The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 11

Solomon's wives and concubines, 1-3. In his old age they draw him to idolatry, 4-8. God threatens him, 9-13. Solomon's adversaries were Hadad, who was entertained in Egypt, 14-22; Rezon, who reigned in Damascus, 23-25; and Jeroboam, to whom Ahijah prophesied, 26-40. Solomon's acts, reign, and death. Rehoboam succeeds him, 41-43.

1 But king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites, 2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said to the children of Israel, "You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in to you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods." Solomon cleaved to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father was. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not go fully after the LORD, as David his father did. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods.

9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing that he should not go after other gods, but he did not keep that which the LORD commanded. 11 Therefore, the LORD said to Solomon, "Because this is done by you and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 Although, in your days, I will not do it, for David your father's sake, but I will rend it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet, I will not rend away all the kingdom, but will give one tribe to your son for David my servant's sake and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen."

14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary for Solomon: Hadad the Edomite. He was of the king's offspring in Edom. 15 For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host had gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom 16 (For six months Joab remained there with all Israel until he had cut off every male in Edom), 17 That Hadad fled—he and some Edomites of his father's servants with him—to go into Egypt, Hadad being yet a little child. 18 And they arose out of Midian and came to Paran. And they took men with them from Paran and they came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, appointed him food, and gave him land. 19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh so that he gave him for a wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 20 And the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house. And Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh. 21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me depart so that I may go to my own country." 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, "But what have you lacked with me that, behold, you seek to go to your own country?" And he answered, "Nothing. Yet, you must certainly let me go."

23 And God stirred him up another adversary: Rezon the son of Eliadah, who fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 And he gathered men to him and became captain over a band when David slew them of Zobah. And they went to Damascus, dwelt in it, and reigned in Damascus. 25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did. And he abhorred Israel and reigned over Syria.

26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he raised his hand against the king. 27 And this was the cause why he raised his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. 28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor. And Solomon, seeing that the young man was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. 29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way. And he had clad himself with a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the field. 30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him and rent it in twelve pieces. 31 And he said to Jeroboam, "Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will rend the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), 33 Because they have forsaken me and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways to do that which is right in my eyes and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as David his father did. 34 Yet I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes. 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand and will give it to you, even ten tribes. 36 And to his son I will give one tribe so that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for me to put my name there. 37 And I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires and shall be king over Israel. 38 And it shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, walk in my ways, and do right in my sight to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, that I will be with you and build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. 39 And I will afflict the offspring of David for this, but not forever.'" 40 Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon and all that he did and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 11[➚]


[v.1-8] - See the note for Deuteronomy 17:16-20.

[v.2] - Reference, Deuteronomy 17:17.

[v.4] - "as the heart of David his father was" - Reference, 1st Samuel 13:14; Psalm 89:20.

[v.9] - "appeared to him twice" - The first: 1st Kings 3:5-14. The second: 1st Kings 9:1-9.

[v.11] - "and will give it to your servant" - Reference, verse 26.

[v.12] - "your son" - Reference, verse 43 and 12:1.

[v.13] - Reference, verses 30-32.

[v.15] - Reference, 2nd Samuel 8:13-16.

[v.21a] - "David slept with his fathers" - Reference, 1st Kings 2:10.

[v.21b] - "Joab the captain of the host was dead" - Reference, 1st Kings 2:33-34.

[v.24] - "when David slew them of Zobah" - Reference, 2nd Samuel 10:8-18.

[v.36] - "so that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem" - See the note for 1st Samuel 16:1. Reference, 2nd Samuel 7:12-18.