Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11
The kings of Egypt (called the Pharaohs) saw Israel’s wealth, and they desired it for themselves (14:25-26). They were unable to attack Israel during Solomon’s rule, so instead they established a peaceful relationship with him. That was how Solomon married the king of Egypt’s daughter (3:1). It was also how trade with Egypt became strong during Solomon’s rule (10:28-29).
However, the kings in Egypt were not sincere. Although they respected their agreement with Solomon, they were also making friends with Israel’s enemies. In fact, at the same time as Solomon’s marriage, Hadad, who hated Israel, received great honour in Egypt’s palaces. The king of Egypt arranged for Hadad to marry the sister of his own wife. After this, Hadad’s son even lived with the king’s own children in the palace.
That encouraged Hadad’s ambitions. He began to think that he, too, could be a great king. By this time, Israel’s great military leaders – men like David and Joab – were dead. Israel still controlled Edom – but Israel had been at peace for so long that its new army leaders had no experience in war. The children in Edom, whom Joab had not killed, were now strong enough and old enough to fight for their nation.
So, Hadad decided that he would return to Edom. There, he would try to organise an army to fight against Solomon. The king of Egypt expressed surprise at this plan. Hadad was leaving his comfortable life in Egypt’s palaces to fight an uncertain war against a strong enemy. However, Hadad’s ambitions were strong: he insisted that he wanted to go.
Next part: Rezon, Solomon's second enemy (1 Kings 11:23-25)
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