.
“Did you open the door in the room?” asked the clerk.
Doug went back to the room. He opened the door they had thought was a closet. There, complete with fruit basket and chocolates, was a beautiful bedroom!
Opening all the doors in a honeymoon suite is like obeying all the words of Jesus. Discipleship is the door to happiness.

-- Canthi Thomas, Leadership, Vol. 15:1, Glen Ellen, Illinois, Winter 1994, p. 46.

:9 they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God …

If Solomon or his descendants turned away from the Lord, then God would bring judgment on Israel.

God would remove the people from the land.

God would have the Temple removed.

People would know that it happened because of their disobedience.

These are exactly what would happen.

Solomon AND his descendants will turn away from the Lord. The consequences will come.

Yet God in His longsuffering would wait for four hundred years before finally bringing the judgment.


Pay attention to God’s warnings

I wonder if Solomon ever thought this could happen to him.
God doesn’t ever give a warning without a reason.
Has God been warning you?

:10-14 Solomon’s exchange with Hiram

:13 he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.

CabulKabuwl – “binding”; some translations have “worthless” here.

It sounds as if Hiram isn’t too happy with Solomon’s payment.

Josephus (Antiquities; 8:5:3) –

And besides these, he granted him certain cities of Galilee, twenty in number, that lay not far from Tyre; which when Hiram went to, and viewed, and did not like the gift, he sent word to Solomon that he did not want such cities as they were; and after that time those cities were called the land of Cabul; which name, if it be interpreted according to the language of the Phoenicians, denotes what does not please.

One commentator suggested that Solomon was short on cash and paid Hiram with something that wasn’t worth it.

:14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.

sixscore talents of gold – 9,000 pounds of gold

Josephus (Antiquities; 8:5:3) gives us an interesting account that is not recorded in the Bible. It may be the reason why Hiram sends this money to Solomon. He quotes another ancient historian named Dius, who said,

“Solomon, who was then king of Jerusalem, sent riddles to Hiram, and desired to receive the like from him; but that he who could not solve them should pay money to them that did solve them; and that Hiram accepted the conditions; and when he was not able to solve the riddles [proposed by Solomon], he paid a great deal of money for his fine; but that he afterwards did solve the proposed riddles by means of Abdemon, a man of Tyre; and that Hiram proposed other riddles, which, when Solomon could not solve, he paid back a great deal of money to Hiram.”

:15-23 More building projects, Canaanite labor

:15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.

levy – forced laborers

Millomillow’ – “rampart” or “mound”; a part of the fortifications of Jerusalem

It is thought that the “Millo” was the filling in of the Tyropian valley, which enlarged the Temple Mount, creating a large, flat place for the people to gather.

HazorChatsowr – “castle” see map

Megiddo [email protected] – “place of crowds” see map

This is the site of the future battle of Armageddon.  Solomon isn’t the first to build this city, but he is reinforcing it.

GezerGezer – “portion” (not “old man”) see map

:17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,

BethhoronBeyth Chowrown – “house of hollowness” see map

:18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,

BaalathBa‘alath – “mistress” see map

TadmorTadmor – “palm tree”. A city about a hundred miles southwest of the Euphrates River see map

:19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had

Cities for the stockpiling of food.

:21 Their children that were left …did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.

Solomon used the Canaanites in his “levy”. He forced them to work for him, a type of slavery.

:24-28 Wife, Feasts, and ships

:24 But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house

We mentioned back in chapter 3 that after Solomon married the Pharaoh’s daughter, that he allowed her to stay inside the city, but only temporarily.

When Solomon’s building projects were finished, we read:

(2 Chr 8:11 KJV) And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come.
It seems out of place that Solomon is married to a person that he can’t take to a place that is “holy”.

:25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer

three times in a year – this would be in keeping with God’s command that all the men of the nation would come to three particular feast each year:

(Exo 23:14-17 KJV) Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. {15} Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) {16} And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. {17} Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

1) The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also known as Passover.
2) The Feast of Harvest, also known as Pentecost
3) The Feast of Ingathering, also known as Tabernacles

the altar which he built – this would be the bronze altar, the place for burnt offering in front of the Temple

the altar that was before the LORD – this would be the golden altar of incense, located inside the Temple, in the Holy Place

:26 Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth

Eziongeber‘Etsyown Geber – “backbone of a man”; located near Elath at the head of the Gulf of Akaba see map

Eloth‘Eylowth – “grove of lofty trees” see map

:27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants

Hiram is the king of Tyre, the capital of the Phoenicians. They were a great seafaring people.

The Israelites weren’t known for their navies. Solomon uses Hiram’s people to teach his own.

:28 And they came to Ophir …four hundred and twenty talents

Ophir‘Owphiyr – “reducing to ashes”. There are several possible locations – eastern Africa, India, or the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. see map

four hundred and twenty talents – NLT: sixteen tons

1Kings 10

:1-13 Queen of Sheba

:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Sheba[email protected]– “seven” or “an oath”. An area on the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. see map

The ships travelling to Ophir would have passed through the land of Sheba.

Josephus calls her “queen of Egypt and Ethiopia” (Antiquities, 8:5:5).

to prove him – Such testing was a sport among ancient Near Eastern monarchs.

:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.


It’s better to know Jesus than just hear about Him

Jesus talked about the Queen of Sheba:
(Mat 12:42 NLT)  The queen of Sheba will also rise up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, because she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And now someone greater than Solomon is here--and you refuse to listen to him.
The more I know Him, the better it gets.

:10 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices

an hundred and twenty talents of gold – nine thousand pounds of gold

After the Queen of Sheba left, I wonder if Solomon was heard to exclaim, “That’s a spicy meatball!”  J

:12 And the king made of the almug trees pillars …harps also and psalteries

almug‘almuggiym – a tree from Lebanon, almug trees (sandalwood?), almug wood

They used these trees to make pillars and musical instruments.

:13 And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire

There is a tradition that when the Queen of Sheba left, she had one last present from Solomon, that she was pregnant.

Until 1974, Ethiopia had been ruled for several thousand years by a monarchy that claimed to be descended from King Solomon. They claimed that when the Queen of Sheba came home from Jerusalem after visiting Solomon, that she was pregnant. They claim that she was their queen.

Ethiopia remained a monarchy until 1974, and was ruled for most of the 20th century by Emperor Haile Selassie. His name meant “Might of the Trinity.” One of his numerous titles was “Lion of Judah”. In 1974, he was overthrown by communists. In 1991, the communists were overthrown and the country is now a republic.

:14-23 Solomon’s wealth

:14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,

six hundred threescore and six talents – or, 666 talents of gold, or, 25 tons of gold.

An odd number.  A little ominous.

:16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold

targets – large shields

:18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.

Solomon’s throne would be legendary.

:21 none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.

Talk about prosperity.  Silver was worthless in Solomon’s day.

:22 a navy of Tharshish …bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

TharshishTarshiysh – “yellow jasper”, Tarshish.

This is the place that Jonah fled to.

Jon 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

We think this might be referring to the area of the Mediterranean near Spain, possibly even to Great Britain.

apes, and peacocks – entertainment

It’s as if he had the finest big-screen TV.

:23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.

Pastor Chuck pointed out in this verse something interesting.  Notice the order here:  “riches” and then “wisdom”.  I wonder if things aren’t beginning to slip a bit for Solomon.


The danger of riches

Solomon would write at the end of his life:
(Eccl 5:10-12 NLT) Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! {11} The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth--except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers! {12} People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich are always worrying and seldom get a good night's sleep.

Greed is never satisfied. You can never get enough. Learn to work hard so you can sleep well.

:24-25 Fame and wisdom

:25 And they brought every man his present

I find it odd that everyone wants to give Solomon a gift.

Why? Is this payment for hearing his wisdom? Are they trying to be his friend?

:26-29 Horses and silver

:26 twelve thousand horsemen

Josephus (Antiquities, 8:7:3) has an interesting detail about the “horsemen”.

Their riders also were a further ornament to them, being, in the first place, young men in the most delightful flower of their age, and being eminent for their largeness, and far taller than other men. They had also very long heads of hair hanging down, and were clothed in garments of Tyrian purple. They had also dust of gold every day sprinkled on their hair, so that their heads sparkled with the reflection of the sunbeams from the gold.

:28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn

linen yarn – the modern translations have “Kue” or “Cilicia” here.

1Ki 10:28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue.

:29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver

Solomon went into the used horse trading business.

1Kings 11

:1-8 Solomon’s sin

:1 king Solomon loved many strange women

strangenokriy – foreign, alien

loved‘ahab – to love; human love for another, includes family, and

:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said …

Here’s one of the warning labels.  God had warned Israel:

(Deu 7:1-6 KJV) When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; {2} And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them: {3} Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. {4} For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. {5} But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. {6} For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.


Pay attention to God’s warnings

God doesn’t tend to give warnings without a reason.
God says to stay away from “strange women” (and “strange men”)
God says they will turn you away from following the Lord.
God says to tear down their altars, don’t get involved in the things that will take you away from the Lord.  Yet Solomon will build their altars, not tear them down.


Unequally yoked

There’s a danger of having relationships with people who will lead you away from the Lord.  We need to be careful about who we let into the deepest places of our heart.

:2 Solomon clave unto these in love.

clavedabaq – to cling, stick, stay close, keep close, stick to

(NLT) Solomon insisted on loving them anyway

(NIV) …Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.

Josephus (Antiquities, 8:7:4) says, “He grew mad in his love of women, and laid no restraint on himself in his lusts”

:3 he had seven hundred wives…three hundred concubines:

I imagine for some guys, this sounds like heaven. I guess for some guys, this sounds like the other place.  A very bitter Solomon wrote at the end of his life:

(Eccl 9:9 NLT) Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you in this world. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.

Note that Solomon says “woman” in the singular. Stay with one woman. He didn’t find fulfillment in wife number two, three, four, five hundred, or the thousandth.

:4 when Solomon was old


Danger at the top

Solomon has done it all. He’s “arrived”. And he’s in trouble.
Alexander the Great conquered the world by the age of 32. He found himself in great despair because there was nothing left to conquer. He got drunk. He went out in a rainstorm, got sick, and died.

:4 his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

perfect shalem – complete, safe, peaceful, perfect, whole, full, at peace. There’s a little irony here. This is the root of Solomon’s name. He was not what he was supposed to be.

(1 Ki 11:4 NLT) In Solomon's old age, they turned his heart to worship their gods instead of trusting only in the LORD his God, as his father, David, had done.


A perfect heart

“Perfect” doesn’t mean that David never sinned.
David had a couple of whopper sins.
But David’s heart was “perfect” because he never turned his heart away from the Lord.
On his deathbed, David had warned Solomon:

(1 Ki 2:2-3 KJV) I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; {3} And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:

But now Solomon is turning away from the Lord.
In his old age, Solomon would write,

(Eccl 12:1 NLT) Don't let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living.

I wonder if in his old age, Solomon wished he had paid more attention to the warnings that his dad had given him.

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that we’ll live a wild life while we’re young and then straighten up when we get older.

Solomon is saying that you’re wasting your life. Straighten up while you’re young and you’ll enjoy life more.

:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth …and after Milcom

Ashtoreth‘Ashtoreth – “star”; the principal female deity of the Phoenicians worshipped in war and fertility; this was one of the original “sex goddesses”, also known as ‘Ishtar’ of Assyria and ‘Astarte’ by the Greeks and Romans

MilcomMalkam – “great king”; the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom; also called ‘Molech’ by the Ammonites.

:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD


Smart and Stupid

Usually we expect just us stupid people to do stupid things.
Under the category: “Too Stupid,” here is a true story out of San Francisco. It seems a man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the branch and wrote “This iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag.” While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he was not the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stick up note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said “OK” and left the Wells Fargo. The Wells Fargo teller then called the police who arrested the man a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at the Bank of America.

- AP 11-14-97.

Yet here is the wisest man on earth doing the stupidest thing on earth.
You don’t have to be stupid to do stupid things.

:7 did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh…and for Molech

Chemosh[email protected] – “subduer”; the national deity of the Moabites and a god of the Ammonites; also identified with ‘Baal-peor’, ‘Baal-zebub’, ‘Mars’ and ‘Saturn’

MolechMolek – “king”; the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom

:7 in the hill that is before Jerusalem

This would be the Mount of Olives. Solomon didn’t build these places for idolatry in some distant land, but right across the valley from the Temple! Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, “Not My will but Thine”.  Solomon set up places of idolatry there.

:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives

strangenokriy – foreign, alien

:9-13 God rebukes Solomon

:9 which had appeared unto him twice,

Solomon didn’t have any excuses in not staying faithful to the Lord. He had experienced two encounters with God.

God appeared to Solomon in a dream while he was in Gibeon. It was there that Solomon asked God for wisdom (1Ki. 3).

God appeared a second time to Solomon to answer Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple (1Ki. 9:2).


Experiences won’t last

You can’t live on past experiences.
There is a danger when a person has one of those incredible, once-in-a-lifetime religious experiences. Sometimes a person can base their whole relationship with God on that one experience.
We need to maintain a current, living, vital relationship with God.
(John 15:4-5 KJV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. {5} I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
It is not having been close to God in the past that counts.  God wants us to STAY close to Him.

:10 had commanded him concerning this thing,

(1 Ki 11:10 NLT) He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord's command.

They say that the train wreck that occurred a month ago in Placentia happened because a freight train ignored the warning signal on the track and ended up crashing head first into a commuter train.

Don’t ignore God’s warnings.  Stop the train wreck.

:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon,

God most likely spoke through a prophet.

:11 I will surely rend the kingdom from thee

This is exactly what will happen.  The fault of the kingdom splitting goes back to Solomon’s actions.

:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.

Because of God’s love for David, the full judgment against Solomon’s reign wouldn’t take place until after Solomon’s death.

:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.

The kingdom will split into two parts.

The southern kingdom will be known as “Judah”, and will include the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

The northern kingdom will be known as “Israel”, and will contain the other ten tribes. This kingdom will also be called “Ephraim” after the largest of the tribes, or “Samaria” after the city that would eventually be the capital.

When you are reading your Bible, it is important to understand the time context of the passage you are reading. If the passage was written after the division of the kingdom (such as the prophets Isaiah or Jeremiah), and you see the name “Israel”, it most likely refers to the northern kingdom.

Solomon’s lessons


The easier way

Solomon learned some lessons the hard way. There is a better way – pay attention to God’s Word and obey it.
My sons like to play video games. When they get a new video game, one of their favorite things to do is to either buy a book that gives you all the tricks and hints at winning the game, or they go onto the Internet and find the information they need to win the game.
Your life is like a new video game. There are some tricks and hints to completing and winning the game.
God’s word is like a guidebook that tells you what NOT to do.  If Solomon had paid attention, he would have seen that a guidebook had been written specifically for him.
(Deu 17:14-20 KJV) When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; {15} Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

These are going to be guidelines for kings.  This is something Solomon should have paid attention to.

{16} But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

The first rule for a king is not to multiply horses, and especially not to go down to Egypt to acquire more horses. Yet this is exactly what Solomon has done (1Ki. 10:28). Multiplying horses is all about gaining power and military strength. God wanted His people to trust Him for their protection, not their own strength.

{17} Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away:

Again, another warning, and Solomon has again crossed the line, a thousand times.

neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Here’s the third warning, and again Solomon has crossed the line (1Ki. 10:27).  The desire for power, sex, and money are the things that trip us up the most.

God doesn’t just say what NOT to do, but now He gives us instruction on what to do.
{18} And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: {19} And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

One of the prescriptions for a king was to stay in God’s Word. He was to make his own handwritten copy and read it every day.

The result of staying in God’s Word is that the king would:

1) Fear the Lord

2) Obey the Lord

{20} That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren,

A result of staying in God’s Word is humility.  You can tell if you’re doing this right or not.  If you are looking down on others, if you think that others can’t do it as good as you, you’ve missed it.

and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Ultimately, God wanted obedience from His kings.

Towards the end of Solomon’s life, he will write out some of the bitter lessons he had learned.

(Eccl 12:13-14 NLT) Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. {14} God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
Did you notice that Solomon reached the same conclusions that he should have learned from Deuteronomy 17?  Fear God and obey Him.
In the end, make sure your relationship with God is good. Be sure you pay attention to God’s ways. God is serious about the things He wants to keep us from.
God wants you to avoid being judged.

(John 3:16-18 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God wants you to start trusting in Jesus.

:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.

The kingdom will split into two parts.

The southern kingdom will be known as “Judah”, and will include the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

The northern kingdom will be known as “Israel”, and will contain the other ten tribes. This kingdom will also be called “Ephraim” after the largest of the tribes, or “Samaria” after the city that would eventually be the capital.

When you are reading your Bible, it is important to understand the time context of the passage you are reading. If the passage was written after the division of the kingdom (such as the prophets Isaiah or Jeremiah), and you see the name “Israel”, it most likely refers to the northern kingdom.

:14-22 Solomon’s troubles begin - Hadad

:14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.

stirred upquwm – to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up

an adversary satan – adversary, one who withstands

HadadHadad – “mighty”


Sometimes troubles come as a judgment

Not every difficult time in my life is an indication of judgment.
(John 9:1-3 KJV) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. {2} And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? {3} Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
But sometimes God will allow (“stir up”) adversity in my life as a result of my sin.
When I am going through difficult times, it’s important to ask yourself the question, “Did I do something to bring this about?”
David wrote,

(Psa 139:23-24 KJV) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: {24} And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

:17 That Hadad fled…to go into Egypt

Hadad had fled his homeland in the days of David. He was royalty.

:19 he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.

Hadad marries the Pharaoh’s sister-in-law. Solomon is married to Pharaoh’s daughter.

Tahpenes[email protected] – “wife of the king”

:20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son

Genubath[email protected] – “theft”

:23-25 Adversary #2 - Rezon

:23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon

Rezon[email protected] – “prince”

:24 became captain over a band they went to Damascus

a band[email protected] – a band, troop, marauding band

Damascus -  see map

:25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon

We weren’t really told what Hadad actually did as an adversary to Solomon.  Josephus gives us a possible clue, that Hadad and Rezon might have teamed up together:

Josephus records (Antiquities, 8:7:6),

Hadad, by Pharaoh’s permission, came to Edom; and when he was not able to make the people forsake Solomon, for it was kept under by many garrisons, and an innovation was not to be made with safety, he removed thence, and came into Syria; there he lighted upon one Rezon, who had run away from Hadadezer, king of Zobah, his master, and was become a robber in that country, and joined friendship with him, who had already a band of robbers about him. So he went up and seized upon that part of Syria, and was made king thereof. He also made incursions into the land of Israel, and did no small mischief, and spoiled it, and that in the lifetime of Solomon. And this was the calamity which the Hebrews suffered by Hadad.

:26-40 Adversary #3 - Jeroboam

:26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite

JeroboamYarob‘am – “the people will contend”

Ephrathite – better, “Ephraimite”

:27 Solomon built Millo …

The writer is setting the scene for us.  Jeroboam’s rebellion against Solomon dates back to Solomon’s building projects. Jeroboam was a supervisor over the forced labor.  He saw the discontent of the people under Solomon’s rule.  He would say to Solomon’s son:

(1 Ki 12:4 KJV)  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

:28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour…he was industrious

Solomon saw good things in Jeroboam.

industrious – two words: ‘asah – to do, fashion, accomplish, make; [email protected]’kah – occupation, work, business

Jeroboam was a worker, a “doer of work”.  This is certainly the kind of person you want to promote.

:29 the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way

Ahijah ‘Achiyah – “brother of Jehovah (Yahu)”

Shilonite – an inhabitant of Shiloh.

:30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:

I would imagine that Jeroboam is wondering what in the world this man is doing!!

This is similar to what happened with Samuel and Saul:

(1 Sam 15:27-28 NLT)  As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed at him to try to hold him back and tore his robe. {28} And Samuel said to him, "See? The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else--one who is better than you.

:31 I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:

Jeroboam is being told by a prophet that he is going to become king.

:35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.

It would be Solomon’s son Rehoboam that would have the kingdom split.

:38 if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee…I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David

God is offering to give Jeroboam a kingdom that will last forever, as long as Jeroboam follows the Lord.

This is what God offered to David.

This is what God offered to Solomon.

Now Jeroboam is being offered this.  He will be the last God will make this offer to.


God is looking for leaders who will follow Him.

(2 Chr 16:9 KJV)  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

:39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.

This isn’t a permanent punishment for the house of David.

When Jesus sets up His kingdom, it won’t be a divided kingdom.

:40 Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt

Apparently either Jeroboam or Ahijah let people know what has happened.  Solomon responds by trying to have Jeroboam killed, and Jeroboam flees to Egypt until Solomon is dead.

:41-43 Solomon’s death

:43 Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

Rehoboam[email protected]‘am – “a people has enlarged”