Summary of 1 Kings 3:1-4:
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh of Egypt and married his daughter. Both himself and the Israelites were sacrificing to other gods, but Solomon was following God’s laws. He went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord.
Summary of 2 Chronicles 1:1-6:
God was with Solomon and made him great. He spoke to all of Israel and went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord.
Summary of Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
The Lord commanded the future kings of Israel not to return to Egypt and not to accumulate horses, not to take many wives, or accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. He must write a copy of God’s law and keep it with him and read it every day so the king can know God’s law and obey it with a humble attitude. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 24, Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
3) Solomon disobeyed most of them. He obviously went to Egypt since he married an Egyptian princess. He took many wives. He was extremely wealthy.
4) Submissive attitudes and tolerance towards sins that show others that sin is okay and even permitted.
5) Part personal Question. My answer: Having the king write a copy of God’s law and keep it with him and read it every day so the king can know God’s law and obey it. This is important for all of us. We can’t obey God’s law if we don’t know God’s law. We shouldn’t consider ourselves better than our brothers either for we are all sinners. God’s law (the Bible) is our guidebook for living. It keeps us from sin and the devil. I’ve been protected many times every day by it and blessed in this life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 24 Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Solomon is a great example of someone who loves God but chooses to disobey and justify these sins. He picks and chooses which parts of God’s law to follow. Ultimately, as good of a king as he was, it is his downfall.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 24, Day 2: 1 Kings 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles 1:1-6; Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Commentary 1 Kings 3:1-4:
Solomon’s bad example of marrying foreign wives
Marriage to fellow royalty was a common political strategy in the ancient world, and continues to the modern age. It was not only because royalty wanted to marry other royalty, but also because conflict between nations was then avoided for the sake of family ties.
This was not Solomon’s first marriage. 1 Kings 14:21 tells us that his son Rehoboam came to the throne when he was 41 years old, and 1 Kings 11:42 tells us that Solomon reigned 40 years. This means that Rehoboam was born to his mother, a wife of Solomon named Naamah the Amonitess, before he came to the throne and before he married this daughter of Pharaoh.
Solomon’s multiple marriages and marriages to foreign women would cause great disaster in his life and went directly against God’s word. Later in the Book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah was angry and frustrated because the people of Israel married with the pagan nations around them. In rebuking the guilty, Nehemiah remembered Solomon’s bad example (Nehemiah 13:25-27).
The foreign wives made Solomon more than a bad example – they ruined his spiritual life. (1 Kings 11:1-4).
1 Kings 11:4 says this Solomon only turned away from God as he got older, but the pattern was set with this first marriage to the Egyptian princess. It perhaps made political sense, but not spiritual sense.
2 Samuel 3:3 tells us that David married the daughter of a foreign king: Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. Marrying a foreign woman was not against the Law of Moses – if she became a convert to the God of Israel. What did not ruin David did ruin Solomon.
At this time, altars were allowed in Israel at various high places, as long as those altars were unto the LORD and not corrupted by idolatry (as commanded in Deuteronomy 16:21). When the temple was built, sacrifice was then centralized at the temple.
With the sacrifices, we see Solomon’s great wealth and his heart to use it to glorify God.
As we see in 2 Chronicles 1:2-3, the entire leadership of the nation went with Solomon to Gibeon, which was the great high place. The tabernacle was a Gibeon and the ark of the covenant was in Jerusalem.
The journey of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in the Promised Land
- Joshua brought both the ark and the tabernacle to Shiloh (Joshua 18).
- In the days of Eli the ark was captured and the tabernacle wrecked (1 Samuel 4, Psalm 78:60-64, Jeremiah 7:12 and 26:9).
- The ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:1-2).
- Saul restored the tabernacle at Nob (1 Samuel 21).
- Saul moved the tabernacle to Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40).
- David brought the ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent for it (2 Samuel 6:17, 2 Chronicles 1:4).
Why did David not bring the tabernacle from Gibeon to Jerusalem?
- He may have believed if the tabernacle were in Jerusalem, the people would be satisfied with the simple tabernacle instead of having the temple God wanted built.
- It may be that the tabernacle was only moved when it was absolutely necessary – as when disaster came upon it at Shiloh or Nob.
- David simply focused on building the temple, not continuing the tabernacle.
Commentary 2 Chronicles 1:1-6:
This bronze altar was the same altar made in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land (Exodus 36:1-2). This altar was at least 500 years old and had received many sacrifices over Israel’s long history since the Exodus.
Solomon and the people of God sought the LORD at the place of atoning sacrifice. This was the Old Testament equivalent to “coming to the cross” in seeking God.
This was an important event marking the “ceremonial” beginning of Solomon’s reign. Solomon wanted to demonstrate from the beginning that he would seek God and lead the kingdom to do so.
Commentary Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
Commands to the future king of Israel
- The king of Israel must not put undue trust in military might.
- The future king of Israel must not put undue emphasis on physical indulgence and personal status.
- The future king of Israel must not put undue emphasis on personal wealth.
Each of these issues is a matter of balance. The king had to have some military power, but not too much; one wife and certain comforts, but not too much; some personal wealth, but not too much. Such balances are often the hardest to keep.
Solomon was a notorious breaker of these commands. He had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots (1 Kings 4:26), and Solomon had horses imported from Egypt (1 Kings 10:28). He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart (1 Kings 11:3). He surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches (1 Kings 10:23).
Solomon knows the commands of Deuteronomy 17, yet deceives himself by asking the self-justifying questions, “How much is ‘multiply’?” It might seem self-evident that 700 wives and 300 concubines is multiplying wives to yourself, but one should never underestimate the ability of the human heart to deceive itself in such situations.
How modern Christians fall today
These are universal stumbling points; hence God’s commands not to do them: power, pleasure, or money. God’s commands for leaders have not changed; and neither has the need to be on guard against the self-deception in these things which felled Solomon.
The king of Israel himself was supposed to labor over parchment with a pen, making a personal copy of the law of Israel. This shows how greatly God wanted the word of God to be on the hearts of His rulers; God wanted every king to also be a scribe.
FUN FACT: “Incidentally, the phrase a copy of this law appears incorrectly in the LXX as ‘this second law’, to deuteronomion touto. It was this misunderstanding that gave rise to the English name Deuteronomy.” (Thompson)
Staying in God’s Word
- The word of God was to be constant companion of the king of Israel, and something he read every day.
- All need the word of God; but the greater our responsibilities, the greater our need to depend on the truth of God’s word.
- Staying in the word of God was intended to build a reverence for God and a holy life in the king.
It is striking to consider that reading a book – the Great Book, the Bible – can keep a person from sin. We may not understand all the spiritual work behind the word of God, but staying in the word will keep one from sin. It has been well written in many Bibles: “This book will keep you from sin. Sin will keep you from this book.”
Luther said he would rather live in hell with the Bible than to live in Paradise without the Bible.
Staying in the word of God would keep the king properly humble and help him to not think of himself as above those he ruled over.