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1 Kings Chapter Eleven


1 Kings 11 Outline of Contents

Solomon’s Heart Turns from the Lord (v.1~13)

Adversaries of Solomon (v.14~25)

Jeroboam’s Rebellion (v.26~40)

Death of Solomon (v.41~43)

New King James Version (NKJV)



This chapter relates the false steps Solomon took, notwithstanding all his wisdom, in marrying strange wives, and worshipping other gods, 1 Kings 11:1 upon which the Lord threatens him to rend the kingdom in his son's time, 1 Kings 11:9 and he raised up adversaries against him, Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam, 1 Kings 11:14 of which last an account is given, and of his being assured by Ahijah the prophet of his having ten of the tribes of Israel given to him; which Solomon having notice of sought to slay him, 1 Kings 11:27 and the chapter is concluded with an account of Solomon's death and burial, 1 Kings 11:41.


1 Kings 11:1   But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—

   YLT  1And king Solomon hath loved many strange women, and the daughter of Pharaoh, females of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zidon, [and] of the Hittites,

But King Solomon loved many strange women,.... His love was a lustful and not a lawful one, and of women who were not only of foreign countries, but not his lawful wives, and these many:

together with the daughter of Pharaoh; besides her, or as he loved her, and perhaps more; his sin was not that he loved her who was his lawful wife, but others with her; it is very probable she was a proselytess, and had no hand in turning him to idolatry, since we read not of any high place built for an Egyptian idol:

women of the Moabites, Anmonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; all of the neighbouring nations. Some think he did this with political views, to get intelligence of the state of those countries, or to abate and extinguish their enmity; but it rather seems to be the fruit of lust or pride.


1 Kings 11:2   2 from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.

   YLT  2of the nations of which Jehovah said unto the sons of Israel, `Ye do not go in to them, and they do not go in to you; surely they turn aside your heart after their gods;' to them hath Solomon cleaved for love.

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,.... That is, they should not intermarry with one another; this is to be understood of the last mentioned, the Hittites, who were one of the seven nations this law respected, Deuteronomy 7:1.

for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods; which is the reason given for the making the above law, and was sadly verified in Solomon:

Solomon clave unto these in love; he not only took them, but kept them, and expressed a strong affection for them.


1 Kings 11:3   3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

   YLT  3And he hath women, princesses, seven hundred, and concubines three hundred; and his wives turn aside his heart.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines,.... In all 1000, a prodigious number; though these might not be all for use, but for state after the manner of the eastern monarchs; these were a far greater number than are alluded to in Song of Solomon 6:8, unless the virgins without number there, were such of these as were not defiled by him; but the number here seems plainly referred to in Ecclesiastes 7:28,

and his wives turned away his heart; both from his duty to his God, and from attendance to his business as a king, especially the former, as follows.


1 Kings 11:4   4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.

   YLT  4And it cometh to pass, at the time of the old age of Solomon, his wives have turned aside his heart after other gods, and his heart hath not been perfect with Jehovah his God, like the heart of David his father.

And it came to pass, when Solomon was old,.... Toward the latter end of his reign, when he might be near sixty years of age; for Rehoboam his son and successor was forty one when he began to reign, 1 Kings 14:21 which is observed either as an aggravation of the sin of Solomon, that in his old age, when by long experience he might have been thought to be still wiser, and less lustful: and yet

that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; or as pointing at the advantage his wives took of his age:

and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father; who, though guilty of many sins, never inclined to idolatry; his heart was always right in that point, and sincere in his worship, see Psalm 18:20.


1 Kings 11:5   5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

   YLT  5And Solomon goeth after Ashtoreth god[dess] of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites;

And Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians,.... Enticed by the Zidonian women, or woman, he had, 1 Kings 11:1. According to the Phoenician historiesF9Apud Tatian. contr. Graecos, p. 171. , Solomon married a daughter of Hiram, king of Tyre and Zidon; so Clemens of Alexandria saysF11Stromat. l. 1. p. 325. , that Hiram gave his daughter to Solomon; Ashtoreth is Astarte, the same with the Venus of the Greeks, so SuidasF12In voce Ασταρτη. ; and LucianF13De Dea Syria. expressly says, the Sidonians had a temple, said by them to belong to Astarte, which he takes to be the moon; and both Venus and Juno signify the same planet; See Gill on Judges 2:13.

and after Milcom the abomination of the Amnonites; the same with Molech, 1 Kings 11:7. See Gill on Leviticus 18:21. See Gill on Amos 1:13. After this he was drawn by his Ammonitish wife, or wives, 1 Kings 11:1, though the Jewish writers think he did not worship these idols, but suffered his wives to do it, and connived at it, which was his sin; so Ben Gersom and Abarbinel.


1 Kings 11:6   6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.

   YLT  6and Solomon doth the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah, and hath not been fully after Jehovah, like David his father.

And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord,.... As idolatry is, nothing more provoking to him:

and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father; for though he did not relinquish the worship of the true God, and the service of the temple, yet inasmuch as he worshipped other gods besides, or connived at the worship of them, he did not wholly, and constantly, and solely serve the Lord, as his father did.


1 Kings 11:7   7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.

   YLT  7Then doth Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the hill that [is] on the front of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the sons of Ammon;

Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Mesh,.... Of this idol see Gill on Jeremiah 48:7, an high place for which he ordered to be built, or at least suffered it to be built, at the instigation of his Moabitish woman or women, 1 Kings 11:1, this was built in the hill that is before Jerusalem; on the mount of Olives, as Jarchi, called from hence afterwards the mount of corruption, 2 Kings 23:15 and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon, 1 Kings 11:5.


1 Kings 11:8   8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

   YLT  8and so he hath done for all his strange women, who are perfuming and sacrificing to their gods.

And likewise did he for all his strange wives,.... That is, built high places for their idols, or suffered them to be built; for when he had done it for one, he could not refuse it to another, without greatly disobliging them; even for as many of them,

which burnt incense, and sacrificed unto their gods; the gods of the countries from whence they came, and in the worship of which they had been brought up: this shows that the best and wisest of men, when left to themselves, may do the worst and most foolish of all things; as nothing can be more so than the worship of such wretched deities.


1 Kings 11:9   9 So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,

   YLT  9And Jehovah sheweth Himself angry with Solomon, for his heart hath turned aside from Jehovah, God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice,

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel,.... Or from the fear of him, as the Targum, which must in a great measure be cast off, or he could not have given in to idolatry in any shape as he did; for it was for that the Lord was displeased, the which nothing is more provoking to him, as may be often observed:

which had appeared unto him twice; once at Gibeon, and again after his prayer at the dedication of the temple, 1 Kings 3:5, which is mentioned here as an aggravation of his sin, that he should fall into it, when the Lord had condescended to appear to him so graciously.


1 Kings 11:10   10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.

   YLT  10and given a charge unto him concerning this thing, not to go after other gods; and he hath not kept that which Jehovah commanded,

And had commanded him concerning this thing that he should not go after other gods,.... Which is another aggravation of his sin that it was against an express command of God, and was particularly given him, and he was warned to observe it, and threatened with evil should he break it:

but he kept not that which the Lord commanded: see 1 Kings 9:5.


1 Kings 11:11   11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.

   YLT  11and Jehovah saith to Solomon, `Because that this hath been with thee, and thou hast not kept My covenant and My statutes that I charged upon thee, I surely rend the kingdom from thee, and have given it to thy servant.

Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon,.... Not in a vision, as before, but by a prophet; the Jews sayF14Seder Olam Rabba, c. 20. p. 53. Kimchi in loc. , Ahijah the Shilonite, which is probable, see 1 Kings 11:29.

forasmuch as this is done of thee, that thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded thee; but broke them by his idolatry:

I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and I will give it to thy servant; meaning Jeroboam, who was not only a subject, but in office under him, 1 Kings 11:26.


1 Kings 11:12   12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son.

   YLT  12`Only, in thy days I do it not, for the sake of David thy father; out of the hand of thy son I rend it;

Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake,.... Not for the merits of David, but the promises made to him, 2 Samuel 7:12,

but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son; and immediate successor, Rehoboam.


1 Kings 11:13   13 However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

   YLT  13only all the kingdom I do not rend away; one tribe I give to thy son, for the sake of David My servant, and for the sake of Jerusalem, that I have chosen.'

Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom,.... The whole kingdom of Israel:

but will give one tribe to thy son; but it seems he had both Benjamin and Judah, and only ten tribes were rent from him; the reason of this mode of expression may be, either because he gave him one of the tribes of Israel, besides that of Judah, which was his own tribe; or only the tribe of Judah is meant, the whole tribe of Benjamin not being his, since Bethel, and some other places in that tribe, were in the possession of Jeroboam; or rather both these are called but one, because their inheritances lay together, and were mixed with one another; and particularly both had a share in the city of Jerusalem, and the kingdom always after the division went by the name of Judah only: and this tribe was given

for David my servant's sake; because of the promise to him, that there should not want one of his seed to sit on his throne, 1 Kings 9:5.

and for Jerusalem's sake, whom I have chosen; to have the house of his sanctuary and worship in, and therefore thought fit to have one rule there, that, would have a regard to his service in it.


1 Kings 11:14   14 Now the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was a descendant of the king in Edom.

   YLT  14And Jehovah raiseth up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; of the seed of the king [is] he in Edom;

And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite,.... Though he did not take his kingdom from him for his sin, he chastised him with the rod of men, as he said he would; suffering one, and then another, to rise up and disturb his peace in his old age, see 2 Samuel 7:14.

he was of the king's seed in Edom; of the blood royal.


1 Kings 11:15   15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, after he had killed every male in Edom

   YLT  15and it cometh to pass, in David's being with Edom, in the going up of Joab head of the host to bury the slain, that he smiteth every male in Edom –

For it came to pass, when David was in Edom,.... Fighting with the Edomites, and subduing them, and putting garrisons in the land, 2 Samuel 8:14.

and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain: the Israelites that fell in battle, or whom the Edomites afterwards, through stratagem and surprise, fell upon in their garrisons and destroyed, and which caused Joab to go thither to bury them, and take vengeance on the Edomites for it; or these were the Edomites slain by David and Joab; and it has been always reckoned a piece of humanity to bury the dead of an enemy, and is to the honour of the conqueror, see Ezekiel 39:12 or to suffer the enemy to bury them themselves: it is saidF15Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 27. , that Hercules was the first that brought up this practice, and that before they were left on the field, to be devoured by dogs; so they were in the times of the Trojan war, as appears by the writings of Homer; but burying them, in later times, was used by the RomansF16Liv. Hist. l. 39. c. 21. Vid. Kirchman. Append. ad. lib. de Funer. Roman. c. 3, 4, & 5. and Greeks; and JosephusF17Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 24. contr. Apion. l. 2. c. 29. delivers it as a law of Moses to bury enemies, and not suffer any dead to lie without partaking of the earth, nor to pass by or overlook any unburied; but from whence he took it, or grounds it upon, is not very evident; this is the first mention of it; though the Targum is,

"to strip the slain:'

after he had smitten every male in Edom; as he thought, intending to root out the name of them; being enraged at their falling upon the garrisons, if that was the case.


1 Kings 11:16   16 (because for six months Joab remained there with all Israel, until he had cut down every male in Edom),

   YLT  16for six months did Joab abide there, and all Israel, till the cutting off of every male in Edom –

For six months did Joab remain with all Israel,.... With the whole army:

until he had cut off every male in Edom; as he supposed; for it was not fact, since after this they increased again, and became a powerful people, and had a king over them, and revolted from Judah, 2 Kings 8:20.


1 Kings 11:17   17 that Hadad fled to go to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him. Hadad was still a little child.

   YLT  17and Hadad fleeth, he and certain Edomites, of the servants of his father, with him, to go in to Egypt, and Hadad [is] a little youth,

That Hadad fled,.... While Joab was burying the slain:

he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him; who either was a king, and these some of his officers and courtiers; or however was of the royal family, and had an equipage, and these some of them:

to go into Egypt; that was their view at first setting out, where they might hope for help, at least shelter:

Hadad being yet a little child; whom his father's servants hid, while Joab was making the slaughter he did, and took the opportunity of fleeing with him while he was burying the dead.


1 Kings 11:18   18 Then they arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, apportioned food for him, and gave him land.

   YLT  18and they rise out of Midian, and come into Paran, and take men with them out of Paran, and come in to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he giveth to him a house, and bread hath commanded for him, and land hath given to him.

And they arose out of Midian,.... A country which lay in their way to Egypt, and where it seems they made some stay, and then departed:

and came to Paran; near to which was a wilderness of the same name, in which the Israelites wandered when they came out of Egypt, and which lay between Edom and Egypt:

and they took men with them out of Paran; either as guides and guards through the wilderness, or to make the better appearance before Pharaoh, and that they might meet with the better reception:

and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; and told their case, and informed him who Hadad was: who, pitying an unfortunate young prince,

gave him an house; for him and his servants to dwell in:

and appointed him victuals; a daily provision for him and his men:

and gave him land; for his servants to cultivate, and from thence to raise a revenue for his support; the Jewish writers say he gave him cities to rule over; but as he was but a little child when he came, it cannot be thought that was done, at least directly.


1 Kings 11:19   19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, that is, the sister of Queen Tahpenes.

   YLT  19And Hadad findeth grace in the eyes of Pharaoh exceedingly, and he giveth to him a wife, the sister of his own wife, sister of Tahpenes the mistress;

And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh,.... Perhaps for his comely personage, princely qualities, and good behaviour, as he grew up:

so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen; it seems the kings of Egypt used to marry their favourites to great personages; see Genesis 41:45.


1 Kings 11:20   20 Then the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house. And Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh.

   YLT  20and the sister of Tahpenes beareth to him Genubath his son, and Tahpenes weaneth him within the house of Pharaoh, and Genubath is in the house of Pharaoh in the midst of the sons of Pharaoh.

And the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son,.... Which signifies "stealth", and the name might be given in memory of himself being carried away by stealth from his own land:

whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: who was so fond of the child, that she took it, and weaned it for her in the king's palace:

and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh; brought up among them, as if he was one of them.


1 Kings 11:21   21 So when Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers, and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.”

   YLT  21And Hadad hath heard in Egypt that David hath lain with his fathers, and that Joab head of the host is dead, and Hadad saith unto Pharaoh, `Send me away, and I go unto my land.'

And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers,.... Was dead and buried, as the death of princes is soon known in other countries, and especially a king of such fame as David:

and that Joab the captain of the host was dead: whose name might be terrible to Hadad, because of the slaughter of men he had made in his country:

Hadad said unto Pharaoh, let me depart, that I may go to mine own country; with a view and an hope to recover it, now David and Joab were dead.


1 Kings 11:22   22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that suddenly you seek to go to your own country?” So he answered, “Nothing, but do let me go anyway.”

   YLT  22And Pharaoh saith to him, `But, what art thou lacking with me, that lo, thou art seeking to go unto thine own land?' and he saith, `Nay, but thou dost certainly send me away.'

Then Pharaoh said unto him, but what hast thou lacked with me,.... Either of an equipage suitable to his birth and marriage, or of provisions for his household, or of honour and respect, or of any favour from him:

that, behold, thou seekest to go into thine own country? as if not well used where he was, or would be better provided for there:

and he answered, nothing; he wanted nothing at all, had all he could wish for:

howbeit, let me go in any wise: he had such an extreme desire to go, that he begged it might not be denied him on any account; whether he acquainted Pharaoh with his view in this request is not said, but it is probable he did, and it is certain Pharaoh gave him leave to go, see 1 Kings 11:25.


1 Kings 11:23   23 And God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon the son of Eliadah, who had fled from his lord, Hadadezer king of Zobah.

   YLT  23And God raiseth to him an adversary, Rezon son of Eliadah, who hath fled from Hadadezer king of Zobah, his lord,

And God stirred him up another adversary,.... One from the north, as the other was from the south:

Rezon, the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: when David fought with him; and this man seeing the battle go against his master, and that he was like to be worsted, deserted him and fled, see 2 Samuel 8:3.


1 Kings 11:24   24 So he gathered men to him and became captain over a band of raiders, when David killed those of Zobah. And they went to Damascus and dwelt there, and reigned in Damascus.

   YLT  24and gathereth unto himself men, and is head of a troop in David's slaying them, and they go to Damascus, and dwell in it, and reign in Damascus;

And he gathered men unto him,.... Perhaps some of the scattered forces of his master:

and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah; some that escaped enlisted under this man, and lived by plunder the remainder of David's reign, and so in the reign of Solomon unto his old age, when his heart was turned away from God to idols, by his wives:

and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus; Rezon and his men went thither, not in David's time, for he put a garrison there, 2 Samuel 8:6 but towards the close of Solomon's days, and when Hadad set up in Edom, which gave him the hint to do the same at Damascus, of which he became king, and was the founder of that kingdom; after him there was a long race of kings there.


1 Kings 11:25   25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon (besides the trouble that Hadad caused); and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.

   YLT  25and he is an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, (besides the evil that Hadad [did]), and he cutteth off in Israel, and reigneth over Aram.

And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon,.... Not all the days of his life, see 1 Kings 5:4, but all his days, from his first going into idolatry, to the end of his life:

beside the mischief that Hadad did; and which, whatever it was, was not done till this time; for either, when he got leave from Pharaoh to go into his country, he lay hid there, waiting an opportunity to seize upon it; or by means of Pharaoh he got himself to be king of it, through the permission of Solomon, paying a tribute to him; but when Solomon was grown old, he revolted and refused to pay it, and rebelled against him, and gave him much trouble:

and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria; not Hadad, but Rezon; he had an aversion to them, was a thorn in their side, and gave them much trouble, as well as had them in contempt, and bid them defiance, having made himself not only master of Damascus, but of all Syria.


1 Kings 11:26   26 Then Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zereda, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.

   YLT  26And Jeroboam son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda -- the name of whose mother [is] Zeruah, a widow woman -- servant to Solomon, he also lifteth up a hand against the king;

And Jeroboam the son of Nebat,.... According to some Jewish writersF18Shalshalet Hakabala, p. 11. , this was Sheba the son of Bichri; but, as Kimchi observes, he was of the tribe of Benjamin, this of Ephraim; and besides, his head was cut off, and thrown over the wall to Joab, 2 Samuel 20:1,

an Ephrathite of Zereda; some where in the tribe of Ephraim, but nowhere else mentioned. There was a famous Jewish doctor, before the times of Christ, of this place, as it seems, who was called Jose ben Joezer, a man of ZeredaF19Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 4. :

Solomon's servant; not only his subject, but one that had been advanced by him to an office, and served under him, 1 Kings 11:28,

whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman; who very probably was supported by this her son, an industrious and ingenious man:

even he lifted up his hand against the king; either against Solomon, by reproaching and reproving him for some things he did; or rather against Rehoboam his son, which was very ungrateful.


1 Kings 11:27   27 And this is what caused him to rebel against the king: Solomon had built the Millo and repaired the damages to the City of David his father.

   YLT  27and this [is] the thing [for] which he lifted up a hand against the king: Solomon built Millo -- he shut up the breach of the city of David his father,

And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king,.... The occasion of it, his being advanced to some posts under Solomon, which elated him, and what passed between him and the prophet Ahijah, after related:

Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father: in the oversight of which, it is supposed by the Jews, he employed this man, who reproached him for doing these works; building an house in Millo for Pharaoh's daughter, and stopping up the passage to the city of David, and the people's access thither upon occasion.


1 Kings 11:28   28 The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon, seeing that the young man was industrious, made him the officer over all the labor force of the house of Joseph.

   YLT  28and the man Jeroboam [is] mighty in valour, and Solomon seeth the young man that he is doing business, and appointeth him over all the burden of the house of Joseph.

And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour,.... A man of great strength of body, and fortitude of mind:

and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious; in what he was set about in the above buildings and repairs:

he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph; the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, to be a prince or a deputy governor of them; or rather to collect the king's tax from them, or the revenues of that part of the country, see Proverbs 22:29.


1 Kings 11:29   29 Now it happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the way; and he had clothed himself with a new garment, and the two were alone in the field.

   YLT  29And it cometh to pass, at that time, that Jeroboam hath gone out from Jerusalem, and Ahijah the Shilonite, the prophet, findeth him in the way, and he is covering himself with a new garment; and both of them [are] by themselves in a field,

And it came to pass at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem,.... Either to enter upon his new office: or having been with Solomon to pay in the revenues, and to make up his accounts with him was going back to the country to do the duty of his office:

that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; not accidentally, but purposely was in the way to meet him, and converse with him; this prophet was of the city of Shiloh, and where was now his abode, see 1 Kings 14:2.

and he had clad himself with a new garment; not Jeroboam, but the prophet, and that by the direction of the Lord, for the following purpose:

and they two were alone in the field: it is possible Jeroboam might have some servants with him; but Ahijah desiring some private conversation with him, he sent them onwards, or bid them stay at some distance; who yet might be capable of observing what was done, though not of hearing what was said; or otherwise how should Solomon come to the knowledge of it? 1 Kings 11:40.


1 Kings 11:30   30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces.

   YLT  30and Ahijah layeth hold on the new garment that [is] on him, and rendeth it -- twelve pieces,

And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him,.... This looks as if it was Jeroboam's garment, having got a new one to appear before the king in; though the sense may be this, that the prophet took hold of his own garment that was upon himself:

and rent it in twelve pieces; as symbolical of the twelve tribes of Israel.


1 Kings 11:31   31 And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you

   YLT  31and saith to Jeroboam, `Take to thee ten pieces, for thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, lo, I am rending the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and have given to thee the ten tribes,

And he said to Jeroboam, take thee ten pieces,.... Of the twelve, an emblem of the ten tribes he was to have:

for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon; that is, out of his family:

and will give ten tribes unto thee; to rule over.


1 Kings 11:32   32 (but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel),

   YLT  32and the one tribe he hath for My servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have fixed on, out of all the tribes of Israel.

But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake,.... See Gill on 1 Kings 11:13.


1 Kings 11:33   33 because they have[a] forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David.

   YLT  33`Because they have forsaken Me, and bow themselves to Ashtoreth, god[dess] of the Zidonians, to Chemosh god of Moab, and to Milcom god of the sons of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways, to do that which [is] right in Mine eyes, and My statutes and My judgments, like David his father.

Because that they have forsaken me,.... My worship, as the Targum; both Solomon and the children of Israel following his example; which is not to be wondered at, considering how prone they always were to idolatry:

and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon; of which deities; see Gill on 1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:7.

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; the several laws of God relating to religious worship especially, which David was a strict observer of; and therefore Solomon, having such a pattern before him, was the more blameworthy.


1 Kings 11:34   34 However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes.

   YLT  34`And I do not take the whole of the kingdom out of his hand, for prince I make him all days of his life, for the sake of David My servant whom I chose, who kept My commands and My statutes;

Howbeit, I will not take the kingdom out of his hand,.... Not any part of it, 1 Kings 11:12,

but I will make him prince all the days of his life; that is, he shall continue to hold the government of all the tribes so long as he lives:

for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes; see 1 Kings 11:12, or was well pleased with, as the Targum; for keeping the commands of God from right principles, and with right views, is well pleasing to him.


1 Kings 11:35   35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and give it to you—ten tribes.

   YLT  35and I have taken the kingdom out of the hand of his son, and given it to thee -- the ten tribes;

But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand,.... All but the tribes of Judah and Benjamin:

and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes: signified by ten pieces of the rent garment he had given him, 1 Kings 11:31.


1 Kings 11:36   36 And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.

   YLT  36and to his son I give one tribe, for there being a lamp to David My servant all the days before Me in Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen to Myself to put My name there.

And unto his son will I give one tribe,.... Judah and Benjamin reckoned as one; See Gill on 1 Kings 11:13, that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there; or a kingdom, as the Targum; or an illustrious prince, a successor, shining in royal majesty and glory, to guide and direct, cheer and comfort, the people of Israel; be an honour to David's family, and a means of continuing the pure worship of God in the temple at Jerusalem; see 2 Samuel 21:17.


1 Kings 11:37   37 So I will take you, and you shall reign over all your heart desires, and you shall be king over Israel.

   YLT  37`And thee I take, and thou hast reigned over all that thy soul desireth, and thou hast been king over Israel;

And I will take thee,.... From the low estate in which he was, to be king:

and thou shall reign according to all that thy soul desireth; he being ambitious of the kingdom, and having already formed in his mind some designs upon it:

and shall be king over Israel; the ten tribes.


1 Kings 11:38   38 Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.

   YLT  38and it hath been, if thou dost hear all that I command thee, and hast walked in My ways, and done that which is right in Mine eyes, to keep My statutes and My commands, as did David My servant, that I have been with thee, and have built for thee a stedfast house, as I built for David, and have given to thee Israel,

And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee,.... And be obedient thereunto:

and wilt walk in my ways; directed to in the law of Moses:

and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes, and my commandments; those particularly respecting divine worship:

as David my servant did; who very diligently and constantly attended to the ordinances of religion:

that I will be with thee; to guide and direct, protect and defend, prosper and succeed:

and build thee a sure house, as I built for David; continue the succession of the kingdom in his posterity:

and will give Israel unto thee; to rule over them.


1 Kings 11:39   39 And I will afflict the descendants of David because of this, but not forever.’”

   YLT  39and I humble the seed of David for this; only, not all the days.'

And I will for this afflict the seed of David,.... For the idolatry Solomon had been guilty of, and connived at:

but not for ever; for when the ten tribes were carried captive, the kingdom of Judah flourished under Hezekiah, Josiah, &c. and though the tribe of Judah was carried captive, yet it returned after seventy years captivity, and had rulers over it of the seed of David; and especially to the Messiah has God given the throne of his father David, of whose kingdom there will he no end, Luke 1:32, and Jarchi's note on the text is,

"for in the days of the Messiah the kingdom shall return to it,'

the seed of David; and Abarbinel says, of a truth, at the coming of our Messiah, this prophecy will be fulfilled; but the true Messiah is come already, in whom it is fulfilled; see Kimchi and Abendana, who refer to Ezekiel 37:19.


1 Kings 11:40   40 Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

   YLT  40And Solomon seeketh to put Jeroboam to death, and Jeroboam riseth and fleeth to Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and he is in Egypt till the death of Solomon.

Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam,.... Which is another instance of his folly, to seek to detest the counsel of God, when he himself was assured by the Lord the kingdom should be rent, and given to his servant, 1 Kings 11:11 and especially if he was informed of what passed between Ahijah and Jeroboam, as it should seem by this he was; either through Ahijah's making no secret of it, or through Jeroboam not being able to keep his own counsel, or through the report of the servants what they saw done, 1 Kings 11:29, which Solomon would easily understand:

and Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt; the common sanctuary of persons in distress in those days:

unto Shishak king of Egypt; either the father in law or the brother in law of Solomon, or one of another family, on whom the kingdom devolved; and who might not have any good respect for Solomon, and therefore Jeroboam thought himself safe with him: this is the only king of Egypt, in Scripture, that is called by his own name, and not Pharaoh; he is generally supposed to be the same with the Sesostris of HerodotusF20Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 102. , and the Vexoris or Vexosis of JustinF21E Trogo, l. 1. c. 1. ; and the rather he may be meant, since, according to HerodotusF23Ut supra, (Euterpe, sive, l. 2.) c. 110. , he was the only king of Egypt that ruled over the Ethiopians: and Strabo saysF24Geograph. l. 16. p. 529. he was the first that subdued Ethiopia and the country of the Troglodytes; also Diodorus Siculus affirmsF25Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 50. , that he fought with the Ethiopians dwelling to the south, and obliged them to pay tribute; out of which countries Shishak brought many with him in his expedition against Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 12:2.

and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon; not daring to return till that time, and then he did.


1 Kings 11:41   41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?

   YLT  41And the rest of the matters of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written on the book of the matters of Solomon?

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? Either written by himself, as Kimchi suggests, though not in being; or by some chronologer or historiographer employed by him in writing the most memorable things that happened in his reign; or by several prophets, as in 2 Chronicles 9:29 out of which the inspired writer of this book took what he was directed to by the Lord to be transmitted to future ages.


1 Kings 11:42   42 And the period that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.

   YLT  42And the days that Solomon hath reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel [are] forty years,

And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, over all Israel, was forty years. The same says EupolemusF26Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. , an Heathen writer, who makes him to live but fifty two years; which is the common tradition of the Jews, who suppose he was but twelve years of age when he began to reign; which is to be confuted from the age of his son Rehoboam, see 1 Kings 14:21. JosephusF1Antiqu. l. 8. c. 7. sect. 8. , on the other hand, makes him to live to too great an age, who says that he reigned eighty years, and lived to ninety four.


1 Kings 11:43   43 Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

   YLT  43and Solomon lieth with his fathers, and is buried in the city of David his father, and reign doth Rehoboam his son in his stead.

And Solomon slept with his fathers,.... Died as they did:

and was buried in the city of David his father; not in Bethlehem, but Zion, 1 Kings 2:10.

and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead; of whom more in the following chapter. Though nothing is said of Solomon's repentance, there is no doubt but he was a good man, repented of his sins, and was saved; as may be concluded from the commendations of him after his death, 2 Chronicles 11:17 from the promise of God that he made, that his mercy should not depart from him, though he chastised him, 2 Samuel 7:14 from his being an inspired writer, who were all holy men, 2 Peter 1:20, and especially from his writing the book of Ecclesiastes after his fall, which contains a full acknowledgment of all his evils, a recantation of them, and repentance for them. AbulpharagiusF2Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 3. p. 55. , an Arabic writer, rashly asserts that he died without repentance.


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible


New King James Version (NKJV)


  1. 1 Kings 11:33 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read he has.