Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Solomon tries to murder Jeroboam

1 Kings 11:40

This last record in the history of Solomon’s life is a shock for us. There may be evidence in the Book of Ecclesiastes that Solomon turned back to God – but there is none here. Rather, he tried to kill Jeroboam, a man whom God had appointed to rule as king after him.

We ask why Solomon did that. The answer appears to be in 1 Kings 11:26. Jeroboam was opposing Solomon’s rule. Solomon had appointed Jeroboam to have authority over all his workmen from the tribes (family groups) of Ephraim and Manasseh (11:28). They were complaining that their work was too hard (12:3-4). As their leader, Jeroboam supported them and for that reason, he decided to act against Solomon.

However, Jeroboam was doing this before the proper time. The prophet (holy man) Ahijah had clearly told Jeroboam that he would not become king until after Solomon’s death (11:34-35).

So the result of this incident was that Jeroboam had to escape, to save his own life. He went into Egypt, where the king had already supported another of Solomon’s enemies, Hadad (11:19-22). There Jeroboam found a place of safety. He would return to Israel as soon as he heard about Solomon’s death. Then, he led Israel’s people as they tried to persuade Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, to make their work easier. As we shall read in 1 Kings 12:1-14, Rehoboam refused. Soon after this, the people of northern Israel appointed Jeroboam to be their king, as God had said (12:20).

Next part: A record of Solomon's rule and his death (1 Kings 11:41-43)


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