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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 11

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1King Solomon loved many foreign women; in addition to Pharaoh's daughter there were Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2from the nations with whom the LORD had forbidden the Israelites to intermarry, ‘because’, he said, ‘they will entice you to serve their gods’. But Solomon was devoted to them and loved them dearly. 3He had seven hundred wives, all princesses, and three hundred concubines, and they influenced him, 4for as he grew old, his wives turned his heart to follow other gods, and he did not remain wholly loyal to the LORD his God as his father David had been. 5He followed Ashtoreth, goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the loathsome god of the Ammonites. 6Thus Solomon did what was wrong in the eyes of the LORD, and was not wholehearted in his loyalty to the LORD as his father David had been. 7He built a shrine for Kemosh, the loathsome god of Moab, on the heights to the east of Jerusalem, and one for Milcom a 11:7 Milcom: so Gk; Heb. Molech. , the loathsome god of the Ammonites. 8These things he did for the gods to whom all his foreign wives burnt offerings and made sacrifices.

9The LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10and had strictly commanded him not to follow other gods; but he disobeyed the LORD's command. 11 b 11:22–26 Verse 25 transposed to follow verse 22. The LORD therefore said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this and have not kept my covenant and my statutes as I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12Nevertheless, for the sake of your father David I will not do this in your day; I will tear it out of your son's hand. 13Even so not the whole kingdom; I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.’

14The LORD raised up an adversary for Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, of the royal house of Edom. 15At the time when David reduced Edom, his commander-in-chief Joab had destroyed every male in the country when he went into it to bury the slain. 16He and the Israelite armies remained there for six months, until he had slain every male in Edom. 17But Hadad, who was still a boy, fled the country with some of his father's Edomite servants; their goal was Egypt. 18They set out from Midian, made their way to Paran, and, taking some men from there, came to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who assigned Hadad a house and maintenance and made him a grant of land. 19Hadad found great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him in marriage a sister of his wife, Queen Tahpenes. 20She bore him his son Genubath; Tahpenes weaned the child in Pharaoh's palace, and he lived there with Pharaoh's sons.

21When Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his forefathers and that his commander-in-chief Joab was also dead, he said to Pharaoh, ‘Give me leave to go, so that I may return to my own country.’ 22‘What is it that you find wanting in my country’, said Pharaoh, ‘that you want to go back to your own?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied Hadad, ‘but do let me go.’ 25He remained an adversary for Israel all through Solomon's reign. This c 11:25 This: so Gk; Heb. obscure. is the harm that Hadad caused: he maintained a stranglehold on d maintained … on: so Syriac; Heb. loathed. Israel and became king of Edom e Edom: so Gk; Heb. Aram. .

23Another adversary God raised up against Solomon was Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24He gathered men about him and became a captain of freebooters f 11:24 freebooters: so Gk; Heb. adds when David killed them. ; he g he: so Gk; Heb. they. went to Damascus, occupied it, and became king there.

26Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon's courtiers, an Ephrathite from Zeredah, whose widowed mother was named Zeruah, rebelled against the king. 27This is the story of his rebellion. When Solomon built the Millo and closed the breach in the wall of the city of his father David, 28he saw how the young man worked, for Jeroboam was a man of great ability, and the king put him in charge of all the labour-gangs in the tribal district of Joseph. 29On one occasion when Jeroboam left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him on the road. The prophet was wearing a new cloak and, when the two of them were alone out in the open country, 30Ahijah, taking hold of the new cloak he was wearing, tore it into twelve pieces, 31and said to Jeroboam, ‘Take for yourself ten pieces, for the LORD the God of Israel has declared that he is about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes. 32But, says the LORD, one tribe will remain Solomon's, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33I shall do this because Solomon has forsaken me; he has bowed down before Ashtoreth goddess of the Sidonians, Kemosh god of Moab, and Milcom god of the Ammonites, and has not conformed h 11:33 has forsaken … has bowed down … has not conformed: so Gk; Heb. has plural. to my ways. He has not done what is right in my eyes or observed my statutes and judgements as David his father did.

34‘Nevertheless I shall not take the whole kingdom from him, but shall maintain his rule as long as he lives, for the sake of my chosen servant David, who did observe my commandments and statutes. 35But I shall take the kingdom, that is the ten tribes, from his son and give it to you. 36To his son I shall give one tribe, that my servant David may always have a lamp burning before me in Jerusalem, the city which I chose to receive my name. 37I shall appoint you to rule over all that you can desire, and to be king over Israel. 38If you pay heed to all my commands, if you conform to my ways and do what is right in my eyes, observing my statutes and commandments as my servant David did, then I shall be with you. I shall establish your family for ever as I did for David; I shall give Israel to you, 39and punish David's descendants as they have deserved, but not for ever.’

40After this Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to King Shishak in Egypt and remained there till Solomon's death.

41The other acts and events of Solomon's reign, and all his wisdom, are recorded in the annals of Solomon. 42The reign of King Solomon in Jerusalem over the whole of Israel lasted forty years. 43Then he rested with his forefathers and was buried in the city of David his father; he was succeeded by his son Rehoboam.

Notes:

a 11:7 Milcom: so Gk; Heb. Molech.

b 11:22–26 Verse 25 transposed to follow verse 22.

c 11:25 This: so Gk; Heb. obscure.

d maintained … on: so Syriac; Heb. loathed.

e Edom: so Gk; Heb. Aram.

f 11:24 freebooters: so Gk; Heb. adds when David killed them.

g he: so Gk; Heb. they.

h 11:33 has forsaken … has bowed down … has not conformed: so Gk; Heb. has plural.

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