WE CONCLUDED OUR LAST CHAPTER BY BEING INTRODUCED TO THE FAMOUS QUEEN OF SHEBA WHOSE NAME, IT TURNS OUT, IS ACTUALLY THE QUEEN OF THE SABA.
TODAY’S CHAPTER COULD EASILY BE CALLED “THE REASONS FOR THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM OF YISHARAL” BECAUSE WE ARE GIVEN 4 BASIC PREMISES OF THE AUTHOR OF THIS SCRIPTURE BOOK FOR HOW IT COULD BE THAT THE UNITED AND SOVEREIGN NATION OF YISHARAL, AN ADMIRED AND POWERFUL AND WEALTHY COUNTRY, WOULD FALL INTO RUIN AND CIVIL WAR AND SPLIT INTO TWO KINGDOMS WITHIN A FEW MONTHS AFTER SOLOMON’S DEATH.
THE 4 REASONS ARE:
1. SOLOMON’S DELIBERATE AND OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS HIS PEOPLE THAT MIRRORED THAT OF A TYPICAL MIDDLE EASTERN MONARCH INSTEAD OF A SET-APART AND ANOINTED KING WHOSE ALAHIM WAS YAHUAH AND WHOSE GUIDE WAS THE TORAH.
2. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS BAD BEHAVIOUR YAHUAH RAISED UP ADVERSARIES TO WEAKEN SOLOMON’S KINGDOM AND PREPARE IT TO BE TORN APART.
3. JEROBOAM ALWAYS SOUGHT POWER AND ESTEEM, AND SO YAHUAH USED HIM AS A TOOL TO WREAK HAVOC AND BE THE LEADER OF THE REBELS WHO WANTED TO OVERTHROW DAVID’S DYNASTY.
4. SOLOMON’S IDOLATRY THAT HAD ITS ROOT IN HIS VAST HAREM OF FOREIGN WIVES AND CONCUBINES WAS A SEVERE OFFENCE TOWARDS YAHUAH AND IT COULDN’T GO UNPUNISHED OR YAHUAH WOULD NOT BE A RIGHTEOUS AND JUST ALAHIM.
SO WE’LL SEE THE TRAGIC END OF SOLOMON’S LIFE TODAY, ONE THAT JUDAISM HAS GONE A LONG WAY TO TRY TO FIND WAYS AROUND. THEY PREFER TO LABEL YAHUAH’S JUDGMENTS AND PRONOUNCEMENTS AGAINST SOLOMON AS “CRITICISMS”, AND TO IGNORE STATEMENTS THAT SOLOMON DESCENDED INTO DEEP IDOLATRY AND DID WHAT WAS EVIL IN YAHUAH’S EYES AND INSTEAD SAY THAT SOLOMON REMAINED RIGHTEOUS BUT HE WAS JUST A BAD BOY AT TIMES.
WHAT WE READ, HOWEVER, SAYS SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. THE MASTER HAD KEPT HIS PROMISE TO SOLOMON OF GIVING HIM WHAT HE HAD ASKED FOR IN YAHUAH’S FIRS APPEARANCE TO SOLOMON AT GIBEON AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS REIGN. THE NEW KING ASKED THE MASTER FOR WISDOM AND THE MASTER GAVE IT TO HIM IN ABUNDANCE. BUT YAHUAH TOLD SOLOMON THAT HE WOULD ALSO GIVE HIM GREAT WEALTH BECAUSE HE DIDN’T ASK FOR IT.
EARLY ON SOLOMON INDEED ATTAINED A LARGE MEASURE OF WEALTH, BUT IT ONLY SEEMED TO WHET HIS APPETITE FOR MORE. IT BECAME OBVIOUS THAT WHAT THE MASTER HAD OFFERED SOLOMON AS HEAVENLY BLESSING TURNED INTO AN UNCONTROLLABLE LUST AND GREED FOR WHAT SOLOMON COULD GLEAN FOR HIMSELF FROM ANYONE AND EVERYONE. BUT THE YAHUAH BLESSINGS HAD COME WITH A CONDITION: SOLOMON WAS TO BE OBEDIENT TO YAHUAH AND MAINTAIN HIMSELF OPERATING ON A HIGH SPIRITUAL PLANE.
BECAUSE SOLOMON WAS MADE KING OF YISHARAL AT A TIME WHEN DAVID HAD CONQUERED MOST OF HIS ENEMIES, AND SO HANDED OVER TO SOLOMON A PEACEFUL AND SUBSTANTIAL KINGDOM, YOUNG SOLOMON BEGAN HIS REIGN AT THE HIGHEST SPIRITUAL LEVEL. HE WAS DETERMINED TO BUILD AND COMPLETE A TEMPLE TO YAHUAH AS HIS FIRST MAJOR ENDEAVOUR; AND HE DEVOTED HIMSELF TO THAT EFFORT. BUT FROM THERE FORWARD IT BECAME A RACE TO THE BOTTOM.
1King Solomon loved many foreign women, including the daughter of Pharaoh and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and the Hittites. 2YAHUAH had previously said to the Yisharalites, “You must not go into (have sex/marry) people from other nations or allow them to do that with you, for if you do, they’ll cause you to turn your heart away from Me, to follow their false deities.” But Solomon fell in love with all these women and clung to them.
HERE WE SEE SOLOMON’S INFAMY THAT TURNED TO AMASSING AN ENORMOUS HAREM. HE IS SAID TO HAVE “LOVED” MANY FOREIGN WIVES, AND ONE COULD ARGUE IF “LOVING” THAT MANY WOMEN SIMULTANEOUSLY IS EVEN HUMANLY POSSIBLE. WE ARE PLAINLY TOLD THAT HE MARRIED MOABITE, AMMONITE, EDOMITE AND HITTITE WOMEN, AS WELL AS WOMEN FROM SIDON (KING HIRAM’S NATION). THIS WAS FIRMLY AGAINST TORAH LAW AND THE MAIN CONCERN YAHUAH HAD THAT CAUSED HIM TO OUTLAW SUCH MARRIAGES WAS THAT THESE FOREIGN WOMEN WOULD TURN THE YISHARALITES’ HEARTS TOWARDS FALSE DEITIES AND AWAY FROM YAHUAH.
WE'RE ALSO TOLD “SOLOMON WAS DEEPLY ATTACHED TO THEM BY HIS LOVE”. LET’S BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT IS BEING SAID: SOLOMON LET HIS OWN FEELINGS AND DEFINITION OF “LOVE” OVERRIDE YAHUAH’S LAWS. SOLOMON WAS A BRILLIANT MAN, AND HE HAD A STELLAR ROYAL COURT OF THE FINEST MINDS WHO KNEW THE TORAH WELL. THE KING KNEW THAT MARRYING THESE WOMEN WAS INDEFENSIBLE (LEGALLY SPEAKING). BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER, FOR HE FELT THAT HE LOVED THEM ALL AND HE WASN’T ABOUT TO GIVE EVEN ONE OF THEM UP. AND AS WE FIND OUT IN THE SONG OF SOLOMON, KING SOLOMON WAS AN INCURABLE ROMANTIC - HE WAS IN LOVE WITH LOVE. WHERE LOVE WAS INVOLVED, LITTLE ELSE MATTERED. AFTER ALL, YAHUAH IS AN ALAHIM OF LOVE, RIGHT? SO IF WE LOVE SOMETHING OR ESPECIALLY SOMEONE, THEN THAT LOVE RISES ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE DOESN’T IT? - YAHUAH’S LAWS AND COMMANDS BECOME SECONDARY TO OUR SELF-DECISIONS. SOLOMON IS THE PERFECT OLD COVENANT EXAMPLE OF A MODERN BELIEVER WHO THINKS (INCORRECTLY) THAT DELIVERANCE MEANS THAT WHATEVER LOVE WE FEEL REPLACES OBEDIENCE AND RENDERS IT NOT ONLY OBSOLETE BUT UNDESIRABLE. WE MUST STAY IN HIM.
3Solomon had 700 wives (princesses from other nations). He also had 300 slave women (concubines) who were like wives to him. And all these wives caused him to turn his heart away from YAHUAH. 4And by the time he was old, Solomon’s wives had caused him to follow other false deities, to the point where he didn’t serve YAHUAH completely as his father David did.
SOLOMON MARRIED 700 WIVES AND ALSO MAINTAINED 300 CONCUBINES. A WIFE IS FULLY MARRIED ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF TORAH, AND AS SUCH A MARRIAGE CAN ONLY BE ENDED WITH A DIVORCE CERTIFICATE. A CONCUBINE DID NOT RECEIVE A MARRIAGE DOCUMENT, DID NOT QUALIFY FOR A DIVORCE CERTIFICATE IF HE WAS THROUGH WITH HER AND YET HER HUSBAND WAS OBLIGATED TO CARE FOR HER AND SHE MAY NOT LIVE WITH OR CONSORT WITH ANOTHER MAN. SOLOMON’S POLYGAMY WAS NOT THE ONLY TORAH COMMANDMENT CONCERNING YISHARAL’S KINGS THAT HE BROKE.
"HOWEVER, HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE MANY HORSES FOR HIMSELF OR HAVE THE PEOPLE RETURN TO EGYPT TO OBTAIN MORE HORSES, INASMUCH AS YAHUAH TOLD YOU NEVER TO GO BACK THAT WAY AGAIN. LIKEWISE, HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE MANY WIVES FOR HIMSELF, SO THAT HIS HEART WILL NOT TURN AWAY; AND HE IS NOT TO ACQUIRE EXCESSIVE QUANTITIES OF SILVER AND GOLD”.
THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER SPENT A HUGE AMOUNT OF TIME ITEMISING THE VAST AMOUNTS OF GOLD AND SILVER THAT SOLOMON HAD OBTAINED (MUCH OF IT PURCHASED UPON THE BACKS OF FORCED LABOURERS WHOSE WORK WAS TAXES), AND OF THE EXTENSIVE ARMY OF CHARIOTS AND HORSES HE HAD BUILT UP. FURTHER, THAT HE LED HIS PEOPLE BACK TO EGYPT IN EVERY IMAGINABLE WAY INCLUDING HAVING AN EGYPTIAN WIFE THAT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN HIS FAVOURITE AND THE ONE ABOVE ALL HIS OTHER WIVES, CREATING AN ALMOST SISTER-STATE ALLIANCE WITH EGYPT, AND BUYING ALL OF HIS HORSES FROM EGYPT.
AND NOW IN CHAPTER 11 HE ACQUIRED SO MANY WIVES AND CONCUBINES THAT PEOPLE TODAY QUESTION WHETHER SUCH AN AMOUNT WAS EVEN FEASIBLE. INTERESTINGLY, HOWEVER, IT IS ALWAYS IDOLATRY THAT IS THE WORST OF THE WORST OFFENCES THAT WE CAN COMMIT AGAINST YAHUAH. THE SLIPPERY SLOPE TO IDOLATRY IS NOT THE AMASSING OF TOO MANY HORSES, NOR IS IT A TREASURY FULL OF GOLD AND SILVER (AS BAD AS THE KING DOING THOSE THINGS MIGHT BE). RATHER IT IS THE MARRIAGE TO NON-HEBREW WOMEN (WOMEN WHO MAINTAIN ALLEGIANCE TO FALSE DEITIES) THAT LEADS INEVITABLY TO IDOLATRY. POLYGAMY IN AND OF ITSELF WAS NOT WRONG IN ANCIENT TIMES; BUT DUE TO THE HARDNESS OF MEN’S HEARTS, THE PREVALENCE OF DIVORCE IN HEBREW SOCIETY FORCED PAUL TO DEFINE RULES OF DECENCY AND JUSTICE TOWARDS MARRIAGE AND DIVORCED WOMEN, SO IT WAS THAT YAHUAH THROUGH MOSES WAS FORCED TO DEFINE RULES FOR MEN WHO MARRIED MORE THAN ONE WIFE AND/OR MAINTAINED CONCUBINES BECAUSE POLYGAMY WAS SO PREVALENT IN HEBREW SOCIETY.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOLOMON AND HIS FATHER DAVID IS THAT DAVID HAD REMAINED WHOLEHEARTED TOWARDS YAHUAH. IN HEBREW THIS STATEMENT LITERALLY TRANSLATES TO “SOLOMON DID NOT GO FULLY AFTER YAHUAH”. WHAT THIS IS REFERRING TO IS LOYALTY - SOLOMON QUIT BEING LOYAL ONLY TO THE ALAHIM OF YISHARAL. WE SPENT MONTHS IN SAMUEL AND IN KINGS DISCUSSING THE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT DAVID DID, FROM MURDER TO ADULTERY (USUALLY TO SATISFY HIS SEXUAL LUSTS OR EXORCIZE HIS POLITICAL PARANOIA’S). BUT WHAT HE DID NOT DO WAS WORSHIP OTHER DEITIES. HE HUNG ON STEADFASTLY TO YAHUAH, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF COMMITTING HEINOUS SINS, AND DID NOT SUCCUMB TO WORSHIPPING ANY OTHER THAN THE ALAHIM OF YISHARAL.
SOLOMON ON THE OTHER HAND DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE ENGAGED IN ADULTERY (AT LEAST AS DEFINED CULTURALLY IN THOSE DAYS AS TAKING ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE) OR IN OVERT MURDER. YET IN HIS OLD AGE HE OPENLY WORSHIPPED OTHER DEITIES (EVEN IF MAINLY TO PLEASE HIS MANY FOREIGN WIVES). DAVID’S PUNISHMENT FOR HIS MANY SINS AGAINST OTHER MEN WAS TO BE BARRED BY YAHUAH FROM BUILDING THE TEMPLE. SOLOMON’S PUNISHMENT FOR HIS SIN AGAINST YAHUAH (IDOLATRY) WAS THAT YAHUAH WOULD YANK YISHARAL FROM HIS GRASP (IN REALITY FROM SOLOMON’S SON’S GRASP). THUS PERHAPS THIS IS A GOOD CLUE TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHAT YAHUSHA MEANT ABOUT SPEAKING AGAINST, OR BLASPHEMING, HIS SET-APART SPIRIT, FOR THE COMMITTING OF SINS (CRIMES) AGAINST HUMANS, OR BLASPHEMING (LYING, SLANDERING) AGAINST HUMANS, WHICH IS ALSO AGAINST THE LAW OF MOSES, CAN BE FORGIVEN - HOWEVER BLASPHEMING (SPEAKING AGAINST) THE OPERATION OF YAHUSHA’S SET-APART SPIRIT CANNOT BE.
THE GIST OF THIS CONCEPT IS PERHAPS BEST SEEN IN YAHUAH’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS DAVID WHO REGULARLY BLASPHEMED AND COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANS BUT STAYED LOYAL TO YAHUAH, VERSUS SOLOMON WHO GENERALLY DID NOT BLASPHEME HUMANS OR COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST THEM BUT DID BLASPHEME YAHUAH (BY COMMITTING IDOLATRY). AS IN THE 10 COMMANDMENTS WHEREBY SOME COMMANDMENTS DEAL WITH HUMAN TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR AND OTHERS DEAL WITH HUMAN TO YAHUAH BEHAVIOUR, SO WE SEE THE SAME IN YAHUSHA’S WORDS IN MATTHEW, AND HERE IN 1ST KINGS 11, THAT THERE ARE CRIMES THAT ARE DIRECTLY MEN AGAINST MEN AND THUS THESE CRIMES ARE ONLY INDIRECTLY AGAINST YAHUAH. BUT THERE ARE ALSO CRIMES THAT DON’T REALLY HAVE A HUMAN VICTIM, BUT INSTEAD ARE DIRECTLY AGAINST YAHUAH. IDOLATRY IS THE CHIEF OF THESE CRIMES AND THEREFORE IDOLATRY IS BY DEFINITION “BLASPHEMING/ASSAULTING THE SET-APART SPIRIT”.
5Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of Sidon, and Milcom, the abomination that the Ammonites served. 6And Solomon did what YAHUAH had declared was wrong, and he didn’t follow YAHUAH completely and whole-heartedly as his father David had. 7On the mountain next to Jerusalem, Solomon built a place for worshiping Chemosh, that hideous idol of the Moabites. On the same mountain, Solomon built a place for worshiping Molech, the abomination of the Ammonites (CHILD SACRIFICE).
8 And Solomon did the same thing for all of his other foreign wives who burned incense and gave sacrifices to their false deities. 9So Solomon’s heart turned away from YAHUAH, the Alahim of Yisharal, even though YAHUAH had appeared to him twice! And YAHUAH was enraged with Solomon. 10He had told Solomon that he mustn’t follow other deities, but Solomon didn’t listen, or obey YAHUAH’S command.
11So YAHUAH said to Solomon,
“You have chosen not to guard My Covenant or Laws, but to to break them, so I promise that I will tear your Kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12But I loved your father David, so I won’t take your Kingdom away from you while you’re still alive. I will wait until your son becomes King. Then I will take it from him. 13Still, I will not tear away all the Kingdom from your son. I will leave him only one Tribe to rule, and I will do this for my servant David and for Jerusalem, the city I chose.”
SOLOMON BECAME AN IDOLATER OF GRAND MAGNITUDE, EVEN THOUGH YAHUAH APPEARED TO SOLOMON TWICE (HE NEVER APPEARED TO DAVID). YAHUAH APPEARING TO SOLOMON IN A DREAM/VISION WAS A RARE AND AMAZING HONOUR, AND FOR SOLOMON TO STILL GO AND WORSHIP OTHER DEITIES AFTER YAHUAH PERSONALLY SPEAKING TO HIM AND PERSONALLY TELLING HIM NOT TO WORSHIP OTHER DEITIES, WE SEE WHY YAHUAH IS FURIOUS.
NOW HERE COMES ANOTHER YAHUAH-PATTERN THAT WE NEED TO REMEMBER:
YAHUAH NEVER GOES BACK ON HIS WORD
EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS THAT HE OUGHT TO!
YAHUAH PROMISED DAVID THAT AT THE LEAST ONE OF HIS ANCESTORS WOULD BE ALIVE AND QUALIFIED TO BE ON THE THRONE OF YISHARAL FOREVER. SO HOW CAN YAHUAH TAKE THE THRONE OF YISHARAL FROM SOLOMON AND GIVE IT TO A SERVANT OF SOLOMON’S, WHO BY DEFINITION WOULD NOT BE A FAMILY MEMBER, AND YET KEEP HIS PROMISE TO DAVID? BECAUSE DOING SUCH A THING SOUNDS LIKE IT WOULD BE THE END OF THE DAVID’S DYNASTY?
THE ANSWER COMES IN THE NEXT TWO VERSES. FOR THE SAKE OF THE PROMISE THAT YAHUAH HAD MADE TO DAVID, SOLOMON WOULD NOT PHYSICALLY LOSE THE THRONE OF YISHARAL. RATHER IT WOULD PASS ON TO HIS SON AFTER HIS DEATH AND THEN HIS SON WOULD LOSE THE THRONE. BUT EVEN THEN WHAT THIS SON WOULD LOSE WOULD BE HIS RULE OVER THE LARGEST PORTION OF THE KINGDOM, BUT A SMALL PIECE WOULD BE RETAINED FOR HIM TO RULE OVER. WHEN YAHUAH ORDERS SOMETHING TO HAPPEN ON EARTH, FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE IT HAS ALREADY OCCURRED. WHEN YAHUAH TOLD SOLOMON THAT HE WOULD LOSE THE THRONE IN THE FORM OF IT BEING TAKEN FROM HIS SON, IN HEAVEN IT HAD ALREADY OCCURRED. NOTHING GOOD COULD HAPPEN UPON THE THRONE OF YISHARAL FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD SINCE ITS OCCUPANT WAS NO LONGER IN YAHUAH’S FAVOR.
YAHUAH SAYS THAT HE IS GOING TO GIVE SOLOMON’S SON BUT ONE TRIBE TO BE KING OVER, ALL ELSE WILL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HIM. THAT SINGLE TRIBE WILL HOLD THE TERRITORY OF JUDAH, BECAUSE JERUSALEM IS TO REMAIN WITH DAVID’S DESCENDANTS. THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YAHUAH HAS CHOSEN TO PUT HIS NAME, AND SO IT WILL NOT CHANGE.
14Then YAHUAH raised up Hadad the Edomite to become Solomon’s enemy. Hadad was from the royal family of Edom. 15This is how it happened. In the past David fought against Edom (SEE 2 SAM 8). Joab was the commander of David’s Army. Joab went to Edom to bury his dead soldiers.
While there Joab killed all the Edomite men who were still alive. 16Joab and the men of Yisharal stayed in Edom for six months until they killed all the men of Edom. 17At the time Hadad was only a young boy. He and some of his father’s servants ran away to Egypt. 18They left Midian and went to Paran. In Paran some other people joined them and the whole group went to Egypt. They went to the Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, and asked for help. The Pharaoh gave Hadad a house, some land, and food to eat. 19The Pharaoh liked Hadad so much that he gave Hadad a wife. She was Pharaoh’s sister-in-law. (Pharaoh’s wife was Queen Tahpenes.) 20Hadad and the sister of Tahpenes had a son named Genubath. Queen Tahpenes let Genubath grow up in the Pharaoh’s house with his children.
21In Egypt Hadad heard that David had died and that Joab, the commander of the Army, was also dead. So Hadad said to the Pharaoh, “Let me go home to my own country.” 22But Pharaoh answered, “I have given you everything you need here. Why do you want to go back to your own country?” Hadad answered, “Please, just let me go home.”
WE DON’T HEAR OF HADAD EXPLAINING THE REASON FOR HIS ARRIVAL IN EGYPT, NOR HIS DEPARTURE SEVERAL YEARS LATER TO AVENGE HIS FAMILY’S HONOUR. BUT THE REASON FOR KEEPING QUIET (ESPECIALLY ABOUT HIS DEPARTURE) IS OBVIOUS: DAVID IS DEAD, SOLOMON IS KING, AND ONE OF PHARAOH’S DAUGHTERS IS NOW KING SOLOMON’S WIFE. PHARAOH HAD A VERY GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YISHARAL, WAS EVEN CLOSELY ALLIED WITH YISHARAL BY MEANS OF HIS DAUGHTER’S MARRIAGE TO YISHARAL’S KING, AND SO HADAD HAD TO KEEP HIDDEN THAT HIS INTENT WAS TO GO BACK TO EDOM, ORGANISE, AND THEN TAKE REVENGE ON SOLOMON AND YISHARAL FOR WHAT DAVID AND JOAB HAD DONE TO HIS PEOPLE SO MANY YEARS EARLIER.
SINCE THIS ENTIRE CHAPTER IS DEDICATED TO EXPLAINING THAT WHAT HAPPENED THAT CAUSED YISHARAL TO EFFECTIVELY BE DISSOLVED AND SPLIT INTO TWO HOUSES WAS YAHUAH’S ANGER AT SOLOMON, VERSE 14 TELLS US THAT ONE OF THE STEPS YAHUAH TOOK TO BRING IT ABOUT WAS TO WEAKEN THE CIVIL FABRIC OF YISHARAL AND THE HOLD OF KING SOLOMON UPON HIS KINGDOM, BY RAISING UP ENEMIES TO TROUBLE YISHARAL. THE RESULT WOULD BE THAT THE AGING SOLOMON WOULD LOSE SOME VALUABLE PIECES OF TERRITORY, THE COMMON FOLK OF THE LAND WOULD BECOME DISCOURAGED AND DISHEARTENED, NO LONGER SURE OF HIS LEADERSHIP, AND YISHARAL’S ENEMIES WOULD BECOME CONFIDENT AND EMBOLDENED, AND THUS THE TABLE WOULD BE SET FOR CIVIL WAR.
23YAHUAH also raised up another man to become one of Solomon’s enemies. This man was Rezon, son of Eliada. Rezon ran away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 24After David defeated the Army of Zobah, Rezon gathered some men and became the leader of a small Army. He went to Damascus and stayed there to rule from Damascus. 25Rezon became the King of Aram. He was an enemy of Yisharal throughout Solomon’s life and added to the trouble that Hadad created for Yisharal.
THIS BAND OF MARAUDERS WAS POWERFUL ENOUGH THAT THEY TOOK OVER THE CITY OF DAMASCUS AND SETTLED THERE. DAMASCUS WAS UNDER SOLOMON’S RULE, SO WHEN THEY TOOK IT OVER IT WAS A SERIOUS BLOW TO KING SOLOMON’S REPUTATION AND TO HIS KINGDOM. THERE ISN’T RECORDED ANY SERIOUS ATTEMPT BY SOLOMON TO TAKE IT BACK THOUGH.
BETWEEN HADAD AND REZON THEY BEDEVILLED KING SOLOMON ALL THE WAY UNTIL HIS DEATH. NEITHER MAN HAD THE RESOURCES TO TAKE ON SOLOMON AND YISHARAL HEAD-ON. BUT SINCE REZON HAD A POWER BASE IN THE NORTH, AND HADAD HAD A POWER BASE IN THE SOUTH, THEY COULD CO-ORDINATE THEIR EFFORTS AND INFLICT CONSTANT TORMENT UPON YISHARAL’S 12 TRIBES. THIS OF COURSE WOULD HAVE GIVEN RISE TO CALLS FROM THE TRIBAL LEADERS FOR SOLOMON TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, BUT HE WAS NEVER ABLE TO EFFECTIVELY COMBAT EITHER MAN. WHY? BECAUSE YAHUAH PROTECTED THEM BOTH. THEY WERE PUT THERE TO BE A THORN TO SOLOMON AND TO DESTABILISE HIS MONARCHY.
BESIDES, SOLOMON WAS THE OPPOSITE OF HIS FATHER DAVID. AS MUCH AS DAVID WAS A FIERCE WARRIOR WHO MET FIRE WITH FIRE, SOLOMON WAS A PEACEFUL DIPLOMAT WHO PREFERRED TO NEGOTIATE AND COMPROMISE AND BUY HIS WAY OUT OF TROUBLE. KING SOLOMON INHERITED A KINGDOM WON BY HIS FATHER BY MEANS OF WAR. HE HAD NO APTITUDE OR ATTITUDE THAT COULD DEAL WITH SUCH MEN AS HADAD AND REZON.
26There was also another person who became an enemy of Solomon. He was Jeroboam son of Nebat. He was an Ephraimite from the town of Zeredah. His mother was a widow named Zeruah. He was one of Solomon’s servants, but he rebelled against the King.
NOW WE ARE INTRODUCED TO THE THIRD OF THE MEN YAHUAH RAISED UP AGAINST SOLOMON - BUT THIS ONE IS SPECIAL. HE WOULD BECOME FAR MORE THAN A MERE TROUBLE MAKER. HE WOULD BECOME KING OVER THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES. THIS IS THE MAN WHO WOULD RIP AWAY THE NORTHERN PART OF SOLOMON’S KINGDOM FROM HIM (OR AFTER SOLOMON’S DEATH ANYWAY). JEROBOAM REBELLED, AND RAISED HIS HAND AGAINST SOLOMON, MEANING HIS REBELLION WAS THAT HE REPROACHED THE KING IN PUBLIC AND SPOKE AGAINST HIM IN SLANDEROUS TERMS. THE THING IS THIS: IN MIDDLE EASTERN SOCIETY THAT ONE MAN SOUGHT TO DETHRONE A KING AND TAKE-OVER WASN’T A SIGN OF BAD CHARACTER, IN FACT IT USUALLY BROUGHT A MEASURE OF ADMIRATION FOR HIS BOLDNESS AND STRENGTH. HOWEVER TO “RAISE HIS HAND” AGAINST THE KING IS DIFFERENT, FOR IT SPEAKS OF GOING ABOUT HIS EFFORTS TO TAKE OVER THE THRONE IN A WICKED WAY THAT RAN AGAINST THE GRAIN OF THE TRADITIONS AND MINDSET OF THE SHAME-HONOUR SOCIETY AND THUS IT WAS NOT ADMIRABLE AT ALL.
27This is the story about how Jeroboam turned against the King. Solomon was building the Millo and repairing the wall around the city of David, his father. 28Jeroboam was a brave nobleman. Solomon saw that this young man was a skilled worker, so he made him the supervisor over all the workers from the Tribes that descended from Joseph.
JEROBOAM WAS A MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR, HAVING A STRONG PERSONALITY, WAS A LEADER OF MEN, AND WAS QUITE BOLD AND CAPABLE. SO THE TERM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHARACTER, ONLY ABILITY. THUS UNWITTINGLY SOLOMON GAVE HIM A POSITION OF POWER IN HIS ADMINISTRATION. HE SAW HIS AMBITION AND ENERGY AND PUT JEROBOAM IN CHARGE OF THE FORCED LABOR (LABOR AS TAXES WAS SOLOMON’S HALLMARK) THAT WAS DUE FROM THE TRIBE OF JOSEPH - IN OTHER WORDS, FROM THE TWO TRIBES OF EPHRAIM AND MANESSAH. LET’S BE CLEAR: JEROBOAM WAS NOT IN CHARGE OF ALL FORCED LABOR BUT ONLY FOR A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF IT. ADORAM WAS PART OF THE ROYAL INNER CIRCLE AND SO HE WAS THE ONE IN CHARGE OF ALL THE FORCED LABOR AND JEROBOAM WOULD HAVE REPORTED TO HIM.
29One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahiyah from Shiloh met him on the road. They were alone out in the country, and Ahiyah was wearing a new coat. 30Ahiyah took his new coat and tore it into twelve pieces. 31Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces of this coat for yourself because YAHUAH, the Alahim of Yisharal, says: ‘I will tear the Kingdom away from Solomon, and I will give you ten of the Tribes. 32I will let David’s family keep only one Tribe. I will do this because of My servant David and because of Jerusalem, the city that I chose from among all the Tribes of Yisharal. 33I will take the Kingdom from Solomon because he stopped following Me and began worshiping Ashtoreth, the goddess of Sidon, Chemosh, the Deity of Moab; and Milcom, the Idol of the Ammonites. Solomon stopped walking in My ways and following My directions. He does not obey My laws and commands as his father David did. 34So I will take the Kingdom away from Solomon’s family. I chose David because he obeyed all my laws and commands. So for the sake of my servant David, I will let Solomon be the King for the rest of his life. 35But Jeroboam, I will take the ten Tribes away from his son and give them to you. 36I will let Solomon’s son keep one Tribe to rule over. I will do this for my servant David, so he will always have someone to rule near me in Jerusalem, the city that I chose to be My own. 37But I will make you King of Yisharal (10 Northern Tribes). You will rule over everything you want. 38And if you live right and obey all My commands as David did, I will be with you and make your family a family of Kings, just as I did for David. And you will have Yisharal as your Kingdom. 39I will punish David’s descendants because of what Solomon did, but not forever.’”
AKIYAH WAS FROM SHILOH IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF THE TRIBAL TERRITORY OF EPHRAIM, WHICH IS LOGICAL SINCE JEROBOAM WAS VENTURING BACK INTO HIS HOME TRIBAL TERRITORY AND NO DOUBT IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH SOME ASPECT OF HIS ASSIGNMENT OF FORCED LABOR FROM THE JOSEPH TRIBES. SHILOH WAS THE MAJOR PRIESTLY CENTRE FOR THE 12 TRIBES DURING SAMUEL’S DAY UNTIL IT’S DESTRUCTION BY THE PHILISTINES. HOWEVER IT WAS REBUILT AND OCCUPIED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, AND FOR THE NORTHERN TRIBES ESPECIALLY IT CONTINUED TO HOLD A HIGH SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE EVEN THOUGH THE TABERNACLE WAS LONG GONE FROM THERE. THUS IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT JEROBOAM WOULD HEED THE WORDS OF A PROPHET FROM SHILOH. THEY WERE ALONE IN A FIELD. THE IDEA IS THAT THEY HAD TO BE ALONE FOR AKIYAH TO SAY WHAT HE DID; OTHERWISE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO THE KING AND TREATED AS TREASONOUS.
40Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam ran away to Egypt. He went to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died. 41Everything else Solomon did, from the beginning to the end, is written in the book, The Acts of Solomon. 42Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Yisharal for 40 years. 43Then he slept with his fathers (died) and was buried in Zion, the city of David, his father. Then Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became the next King.
WHY DID JEROBOAM DECIDED TO RAISE HIS HAND AGAINST SOLOMON? BECAUSE SOLOMON TRIED TO ARREST AND EXECUTE JEROBOAM BUT HE MANAGED TO ESCAPE TO EGYPT. THE PHARAOH WAS NOW DIFFERENT. THE LAST PHARAOH OF THE 21ST DYNASTY WHO HAD BEEN SOLOMON’S GREAT ALLY (SOLOMON MARRIED HIS DAUGHTER) WAS NOW DEAD. THIS NEW PHARAOH HAD NO LOVE FOR YISHARAL OR SOLOMON AND SO WAS QUITE WILLING TO HARBOUR THIS REBEL.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO GRASP THAT JEROBOAM HAD ALREADY DISOBEYED YAHUAH’S COMMANDS TO HIM AND SO HAD SEALED HIS FATE WITH YAHUAH.
HE WAS GIVEN SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS THAT HE WAS NOT TO TRY AND UNSEAT SOLOMON BUT RATHER THE SPLIT OF THE KINGDOM WAS NOT TO HAPPEN UNTIL SOLOMON’S SON WAS IN POWER. THIS IS IN CONTRAST TO DAVID WHO WAS GIVEN KNOWLEDGE THAT THE KINGDOM WOULD BE HIS, BUT REFUSED TO LAY A HAND ON THE DEMENTED KING SAUL NO MATTER HOW INSANELY AND HOMICIDALLY IRRATIONAL THE KING BEHAVED. RECALL THE SEVERAL EXAMPLES GIVEN WHEN DAVID COULD HAVE EASILY DISPOSED OF KING SAUL AND BECOME RULER IMMEDIATELY, BUT WOULD NOT BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT THIS WAS NOT WHAT THE YAHUAH WOULD HAVE HIM DO.
BUT JEROBOAM TOOK THE PART OF YAHUAH’S MESSAGE THAT HE LIKED AND IGNORED THE REST. HE REALLY ENJOYED THAT PART ABOUT BECOMING A KING, BUT COULDN’T SEE THE ADVANTAGE OF WAITING FOR YAHUAH’S TIMING AND DOING IT YAHUAH’S WAY, IN OBEDIENCE. IN FACT, IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT HIS INTENT WAS TO RULE OVER ALL OF YISHARAL IF HE COULD, NOT JUST THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES. BUT WHATEVER HE WAS TO RULE OVER HE WANTED IT NOW!