THE BOOK OF 1 KINGS
Lesson 4: Chapters 9-11
The Failures of Solomon
Most Holy Lord,
You give each of us the gifts we need to live a righteous life in fellowship with You and in justice with our fellow man. But it is our free-will decision to accept that vocation of righteousness or to reject it out of selfish and destructive desires. You give us the story of Solomon to be an example for all of us. His beginning was without fault. He used Your gift of worldly wisdom for what was right and just, but ultimately he failed because he was corrupted by spiritually unhealthy desires. He became so enamored of his own wealth and power that he forgot to fear offending You. May we all remember that true wisdom begins with a reverent fear of offending Your holiness and damaging our relationship with You, and also that true happiness comes from living in peace and fellowship with our God the Almighty. We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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in a time of peace, and God gave him peace all round so that he could raise a
house to his name and prepare an everlasting sanctuary. How wise you were
despite your youth, like a river, brimming over with intelligence! Your mind
ranged the earth; you filled it with mysterious sayings. Your name reached the
distant islands, and you were loved for your peace. Your songs, your proverbs,
your sayings and your answers were the wonder of the world. In the name of the
Lord God, of him who is called the God of Israel, you amassed gold like so much
tin, and made silver as common as lead. You abandoned your body to women; you
became the slave of your appetites. You stained your honor; you profaned your
stock, so bringing retribution on your children and affliction for your folly:
the empire split in two, from Ephraim arose a rebel kingdom. But the Lord
never goes back on his mercy, never cancels any of his words, will neither deny
offspring to his elect nor stamp out the line of the man who loved him. And
hence, he has granted a remnant to Jacob and to David a root sprung from him.
Sirach [Ecclesiasticus] 47:13-22/14-25
Yahweh Reaffirms the Davadic Covenant and Gives a Warning
1 Kings 9:1-9 ~ Yahweh appears a second time to
1 When Solomon had finished building the Temple of Yahweh, the royal palace and everything else which Solomon had wanted to do, 2 Yahweh appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 Yahweh said to him, "I have heard your prayer and the entreaty which you have before me. I consecrate this temple which you have built: I place my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there always. 4 For your part, if you walk before me in innocence of heart and in honesty, like your father David, if you do everything that I command and keep my laws and my ordinances, 5 I shall make your royal throne secure over Israel for ever, as I promised your father David when I said, 'You will never lack for a man on the throne of Israel.' 6 But if you turn away from me, either you or your descendants, and instead of keeping my commandments and laws which I have laid down for you, you go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I shall banish Israel from the country which I have given them, and shall disown this Temple which I have consecrated for my name, and Israel will be a proverb and a by word among all peoples. 8 As for this once-exalted Temple, everyone who passes by will be appalled, and they will whistle and say, 'Why has Yahweh treated this country and this Temple like this?' 9 And the answer will be 'Because they deserted Yahweh their God who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshipped and served them; that is why Yahweh has brought all these disasters on them'"
See the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22. In the twenty-fourth year of Solomon's reign, when all the building projects were completed, Yahweh appeared to Solomon a second time to reaffirm the eternal covenant that God promised David. However, Yahweh also gave Solomon a very stern warning concerning the conditions that would allow an unbroken line of Davidic kings to rule over Israel and for God's continuing protection of His Temple.
4 For your
part, if you walk before me in innocence of heart and in honesty, like your
father David, if you do everything that I command and keep my laws and my
ordinances, 5 I shall make
your royal throne secure over Israel for ever, as I promised your father David
when I said, 'You will never lack for a man on the throne of Israel.'
Yahweh's promise not only recalls the Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 but also the promises for covenant blessings for obedience in Leviticus 26:3-13 and in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 that begins: But if you faithfully obey the voice of Yahweh you God, by keeping and observing all his commandments, which I am laying down for you today, Yahweh your God will raise you higher than every other nation in the world ... (Dt 28:1).
Question: What were those conditions for success and
what were the promised consequences for failure in Yahweh's warning in verses
Answer: There was only one condition: Solomon and his successors must faithfully keep God's laws and ordinances. Failure to keep the laws outlined in the Ten Commandments and enumerated in the expanded law of the Torah, especially the command not to worship other gods, would result in:
The warnings of judgment for failures to remain obedient are similar to the promised judgments for covenant failure in Leviticus 26:14-39 and Deuteronomy 28:15-46. Notice once again the reference to the Egyptian liberation in verse 9. It was the defining event in Israel's history and the greatest manifestation of Yahweh's actions on behalf of the children of Israel.
In this vision, Yahweh gives a dire warning for both Israel's kings and the covenant people as a whole. David was a model king of God's people in his role as the shepherd who guides and prays for his people. His submission to the will of God for his life, his praise for God, and his humble repentance when he sinned became a model for kingship and for the prayers of the people in the beautiful psalms that are attributed to David. As God's "anointed" representative, David's song of praise for Yahweh (2 Sam 22:1-51) and his last words (2 Sam 23:1-7) express a loving and joyful trust in God who David acknowledges as the only God and the only King and Lord. David's human descendants, including Solomon, will not live up to his model of servant kingship.
Disobedience of Solomon to the Covenant Laws for Israel's Kings
1 Kings 9:10-14 ~ Solomon's bargain with King Hiram of Tyre
10 At the end of the twenty years that it took Solomon to erect the two buildings, the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace 11 Hiram king of Tyre had provided Solomon with all the cedar wood, juniper wood and gold that he wanted. King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the territory of Galilee. 12 But when Hiram came from Tyre to view the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 He said, "What kind of towns are these you have given me, brother?" And to this day they are known as "cabul-land." 14 Hiram sent the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold.
See the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 8:1-6. Solomon has used all
the gold that David had amassed for building the Temple, and he therefore
arranged with Hiram of Tyre to secure more gold. In exchange, he gave Hiram
twenty towns in the region of the Galilee, probably from the Jezreel valley
northward. It is land that had originally be allotted to the tribe of Asher
Question: What was the problem with Solomon giving up Israelite land to pay his debt to King Hiram? See Lev 25:23.
Answer: Giving the towns in the region of the Galilee to the foreign king is a violation of the Law. The land did not belong to Israel or her kings; the land belonged to Yahweh and the Israelites were God's tenants on the land.
Hiram was not pleased with the towns. In his diplomatic correspondence with Solomon he expresses his displeasure and refers to Solomon as "brother" because of their covenant relationship. He called the territory the land of "cabul." It is a word whose literal meaning has been lost over time but Flavius Josephus interpreted it from the Phoenician words ke and bal, "good for nothing or worthless" (Antiquities of the Jews, 8.142). The name is preserved by the village Kabul which is about 8 km southeast of Acco (see Josh 19:27 where a town of Cabul is named in the territory of Asher).
It is probably Solomon's second miss-step. The first miss-step was his marriage to Pharaoh's daughter and then to other foreign women. In Deuteronomy 7:3-4 the Israelites were forbidden to intermarry with the pagan inhabitants of the land (also see Ex 34:15-16). There was an exception for foreigners who converted (like Caleb the Kenizzite, Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess) and married into the covenant family, and there was the exception for the offspring of mixed marriages to enter the covenant after the third generation (Dt 23:8-9).
Question: What was the reason given for forbidding such
Answer: The reason is that Israelites would be seduced into following after pagan gods. This certainly was the case with Solomon.
David also married a foreign princess named Maacah when he made a
treaty with the Aramaean kingdom of her father, Talmai king of Geshur (2 Sam 3:3). David did not adopt the practice of making shrines for his wife's pagan
gods, and she may also have been made to convert by becoming a covenant member
Question: Yet, how did this forbidden marriage did bring David to grief? See 2 Sam 3:3; 13:1-38; 15:10-13; 18:15, 31-19:1.
Answer: It was the son born from this mixed marriage that murdered his half-brother and led a revolt to wrestle the kingdom of Israel from his father. David never got over his grief from the death of Absalom.
14 Hiram sent the king
one hundred and twenty talents of gold.
A talent was the largest unit of weight in ancient Israel and was equal to sixty shekels or about 4.5 tons (c. 4 metric tons).
1 Kings 9:15-23 ~ The use of forced labor for Solomon's building programs
15 This is an account of the forced labor levied by King Solomon for building the Temple of Yahweh, his own palace, the Millo and the fortifications of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt mounted an expedition, captured Gezer, burnt it down and massacred the Canaanites living there; he then gave the town as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife, 17 and Solomon rebuilt Gezer), Lower Beth-Horon, 18 Baalath, Tamar in the desert, inside the country, 19 all Solomon's storage towns owned by Solomon, all the towns for his chariots and horses, and whatever Solomon was pleased to build in Jerusalem, in the Lebanon and in all the countries under his rule. 20 All those who survived of the "Amorites, Hittite, Perizzite, and Hivite and Jebusite peoples, who were not Israelites, 21 their descendants still remaining in the country on whom the Israelites had not been able to enforce the curse of destruction, these Solomon levied as forced laborers, as is still the case today. 22 Solomon did not, however, impose forced labor on the Israelites; for they were soldiers: his officials, his administrators, his officers and his chariot and cavalry commanders. 23 There were five hundred and fifty officials in charge of the foremen over Solomon's work, who supervised the people employed on the work.
See the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 8:7-10. Forced labor provided by Canaanites still living in Israel was used to build:
16 (Pharaoh king of
Egypt mounted an expedition, captured Gezer, burnt it down and massacred the
Canaanites living there; he then gave the town as a dowry to his daughter,
Solomon's wife, 17 and
Solomon rebuilt Gezer)
Apparently the Pharaoh's destruction of Gezer happened prior to Solomon's marriage to Pharaoh's daughter and became a wedding present. It was an important city in the northern Shephelah just west of the Aijalon Valley on the border with the Philistines. It had been assigned to the tribe of Ephraim (Josh 16:3), but was not conquered during the first or second stages of the conquest and settlement (Judg 1:29); nor was it occupied by Israel during the Davidic expansion.
Archaeological evidence has been found in the cities of Hazor, Megiddo and others of an extensive gate system and fortified walls dating to Solomon's reign.
20 All those who
survived of the "Amorites, Hittite, Perizzite, and Hivite and Jebusite peoples,
who were not Israelites, 21 their
descendants still remaining in the country on whom the Israelites had not been
able to enforce the curse of destruction, these Solomon levied as forced
laborers, as is still the case today.
The introduction to the Book of Judges notes that the Canaanites continued to live in the land of Israel alongside the Israelites in fortified cities where the Israelites had not been able to force them out. The men of the Gentile peoples still living in the land were consigned to forced labor teams. This practice was contrary to the Law of the Deuteronomic code as set down in Deuteronomy 20:10-18 where Canaanites were to be conquered and completely removed from the land and only the residents of distant cities outside the bounds of the Promised Land could be impressed into forced labor to serve the nation of Israel.
22 Solomon did not,
however, impose forced labor on the Israelites; for they were soldiers: his
officials, his administrators, his officers and his chariot and cavalry
commanders. 23 There were
five hundred and fifty officials in charge of the foremen over Solomon's work,
who supervised the people employed on the work.
Israelites were not used in force labor but served as Solomon's soldiers, officials, administrators, courtiers, military commanders and the foremen of the forced labor teams.
1 Kings 9:24-28 ~ Other building projects, feast days and Solomon's
24 After Pharaoh's daughter had moved from the City of David up to the palace which he had built for her, he then built the Millo. 25 Three times a year Solomon presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices on the altar which he had built for Yahweh and set his burnt offerings smoking before Yahweh. Thus he completed the Temple.
26 King Solomon equipped a fleet at Ezion-Geber, which is near Elath on the shores of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds), in Edom. 27 For this fleet Hiram sent men of his, experienced sailors, to serve with those in Solomon's service. 28 They went to Ophir and took on four hundred and twenty talents of gold, which they brought back to Solomon.
See the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 8:11-16. Pharaoh's daughter had been living in David's palace on Mt. Zion, but now that the Temple and palace complex was completed, she was moved into her own residence on Mt. Moriah in association with the palace complex.
25 Three times a year
Solomon presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices on the altar which
he had built for Yahweh and set his burnt offerings smoking before Yahweh.
Thus he completed the Temple.
Question: For what occasions, three times a year, did Solomon personally offer sacrifices at the Temple? See Dt 16:16 and 2 Chr 8:12-13.
Answer: He personally offered sacrifices for the people at the three pilgrim feasts when every man of the covenant came to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh and make sacrifices at the Temple.
26 King Solomon equipped
a fleet at Ezion-Geber, which is near Elath on the shores of the Red Sea (Sea
of Reeds), in Edom. 27 For
this fleet Hiram sent men of his, experienced sailors, to serve with those in
Solomon's service. 28 They
went to Ophir and took on four hundred and twenty talents of gold, which they
brought back to Solomon.
Solomon's navy was probably located south of Edom on the northernmost point on the Gulf of Aqaba, the eastern arm of the Red Sea. Ophir was a location that was rich in gold and is mentioned a number of times in the Old Testament (1 Kng 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; 1 Chr 29:4; 2 Chr 8:18; 9:10; Job 22:24; 28:16; Ps 45:9; Is 13:12). It is believed to have been in southern Arabia or the region of modern Yemen or Somalia. Four hundred and twenty talents of gold equates to about 16 tons (c. 14.5 metric tons).
Chapter 10: The Queen of Sheba's Visit and Solomon's Wealth
1 Kings 10:1-13 ~ The Queen of Sheba comes to Jerusalem
1 The Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame and came to test him with difficult questions. 2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels laden with spices and an immense quantity of gold and precious stones. Having reached Solomon, she discussed with him everything that she had in mind 3 and Solomon had an answer for all her questions; not one of them was too obscure for the king to answer for her. 4 When the Queen of Sheba saw how very wise Solomon was, the palace which he had built, 5 the food at his table, the accommodation for his officials, the organization of his staff and the way they were dressed, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings which he presented in the Temple of Yahweh, it left her breathless, 6 and she said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your wisdom in handling your affairs was true then! 7 Until I came and saw for myself, I did not believe the reports, but clearly I was told less than half: for wisdom and prosperity, you surpass what was reported to me. 8 How fortunate your wives are! How fortunate these courtiers of yours, continually in attendance on you and listening to your wisdom! 9 Blessed be Yahweh your God who has shown you his favor by setting you on the throne of Israel! Because of Yahweh's everlasting love for Israel, he has made you king to administer laws and justice." 10 And she presented the king with a hundred and twenty talents of gold and great quantities of spices and precious stones; no such wealth of spices ever came again as those which the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11 Similarly, Hiram's fleet, which brought the gold from Ophir, also brought back great cargoes of almug timber and precious stones. 12 Of the almug timber the king made supports for the Temple of Yahweh and for the royal palace, and harps and lyres for the musicians; no more of this almug timber has since come or been seen to this day. 13 And King Solomon, in his turn, presented the Queen of Sheba with everything that she expressed a wish for, besides those presents which he gave her with munificence worthy of King Solomon. After which, she went home to her own country, she and her servants.
The land of the Queen of Sheba is believed to have been located at the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, in modern Yemen. The location permitted lucrative sea trade with both Africa and India. In addition, caravan trade was facilitated by the domestication of the camel, the only pack animal that could survive the long distances between water sources. Sabeans had reputations not only as traders but also as raiders (Job 1:15), and may have been descendants of Abraham through his second wife, Keturah (Gen 25:1-3). Based on a 9th century BC stamp with a southern Arabic script indigenous to Yemen many Biblical scholars and historians speculate that Solomon's maritime trade may have threatened the Sabean trade monopoly, and that the real reason for the queen's visit to Solomon was to negotiate a treaty to regulate trade between the two countries. Assyrian records attest to the fact that several queens ruled the Sabeans during this period.
3 and Solomon had an
answer for all her questions; not one of them was too obscure for the king to
answer for her.
Also see 2 Chronicles 9:1 where the passage reads: The Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame and came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with difficult questions .... Her testing of Solomon's wisdom by asking hard questions may have included riddles, like Samson's riddle at the wedding feast in Judges 14:12-14. The use of riddles at feasts and special occasions was very popular in the ancient world. Solomon's fame included his gift for proverbs and riddles. To know riddles or "dark sayings" was considered a mark of wisdom: The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel ... for teaching sound judgment to the simple, and knowledge and reflection to the young; for perceiving the meaning of proverbs and obscure sayings, the sayings of the sages and their riddles. Let the wise listen and learn yet more ... (Prov 1:1, 5-6 underlining added).
The Almug tree, also called red sandalwood, is a rare wood that was highly valued in antiquity and today. It is a scented wood with a distinctive wood grain which is why it was used for musical instruments, decorative architectural supports for the Temple, and the royal palace. It ancient palaces it was also used to make furniture. According to 2 Chronicles 2:7, the wood came from the Lebanon, but it also grows in India. Almug wood is mentioned in ancient Akkadian texts from the 3rd millennium BC.(1)
13 And King Solomon, in
his turn, presented the Queen of Sheba with everything that she expressed a
wish for, besides those presents which he gave her with munificence worthy of
King Solomon. After which, she went home to her own country, she and her
The exchange of gifts was probably part of concluding a successful trade agreement.
1 Kings 10:14-25 ~ King Solomon's wealth
14 The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 15 besides what tolls and foreign trade, as well as everything the Arab kings and the provincial governors brought in. 16 King Solomon made two hundred great shields of beaten gold, six hundred shekels of gold going into one shield; 17 also three hundred small shields of beaten gold, three mina of gold going into one shield; and the king put these into the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 The king also made a great ivory throne which he overlaid with refined gold. 19 The throne had six steps, a back with a rounded top, and arms on each side of the seat; two lions stood beside the arms, 20 and twelve lions stood on each side of the six steps. Nothing like it has ever been made in any other kingdom.
21 All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the plate in the House of the Forest of Lebanon was of pure gold; silver was little thought of in Solomon's days, 22 since the king had a fleet of Tarshish at sea with Hiram's fleet, and once every three years the fleet of Tarshish would come back laden with gold and silver, ivory, apes and baboons. 23 For riches and for wisdom, King Solomon surpassed all kings on earth, 24 and the whole world consulted Solomon to hear the wisdom which God had implanted in his heart; 25 and everyone would bring a present with him: things made of silver, things made of gold, robes, armor, spices, horses and mules; and this went on year after year.
The annual revenue Solomon received was probably from tribute collected from the Arabian tribal chieftains for passage of their caravans through Israelite controlled territory. Large tributes were not uncommon. Documents discovered associated with the Mesopotamian kingdoms of Ebla and Mari recorded that the king of Ebla received a tribute of 11,000 pounds of silver and 880 pounds of gold from the king of Mari. But that Solomon amassed a fortune of 666 talents of gold (c. 25 tons or 23 metric tons) in verse 14 is probably meant to be a symbolic number instead of a literal number of the many tons of gold collected by Solomon. In the Bible, 6 is a number that is symbolic for man who was created on the 6th day of Creation, and any multiple of 6 signifies man in rebellion against God. See the document "The Significance of Numbers in Scripture."
16 King Solomon made two
hundred great shields of beaten gold, six hundred shekels of gold going into
one shield; 17 also three
hundred small shields of beaten gold, three mina of gold going into one shield;
and the king put these into the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
The shields of beaten gold were wall decorations for the great reception hall. 600 shekels per shield is c. 7 ½ pounds (c. 3.5 kilograms). The 3 mina of gold for each of the smaller shields was equal to c. 3 ¾ pounds (c. 1.7 kilograms).
Solomon's revenues from taxes, tribute, and trade appears to be enormous. Exotic animals like apes and baboons were collected for royal zoos. That Solomon's riches surpassed all the kings of the earth is hyperbole, but expresses the concept that he was enormously wealthy and admired by neighboring kingdoms.
1 Kings 10:26-29 ~ King Solomon's chariots and cavalry
26 Solomon then built up a force of chariots and cavalry; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, these he stationed in the chariot towns and near the king in Jerusalem. 27 In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones and cedar wood as plentiful as sycamore in the lowlands. 28 Solomon's horses were imported from Muzur and Cilicia. The king's dealers acquired them from Cilicia at the prevailing price. 29 A chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred silver shekels and a horse from Cilicia for a hundred and fifty. They also supplied the Hittite and Aramaean kings, who all used them as middlemen.
The expensive chariot from Egypt, costing about 15 pounds (c. 7 kilograms) of silver was probably a chariot only for Solomon's use for ceremonial occasions and the horse costing about 3 ¾ pounds of silver, was also probably for the king or a stallion to improve his herds of horses. Muzur may refer to Egypt or to a province in Cilicia. Cilicia was a territory along the southeastern coast of Asia Minor. It was the same region that was the home of St. Paul. Tarsus, Paul's hometown was located on the eastern plain of Cilicia.
Chapter 11: Solomon's Moral Failures Displease Yahweh
1 Kings 11:1-8 ~ Solomon's foreign wives
1 King Solomon loved many foreign women: not only Pharaoh's daughter but Moabites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites, 2 from those peoples of whom Yahweh had said to the Israelites, "You are not to go among them nor they among you, or they will be sure to sway your hearts to their own gods." But Solomon was deeply attached to them. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal rank and three hundred concubines. 4 When Solomon grew old his wives swayed his heart to other gods; and his heart was not wholly with Yahweh his God as his father David's had been. 5 Solomon became a follower of Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the Ammonite abomination. 6 He did what was displeasing to Yahweh and was not a wholehearted follower of Yahweh, as his father David had been. 7 Then it was that Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem, and to Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrifice to their gods.
See the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 11:23-12:1. Solomon was influenced by his pagan wives and the pagan spirit of tolerance for the gods of neighboring peoples. Israel was unique among the nations of the ancient world in her worship of the One God. Verse 2: from those peoples of whom Yahweh had said to the Israelites, "You are not to go among them nor they among you, or they will be sure to sway your hearts to their own gods" is a reminder of Yahweh's command not to intermarry with pagans in Exodus 34:16 and Deuteronomy 7:3-4 and the repeated command not to offer worship to any god other than Yahweh (Ex 20:2-6; Dt 4:15-19; 5:7-9; 27:15; 1 Kng 9:6-9; etc.). The number of Solomon's wives and concubines may be typological since they add up to the number 1,000, a number that signifies great abundance (see Song of Songs 3:8 which gives the count of 60 wives, 80 concubines, and countless virgins).
Solomon's many wives and concubines reflect his importance in the ancient Near East and the extent to which other kingdoms sent gifts of royal sisters, daughters, and beautiful women. Documents of other great kingdoms record an amazing number of women in the royal harems. Solomon's son's loss of status in the region is reflected in the number of women in his harem: eighteen wives and sixty concubines (2 Chr 11:21).
Solomon not only married pagan woman but built shrines for their pagan gods including the Canaanite gods and goddess Astarte, Milcom/Molech, and Chemosh. He became devoted (meaning he offered sacrifices) to Astarte, also called in the Bible Asherah. Astarte/Asherah was worshipped by the Canaanites and the Phoenicians of Sidon and the city of Tyre where there seems to have been a major center for her veneration. The other two pagan gods for whom Solomon built shrines were gods from the east side of the Jordan River, Chemosh the Moabite god and Milcom/Molech the Ammonite god. Both deities were the chief gods of the descendants of Abraham's nephew Lot from his incestuous relationship with his daughters (Gen 19:30-38).
Question: What was the root of Solomon's downfall according to
11:4; also see Dt 7:1-4.
Answer: The root of Solomon's downfall was his marriages to many pagan women who "led his heart astray" from Yahweh, the very danger of which Israel was warned by Moses in Deuteronomy 7:1-4.
Chastisement of Solomon for breaking the covenant laws
1 Kings 11:9-13 ~ Yahweh's anger and divine judgment
9 Yahweh was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from Yahweh, God of Israel, who had twice appeared to him 10 and had forbidden him to follow other gods; but he did not carry out Yahweh's order. 11 Yahweh therefore said to Solomon, "Since you have behaved like this and have not kept my covenant or the laws which I laid down for you, I shall tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12 For your father David's sake, however, I shall not do this during your lifetime, but shall tear it out of your son's hands. 13 Even so, I shall not tear the whole kingdom from him. For the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen, I shall leave your son one tribe."
Israel's kings were not like the kings of other nations. The king of Israel was God's anointed servant and was answerable to Yahweh for his actions. He served at Yahweh's pleasure and was bound by the Law of the commandments and the limiting "Laws of a King" in Deuteronomy 17:14-20: Moses told the people, 14"If having reached the country given by Yahweh your God and having taken possession of it and, while living there, you think, 'I should like to appoint a king to rule me like the surrounding nations,' 15 the king whom you appoint to rule you must be chosen by Yahweh your God; the appointment of a king must be made from your own brothers; on no account must you appoint as king some foreigner who is not a brother of yours. 16 He must not, however, acquire more and more horses, or send the people back to Egypt with a view to increasing his cavalry, since Yahweh has told you, 'You must never go back that way again.' 17 Nor must he keep on acquiring more and more wives, for that could lead his heart astray. Nor must he acquire vast quantities of silver and gold. 18 Once seated on his royal throne, and for his own use, he must write a copy of this Law [torah = instruction] on a scroll, at the dictation of the Levitical priests. 19 It must never leave him, and he must read it every day of his life and learn to fear Yahweh his God by keeping all the words of this Law [torah] and observing these rules [hukkim = laws] 20 so that he will not think himself superior to his brothers, and not deviate from these commandments either to right or to left. So doing, long will he occupy his throne, and he and his sons, in Israel." [..] = literal translation IBHE, vol. I, 508-509.
Questions: Read the "Laws of a King" of Israel in
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 and compare those laws with Solomon's list of failures in
1 Kings 10:14-26. #1: In addition to taking pagan wives, serving their pagan
gods, and turning over the land of Israel in the Galilee to a foreign power, what
other laws did Solomon break from the list of the "Laws of a King" that he was
supposed to read every day of his life? #2: What was his chief failure listed
in the Laws for Kings?
LIMITED POWER OF A KING
SOLOMON'S FAILURE AS A KING
1 Kings 5:6; 10:14-29
|He must not acquire many horses (Dt 17:16a)||Solomon had 12 thousand horses (1 Kng 5:6, 10:25-28)|
|He must not send to Egypt to increase the power of his army (Dt 17:16b)||Solomon imported a chariot from Egypt and built up a force of chariots and cavalry (1 Kng 10:26-29)|
|He must not have many wives (Dt 17:17a)||Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kng 11:3)|
|He must not acquire vast quantities of wealth (Dt 17:17b)||The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to 666 talents of gold (1 Kng 10:14)|
|Michal E. Hunt Copyright © 2000 www.AgapeBibleStudy.com|
#2: Solomon's chief failure was that he became so proud and powerful in material wealth and influence that he forgot to fear offending God (verse 19 of the Laws for Kings).
Question: What is God's judgment for Solomon's covenant
Answer: His dynasty will lose the Kingdom of Israel and will only retain one other tribe besides his own tribe of Judah. This will not happen during Solomon's lifetime only because of God's love for his father, David.
Four times God will tell Solomon He will show mercy to him for the sake of David his father in 11:12, 13, 32 and 34. Yahweh and the inspired writer will mention David's name sixteen times in the text from 11:4-39 to contrast Solomon's failure in his relationship with Yahweh with David's fidelity to Yahweh.
1 Kings 11:14-40 ~ God Lifts His Hand of Protection: Solomon's
Solomon's foreign enemies: 1 Kings 11:14-25
Enemy #1: 14 Yahweh raised an enemy against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, of the kingly stock of Edom. 15 After David had crushed Edom, Joab the army commander had gone to bury the dead and had slaughtered the entire male population of Edom 16 (Joab stayed there with all Israel for six months until he had exterminated the entire male population of Edom), 17 but Hadad with a number of Edomites in his father's service had fled to Egypt. Hadad had been only a boy at the time. 18 They set out from Midian, and on reaching Paran, took a number of men from Paran with them and went on to Egypt, to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, who provided him with a house, undertook to maintain him, and assigned him an estate. 19 Hadad became a great favorite of Pharaoh who gave him his own wife's sister in marriage, the sister of the Great Lady [Gebirah *] Tahpenes. 20 The sister of Taphenes bore him his son Genubath whom Taphenes brought up in Pharaoh's palace, Genubath living in Pharaoh's palace with Pharaoh's own children. 21 But when news reached Hadad in Egypt that David had fallen asleep with his ancestors and that Joab the army commander was dead, he said to Pharaoh, "Give me leave to go that I may return to my own country." 22 "What do you lack here with me," Pharaoh said, "for you to want to go back to you country?" "Nothing," he replied, "but please let me go." Hence the harm which Hadad caused: he loathed Israel and ruled Edom. [..]= literal Hebrew, IBHE, vol. II, page 923. *Gebirah/Gebira is the Hebrew title for the Davidic queen mothers.
Yahweh plans three judgments for Solomon: two foreign enemies and a domestic enemy. Because of Solomon's covenant failures and the failures of the covenant people as a whole, God will lift His hand of protection for Israel from foreign aggression. The House of David will lose the kingdom of a united Israel, but God will not reject His covenant with David. David's throne will remain secure but it will, however, be diminished as the kingdom of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Hadad of Edom is one of the foreign enemies. The genealogies of the
kings and chieftains of Edom are found in Genesis 36:31-43 and 1 Chronicles 1:43-54.
Question: From whom was Hadad descended from the family of Abraham?
Answer: He was a descendant of Esau who was the son of Rebekah and Isaac, the grandson of Abraham and Sarah, and the twin brother of Jacob-Israel.
16 (Joab stayed there
with all Israel for six months until he had exterminated the entire male
population of Edom)...
References to the war with Edom in David's time are found in 2 Samuel 8:13; Psalm 60:2 and 1 Chronicles 18:12 where Abishai, the brother of Joab, is credited with the victory. According to Yahweh's instructions, herem (the judgment of total destruction) was to only be executed against the Canaanites who refused to give up the land of Canaan (Dt 20:16-18). In the conquest of Canaan, God was not only keeping His promise to Abraham to give his descendants possession of the land of Canaan, but He was using the Israelites to execute divine judgment on the inhabitants of Canaan for crimes against humanity which included child sacrifice (Gen 15:16; Lev 20:1-5; Dt 20:18).
Question: What was the command for a foreign enemy, outside of
the Promised Land, who was a threat to Israel? What action did Joab take? See
Dt 20:10-14. Was Joab's action an act of herem?
Answer: The army of Israel was to offer terms in a peace treaty. If they accepted, all the people were spared and would serve Israel as vassals. But if they refused, the men were to be killed but the women, children, and animals were to be spared. Apparently Joab was acting within the law, and what Joab did to the Edomites was not herem, which required the total destruction of every living inhabitant of the offending town including the animals. Under the rules of holy war if a people resisted all attempts at peace and were defeated, the male population only was to be put to the sword and this is what Joab did.
but Hadad with a number of Edomites in his father's service had fled
Hadad of Edom was named for the violent and destructive Mesopotamian and Syrian storm god. He was a refugee who was raised in the court of one the Libyan Pharaohs of Egypt.
18 Hadad became a great
favorite of Pharaoh who gave him his own wife's sister in marriage, the sister of
the Great Lady [Gebirah] Tahpenes. 20 The
sister of Taphenes bore him his son Genubath whom Taphenes brought up in
Pharaoh's palace, Genubath living in Pharaoh's palace with Pharaoh's own
The Pharaoh who gave sanctuary to Hadad is not the same pharaoh who gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon but is his successor and the pharaoh of a new dynasty. He even gave Hadad his sister-in-law in marriage, a reflection of the importance of his status within Pharaoh's court. His son's name appears to be Egyptian and not a Semitic name. Many Bible scholars believe that Tahpenes is not a proper name but is instead an Egyptian title for the Pharaoh's chief wife and the mother of the heir, just as Gebirah is the Hebrew title for the Queen Mother of Israelite kings. See the document on the Virgin Mary as the Gebirah of the new Davidic Kingdom.
This landless prince was important to the Egyptians for political reasons. Reestablished on his throne, his hatred for the Israelites would make him an important Egyptian ally against the Kingdom of Israel. Notice, he did not return to Edom until after David and Joab's deaths when he detected weakness in Solomon's reign.
Enemy #2: 23 God raised a second enemy against Solomon, Rezon son of Eliada. He had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 A number of men having rallied to him, he became leader of a marauding band (which was then massacred by David). 25 Rezon captured Damascus and settled there and became king of Damascus. He was hostile to Israel as long as Solomon lived.
This account follows the Greek translation. Hadadezer was the king of the Aramaean kingdom of Zobah, located in the north portion of the valley between the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. Assyrian records indicated that it was a large kingdom, reaching as far as the Euphrates to the north. Zobah sent mercenary forces to aid Hanun of Ammon when the Ammonites were at war with David (2 Sam 10:6-8; 1 Chr 19:6). He also attempted to extend his kingdom north of the Euphrates River. The Aramaean city of Damascus, an ally of Hadadezer, also waged war on Israel at this time. David completely defeated all these armies, making their kingdoms subject kingdoms of Israel (2 Sam 8:3-12; 21; 1 Chr 8:3-10). Rezon, a former officer of Hadadezer of Zobah, became a bandit chief and established himself as king of Damascus during Solomon's reign. The city of Damascus became an independent kingdom again under Rezon and was to prove to be a bitter and aggressive enemy against Israel.(2)
Solomon's domestic enemies: the revolt of Jeroboam ~ 1 Kings 11:26-40
26 Jeroboam was the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah; the name of his mother, a widow, was Zeruah; he was in Solomon's service [a servant of Solomon] but revolted against the king. 27 This is the account of his revolt. Solomon was building the Millo and closing the breach in the City of David his father. 28 Now this Jeroboam was a man of great energy; Solomon, noticing how the young man set about his work, put him in charge of all the forced labor of the House of Joseph. 29 One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah [He]* was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. 30 Ahijah took the new cloak which he was wearing [not in the Hebrew text] and tore in into twelve strips, 31 saying to Jeroboam: "Take then strips for yourself, for Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, 'I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon's hand and give ten tribes to you. 32 He will keep 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; 33 for he has forsaken me to worship Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, Milcom the god of the Ammonites; he has not followed my ways by doing what I regard as right, or by keeping my laws and ordinances as his father David did. 34 But it is not from his hands that I will take the kingdom, since I have made him a prince for as long as he lives, for the sake of my servant David who kept my commandments and laws. 35 I shall, however, take the kingdom from the hand of his son, and I shall give it to you, that is, the ten tribes. 36 I shall give one tribe to his son, so that my servant David may always have a lamp in my presence in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen as a dwelling-place for my name. 37 You nonetheless I shall appoint you to rule over as much as you wish, and you will be king of Israel. 38 If you listen to all my orders and follow my ways, by doing what I regard as right and by keeping my laws and commandments as my servant David did, then I shall be with you and shall build you as enduring a dynasty as the one which I built for David. I shall give Israel to you, 39 and I shall humble the descendants of David, but not forever.'" 40 Solomon tried to kill Jerobaom but he made off and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and he remained in Egypt until Solomon's death. [..] = literal translation IBHE, vol. II, page 925.
26 Jeroboam was the son
of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah; the name of his mother, a widow, was
Zeruah; he was in Solomon's
service [a servant of Solomon] but revolted against the king.
That Jeroboam is a "servant" of Solomon is a fulfillment of the prophecy in verse 11. His name in Hebrew (Yeroboam) may mean "may the people multiply" or "he who contends for the people."
Question: What was Jeroboam's tribal affiliation?
Answer: He was a descendant of Joseph son of Jacob-Israel and was a member of the half tribe of Joseph's son Ephraim, the son who was recognized as Joseph and Israel's chief heir.
Ahijah [He]* was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. 30 Ahijah took the new cloak which he was wearing [not in the Hebrew text] and tore in into twelve strips... The Hebrew text is ambiguous and does not positively identify who is wearing the new cloak whether it is Jeroboam or the prophet. Many English translations will add the prophet's name because the event is similar to when Saul grabbed at Samuel's cloak and tore off the corner, leading Samuel to interpret it as a symbol of God tearing the kingdom from Saul (1 Sam 15:27-28). Yet it is not appropriate for these events where it is not Solomon's cloak that is torn but Jeroboam's and the meaning of the act is that Yahweh is dividing anew the rule over the twelve tribes. Biblical scholar Mordechai Cogan writes: "The wording of the succeeding clause, took hold of, grabbed' (wayyitpos) solves the ambiguousness of this clause, because this action is inappropriate on one's own garment; rather the action was performed on a garment worn by a second party. Thus Ahijah seized Jeroboam's cloak!" (I Kings, The Anchor Bible series, page 339). The action only makes sense prophetically if Jeroboam is wearing the new cloak that is torn into twelve strips.
Question: The tearing of the cloak by the prophet Ahijah of
Shiloh is a prophetic ot in the presence of Jeroboam. An ot is
an act that symbolizes a future event. What is the action and what is the
symbolic meaning of the act? Notice that the "newness" of the garment is
stresses twice in verses 29 and 30.
Answer: Jeroboam is wearing a new coat. The prophet tears the new cloak into 12 pieces, symbolizing the division of the United Kingdom into a new kingdom. The new cloak represents a new regime and a new kingdom of Israel that will be founded by Jeroboam. The twelve pieces represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The prophet offers 10 pieces to Jeroboam, representing 10 tribes that will compose his Northern Kingdom of Israel.
The identify of Jeroboam as a servant of Solomon and the tearing of the cloak and its symbolic meaning fulfills the prophecy in verse 11: Yahweh therefore said to Solomon, "Since you have behaved like this and have not kept my covenant or the laws which I laid down for you, I shall tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.
On Yahweh's behalf, the prophet offers Jeroboam kingship over Israel.
Question: What reason does the prophet give Jeroboam for God making him the offer that punishes Solomon? See verse 35.
Answer: Solomon has turned to worshipping foreign gods.
34 But it is not from
his hands that I will take the kingdom, since I have made him a prince for as
long as he lives, for the sake of my servant David who kept my commandments and
laws. 35 I shall, however,
take the kingdom from the hand of his son, and I shall give it to you, that is,
the ten tribes. 36 I shall
give one tribe to his son, so that my servant David may always have a lamp in
my presence in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen as a dwelling-place for
Once again Yahweh affirms through His prophet His love for David and His commitment to the Davidic covenant. The LXX reads in verse 36 "two tribes"; these two tribes will be David's tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin immediately to the north of the tribal lands of Judah that includes the city of Jerusalem. The tribe of Benjamin will remain loyal to the Davadic kings.
Question: What unique connection was there between Judah and
Benjamin, sons of Jacob-Israel from two different mothers, and how did a
certain action by Judah son of Jacob-Israel set him apart from his brothers?
Judah was the fourth son of Leah and Benjamin was the twelfth and youngest son
of Jacob and Rachel. The event took place when the 12 sons of Jacob were
confronted by the Pharaoh's Vizier, who they did not recognize as their brother
Joseph. See Gen 44:1-34 49:10;
Num 2:1-4; 10:11-16.
Answer: When Joseph, in disguise as the Pharaoh's Vizier, used deception of trap Benjamin and accuse him of stealing a sliver cup so he would keep his youngest brother with him in Egypt as the Vizier's "slave", Judah unselfishly offered his own life in exchange for his brother Benjamin. From then onward, the tribe of Judah is singled out from the other tribes: Jacob-Israel prophesies kingship for the tribe of Judah on his deathbed; the tribe of Judah will be chosen by Yahweh to camp at the entrance to the desert Sanctuary, and the tribe of Judah will lead the march of the tribes of Israel.
The tribe of Judah will lead the march for the 38 years in the years of desert wandering from Sinai to the banks of the Jordan River (Dt 2:14). David will be Judah's first king and the kings of Judah will reach their climax in Jesus of Nazareth, the King of kings and fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.
Question: Jeroboam is also offered a dynasty like the dynasty
God offered David, but what is different in this offer of covenant as opposed to
the Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7:12-16; 23:5?
Answer: Jeroboam's offer of a covenant is not unconditional and is based entirely on his obedience to God's commandments (verse 38). He and his descendants will not be identified as "sons" of Yahweh.
40 Solomon tried to kill
Jerobaom but he made off and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and he
remained in Egypt until Solomon's death.
The LXX includes the information that Jeroboam fortified the city of Sarira and gathered three hundred chariots in an attempt to overthrow Solomon (LXX 1 Kng 12:24). When Solomon realized Jeroboam was fermenting a revolt, he tried to have him killed. Sarira is the name in LXX for his hometown of Zeredah and an unknown location (it also appears as Zarethan in 2 Chr 4:17).
Question: Why did he flee to Egypt like Hadad? Was there an Egyptian connection in his background from the time of his ancestor Joseph? See Gen 41:44-45.
Answer: Egypt was probably the only nation in the region that was powerful enough to protect an enemy of Israel and with whom Israel did not have an extradition treaty. Jeroboam could also claim he had a blood connection to Egypt through his ancestor Joseph's wife and Ephraim's mother, an Egyptian woman named Asenath who was the daughter of the chief priest of On.
Pharaoh Shishak has been identified as Sheshonk I (945-924 BC or 931-910 on an alternate chronology). He was not Solomon's father-in-law; he was the founder of the new Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt. Five years after the division of the United Monarchy in 930 BC, this pharaoh invaded the Kingdom of Judah (2 Chr 12:1-9). His invasion is commemorated on the Bubastite Portal at the temple of Amun at Karnak, Egypt near Thebes.
Question: How is God's judgment against Solomon and the events
that will follow Solomon's judgment after his death part of what God told David
concerning His covenant with David's heirs? See 2 Sam 7:14-15 and quote the
Answer: God told David through the prophet Nathan: "I shall be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does wrong, I shall punish him with a rod such as men use, with blows such as mankind gives. But my faithful love will never be withdrawn from him as I withdrew it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your dynasty and your sovereignty will ever stand firm before me and your throne be forever secure."
The Death of King Solomon
1 Kings 11:41-43 ~ The end of the reign of King Solomon and his
41 The rest of the history of Solomon, his entire career, his wisdom, is this not recorded in the Book of the annals of Solomon? 42 Solomon's reign in Jerusalem over all Israel lasted forty years. 43 When Solomon fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in the City of David his father; his son Rehoboam succeeded him.
The "Annals of Solomon" is probably the record of Solomon's reign written by Nathan the prophet and possibly completed by his son or successor (2 Chr 9:29). The book is lost to history. Rehoboam was Solomon's son by an Ammonite princess named Naamah (1 Kng 14:21).
What became of Solomon's great wisdom? How could he be so unwise as to risk everything by offending God and violating the first of the Ten Commandments and the laws of the king which he was supposed to read every day of his life? He had the gift of wisdom but he also had the gift of free-will. Wisdom is only valuable if it is acted upon and not ignored. How many times do we think an action or a comment is unwise, and yet we bow to the temptation and go ahead and commit what we know is not the best course of action? Solomon had the worldly wisdom but he failed the greatest test of wisdom "spiritual wisdom that comes from fear of offending God." It is what he is attributed to writing in the Book of Proverbs:
He began his reign as a wise man, but he ended his life as a fool.
And what became of the promise of the everlasting king of the Davidic covenant? Most Jewish scholars see Solomon as the promised Davidic king of the everlasting kingdom. However, St. Augustine wrote that Solomon was not the Messiah promised by God: "God promised that something everlasting would spring from David's seed. Then Solomon was born, and he became a man of such profound wisdom that everyone supposed God's promise concerning David's offspring had been fulfilled in him. But no, Solomon fell and so made room for people to stretch their hope toward Christ. God can neither be deceived nor deceive us, so we can be certain that he did not ground his promise in Solomon, for he knew Solomon would fall. The divine purpose was that after Solomon's fall you would look to God and earnestly press him for what he had promised"(Augustine, Exposition 2 of Psalm 88:6-7).
The rest of the
history of Solomon, from first to last, is this not all written down in the
records of Nathan the prophet, in the Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh, and in the
Vision of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? Solomon reigned in
Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. When Solomon fell asleep with his
ancestors, he was buried in the city of his father David; Rehoboam his son
2 Chronicles 9:29-31
Questions for discussion or reflection:
All the violations of the Laws of Kings set down in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 were the normal actions and prerogatives of the kings of Israel's neighboring nations: acquiring a vast treasury, marrying the members of the royal families of ally nations, building a formidable military force, and securing the most technologically advanced weapons of the times. Solomon's neighbors expected him to ratify covenant treaties with them by marrying a royal woman of the ruling family as proof of his sincerity, and his military build-up and accumulation of wealth can be seen as securing the future of his people. But God did not view the reasons for His actions in the same way. The Israelites were commanded not to be like their pagan neighbors any more than Christians are to behave like the secular world. Both the people of the Old and New Covenants are a people called apart from the world. God's message to His people is: "Be holy as I am holy", "For you are a people consecrated to Yahweh your God ..." (Lev 11:44-45 and Dt 7:6; also see Lev 19:2; 20:7, 26; Num 15:40; Dt 14:2, 21b; 26:19; 28:9; Mt 5:48b; 1 Pt 1:15-16; CCC 2812-13).
Question: Could the argument be made that the old Law of Kings written several centuries earlier was not valid in what was for Solomon "modern society" in a new age?
Question: Is there a lesson for the members of the modern Church concerning the judgment against Solomon and the commands and prohibitions of the New Covenant in Christ and the teachings of Mother Church in the modern age?
Question: Is God moved by human traditions or acceptable cultural views of what is morally acceptable and what is forbidden? What about the Church's teaching on celibacy before marriage, the necessity of marital fidelity, the prohibition against divorce, and the evil practice of abortion—all of which are acceptable by modern society? Should Christians adjust their moral beliefs according to acceptable practices of the times? Hint: The people of God are not meant to be changed by the world; they are meant to change the world.
1. The Akkadian Empire was an ancient Semitic empire in Mesopotamia with its capital city at Akkad. The Akkadians united all the indigenous Akkadian speaking Semites and the Sumerian speakers under one rule within a multilingual empire. The Akkadian Empire controlled Mesopotamia, the Levant, and parts of Iran during the 3rd millennium BC.
2. The future destruction/subjugation of the Aramaean kingdom of Damascus is mentioned by the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah (Is 17:1 ff; Amos 1:3-5; Jer 49:23-27). The kingdom of Damascus fell to the Assyrians in 732 BC (2 Kng 16:9).
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