Solomon violated God's command regarding kings multiplying wives for themselves. Among his wives were women of Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidonia. The law expressly prohibited intermarriage with daughters of any of the seven nations of Canaan (Exod 34:11–16; Deut 7:1–4). The rationale for the prohibition to the seven nations of Canaan, however, applied equally to all other idolaters (Deut 7:4). Solomon held to these women in love. Instead of holding fast to God as commanded in the law, Solomon chose to cling these women. The mention that 700 of these women were princesses suggests that his objective was to elevate his renown. As he exceeded other kings in glory, wisdom, chariots and horses, so he must also supplant them in the number of his wives. Perhaps it was pride rather than the passion that drove this king to violate God’s command.
Solomon paid the price for his pride, and when he was old, these women turned his heart away from God. This does not necessarily mean that Solomon himself took part in idolatrous practices; perhaps he just sanctioned such practices in the vicinity of Jerusalem. In his early reign he had been uneasy at the mere presence of Pharaoh’s daughter in the city of David, but now he crowned the hills overlooking the temple precincts with monuments to idolatry. Solomon's heart was not wholly devoted to God as the heart of his father, David. God was angry with Solomon because his devotion to him had grown cold. Solomon had been solemnly warned about the pursuit of other gods, but he had disregarded this command of the Lord. In his anger, the Lord pronounced a solemn judgment upon Solomon. The message is dreadful. Solomon had failed to live up to his obligations before God. Therefore, the Lord would tear the kingdom from him, and a servant would be heir to all of Solomon’s glory and treasure.
God tempered the judgment with some merciful limitations. These judgments would not take place until after the death of Solomon, and the damage would only be partial. Judah would remain for the sake of David and Jerusalem. God had chosen Jerusalem as the site for his temple and as the capital of his earthly kingdom. Like his father before him, Solomon ruled for forty years, and he was buried in the city of David. Solomon was succeeded by Rehoboam, the only son to mentioned in Scripture.
Thing To Consider:
* Why is pride so dangerous?
* How do you think a man with such wisdom can fall so far?
* What are some things we hold to instead of holding fast to God?
* God was angry. How is that not sin? How can we be angry and not sin?
* Solomon had everything a person could want and still was not satisfied. Why do we struggle with being content?
* How do we see God's grace even in his judgment?