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1 Kings 11:1-5

Context
The Lord Punishes Solomon for Idolatry

11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaoh’s daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 11:2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, “You must not establish friendly relations with them! 1  If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods.” 2  But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them. 3 

11:3 He had 700 royal wives 4  and 300 concubines; 5  his wives had a powerful influence over him. 6  11:4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to 7  other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 8  11:5 Solomon worshiped 9  the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 10 

1 tn Heb “you must not go into them, and they must not go into you.”

2 tn Heb “Surely they will bend your heart after their gods.” The words “if you do” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

3 tn Heb “Solomon clung to them for love.” The pronominal suffix, translated “them,” is masculine here, even though it appears the foreign women are in view. Perhaps this is due to attraction to the masculine forms used of the nations earlier in the verse.

4 tn Heb “wives, princesses.”

5 sn Concubines were slave women in ancient Near Eastern societies who were the legal property of their master, but who could have legitimate sexual relations with their master. A concubine’s status was more elevated than a mere servant, but she was not free and did not have the legal rights of a free wife. The children of a concubine could, in some instances, become equal heirs with the children of the free wife. The usage in the present passage suggests that after the period of the Judges concubines may have become more of a royal prerogative (cf. also 2 Sam 21:10-14).

6 tn Heb “his wives bent his heart.”

7 tn Heb “bent his heart after.”

8 tn Heb “his heart was not complete with the Lord his God, like the heart of David his father.”

9 tn Heb “walked after.”

10 tn Heb “Milcom, the detestable thing of the Ammonites.”



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