The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Third Book of Kings
But king Solomon gave his heart to many women of alien birth, not only to Pharao’s daughter, but to Moabites and Ammonites, Edomites and Sidonians and Hethites.
It was of such races that the Lord had warned Israel, You must not mate with them, or let them mate with your daughters; no question but they will beguile your hearts into the worship of their own gods. Hotly he loved and close he clung to them;
seven hundred wives, each with a queen’s rights, and three hundred concubines besides; what marvel if they beguiled his heart?
So, an old man now, he was enticed by women into the worship of alien gods, and his heart was not true to the Lord, his own God, like his father David’s before him.
To Astarthe, goddess of the Sidonians, Solomon bowed down, and to Moloch, the false god of Ammon,
and set the Lord’s will at defiance, instead of shewing his father’s loyalty.
To Chamos, the false god of Moab, and to Moloch, the false god of Ammon, Solomon built shrines, there on the mountain-side in full view of Jerusalem,
and humoured thus all those foreign wives of his, that must burn incense, each to her own god, and offer victims.
So the Lord was angry with Solomon for playing him false, when he, the Lord God of Israel, had twice appeared to him,
and warned him against this very sin of alien worship; a warning that went unremembered.
Since this is thy mind, he told Solomon, to disregard my covenant and the bidding I gave thee, I will not scruple to tear the kingdom from thy grasp, and give it to one of thy own servants.
Only, for the love of thy father David, I will not do it in thy life-time; it is thy son that shall lose his kingdom.
Nor will I take away the whole of it; one tribe he shall have left to him, for the sake of my servant David, and Jerusalem, the city of my choice.
And the Lord gave Solomon an enemy to contend with, Adad the Idumean, of the royal dynasty of Edom.
This man had made his escape, at the time when David invaded Idumea, and Joab, the commander of his army, was seeing to the burial of all its male inhabitants, who had been put to the sword.
Joab, with all the fighting men of Israel, had spent six months there, exterminating every male survivor of the Edomite race,
and meanwhile Adad, still in early boyhood, took refuge in Egypt, under the charge of certain Edomites, that had been his father’s servants.
It was from Madian they began their journey, and when they reached Pharan they found adherents there; with these, they made their way into Egypt and had recourse to king Pharao, who gave Adad a house of his own, with an allowance of food and lands to cultivate.
Great favour Adad won with king Pharao, who gave him his own sister-in-law, the sister of queen Taphnes, for his wife;
by her he had a son, Genubath, whom Taphnes brought up at Pharao’s palace, so that he lived at court among Pharao’s own children.
When news reached Adad, there in Egypt, that David had been laid to rest with his fathers, and that Joab, too, the commander of his army, was dead, he asked Pharao’s leave to go back to his own country.
Why, Pharao asked, what is lacking to thee here, that thou shouldst be pining for thy home? Nothing, said he, but give me leave for all that.
(Meanwhile, God gave Solomon another enemy to contend with, Razon, son of Eliada, that ran away from his master, Adarezer king of Soba,
and levied war on him. When David conquered Soba, Razon became leader of a robber band, that went and settled in Damascus, where they made him king;
and all through Solomon’s reign he was the enemy of Israel.) Such was the cause of Adad’s rebellion and his ill will against Israel, and he set up a kingdom in Syria.✻
There was a servant, too, of king Solomon’s that turned against him, Jeroboam son of Nabat, an Ephraimite that lived at Sareda with his widowed mother, Sarva.
And this is the story of his rebellion against his master. At the time when Solomon was building Mello, and filling up the gap his father had left in the walls of David’s Keep,
this Jeroboam was a warrior at the height of his strength, and Solomon marked him out for a young man gifted and active, so he put him in charge of the labour that was exacted from the northern tribes.✻
And now, as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, he met the prophet Ahias, of Silo, that was clad in a new cloak, out in the open country, where none else was by.
And Ahias, tearing the new cloak he wore into twelve pieces,
bade Jeroboam take ten of them; This message, said he, the Lord God of Israel sends thee, I mean to wrest the kingship from the power of Solomon, and make over ten tribes to thee.
One tribe shall remain his, for the sake of my servant David, and of Jerusalem, among all the cities of Israel the city of my choice.
He has forsaken me, to worship Astarthe, goddess of the Sidonians, Chamos, god of Moab, and Moloch, god of Ammon; he has not followed the path I bade him follow, by doing my will and keeping command and decree of mine, like his father David before him.
Not from his hand will I take the kingdom away, nor all of it; while he lives, I will grant him rule over it, for love of my chosen servant David, that kept command and decree of mine faithfully;
but his son shall lose it. Ten tribes I will give to thee,
and to his son one tribe only, so that my servant David may still have his lamp alight in my presence, there in Jerusalem, the favoured sanctuary of my name.
On thee my choice shall fall; thou shalt have power to thy heart’s content, the king of Israel.
And if thou wilt attend to the charge I lay upon thee, following the ways I bid thee follow and doing my will, keeping command and decree of mine as my servant David once did, then I will be with thee, and grant thee a dynasty abiding as David’s was.
I will make Israel over to thee; such sorrow I will bring on the race of David, but not for ever.
Solomon would fain have put Jeroboam to death, but he was up and gone; he took refuge with Sesac king of Egypt, and remained there till Solomon’s death.
As for the rest of Solomon’s life and doings, and the stories told of his wisdom, they are all to be found in the Annals of king Solomon.
He was forty years on the throne, with his capital at Jerusalem, but with all Israel for his subjects;
and when he was laid to rest with his fathers, they buried him, David’s heir, in David’s Keep. And he was succeeded by his son Roboam.
The Holy Bible