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I Kings 10-11; II Chronicles 9 Listen
I Kings 10
II Chronicles 9
|1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
3 And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built,
5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
9 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
10 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
11 And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
12 And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.
13 And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
|1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
2 And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
5 And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:
6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.
7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.
8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.
9 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon.
10 And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.
11 And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah.
12 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.
The Queen of Sheba, having heard about the fame of Solomon, pays him a surprise visit. While there are differing theories regarding where her homeland was, there is no dispute that she traveled a great distance to Jerusalem. According to the Expositor's Bible Commentary, "Sheba was in southwest Arabia, present-day Yemen." Whoa...that's 1,500 miles from Jerusalem! She takes the tour and asks Solomon some very difficult questions - all of which he was more than capable of answering because of the extra dose of wisdom (see notes on I Kings 3:5-15; II Chronicles 1:7-17) given him by God. I Kings 10:1 says, "she came to prove him with hard questions." The Hebrew word for "hard questions" (khee-daw´) is interesting. It is used seventeen times. The KJV translates it nine times as riddle, five times as dark sentences, speeches, or sayings, twice as hard questions, and once as proverb. What an interesting conversation between a King and a Queen. At the conclusion of their meetings she admitted, "Yup, you're wise all right!" The whole trip just left her breathless - that said according to II Chronicles 9: 4, "there was no more spirit in her." The Hebrew word for spirit is "ruwach," meaning breath - same as the New Testament Greek word for "spirit" is "pneuma," which also means "breath" or "wind." Add the word "holy" as a modifier to either of these words and you get the supernatural power of God (holy spirit). But here, with the Queen of Sheba, this verse indicates that she was just left breathless. And then she went back home to tell her buddy Kings and Queens about her findings.
There is considerable extra-biblical speculation regarding this Queen of Sheba. Islamic tradition claims that she had a son by Solomon who became a king. Ethiopian tradition claims her as an Ethiopian queen who married and bore a child from Solomon. Further development of that position attributes the adoption of Judaism in Ethiopia to the Queen's conversion after her visit with Solomon. In 1999, a British team from Bournemouth University, working with archaeologist Dr. Patrick Darling became convinced that they had discovered her burial place in Nigeria, but Dr. Darling admits that his is just a theory - one of many.
The rich just get richer (I Kings 10:14-29; II Chronicles 9:13-29)
I Kings 10
II Chronicles 9
|14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
15 Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
21 And all king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
|13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold;
14 Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
15 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target.
16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:
19 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.
20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
21 For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.
24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
26 And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.
27 And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance.
28 And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
Solomon's kingdom stretched to the boundaries promised to Abraham back in Genesis 15 (see notes). To see a map of this territory, click here. Solomon was rich - really, really rich. How rich was he? He was soooo rich, he made 200 large shields out of gold worth about $100,000 (2006 standards) each. He made another 300 shields of gold (smaller) worth about $24,000 each. He put these on display. He was soooo rich, his throne was made out of ivory and gold. He was soooo rich, silver plates were like our disposable plastic plates (I Kings 10:21). He was soooo rich, he collected peacocks (now that's rich). Cedar, horses, chariots - he had it all. And his wisdom was world renown - everybody came to ask him questions...and they brought him gifts when they came. Here's what is said of Solomon in II Chronicles 9:22, "And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom." That's right; Solomon was the richest man in the world.
1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
After talking about all of King Solomon's successes in chapter 10, chapter 11 begins with "But..." Yes, I'm afraid that, with everything else Solomon collected in abundance, wives were also in the list. If you had 700 wives and 300 concubines (second-class wives), would you even remember all of their names? If a child calls you "father," wouldn't you just assume it was so? His collection of honeymoon photo albums must have been housed in a large museum. But, here's the big problem; he was not particular about their religious affiliations. He married women who worshipped gods forbidden to Israelites, and they didn't convert to Judaism; they stayed with their heathen gods and worshipped them. Remember the people back in Leviticus who sacrificed their own children to Molech (Leviticus 18:21, see notes; Leviticus 20:2-3, see notes)? Well, Solomon even built an altar to this god for one or more of his wives. He built altars to other pagan gods as well - just 'cause he was in love. Verse 6 sums it up when it says, "And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father."
We see a condemnation by Nehemiah of Solomon's marrying practices in Nehemiah 13:26 (see notes), "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin." The Hebrew word for "outlandish" in that verse means "pagan." Interestingly enough, we don't have a record of Solomon ever marrying a Hebrew woman. However, out of 1,000 wives and concubines, surely he did at some point. Although, his successor to the throne was Rehoboam; his mother was an Ammonite...from the forbidden list of candidates. As a matter of fact, Solomon married Rehoboam's mother while King David was still on the throne of Israel. Rehoboam was 41 when he began to reign, according to I Kings 14:21 (see notes). Yet, we are told in II Chronicles 9:30 (see below) that Solomon reigned over Israel for 40 years. So, Solomon's marriage violations began before he actually became King of Israel.
Let's not sugar coat this aspect of Solomon's life. His marrying practices did, in part, include a great many diplomatic marriages. In other words, kings often married the daughters of foreign kings in order to form a treaty with them and maintain diplomatic relations with those countries. However, there is no question that Solomon violated Deuteronomy 17:17 (see notes), a passage that specifically directs that future kings of Israel MUST NOT multiply wives. Moreover, God specifically directed Israel not to intermarry with those pagan cultures surrounding them in Canaan back in Deuteronomy 7:1-7 (see notes). The reason: So as to not bring false religions into Israel. And...as it turns out, that's exactly the result of Solomon's marrying practices.
9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.
14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom.
15 For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom;
16 (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:)
17 That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.
18 And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
19 And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh.
21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.
23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:
24 And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.
25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
As we have read through the Old Testament, one thing should be abundantly clear - God hates pagan worship. This case is no different. Notice verse 9 "And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, " Those two appearance were I Kings 3:5 (see notes) and I Kings 9:2 (see notes). Because of this tolerance for pagan worship on Solomon's part, God raised up enemies against Solomon, one being Hadad the Edomite (verse 14). Here's a decree from God to Solomon in verse 11, "Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant." That's right, God even speaks to Solomon and tells him that after his reign, his kingdom will be split - and all because of Solomon's tolerance for paganism. That split of the Kingdom of Israel into two takes place in I Kings 12 (see notes).
Hadad's story is given in verses 14-22. Joab's execution of the Edomite men must have taken place during the period mentioned in II Samuel 8:14 (see notes). We aren't specifically told of any battles between this Hadad and Israel, but the mention of it in this passage, and specifically verse 25, would indicate that there were some. Then there's the specific mention in verse 23 of "Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah." This enemy rose up against Solomon as a result of David's battles in II Samuel 8:14 (see notes) as well.
26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.
27 And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.
28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field:
30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:
31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)
33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.
34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
Jeroboam had a nice job with Solomon's government, but he was God's instrument for the punishment of Solomon. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam took over the family business (business of being king, that is). However, God had told Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah (verse 29) that he would get 10 of the 11 tribes. You thought there were 12 tribes, didn't you? Remember Simeon? They had no distinct territory of their own, but rather received certain cities within the territory of Judah. Simeon kind of blended in with Judah after a few centuries, basically leaving 11 tribes, though often still referred to as 12. Anyway, Solomon tried to have him killed after this prophecy, but Jeroboam escaped to Egypt. After Solomon's death, Rehoboam becomes king over the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and Jeroboam becomes king over the Northern Kingdom - Israel (I Kings 12, see notes). I call them the "Boam boys." They weren't related; it just makes it easier for me to remember them.
Jeroboam inherits from God his kingdom with some conditional promises attached to the deal in verse 38, "And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee." For the record, Jeroboam did not fulfill any of these conditions - not even from the very beginning of his reign. As a result, this same prophet (Ahijah) two decades later decrees that Jeroboam's dynasty will come to an end in I Kings 14 (see notes). As a matter of fact, neither did any of Jeroboam's successors serve the God of Israel. All the kings of Israel (Northern Kingdom) were evil and refused to seek after God.
I Kings 11
II Chronicles 9
|41 And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
42 And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
30 And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
He's immortal in our minds, but Solomon died after a 40-year rule. He accomplished much, and he left it all to his son Rehoboam. Rehoboam's mother was an Ammonite according to I Kings 14:21 (see notes). The question is: can Rehoboam hang on to it? Well...no he can't - all because his father, Solomon, had sinned before God.