1 Kings 11:1-12:19
Solomon meets God a third time
11 In addition to Pharaoh’s daughter, King Solomon loved many foreign women, including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 2 These came from the nations that the Lord had commanded the Israelites about: “Don’t intermarry with them. They will definitely turn your heart toward their gods.” Solomon clung to these women in love. 3 He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred secondary wives. They turned his heart. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods. He wasn’t committed to the Lord his God with all his heart as was his father David. 5 Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes and wasn’t completely devoted to the Lord like his father David. 7 On the hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a shrine to Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and to Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 The Lord grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from being with the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 The Lord had commanded Solomon about this very thing, that he shouldn’t follow other gods. But Solomon didn’t do what the Lord commanded.
11 The Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done all this instead of keeping my covenant and my laws that I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 Even so, on account of your father David, I won’t do it during your lifetime. I will tear the kingdom out of your son’s hands. 13 Moreover, I won’t tear away the entire kingdom. I will give one tribe to your son on account of my servant David and on account of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Solomon and Hadad
14 So the Lord raised up an opponent for Solomon: Hadad the Edomite from the royal line of Edom. 15 When David was fighting against Edom, Joab the general had gone up to bury the Israelite dead, and he had killed every male in Edom. 16 Joab and all the Israelites stayed there six months, until he had finished off every male in Edom. 17 While still a youth, Hadad escaped to Egypt along with his father’s Edomite officials. 18 They set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt and to Pharaoh its king. Pharaoh assigned him a home, food, and land. 19 Pharaoh was so delighted with Hadad that he gave him one of his wife’s sisters for marriage, a sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 This sister of Tahpenes bore Hadad a son, Genubath. Tahpenes weaned him in Pharaoh’s house. So it was that Genubath was raised in Pharaoh’s house, among Pharaoh’s children. 21 While in Egypt, Hadad heard that David had lain down with his ancestors and that Joab the general was also dead. Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me go to my homeland.”
22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack here with me that would make you want to go back to your homeland?”
Hadad said, “Nothing, but please let me go!”
Solomon and Rezon
23 God raised up another opponent for Solomon: Rezon, Eliada’s son, who had escaped from Zobah’s King Hadadezer. 24 Rezon recruited men and became leader of a band when David was killing them. They went to Damascus, stayed there, and ruled it. 25 Throughout Solomon’s lifetime, Rezon was Israel’s opponent and added to the problems caused by Hadad. Rezon hated Israel while he ruled as king of Aram.
Solomon and Jeroboam
26 Now Nebat’s son Jeroboam was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His mother’s name was Zeruah; she was a widow. Although he was one of Solomon’s own officials, Jeroboam fought against the king. 27 This is the story of why Jeroboam fought against the king:
Solomon had built the stepped structure and repaired the broken wall in his father David’s City. 28 Now Jeroboam was a strong and honorable man. Solomon saw how well this youth did his work. So he appointed him over all the work gang of Joseph’s house.
29 At that time, when Jeroboam left Jerusalem, Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new garment. The two of them were alone in the country. 30 Ahijah tore his new garment into twelve pieces. 31 He said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, because Israel’s God, the Lord, has said, ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand. I will give you ten tribes. 32 But I will leave him one tribe on account of my servant David and on account of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 33 I am doing this because they have abandoned me[a] and worshipped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They haven’t walked in my ways by doing what is right in my eyes—keeping my laws and judgments—as Solomon’s father David did. 34 But I won’t take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will keep him as ruler throughout his lifetime on account of my servant David, who did keep my commands and my laws. 35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of Solomon’s son, and I will give you ten tribes. 36 I will give his son a single tribe so that my servant David will always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city that I chose for myself to place my name. 37 But I will accept you, and you will rule over all that you could desire. You will be king of Israel. 38 If you listen to all that I command and walk in my ways, if you do what is right in my eyes, keeping my laws and my commands just as my servant David did, then I will be with you and I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I did for David. I will give you Israel. 39 I will humble David’s descendants by means of all this, though not forever.’”
40 Then Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam fled to Egypt and its king Shishak. Jeroboam remained in Egypt until Solomon died.
Solomon’s remaining days
41 The rest of Solomon’s deeds, including all that he did and all his wisdom, aren’t they written in the official records of Solomon? 42 The amount of time Solomon ruled over all Israel in Jerusalem was forty years. 43 Then Solomon lay down with his ancestors. He was buried in his father David’s City, and Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
How Rehoboam lost the kingdom
12 Rehoboam went to Shechem where all Israel had come to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam, Nebat’s son, heard the news, he returned from Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon. 3 The people sent and called for Jeroboam, who along with the entire Israelite assembly went and said to Rehoboam, 4 “Your father made our workload[b] very hard for us. If you will lessen the demands your father made of us and lighten the heavy workload he demanded from us, then we will serve you.”
5 He answered them, “Come back in three days.” So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive. “What do you advise?” Rehoboam asked. “How should I respond to these people?”
7 “If you will be a servant to this people by answering them and speaking good words today,” they replied, “then they will be your servants forever.”
8 But Rehoboam ignored the advice the elders gave him and instead sought the counsel of the young advisors who had grown up with him and now served him. 9 “What do you advise?” he asked them. “How should we respond to these people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the workload your father demanded of us’?”
10 The young people who had grown up with him said to him, “This people said to you, ‘Your father made our workload heavy; lighten it for us!’ Now this is what you should say to them: ‘My baby finger[c] is thicker than my father’s entire waist! 11 So if my father made your workload heavy, I’ll make it even heavier! If my father disciplined you with whips, I’ll do it with scorpions!’”
12 Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had specified when he said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king then answered the people harshly. He ignored the elders’ advice 14 and instead followed the young people’s advice. He said, “My father made your workload heavy, but I’ll make it even heavier! My father disciplined you with whips, but I’ll do it with scorpions!”
15 The king didn’t listen to the people because this turn of events came from the Lord so that he might keep the promise he delivered through Ahijah from Shiloh concerning Jeroboam, Nebat’s son. 16 When all Israel saw that the king wouldn’t listen to them, the people answered the king:
“Why should we care about David?
We have no stake in Jesse’s son!
Go back to your homes, Israel!
You better look after your own house now, David!”
Then the Israelites went back to their homes, 17 and Rehoboam ruled over only the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.
18 When King Rehoboam sent Adoram to them (he was the leader of the work gang), all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam quickly got into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
Saul encounters the risen Jesus
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still spewing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest, 2 seeking letters to the synagogues in Damascus. If he found persons who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, these letters would authorize him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?”
5 Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”
“I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. 6 “Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do.”
7 Those traveling with him stood there speechless; they heard the voice but saw no one. 8 After they picked Saul up from the ground, he opened his eyes but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything.
10 In Damascus there was a certain disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
He answered, “Yes, Lord.”
11 The Lord instructed him, “Go to Judas’ house on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias enter and put his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 Ananias countered, “Lord, I have heard many reports about this man. People say he has done horrible things to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 He’s here with authority from the chief priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”
15 The Lord replied, “Go! This man is the agent I have chosen to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
17 Ananias went to the house. He placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord sent me—Jesus, who appeared to you on the way as you were coming here. He sent me so that you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly, flakes fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19 After eating, he regained his strength.
He stayed with the disciples in Damascus for several days. 20 Right away, he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues. “He is God’s Son,” he declared.
21 Everyone who heard him was baffled. They questioned each other, “Isn’t he the one who was wreaking havoc among those in Jerusalem who called on this name? Hadn’t he come here to take those same people as prisoners to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul grew stronger and stronger. He confused the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
23 After this had gone on for some time, the Jews hatched a plot to kill Saul. 24 However, he found out about their scheme. They were keeping watch at the city gates around the clock so they could assassinate him. 25 But his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.
A pilgrimage song. Of David.
131 Lord, my heart isn’t proud;
my eyes aren’t conceited.
I don’t get involved with things too great or wonderful for me.
2 No. But I have calmed and quieted myself[a]
like a weaned child on its mother;
I’m like the weaned child that is with me.
3 Israel, wait for the Lord—
from now until forever from now!
- Psalm 131:2 Or my soul
4 An evildoer pays attention to guilty lips;
a liar listens to a destructive tongue.
5 Those who mock the poor insult their maker;
those who rejoice in disaster won’t go unpunished.