The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Kings

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1 Kings 11

1Ki 11:1

1Ki 11: "How the mighty fall! With such great privileges, and divine blessing, Solomon multiplied wealth, women, weapons and worship. In so doing he brought misery upon himself, the throne and the kingdom. Under the canopy of the ivory throne there was no true and lasting satisfaction (Ecc 1:2,18; 2:11,17). Wisdom was turned to folly, peace into tyranny, prosperity into misery and ruin. The king countenanced polygamy, polytheism, despotism. It was not merely that he had 'many wives', but that they were 'strange' (foreign) women, securing the throne by political and marital connections with occupied nations, but they also introduced spiritual adultery into Israel. So the story of Solomon's sad decline is recorded, to remind us that, in spite of Solomon's greatness and wisdom, the temptations of his position were too much. It needed a 'greater than Solomon' to hold his position without wavering. The folly of Solomon led to the unloosing of 'Satan' (vv 14-20), and it awaited the coming of the Lord Yahshua before there was one to defeat the counsels of the flesh. Thus the wisdom of Solomon is to be seen in the books that flowed from his pen under inspiration, which reveal the true nature of the king who will ultimately rule on the throne of his father David" (GEM).

Marriage with unbelievers causes many problems: Gen 27:46; Deu 7:1-4; Exo 34:14-16; 1Ki 11:1-4; 1Co 7:39; 2Co 6:14-17. See Lesson, Marriage "only in the Lord".

1Ki 11:7

A HILL EAST OF JERUSALEM: The mount of Olives is the highest spot near Jerusalem, from the top of which the lands of Moab and Ammon might be clearly seen (WEnj 143).

1Ki 11:14

"ADVERSARY: Heb "satan"; here Hadad the Edomite, the enemy. Note: "from the royal line": see also vv 23,25.

"The folly of Solomon led to the unloosing of 'Satan' (vv 14-20)" (GEM): cp Rev 20:3.

1Ki 11:23

ADVERSARY: Heb "satan", as in vv 14,25.

1Ki 11:25

ADVERSARY: Heb "satan", as in vv 14,23.

1Ki 11:31

10 tribes (Israel) were divinely overturned by Shalmaneser of Assyria: 2Ki 17:1-6. The 2 tribes (Judah) were taken into captivity to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar: 2Ki 25:1,2; 2Ch 36:17-21. Zedekiah was the last king to sit on David's throne: Eze 21:25-27.

1Ki 11:40

AND STAYED THERE UNTIL SOLOMON'S DEATH: Deliverance language: "Out of Egypt have I called my son" (Hos 11:1; cp Mat 2:15). But Jeroboam failed.

1Ki 11:43

"In later years his soul had been sullied, his faith had grown dim, his fervor cold. All was emptiness. He stood horribly alone. His one son was not a wise man, but a fool. Gewgaws could no longer satisfy him. His wealth exhausted, his fame tarnished, his dominions reduced to insignificance, himself insulted by contemptible adversaries whom he could neither control nor punish, he entered on the long course of years... The peaceful is harried by petty raids; the magnificent is laden with debts; the builder of the Temple has sanctioned polytheism; the favorite of the nation has become a tyrant, scourging with whips an impatient people; the 'darling of the Lord' has built shrines for Moloch and Astarte. The glamour of youth, of empire, of gorgeous tyranny was dispelled, and the splendid boy-king is the weary and lonely old man. Hiram of Tyre has turned in disgust from an ungenerous recompense. A new Pharaoh has dispossessed his Egyptian father-in-law and shelters his rebel servant. His shameful harem has given him neither a real home nor a true love; his commerce has proved to be an expensive failure; his political alliances a hollow sham. In another and direr sense than after his youthful vision, 'Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream' (1Ki 3:15)" (EB).

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