Solomon's Wives Turn Him Away From the Lord
1King Solomon loved many women besides Pharaoh's daughter. They were from other lands. They were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
2The Lord had warned Israel about women from other nations. He had said, "You must not get married to them. If you do, you can be sure they will turn your hearts toward their gods." But Solomon continued to love them anyway. He wouldn't give them up. 3He had 700 wives who came from royal families. And he had 300 concubines. His wives led him down the wrong path.
4As Solomon grew older, his wives turned his heart toward other gods. He didn't follow the Lord his God with all his heart. So he wasn't like his father David. 5Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth was the goddess of the people of Sidon. He also worshiped Molech. Molech was the god of the people of Ammon. The Lord hated that god.
6Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He didn't follow the Lord completely. He didn't do what his father David had done.
7There is a hill east of Jerusalem. Solomon built a high place for worshiping Chemosh there. He built a high place for worshiping Molech there too. Chemosh was the god of Moab. Molech was the god of Ammon. The Lord hated both of those gods.
8Solomon also built high places so that all of his wives from other nations could worship their gods. Those women burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.
9The Lord became angry with Solomon. That's because his heart had turned away from the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He had appeared to Solomon twice. 10He had commanded Solomon not to follow other gods. But Solomon didn't obey him.
11So the Lord said to Solomon, "You have chosen not to keep my covenant. You have decided not to obey my rules. I commanded you to do what I told you. But you did not do it. So you can be absolutely sure I will tear the kingdom away from you. I will give it to one of your officials.
12"But I will not do that while you are still living. Because of your father David I will wait. I will tear the kingdom out of your son's hand. 13But I will not tear the whole kingdom away from him. I will give him one of the tribes because of my servant David. I will also do it because of Jerusalem. That is the city I have chosen."
The Lord Brings Enemies Against Solomon
14Then the Lord brought an enemy against Solomon. The enemy's name was Hadad. He was from Edom. In fact, he belonged to the royal family of Edom.
15David had fought against Edom. Joab had been the commander of the army. He had gone up to bury the dead bodies of the Israelites who had been killed in battle. At that time he had struck down all of the men in Edom. 16In fact, Joab and all of the men of Israel stayed there for six months. During that time they destroyed all of the men in Edom.
17But when Hadad was only a boy, he ran away to Egypt. Some officials from Edom went with him. They had served Hadad's father. 18They started out from Midian and went to Paran. They took some men from Paran with them. Then they went to Egypt. They went to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He gave Hadad a house and some land. He also supplied him with food.
19Pharaoh was very pleased with Hadad. Pharaoh's wife was Queen Tahpenes. He gave Hadad her sister to be his wife. 20The sister of Tahpenes had a son by Hadad. The baby was named Genubath. Tahpenes brought him up in the royal palace. Genubath lived there with Pharaoh's own children.
21Hadad heard that David had joined the members of his family who had already died. He also heard that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. Hadad heard those things while he was in Egypt. He said to Pharaoh, "Let me go. I want to return to my own country."
22"Why do you want to go back to your own country?" Pharaoh asked. "Don't you have everything you need right here?"
"Yes," Hadad replied. "But I want you to let me go anyway!"
23God brought another enemy against Solomon. The enemy's name was Rezon. He was the son of Eliada. Rezon had run away from his master Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. 24He gathered some men together to follow him. He became the leader of a group of men who had refused to follow David. It happened when David destroyed the troops of Zobah. Then the group that was against David went to Damascus. They settled down there and took control of it. 25Rezon was Israel's enemy as long as Solomon was living. Rezon added to the trouble Hadad had caused. So Rezon ruled in Aram. He was Israel's enemy.
Jeroboam Refuses to Follow Solomon
26Jeroboam refused to follow King Solomon. He was one of Solomon's officials. He was from Zeredah in the territory of Ephraim. His father was Nebat. His mother was a widow named Zeruah.
27Here is the story of how Jeroboam refused to follow the king. Solomon had filled in the low places near the palace. He had also repaired the wall of the city of his father David. 28Jeroboam was a very important young man. Solomon saw how well he did his work. So he put him in charge of all of the workers in northern Israel.
29About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem. The prophet Ahijah met him on the road. Ahijah was from Shiloh. He was wearing a new coat. The two of them were all alone out in the country.
30Ahijah grabbed hold of the new coat he had on. He tore it up into 12 pieces. 31Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take ten pieces for yourself. The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, 'I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I will give you ten of its tribes. 32Solomon will have one of its tribes. I will let him keep it because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem. I have chosen that city out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel.
33" 'I will do those things because the tribes have deserted me. They have worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon. They have worshiped Chemosh, the god of the people of Moab. And they have worshiped Molech, the god of the people of Ammon. They have not lived the way I wanted them to. They have not done what is right in my eyes. They have not obeyed my rules and laws as Solomon's father David did.
34" 'But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I have made him ruler all the days of his life. I have done it because of my servant David. I chose him. He obeyed my commands and rules.
35" 'I will take the kingdom out of his son's hands. And I will give you ten of the tribes.
36" 'I will give one of the tribes to David's son. Then my servant David will always have a son on his throne in Jerusalem. The lamp of David's kingdom will always burn brightly in my sight. Jerusalem is the city I chose for my Name.
37" 'But I will make you king over Israel. You will rule over everything your heart longs for. So you will be the king of Israel. 38Do everything I command you to do. Live the way I want you to. Do what is right in my eyes. Obey my rules and commands. That is what my servant David did. If you do those things, I will be with you. I will build you a kingdom. It will last as long as the one I built for David. I will give Israel to you.
39" 'I will punish David's family because of what Solomon has done. But I will not punish them forever.' "
40Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam ran away to Egypt. He went to Shishak, the king of Egypt. He stayed there until Solomon died.
41The other events of Solomon's rule are written down. Everything he did and the wisdom he showed are written down. They are written in the official records of Solomon.
42Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over the whole nation of Israel for 40 years. 43Then he joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the city of his father David. Solomon's son Rehoboam became the next king after him.