Putting Solomon's wives on the map:King Solomon loved women. He loved his Egyptian wife, the daughter of Pharaoh. But he loved hundreds of other women, too. He married many women who weren’t Israelites. He married women from the nations of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, as well as Hittites.These are the same nations the LORD told people in Israel to avoid. He said, “Don’t marry them. If you do, they’ll convince you to worship their gods.” But Solomon loved who he loved.
Solomon married 700 princesses and 300 concubines. Dramatically outnumbered, Solomon lost the battle of the gods to his foreign wives. They turned him away from the LORD.By the time Solomon grew into an old man, his wives had completely eroded his devotion to the LORD. Solomon’s father, David, had stayed true to God. Solomon did not. He worshiped other gods.Solomon worshiped Astarte, goddess of Sidon. And he worshiped Milcom, the disgusting filth of a god that the people of Ammon worship.Solomon got it wrong. His father David got it right; he obeyed the LORD. But Solomon decided not to obey God.
Pagan gods in Israel’s hills
Solomon built a hilltop shrine for worshiping Chemosh, god of Moab. And on the Mount of Olives, the ridge of hills east of Jerusalem, he built a shrine to worship Molech, another repulsive god of Ammon.He built similar places of worship for all his foreign wives, so they could continue worshiping their own gods by burning incense and offering sacrifices.The LORD was furious with Solomon. The LORD had already appeared to Solomon twice and talked with him. Yet the king still decided to reject his own God, the God of Israel.Solomon did that even though God had personally told him not to worship other gods. (1 Kings 11:1-10, Casual English Bible)
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