Of the nations concerning which the LORD said to the children of Israel, You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in to you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon joined to these in love.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 11:2. Concerning which the Lord said — Ye shall not go in unto them — This relates especially to the Hittites and the Zidonians, and consequently the rest of the seven nations of Canaan, with whom they were forbidden to make any marriage, (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3,) for the weighty reason here mentioned. For though they might marry women of other nations, if these women embraced the true religion, yet of the seven nations of Canaan they might not, although they were converted to their religion; lest the venom should lurk and lie hid, and at last break out and infect them. Great was the foresight wherewith God endowed Moses in giving this precept, as Grotius remarks; and the not observing it was of fatal consequence to the Israelites, and laid the foundation of their utter ruin. Solomon clave unto these in love — Was extravagantly fond of them. He had much knowledge; but to what purpose, when he knew not how to govern his appetites?
1Ki 11:1-8. Solomon's Wives and Concubines in His Old Age.
1, 2. But King Solomon loved many strange women—Solomon's extraordinary gift of wisdom was not sufficient to preserve him from falling into grievous and fatal errors. A fairer promise of true greatness, a more beautiful picture of juvenile piety, never was seen than that which he exhibited at the commencement of his reign. No sadder, more humiliating, or awful spectacle can be imagined than the besotted apostasy of his old age; and to him may be applied the words of Paul (Ga 3:3), of John (Re 3:17), and of Isaiah (Isa 14:21). A love of the world, a ceaseless round of pleasure, had insensibly corrupted his heart, and produced, for a while at least, a state of mental darkness. The grace of God deserted him; and the son of the pious David—the religiously trained child of Bath-sheba (Pr 31:1-3), and pupil of Nathan, instead of showing the stability of sound principle and mature experience became at last an old and foolish king (Ec 4:13). His fall is traced to his "love of many strange women." Polygamy was tolerated among the ancient Hebrews; and, although in most countries of the East, the generality of men, from convenience and economy, confine themselves to one woman, yet a number of wives is reckoned as an indication of wealth and importance, just as a numerous stud of horses and a grand equipage are among us. The sovereign, of course, wishes to have a more numerous harem than any of his subjects; and the female establishments of many Oriental princes have, both in ancient and modern times, equalled or exceeded that of Solomon's. It is probable, therefore, that, in conformity with Oriental notions, he resorted to it as a piece of state magnificence. But in him it was unpardonable, as it was a direct and outrageous violation of the divine law (De 17:17), and the very result which that statute was ordained to prevent was realized in him. His marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh is not censured either here or elsewhere (see on 1Ki 3:1). It was only his love for many strange women; for women, though in the East considered inferiors, exert often a silent but powerful seductive influence over their husbands in the harem, as elsewhere, and so it was exemplified in Solomon.Ye shall not go in to them, i.e. marry them. See Poole "Genesis 6:4".
They will turn away your heart after their gods: possibly Solomon might think himself too wise to be drawn to idolatry by his wives, and therefore to be unconcerned in the reason of the law; and consequently free in some measure from the obligation of the law; and so, like our first parents, trusting his own fancy more than God’s word, he fell dreadfully. Deuteronomy 7:1.
for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods; which is the reason given for the making the above law, and was sadly verified in Solomon: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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. of the nations concerning which the Lord said] The prohibition of intermarriage with the nations of Canaan is given in Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4. Like so much else in the Law, it was a great ideal toward which neither the people nor their rulers were earnest in advancing, when they once became settled in some portion of the land.Verse 2. - Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel [Of the nations just enumerated, the law expressly forbade marriage with the Hittites alone (Exodus 34:11-16; Deuteronomy 7:1-4), though the Zidonians are probably to be included, as being Canaanites (Genesis 10:15). But the principle which applied in the case of the seven nations of Canaan applied equally to all other idolaters. "They will turn away thy son from following me," etc. (Deuteronomy 7:4). The spirit of the law, consequently, was as much violated by an Edomite or Ammonite as by a Hittite alliance], Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you [much the same expression Joshua 23:12. The historian does not cite any special Scripture, however, but gives the substance of several warnings], for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods [cf. Exodus 34:16]: Solomon clave [same word Genesis 2:4] unto these [emphatic in Heb. "even to these," instead of cleaving to God (Deuteronomy 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:20; Deuteronomy 30:20, each of which has the same word as here), and despite the prohibitions of the law, etc.] in love. 1 Kings 10:23-29 everything that had to be stated concerning the wealth, wisdom, and revenue of Solomon is summed up as conclusion (cf. 2 Chronicles 9:22-28 and 2 Chronicles 1:14-17).
1 Kings 10:23, 1 Kings 10:24 point back to 1 Kings 5:9-14. ויּגדּל: Solomon became greater, not was greater, on account of the Vv consec. כּל־הארץ, all the world, corresponds to כּל־העמּים in 1 Kings 5:14. The foreigners out of all lands, who came on account of his wisdom, brought Solomon presents: gold and silver vessels, clothes (שׂלמות, court dresses, which are still customary presents in the East), נשׁק, armour, spices, horses and mules.
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