Verses 1-3 – Jeroboam continued his erratic behavior. The king was double—minded or indecisive (James 1:8), disobeying God and trying to seek favors from God at the same time.
Verses 4, 5 – In dealing with Jeroboam’s wife, God again worked in supernatural ways.
Verses 6-9 – Under all the Old Testament covenants, God’s people earned earthly blessings from Him by obeying the stipulations of their covenants with the Lord. The king was to be the leader in obeying and enforcing obedience to the covenant. David was the model king whereas Jeroboam led the people to worship pagan idols.
Verses 10, 11 – These disasters were practical applications to Israel of the Specific teachings of Deuteronomy. Ahijah is prophesying the downfall of Israel for its flagrant violation of God’s commands.
Verses 14, 15 – Jeroboam’s sin resulted in God raising up a new king—Baasha—who would destroy Jeroboam’s dynasty. The latter part of the prophecy—the land—would not take place until almost 190 years.
Verse 19, 20 – The record of Jeroboam ends with a conventional closing.
Verses 25, 26 – How sad that when Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) came to power, he inherited a mighty kingdom. Everything he could ever want was given to him. Just five years after Solomon’s death, the temple and palace were ransacked by foreign invaders (Shishak of Egypt). When the people became spiritually corrupt and immoral (14:24), it was only a short time until they lost everything. When God is gone from our lives, everything else becomes useless, no matter how valuable it seems!
Verse 2 – Three hundred years later, this prophecy was fulfilled in every detail when Josiah killed the pagan priest at their own altars (2 Kings 23:1-20).
Verses 4-10 – God instantly punished Jeroboam. The immediate healing of his hand should have been a witness to direct Jeroboam into faith and obedience. This prophet had been given strict orders from God not to eat or drink anything while on this mission. Jeroboam offered the prophet a reward and thus treated God like a bargaining partner.
Verses 11-19 – This old prophet lied to the prophet who had just left Jeroboam and this prophet believed him. This prophet should have followed God’s word instead of hearsay. We are to trust what God’s word says rather than what someone else says is true when it contradicts God’s word.
Verses 20, 21 – Then ironically, as they ate God spoke His true judgment through the same prophet who had just moments ago lied.
Verses 24, 25 – The fact that the lion and the donkey were standing by the prophet’s body showed that this was divine judgment. Normally, the lion would have attacked the donkey and devoured the man.
Verses 33, 34 – Under penalty of death, God had forbidden anyone to be a priest who was not from the tribe of Levi (Numbers 3:10). The king and his fees instead of the tithe financed jeroboam’s new priests. The priest had to mix priestly and secular duties, and quickly fell into party politics. These priests were easily corrupted by bribes. Jeroboam’s disobedience was the downfall of true religion in the northern kingdom.
Verse 1 – Rehoboam saw trouble brewing with Jeroboam, so he went north of Jerusalem to be anointed king. When the kingdom was divided, Shechem became the capital of the northern kingdom for a short time.
Verses 6-14 – Rehoboam asked for advice but didn’t evaluate what was told to him by the elders. We should take advice from those with more experience and who are wiser.
Verses 15-19 – Both Jeroboam and Rehoboam did what was good for them, not what was good for the people. Rehoboam was harsh and Jeroboam established new places of worship—Rehoboam’s capital. Both actions of these men backfired. Rehoboam’s action divided the nation, and Jeroboam’s turned the people from God. Making decisions only for yourself will backfire and cause you to lose more than, if you had kept the welfare of others in mind.
Verse 20 – This is the beginning of the kingdom’s division that lasted for centuries. Ten tribes followed Jeroboam and called their new nation Israel (northern kingdom). The other 2 tribes remained loyal to Rehoboam and called their nation Judah (southern kingdom). The kingdom didn’t split overnight. It was already dividing as early as the days of the judges because of tribal jealousies between Ephraim, the most influential tribe of the north, and Judah, the chief tribe of the south.
Verse 28 – All Jewish men were required to travel to the temple three times each year (Deuteronomy 16:16), but Jeroboam set up his own worship centers and told the people it was too much trouble to travel all the way to Jerusalem. Don’t let anyone talk you out of doing what is right by telling you that moral actions are not worth the effort.
Verse 30 – Jeroboam and his advisories did not learn from Israel’s previous disaster with a golden calf (Exodus 32). If we will learn from either our past or the past of others, we will not face disaster because of repeated mistakes.
Verses 32, 33 – Jeroboam turned the city Bethel into Israel’s chief religious center. Bethel’s religion, however, centered on idols, and this led to Israel’s eventual downfall. Bethal developed a reputation as a wicked and idolatrous city. The prophets Hosea and Amos condemned the city for its godless ways (Hosea 4:15-17; 10:8; Amos 5:4-6).
Verse 2 – Does not God give us clear warnings not to do something? Not only does He warn us, He tells us what will happen if we do the thing He has warned us about. Solomon disregarded God’s instructions about intermarrying with foreigners. He didn’t marry just one foreign woman; he married seven hundred and had three hundred concubines. God knows our weaknesses and our strengths. He knows what will cause us harm. Anything that draws us away from “All Mighty” will eventually destroy us. We have an entire Bible to know and learn His ways. Solomon, on the other hand had spoke to God twice and been given instructions and was the wisest man who ever lived yet look at the choices he made.
Verse 3 – We all have weak spots. Solomon’s weak spot was lust and he couldn’t say no to compromise. Solomon’s foreign wives led him into idolatry. Temptation will strike in our weak spots. If Solomon could fall into temptation, so can we.
Verse 4 – In marriage and close relationships it’s difficult to resist pressure to compromise. Sometimes our love leads us to identify with the desires of those we care about. At first, Solomon built the high places for his wives to worship, but eventually joined them in idol worship. So many times Christians start a serious relationship with those who are non-believers thinking they can change them only resorting to changing themselves—away from God.
Verses 5-8 – Ashtoreth was a goddess that symbolized reproductive power—a mistress of the god Baal. Molech was the national god of the Ammonites, called “detestable”—child sacrifices. The Israelites had been warned against worshiping all other gods and Molech particular (Exodus 20:1-6; Leviticus 18:21; 20:1-5).
Verses 9, 10 – Solomon didn’t wake up one day and decide not to follow God. It was a gradual process beginning with the decisions he made. Neither do Christians backslide from one day to the next. It can start with one small compromise. We make excuses as to why we are doing something or not doing something. Solomon’s spiritual coldness started with a minor departure from Gods laws about marriage.
Verses 11-13 – In Psalm 127, which Solomon wrote, it says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builder’s labor in vain.” Solomon had begun by laying the foundation with God, but he didn’t follow through in his later years.
Whether you build a marriage, career, or ministry, God’s principles must remain faithful to God to the end (mark 13:13). Just one compromise could lead to another.
Verses 14-22 – When chastisement comes from God, it is to turn us back to Him. Verse 14 says the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, which plainly means, trouble is on its way towards Israel. Edom’s revolt was disturbing the peace of Solomon’s kingdom. Edom was important because it was the strategic route to the Red Sea.
Verses 26-39 – Look what God does. He takes a servant, Jeroboam, and sends the prophet Ahijah to predict the division of Jerusalem. Solomon messed up, big time! This division would not take place though until after Solomon’s death. Ten of Israel’s 12 tribes would follow Jeroboam. The other two tribes, Judah and the area of Benjamin around Jerusalem, would remain loyal to David. Judah the largest tribe and Benjamin, the smallest were often mentioned as one tribe because they shared the same border.
Multiplication of Wealth
Verses 1-5 – After the queen of Sheba realized the extent of Solomon’s riches and wisdom, “she was overwhelmed” and no longer questioned his power or wisdom. Many kings and foreign dignitaries who paid honor to Solomon repeated her experience with Solomon (4:34).
Verse 14 – When Solomon asked for wisdom, God promised him riches and honor as well (3:13). These verses show just how vast Solomon’s wealth became. Israel was no longer a second-rate nation. Jesus would later refer to “Solomon in all his splendor” (Matthew 6:29).
Verse 23 – In the Old Testament, riches were considered tangible evidence of God’s blessing. Prosperity was seen as a proof of right living. In ideal conditions, people should prosper if God run their lives, but this is no guarantee. Greater evidence that God is present in a person’s life is persecution (Mark 10:29-31; 13:13). The gift of great worth has no price tag—it is the gift of salvation freely given by God. However, God does say in His Word that all things for life in Jesus Christ are given.
Verses 26-11:3 – The more luxurious Solomon’s court became, the more the people were taxed. Sound familiar? The bigger our government becomes, the higher the taxes are that the people pay. With everything Solomon got and wanted, he soon forgot God and allowed pagan influences to enter his court through his pagan wives, thus accelerating the spiritual corruption of the nation.
Verses 4, 5 – Turning to Solomon, God again promised him a permanent dynasty, conditioned upon his obedience.
Verses 6-9 – Since the kings were the spiritual representatives of the people, their disobedience was counted as the disobedience of the people. Then the greatest of the covenant punishments—loss of the land—could happen to the Israelites. They would become an object of scorn and ridicule among all the people.
Verses 11-14 – Second Chronicles 8:1, 2 implies that the towns were returned to Solomon. Hiram called these cities Cabul that sounds like the Hebrew word for “good for nothing.” In the end, Hiram was repaid many times over through his trade partnerships with Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:10, 21).
Verse – 16 – At this time, Israel and Egypt were the major powers in the Near East. For many years, Egypt had retained control of Gezer even though it was in Israelite territory. Pharaoh had given Solomon his daughter whom he had married, putting Gezer under Israelite control. Intermarrying among royal families was common, but it was not endorsed by God (Deuteronomy 17:17).
Verse 1 – Solomon gathered the people not just to dedicate the temple, but also to rededicate themselves to God. What was the difference between the tabernacle and the temple? As a tent, the tabernacle was a portable place of worship designed for the people as they traveled toward the promise land. The temple was a permanent place to worship God after the Israelites were at peace in their land. To bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant to the temple signified God’s actual presence there.
Verses 15-21 – It’s easy to think of a building as the focus of God’s presence and power, but God chooses and uses people to do his work. Building or enlarging a place of worship may be necessary, but it should never take priority of developing spiritual leaders, disciples, or wining the lost.
Verse 27 – In this prayer of dedication, Solomon declared the highest heaven cannot contain God. It’s amazing that the heavens are not large enough to contain God but He is willing to live in the hearts of those who love and except Him.
Verses 33, 34 – After Solomon’s reign, the people continued to turn away from God until their enemies overtook them. Then several times in desperation, they cried out to God for forgiveness, and God restored them.
Verses 41-43 – God chose Israel to be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3). This blessing found its fulfillment in Jesus—a descendant of Abraham and David (Galatians 3:8, 9)—who became the Messiah for all people, Jews and non-Jews. Jesus came to do – (be a light) what the nation of Israel failed to do.
Verses 56-60 – Solomon’s prayer should be our prayer today: (1) for our desires to do God’s will in everything; (2) for help with each day’s needs; (3) for the desire and ability to obey God’s ways; (4) and help to spread God’s kingdom to the entire world.
Verse 65 – A wadi is a stream or dry stream be.
Verse 1 – Although it took Solomon longer to build his house than it did to build the temple, it was not a comment on his priorities. His palace project took longer because it included barracks and housing for his harem.
Verse 7 – The Hall of the Throne was another columned entrance. The contextual association with the House of the Forest of Lebanon hints that this hall might have been the public entrance of the larger building, a place for the throne where people sought judgment.
Verse 14 – Huram was an expert craftsman. Solomon chose only the best.
Verse 23 – The “Sea” was an enormous tank. Designed and used for the priest ceremonial washings. It was placed in the temple court near the altar of burnt offering.
Verses 27-39 – The 10 “moveable stands” held basins of water. The basins were movable so they could be used where needed.
Verse 47 – Since bronze was a valuable commodity, it is an indication of Solomon’s wealth that he did not have to keep track of the amount of bronze used.
Verse 3 – The portico was like a large porch.
Verse 4 – Clerestory windows were windows near the tops of the walls to help light the center of the temple.
Verse 7 – In honor of God, the temple in Jerusalem was built without the sound of a hammer or any tool. This meant the stone had to be “dressed” (cut and shaped) miles away at the quarry. This shows us the importance of demonstrating care, concern, honor, and respect for God and His sanctuary.
Verse 13 – This verse summarizes the temples main purpose. God promised that His eternal presence would never leave the temple as long as the Israelites obeyed God’s law. As you read the history of the kings, you will see that lawbreaking was the result, not the cause, of estrangement from God. The kings abandoned God in their hearts first and then failed to keep His laws.
Verse 14 – The concept of Solomon’s temple was more like a palace for God than a place of worship. As a dwelling place for God, it was fitting for it to be beautiful. It had small dimensions inside because most worshipers gathered outside.