0 Solomon's strange wives and concubines (1 Kings 10-11)

Episode 135: Solomon's strange wives and concubines

1 Kings 10-11

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon

10 1 The queen of Sheba heard about how great Solomon was, so she decided to come see for herself.

3-5 He answered all of her questions, and she was impressed with his wisdom, nice house, food, clothes, and servants.

10 She gave him 120 talents of gold and more spices and precious stones than anyone had ever seen before or since.

13 Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she wanted from his royal bounty. Then she went home.

Solomon's stuff

14 Every year, Solomon received 666 talents of gold. 23 He was wiser and had more stuff than all the kings of the earth. 27 While he was king, silver was as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedars as common as sycamore trees.

Solomon's strange wives and concubines

11 1 Solomon loved many strange women. The daughter of Pharaoh, along with Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 2 God previously had said, "Don't have sex with strange women. If you do, you'll believe in their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon loved them.

3 He had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

4 When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart toward other gods. His heart wasn't perfect anymore, like his father David's was. 5 He worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 He did evil in God's sight, and didn't completely obey God in all things, as his father David did. 7 He built high places for Chemosh and Molech, abominations of Moab and Ammon, respectively. 8 He did likewise for all of his strange wives, burning incense and sacrficing to their gods.

9-11 God was angry with Solomon and said to him,

Because you haven't obeyed me, I'll take your kingdom away from your son.

12 (I'd take it away from you if you weren't David's son.)

God stirs up adversaries to Solomon

14 To punish Solomon for his strange wives and strange gods, God strengthened Solomon’s enemy, Hadad the Edomite." 15-17 When David was king, his captain, Joab, killed every male in Edom, except for Hadad, who managed to get away somehow when he was a little boy. 18 Hadad was taken by Midianites to Egypt, where he found favor with the Pharaoh. 21 When Hadad heard that David and Joab had died, he said to Pharaoh, "Let me return to Edom."

23 God strengthened another adversary of Solomon’s named Rezon. 25 He was Israel’s enemy all the days of Solomon’ reign.

God gives ten tribes to Jeroboam

26 Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor who served king Solomon. 29 One day, when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah grabbed his garment and tore it into twelve pieces.

Gerard Hoet, Ahijah's prophecy to Jeroboam, 1728.

31 Ahijah said to Jeroboam: Take ten pieces, because God says:

I will tear Solomon's kingdom apart and give ten tribes to you.

32 (But I'll give one tribe to Solomon for David and Jerusalem's sake.)

40 Solomon wanted to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam fled to Egypt and waited for Solomon to die.

41 Solomon was king for forty years. 43 Then he died, and his son Rehoboam became king.

A few more words about this episode

120 talents of gold (10:10)
This seems to be the standard large amount of gold in 1 Kings, since it's the same amount that King Hiram gave to Solomon in 1 Kg 9:14. It would be about four metric tons of gold, worth 180 million U.S. dollars today.
Don't have sex with strange women (11:2)
See Dt 7:3
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (11:3)
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, but only three children are mentioned in the Bible: two daughters (Taphath and Basmath) and one son (Rehoboam). Must have used some killer birth control!
His heart wasn't perfect anymore, like his father David's was. (11:4)
David was one of the most disgusting characters in all fiction, yet his heart was perfect with the Lord. (See also 1 Kg 11:33-38, 15:3-5, 11.)
Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor who served king Solomon. (11:26)
Wikipedia: Jeroboam
The prophet Ahijah
Wikipedia: Ahijah the Shilonite
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