Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

God’s judgment against Solomon

1 Kings 11:9-13

Solomon had all the wisdom, wealth and opportunities to be a truly great king. In fact, during much of his rule, we would consider him to be truly great. However, we cannot say the same about the later years of his rule, although his fame and wealth continued to increase. A truly great king would not act in a manner that destroys the unity of his country.

Solomon was the last king who ruled the whole of Israel. For several hundred years after his death, there were still kings from his family – but they only ruled the southern part of Israel, called Judah. Northern Israel had its own government and its own kings, who were not from Solomon’s family. There was often war between the two nations.

The division of the country happened at the start of the rule of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. At that time, it seemed to happen because of political troubles – and especially, the cruel attitudes of Rehoboam and his friends (1 Kings chapter 12). However, God had already shown the real reason both to Solomon, and to Jeroboam, the first king of northern Israel (11:29-33). It was because Israel’s people were not loyal to the true God. Instead, because of his (Solomon’s) foreign wives, Solomon had caused Israel’s people to serve false gods.

Solomon had wanted to please his wives – but in fact, he had made God angry. This matter became even worse because God had acted so powerfully in Solomon’s life. On two occasions, God had even appeared to him (3:4-15; 9:1-9).

Next part: Hadad, Solomon's first enemy (1 Kings 11:14-18)


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