View 1st Kings 11 in the note window.
Solomon's many wives turn his heart from God, ver. 1 - 8.
God reproves and threatens him, ver. 9 - 13.
Stirs up Hadad and Rezon against him, ver. 14 - 25.
An account of Jeroboam, ver. 26 - 40.
Solomon's death and burial, ver. 41 - 43.
3: Seven hundred wives, &c. - God had particularly forbidden the
kings to multiply either horses or wives, (De 17:16-17), we saw(1Ki 10:29), how he broke the former law, multiplying horses: and
here we see, how he broke the latter, multiplying wives. David set the
example. One ill act of a good man may do more mischief than twenty of a
wicked man. Besides, they were strange women, of the nations which God
had expressly forbidden them to marry with. And to compleat the mischief,
he clave unto these in love; was extravagantly fond of them, Solomon
had much knowledge. But to what purpose, when he knew not how to govern
4: Was old - As having now reigned nigh thirty years. When it might
have been expected that experience would have made him wiser: then God
permitted him to fall so shamefully, that he might be to all succeeding
generations an example of the folly, and weakness of the wisest and the
best men, when left to themselves. Turned his heart - Not that they
changed his mind about the true God, and idols, which is not credible; but
they obtained from him a publick indulgence for their worship, and possibly
persuaded him to join with them in the outward act of idol - worship; or, at
least, in their feasts upon their sacrifices, which was a participation of
5: Milcom - Called also Moloch.
6: Did evil - That is, did not worship God wholly, but joined idols
7: An high place - That is, an altar upon the high place, as the
manner of the Heathens was. The hill - In the mount of olives, which
was nigh unto Jerusalem, (2Sa 15:30), and from this act was called
the mount of corruption, (2Ki 23:13). As it were, to confront the
8: And sacrificed, &c. - See what need those have to stand upon their
guard, who have been eminent for religion. The devil will set upon them
most violently: and if they miscarry, the reproach is the greater. It is
the evening that commends the day. Let us therefore fear, lest having run
well, we come short.
12: Fathers sake - For my promise made to him, (2Sa 7:12-15).
13: One tribe - Benjamin was not entirely his, but part
of it adhered to Jeroboam, as Bethel, (1Ki 12:29),
and Hephron, (2Ch 13:19), both which were towns of
15: In Edom - By his army, to war against it. To bury - The
Israelites who were slain in the battle, (2Sa 8:13-14), whom he
honourably interred in some certain place, to which he is said to go up
for that end. And this gave Hadad the opportunity of making his escape,
whilst Joab and his men were employed in that solemnity.
Had smitten - Or, and he smote, as it is in the Hebrew: which is
here noted as the cause of Hadad's flight; he understood what Joab
had done in part, and intended farther to do, even to kill all the males
and therefore fled for his life.
18: Midian - He fled at first with an intent to go into
Egypt, but took Midian, a neighbouring country, in his way, and
staid there a while, possibly 'till he had by some of his servants tried
Pharaoh's mind, and prepared the way for his reception.
Paran - Another country in the road from Edom to Egypt, where he
hired men to attend him, that making his entrance there something like a
prince, he might find more favour from that king and people. Land - To
support himself and his followers out of the profits of it.
19: Found favour - God so disposing his heart, that Hadad might
be a scourge to Solomon for his impieties.
21: Joab - Whom he feared as much as David himself.
Own country - Whither accordingly he came; and was there, even from the
beginning of Solomon's reign. And it is probable, by the near relation
which was between his wife and Solomon's; and, by Pharaoh's
intercession, he obtained his kingdom with condition of subjection and
tribute to be paid by him to Solomon; which condition he kept 'till
Solomon fell from God, and then began to be troublesome, and dangerous
to his house and kingdom.
23: Who fled - When David had defeated him. Zobah - A part of
Syria, between Damascus and Euphrates.
24: A band - Of soldiers, who fled upon that defeat,(2Sa 10:18), and others who readily joined them, and lived
by robbery; as many Arabians did. Damascus - And took it,
whilst Solomon was wallowing in luxury.
25: All adversity - He was a secret enemy, all that time; and when
Solomon had forsaken God, he shewed himself openly. Beside - This
infelicity was added to the former; whilst Hadad molested him in the
south, Rezon threatened him in the north. But what hurt could Hadad
or Rezon have done, to so powerful a king as Solomon, if he had not
by sin made himself mean and weak? If God be on our side, we need not fear
the greatest adversary. But if he be against us, he can make us fear the
least: yea, the grasshopper shall be a burden. Syria - Over all that
part of Syria, enlarging his empire the more, and thereby laying a
foundation for much misery to Solomon's kingdom.
28: Charge - The taxes and tributes.
29: Went - Probably to execute his charge. Were alone - Having
gone aside for private conference; for otherwise it is most likely that he
had servants attending him, who, though they hear not the words, yet might
see the action, and the rending of Jeroboam's coat; and thus it came to
Solomon's ears, who being so wise, could easily understand the thing by
what he heard of the action, especially when a prophet did it.
39: For this - For this cause, which I mentioned ver.(33).
Not for ever - There shall a time come when the seed of David shall
not be molested by the kingdom of Israel, but that kingdom shall be
destroyed, and the kings of the house of David shall be uppermost, as
it was in the days of Asa, Hezekiah and Judah. And at last the
Messiah shall come, who shall unite together the broken sticks of
Judah and Joseph, and rule over all the Jews and Gentiles
40: Solomon - To whose ears this had come. Shishak - Solomon's
brother - in - law, who yet might be jealous of him, or alienated from him,
because he had taken so many other wives to his sister, might cast a greedy
eye upon the great riches which Solomon had amassed together, and upon
which, presently after Solomon's death, he laid violent hands,(2Ch 12:9).
41: The book - In the publick records, where the lives and actions of
kings were registered from time to time, so this was only a political,
not a sacred book.
42: Forty years - His reign was as long as his father's, but not his
life; sin shortened his days.
43: Slept - This expression is promiscuously used concerning good
and bad; and signifies only, that they died as their fathers did.
But did he repent before he died? This seems to be put out of dispute
by the book of Ecclesiastes; written after his fall; as is evident,
not only from the unanimous testimony of the Hebrew writers, but
also, from the whole strain of that book, which was written long after
he had finished all his works, and after he had liberally drunk of all
sorts of sensual pleasures, and sadly experienced the bitter effects of
his love of women, (Ec 7:17), &c. which makes it more than probable,
that as David writ (Ps 51:1-19).
So Solomon wrote this book as a publick testimony and profession of his