But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1 Kings 11:22
We can scarcely doubt that love of country was the ruling feeling in Hadad's wish to return to Edom. Had it been revenge or ambition, he could have named it to Pharaoh, and he would have been understood; but it was a feeling he could not explain. It is an old Edomite anticipation of the saying of the Latin poet, "I know not what charm it is which leads us captive in the love of native land; it will not let us forget."
I. The love of country is a feeling not only deep in our nature, as we do not need to show, but acknowledged and approved in the Bible. (1) It is one of the ways by which God secures that the earth should be inhabited. The world must have an anchor as well as a sail. Rocky Edom is dear as fertile Egypt, and bleak, storm-struck islands more than southern Edens. (2) This love of the native soil has been one of the great springs of the poetry of the race. Apart from the region of the spirit itself, imagination is never more pure and purifying than when it takes for its subject the things of native land and home.
II. Another thought suggested by this feeling is that it leads to acts of great self-sacrifice and endeavour. Next to religion there is probably nothing in human nature which has called out such a heroic spirit of martyrdom or such long, persistent labour, as the love of native land.
III. This feeling should enable us to understand the hearts and work for the rights of all men. Augustine has said that we may make a ladder of the dead things within us to climb to the highest; but there is another ladder of living things by which we can rise as high, and by which our sympathies can be travelling to and fro like the angels in the dream of Bethel. The vision begins in the dreamer's own breast, and then it passes up into the skies.
IV. This feeling may help the conception of another and a higher country. It is one of the ways by which God keeps the heart above sensualism and bitter selfishness, a kind of salt that saves nations from entire corruption. He takes hold of this, as of other natural affections, to lift men to the "fatherland of souls." We should purify our affection for the lower, that it may lead us on and lift us to the higher.
J. Ker, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 137.
I. Men cannot always give an account of their impulses. We seem to have everything, yet we want something else. We have all Egypt, yet we are willing to leave it for Edom.
II. What we mistake, either in ourselves or in others, for mere restlessness may be the pressure of destiny. We blame some men roughly for desiring a change when really the Lord has spoken to them.
III. We may judge of the value of our impulses by the self-denial imposed by their operation. This law of judgment will disenchant many of our supposed Divine impulses.
IV. Is it not by some such impulse that the good man meets death with a brave heart? How else could he leave loved ones, home, manifold enjoyment, and social honour?
V. Remember how possible it is to overrule our best impulses. Is not the Spirit of Christ urging every man to leave the Egypt of sinful bondage? "Come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord."
Parker, The Ark of God, p. 233.
References: 1 Kings 11:14-22.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 342. 1 Kings 11:21.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 158. 1 Kings 11:28.— Thain Davidson, Talks with Young Men, p. 175. 1 Kings 11:29.—Expositor, 3rd series, vol. v., p. 47. 1 Kings 11:31, 1 Kings 11:32.—G. Rawlinson, Hampton Lectures, 1859, p. 89; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xi., p. 14. 1 Kings 12:1-3.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. ix., p. 174. 1 Kings 12:1-20.—Parker, Fountain, Jan. 4th, 1877. 1 Kings 12:1-33.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 18. 1 Kings 12:13.—A. Young, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 121.
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 he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, 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 appeared 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 David 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 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.
For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom;
(For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:)
That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child.
And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.
And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.
And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.
And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:
And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.
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 lifted up his hand against the king.
And this was the cause that he lifted 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, he 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, because 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 all that 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 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 afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
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 rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.