XIV. THE TRAGEDY OF ISRAEL’S HISTORY
It seems that the whole world was for Solomon, but his glory was like the full moon which was about to wane. As we will see, the tragedy of Israel’s history (ch. 11) was due to Solomon’s indulgence of lust and worship of idols.
A. Solomon’s Fall
In 11:1-8 we have a record of Solomon’s fall.
1. In the Indulgence of His Lust
Solomon’s fall was in his indulgence of his lust by loving many foreign women: 700 wives, who were princesses of the kings of the nations, and 300 concubines, in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter (vv. 1-3). In having so many wives and concubines Solomon was most foolish.
2. In Forsaking God
and Worshipping the Gentile Idols
Solomon’s fall was also in his forsaking God, who appeared to him twice (v. 9), and in worshipping the Gentile idols through the seducing of the foreign women he loved (vv. 4-8).
B. God’s Chastisement
As a result of Solomon’s fall, God’s chastisement came in. After Solomon fell, God came in to punish and discipline him.
1. God Becoming Angry with Solomon
God became angry with Solomon and determined to tear the kingdom away from him and give it to his servant (vv. 9-13). However, for David’s sake God would not do this in Solomon’s days but in the days of his son (vv. 12, 34). Moreover, for David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, which God had chosen, God would still keep one tribe for the son of Solomon (vv. 13, 32-33, 35-36).
2. The Actions of God’s Chastisements
In verses 14 through 40 we see the actions of God’s chastisements. God raised up Hadad the Edomite to attack Solomon (vv. 14-22); He raised up Rezon, the king of Syria, to become another adversary to Solomon (vv. 23-25); and He raised up Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon, to revolt against Solomon (vv. 26-40).
C. Solomon’s Decease
after Reigning over All Israel for Forty Years
Solomon’s decease after reigning over all Israel for forty years (vv. 41-43) was in a gloomy disappointment. His glory fell off like the flower of grass (Matt. 6:29; 1 Pet. 1:24), and his splendid career became "vanity of vanities," as he had preached (Eccl. 1:2). However, what God did through him as a type of Christ remains forever. We, therefore, need to discern between what Solomon was in his personal life and what he was as a type of Christ.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Kings, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)