Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Hadad, Solomon’s first enemy

1 Kings 11:14-18

Until this time, Solomon’s rule had been completely peaceful. Although he had a strong army, that army had never needed to fight a war. Now, because Solomon had turned away from God, God permitted three strong enemies to oppose him. God did this so that, in these troubles, Solomon would have an opportunity to turn back to God. Often, at times of success, people neglect their relationship with God. So, troubles in their lives cause them to think about their wrong deeds and, perhaps, to turn back to God.

The first of Solomon’s enemies was Hadad, who came from the royal family of Edom. The people in Edom were relatives of the people in Israel. Edom’s people came from the family of Esau, the brother of Jacob – it was from Jacob that Israel’s people came. There were kings in Edom long before Israel began to have kings (Genesis 36:31-39).

One of David’s greatest successes in war was to defeat Edom’s army and to gain control over its land (2 Samuel 8:13-14; 1 Chronicles 18:12-13). Abishai, the brother of Joab, led David’s army in the most important battle. However, it seems that Joab, Israel’s chief army commander, was not content with his brother’s success in that battle. He remained in Edom for 6 months, and he tried to kill every man there. He wanted to make sure that Edom could never fight Israel again. Joab was a cruel and evil man (2:5); he did not respect God’s law that Israel’s people must not hate Edom’s people (Deuteronomy 23:7).

However, some of Edom’s men managed to escape into Egypt. They took with them Hadad, who was then only a boy.

Next part: Egypt supports Hadad, Solomon's enemy (1 Kings 11:19-22)


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