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Class: Solomon Let His Wives Turn His Heart, First Kings 11

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Solomon Let His Wives Turn His Heart 

“…pagan women caused even him to sin” (Neh 13.26)

First Kings 11

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 30, In the year of our Lord, 2016


  1. Nehemiah worked hard to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and 
    1. to exhort his brethren to keep the commandments of the Lord.
    2. However, Nehemiah’s generation struggled with
      1. remaining faithful to those commands, and
      2. neglecting the commandments of God.
  2. Then Nehemiah observed that some of his fellow-Jews 
    1. had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab and
    2. that those women had not converted to the Lord.
      1. Therefore, to show that they had not learned from their history,
      2. Nehemiah reminded them of Solomon,

        25b “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin” (Neh 13.25–26).
        1. What was Nehemiah’s point?
        2. God loved Solomon and Solomon loved God.
          1. However, the love for foreign women, meaning idolators,
          2. caused a very wise man to sin.
  3. Can someone whom you consider to be wonderful, 
    1. get you to do things that you never would have done before?
    2. Before you answer, see what happened with Solomon.
  4. One more thing: Do you believe 
    1. that if the Lord appeared to you,
    2. that if you witnessed a miracle,
    3. that if God spoke directly with you,
      1. that you would never fall away and
      2. that you would remain faithful to Him all the days of your life?
    4. Again, see what happened with Solomon before answering.


  1. First Kings 11.1–3 | Solomon Loved the Women of Idolatry

    1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
    1. What do you think about the way this chapter begins?
      1. NKJV – “But”
      2. NASV – “Now”
      3. NIV – “King Solomon, however…”
      4. ESV – “Now”
      5. ASV – “Now”
      6. KJV – “But”
      7. The writer intended to draw a strong contrast
        1. between what he had just shown us of King Solomon
        2. with what he was about to write concerning Solomon.
          1. What had the writer already shown us?
          2. Solomon’s:
            1. Wisdom
            2. Building projects, including the Temple of God
            3. Prayer
            4. Wealth
          3. The writer also showed us the impression of the Queen of Sheba.
    2. Why did the Lord warn Israel against intermarriages with the nations?
      1. He knew that their women would turn their hearts.
      2. Compare Proverbs 30.18–19,

        18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
        Yes, four which I do not understand:
        19 The way of an eagle in the air,
        The way of a serpent on a rock,
        The way of a ship in the midst of the sea,
        And the way of a man with a virgin.
        (Pro 30.18–19)
  2. First Kings 11.4–8 | Solomon’s Wives Turned His Heart

    4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
    1. While David sinned, did he ever turn his heart from God to idols?
    2. How could Solomon turn to these idols?
      1. Remember that Yahweh God had appeared to him.
      2. He had witnessed the glory of God entering the Temple.
      3. God had communicated directly with him.
        1. Yet, those things did not prevent the sin of idolatry.
        2. A Christian man once told me that he would no longer sin,
          1. if he could see hell and people suffering in it.
          2. Would it prevent him or you from sinning?
    3. Verses 4–6 begin something that the writer brings up frequently.
      1. He will use David as the standard of a good king.
      2. If a king does not measure up, it is because he was not like David.
  3. First Kings 11.9–13 | Solomon’s Punishment

    9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had 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 what the LORD had commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
    1. Why did the Lord become angry with Solomon?
      1. He turned his heart from the Lord.
      2. What was so evil about turning his heart from the Lord?
        1. The Lord had appeared to Solomon twice.
        2. The Lord commanded Solomon what to do and what not to do.
          1. However, the appearances did not seem to be enough for him.
          2. He disregarded the Lord’s wishes.
    2. At one time, Solomon heard the Lord ask what He could give Solomon.
      1. Solomon said that he needed understand and discernment to judge Israel.
      2. We imagined what it would be like for the Lord to so approach us.
        1. Just hearing the voice of God would amaze us.
        2. However, what He had said to Solomon
          1. showed the complete approval and acceptance
          2. that the Lord had toward Solomon.
      3. Then to hear the words of this passage would haunt the soul.
        1. How can we expect to disobey the Lord, but for Him to still bless us?
        2. What was Solomon’s punishment?
          1. Why would the Lord not tear the kingdom during Solomon’s life?
          2. How many tribes would the Lord tear away?
          3. How many would the Lord give to Rehoboam?
            1. He would give one, the tribe of Benjamin.
            2. It would be Judah and Benjamin.
  4. First Kings 11.14–22 | The Lord Used Hadad Against Solomon

    14 Now the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom. 15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, after he had killed every male in Edom 16 (because for six months Joab remained there with all Israel, until he had cut down every male in Edom), 17 that Hadad fled to go to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him. Hadad was still a little child. 18 Then they arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, apportioned food for him, and gave him land. 19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 Then 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 So when Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers, and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.” 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that suddenly you seek to go to your own country?” So he answered, “Nothing, but do let me go anyway.”
    1. Why did the writer give these details of Hadad?
    2. Hadad had an excellent setting in Egypt.
      1. Yet, he would turn his back on that and go back to Israel.
      2. This shows that the Lord was behind the whole thing.
  5. First Kings 11.23–25 | The Lord Used Rezon Against Solomon

    23 And God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon the son of Eliadah, who had fled from his lord, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 So he gathered men to him and became captain over a band of raiders, when David killed those of Zobah. And they went to Damascus and dwelt there, and reigned in Damascus. 25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon (besides the trouble that Hadad caused); and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
    1. Still another adversary from the Lord.
    2. Solomon had enjoyed peace and prosperity.
      1. Then with these two enemies and another one about to be named,
      2. it would cause him to think
        1. as demonstrated in the Book of Ecclesiastes, for
        2. he concluded that Book by saying that man’s whole purpose
          1. lies in fearing God and keeping His commandments,
          2. rather than fearing the gods of the nations.
  6. First Kings 11.26–40 | The Lord Used Jeroboam Against Solomon

    26 Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king. 27 And this is what caused him to rebel against the king: Solomon had built the Millo and repaired the damages to the City of David his father. 28 The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon, seeing that the young man was industrious, made him the officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph. 29 Now it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the way; and he had clothed himself with a new garment, and the two were alone in the field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into 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 tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you 32 (but he shall have one tribe 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 because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David. 34 However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, 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 give it to you—ten tribes. 36 And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there. 37 So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel. 38 Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. 39 And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.’” 40 Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
    1. What made Jeroboam potentially a good king?
      1. He was a mighty man of valor and industrious.
    2. Note that the Lord through a prophet revealed to Jeroboam
      1. why the Lord would tear ten tribes away from Solomon and
      2. give them to Jeroboam.
        1. What reason did the prophet give Jeroboam for the Lord doing this?
        2. See verse 33.
          1. Jeroboam knew that idolatry caused the split.
          2. Yet, what would Jeroboam do later?
    3. Why would the Lord not take away all the tribes
      1. The Lord wanted David always to have a lamp in Jerusalem.
    4. If Jeroboam obeyed the Lord as David did, what would be the blessing?
      1. The Lord would build an enduring house for Jeroboam like the house of David.
      2. Instead of repenting initially, Solomon sought to persecute Jeroboam.
  7. First Kings 11.41–43 | The End of the Reign of King Solomon

    41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? 42 And the period that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
    1. Obviously, the Lord did not tell us everything about Solomon.
    2. Why did the Lord reveal what He did reveal?
      1. It fit into the scheme of the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham.
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