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Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hit. tites: of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods : Solomon clave unto these in love.
And it came to pass when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart.
Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Je. rusalem; and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense, and sacrificed unto their gods.
And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeard unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it, for Da. vid thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom: but I will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant's sake: and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.
And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon, the son of Eliadab, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah.
And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, (whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman), even he lift up his hand against the king.
And this was the cause that he lift up his hand against the king : Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.
And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way: and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field.
And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces.
And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
(But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel):
Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father, Howbeit, I will not take the whole kingdom out of
his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, be. cause he kept my commandments and my statutes; but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to that all thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel.
And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that which is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did ; that I will. be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
And I will for this amict the seed of David, but not
Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam : and Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, over all Israel, was forty years.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. The sacred historian refers us to the books of Nathan the prophet, and others, for the records of the last acts of Solomon's reign; but these writings are lost to the world, therefore we can come to no certainty in respect to the events of many years ; we may however infer, from the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon himself, that many years did not pass after he ascended the throne before he became elated with prosperity, and grew unmindfül from whence it was derived, and for
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what purpose it was bestowed. He found himself raised to the very summit of greatness, and thinking that he had judgment sufficient to guide himself, he threw off his confidence in God, and began to form schemes for perpetuating his enjoyments; with this view, as appears from his writings, he occupied his mind in vain researches after permanent happiness, independent of the SUPREME Being; but when he no longer employed his wisdom in the service of God, and the good of mankind, it was only productive of fatigue and disappointment.
Solomon then as he says despised Wisdom, and resolv. ing to try what PLEASURE would produce, he gave himself up to mirth and festivity, thinking to drive away reflection, by a constant round of dissipation; but these pursuits ended also in discontent; and he soon said of laughter it is mad, and of mirth what doeth it? Solomon supposed that the means of happiness were
and recollecting (it is likely! out asuwerCA AL 140 puwei, uuwowww the delight he had formerly experienced in inspecting the progress of arts, he resolved to employ his wealth in building and planting ; he therefore spared no expence, but even taxed his subjects to adorn his kingdom with magnificent edifices, and beautiful gardens ; but here again he missed his aim. When these works were completed, he endeavoured to procure content by increasing his Riches: this was also vanity and vexation of spirit; for the thoughts that he must die and leave all his possessions behind him to a son very unfit to rule, embittered his hours, and abated the re, lish of every enjoyment.
The idolatrous nations were the professed votaries of sensuality; Solomon therefore formed connections with them, by marrying wives from amongst them, in hopes (we may suppose) of learning refinements of luxury unknown in Israel : in this scheme he was unhappily too
successful ; but it was attended with unhappy consequens ces, instead of procuring satisfaction.
If we had not been able to collect from Solomon's own writings the cause of his apostasy, we should be at a loss to account for it; but when we read that he turned his back upon religion, and depended merely on human reason, our wonder ceases, for he became likea ship without a pilot in a dangerous ocean, full of rocks and quicksands.
It is needless to use arguments to prove the justice of God's dealings with this ungrateful prince; it will be sufficient to look back to the promises repeatedly made to him and his father, which were all conditional, so that Solomon was sufficiently warned beforehand, that the kingdom would not be continued to his posterity if he departed from his duty.
It was impossible that Solomon could be ignorant of the sinfulness of erecting temples to idols, in that very land especially wherein he had boon employed to build a House to the name of the LORD JEHOVAH; and as his reputation for wisdom was universally known, his example was very contagious, because every one might think himself justified in his imitation of the wise King SoLOMON.
The unhappy effects of this king's permitting idolatry and luxury to be introduced into Israel, were soon felt by his people: domestic joys, which had, till this period, made every one happy under his vine and under his figfree, were exchanged for riot and dissipation ; and consequently the education of youth must have been neglected, and the service of God esteemed a burden the prosperity of Israel declined, and foreign powers were encouraged to attack them. Hadad
young prince who had fled from Edom into Egypt, from Joab's victorious arms. He had found favour in the sight of the king, and was married to the