Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Solomon marries many wives from different nations

1 Kings 11:1

At the time of the Bible, it was usual for a rich man to have several wives. However, God’s command for Israel’s king was that the king must not have many wives. The danger is that his relationship with them will direct him away from his relationship with God (Deuteronomy 17:17).

David had several wives (2 Samuel 3:2-5, 3:14-15 and chapter 11). Only one of them, Maacah the mother of Absalom, seems to be from a foreign nation. However, Solomon, during his rule, was eager to establish friendly relationships with other nations and their royal families. He traded with them, and he constantly invited them to be his guests (4:34).

Solomon was genuinely friendly with the leaders of the nations round Israel. His palace became well-known for its beauty, for his great parties, and for the music (Ecclesiastes 2:4-10). His wealth was extremely great (10:23); and his attitudes remained generous, wise and kind. Many beautiful women from other nations desired him, and, because of his greatness and wealth, their families approved. Solomon’s desire for women became even stronger as he became older. He was pleased to marry them; he genuinely liked to have them with him in his palace.

So, Solomon’s wives came from the nations that surrounded Israel. Ammon, Moab and Edom were on the east side of Israel. Sidon was north of Israel. Some of Solomon’s wives even came from the people called Hittites. The Hittites formerly ruled over the land that became Israel.

Next part: Marriages to women from nations that served false gods (1 Kings 11:2)


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