Solomon’s Many Wives
1King Solomon loved many women who were not from Israel. He loved the daughter of the king of Egypt, as well as women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 2The Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not marry people of other nations. If you do, they will cause you to follow their gods.” But Solomon fell in love with these women. 3He had seven hundred wives who were from royal families and three hundred slave women who gave birth to his children. His wives caused him to turn away from God. 4As Solomon grew old, his wives caused him to follow other gods. He did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done. 5Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon, and Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. 6So Solomon did what the Lord said was wrong and did not follow the Lord completely as his father David had done.
7On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built two places for worship. One was a place to worship Chemosh, the hated god of the Moabites, and the other was a place to worship Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. 8Solomon did the same thing for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their gods.
9The Lord had appeared to Solomon twice, but the king turned away from following the Lord, the God of Israel. The Lord was angry with Solomon, 10because he had commanded Solomon not to follow other gods. But Solomon did not obey the Lord’s command. 11So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have chosen to break your agreement with me and have not obeyed my commands, I will tear your kingdom away from you and give it to one of your officers. 12But I will not take it away while you are alive because of my love for your father David. I will tear it away from your son when he becomes king. 13I will not tear away all the kingdom from him, but I will leave him one tribe to rule. I will do this because of David, my servant, and because of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen.”
14The Lord caused Hadad the Edomite, a member of the family of the king of Edom, to become Solomon’s enemy. 15Earlier, David had defeated Edom. When Joab, the commander of David’s army, went into Edom to bury the dead, he killed all the males. 16Joab and all the Israelites stayed in Edom for six months and killed every male in Edom. 17At that time Hadad was only a young boy, so he ran away to Egypt with some of his father’s officers. 18They left Midian and went to Paran, where they were joined by other men. Then they all went to Egypt to see the king, who gave Hadad a house, some food, and some land.
19The king liked Hadad so much he gave Hadad a wife—the sister of Tahpenes, the king’s wife. 20They had a son named Genubath. Queen Tahpenes brought him up in the royal palace with the king’s own children.
21While he was in Egypt, Hadad heard that David had died and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead also. So Hadad said to the king, “Let me go; I will return to my own country.”
22“Why do you want to go back to your own country?” the king asked. “What haven’t I given you here?”
“Nothing,” Hadad answered, “but please, let me go.”
23God also caused another man to be Solomon’s enemy—Rezon son of Eliada. Rezon had run away from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24After David defeated the army of Zobah, Rezon gathered some men and became the leader of a small army. They went to Damascus and settled there, and Rezon became king of Damascus. 25Rezon ruled Aram, and he hated Israel. So he was an enemy of Israel all the time Solomon was alive. Both Rezon and Hadad made trouble for Israel.
26Jeroboam son of Nebat was one of Solomon’s officers. He was an Ephraimite from the town of Zeredah, and he was the son of a widow named Zeruah. Jeroboam turned against the king.
27This is the story of how Jeroboam turned against the king. Solomon was filling in the land and repairing the wall of Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. 28Jeroboam was a capable man, and Solomon saw that this young man was a good worker. So Solomon put him over all the workers from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
29One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh, who was wearing a new coat, met him on the road. The two men were alone out in the country. 30Ahijah took his new coat and tore it into twelve pieces. 31Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces of this coat for yourself. The Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will tear the kingdom away from Solomon and give you ten tribes. 32But I will allow him to control one tribe. I will do this for the sake of my servant David and for Jerusalem, the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 33I will do this because Solomon has stopped following me and has worshiped the Sidonian god Ashtoreth, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Molech. Solomon has not obeyed me by doing what I said is right and obeying my laws and commands, as his father David did.
34“ ‘But I will not take all the kingdom away from Solomon. I will let him rule all his life because of my servant David, whom I chose, who obeyed all my commands and laws. 35But I will take the kingdom away from his son, and I will allow you to rule over the ten tribes. 36I will allow Solomon’s son to continue to rule over one tribe so that there will always be a descendant of David, my servant, in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to be worshiped. 37But I will make you rule over everything you want. You will rule over all of Israel, 38and I will always be with you if you do what I say is right. You must obey all my commands. If you obey my laws and commands as David did, I will be with you. I will make your family a lasting family of kings, as I did for David, and give Israel to you. 39I will punish David’s children because of this, but I will not punish them forever.’ ”
40Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he ran away to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he stayed until Solomon died.
41Everything else King Solomon did, and the wisdom he showed, is written in the book of the history of Solomon. 42Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. And his son Rehoboam became king in his place.
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