And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Which had appeared unto him twice.—See 1Kings 3:5; 1Kings 9:2.) Stress is laid on these direct visions of the Lord to Solomon, as contrasted with the usual indirect revelation through the prophets, and so carrying with them peculiar privilege and responsibility.1 Kings 11:8. And likewise did he for all his strange wives — For what he granted to one, the others would be disposed to claim, or else complain of his unkindness to them. One would have expected from his wisdom and piety rather to have found him instrumental in converting them all to his religion, than to be himself seduced to theirs! But, alas! he does not appear to have taken any pains with them for any such purpose, being too much given up to his pleasures, and thinking, perhaps, that he could reconcile his religion with theirs, and find a good meaning in all their superstitious. And sacrificed unto their gods — See what need those have to stand upon their guard, who have been eminent for religion. The devil will set upon them most violently; and if they miscarry, the reproach is the greater. It is the evening that commends the day. Let us therefore fear, lest, having run well, we come short.Numbers 21:29 note), seems to have been widely worshipped in Western Asia. His name occurs frequently on the "Moabite-Stone." Car-Chemish, "the fort of Chemosh," a great city of the northern Hittites, must have been under his protection. In Babylon he seems to have been known as Chomus-belus, or Chemosh-Bel.
The hill - Olivet. At present the most southern summit only (the "Mons Offensionis") is pointed out as having been desecrated by the idol sanctuaries: but the early Eastern travelers tell us that in their time the most northern suburb was believed to have been the site of the high p ace of Chemosh, the southern one that of Moloch only.
which burnt incense, and sacrificed unto their gods; the gods of the countries from whence they came, and in the worship of which they had been brought up: this shows that the best and wisest of men, when left to themselves, may do the worst and most foolish of all things; as nothing can be more so than the worship of such wretched deities.And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. and likewise did he for all his strange wives] i.e. For such of them as desired a special place for their worship. Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Moloch would suffice for the greater number, but we know of other gods among the nations round about, and the text implies that all were equally regarded. In the LXX. (Vat.) the order of these eight verses is considerably varied from the Hebrew text, and the narrative commences somewhat differently, thus: ‘And king Solomon was a lover of women, and he had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines.’Verse 8. - And likewise did he for all [having done it for one, he must needs do it for all. "No hill about Jerusalem was free from a chapel of devils" (Hall) ] his strange wives, which burnt [Heb. burning, Ewald, 335 a] incense and sacrificed unto their gods. [Observe, as bearing on the question of Solomon's apostasy, that Solomon built the altars; his wives sacrificed, etc. According to Keil, incense is here mentioned before sacrifice, because vegetable took precedence of animal offerings in the nature worship of Western Asia (Bahr, Symbolik, 2 pp; 237 sqq.) But it is very doubtful whether this idea was in the mind of the writer.] 1 Kings 11:1, 1 Kings 11:2.
"Solomon loved many foreign wives, and that along with the daughter of Pharaoh." ואת־בּת פ, standing as it does between נכריּות ר נשׁים and מואביּות, cannot mean "and especially the daughter of P.," as Thenius follows the earlier commentators in supposing, but must mean, as in 1 Kings 11:25, "and that with, or along with," i.e., actually beside the daughter of Pharaoh. She is thereby distinguished from the foreign wives who turned away Solomon's heart from the Lord, so that the blame pronounced upon those marriages does not apply to his marriage to the Egyptian princess (see at 1 Kings 3:1). All that is blamed is that, in opposition to the command in Deuteronomy 17:17, Solomon loved (1) many foreign wives, and (2) Moabitish, Ammonitish, and other wives, of the nations with whom the Israelites were not to intermarry. All that the law expressly prohibited was marriage with Canaanitish women (Deuteronomy 7:1-3; Exodus 34:16); consequently the words "of the nations," etc., are not to be taken as referring merely to the Sidonian and Hittite women (J. D. Mich.); but this prohibition is extended here to all the tribes enumerated in 1 Kings 11:2, just as in Ezra 9:2., 1 Kings 10:3; Nehemiah 13:23; not from a rigour surpassing the law, but in accordance with the spirit of the law, namely, because the reason appended to the law, ne in idololatriam a superstitiosis mulieribus pellicerentur (Clericus), applied to all these nations. The Moabites and Ammonites, moreover, were not to be received into the congregation at all, not even to the tenth generation, and of the Edomites only the children in the third generation were to be received (Deuteronomy 23:4, Deuteronomy 23:8-9). There was all the less reason, therefore, for permitting marriages with them, that is to say, so long as they retained their nationality or their heathen ways. The words בּכם...לא־תבאוּ are connected in form with Joshua 23:12, but, like the latter, they really rest upon Exodus 34:16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-3. In the last clause בּהם is used with peculiar emphasis: Solomon clave to these nations, of which God had said such things, to love, i.e., to enter into the relation of love or into the marriage relation, with them. דּבק is used of the attachment of a man to his wife (Genesis 2:4) and also to Jehovah (Deuteronomy 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:20, etc.).
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