1 Kings 3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24; 11:1
2 Chronicles 8:11
Background: around 945 BC
King David died and Solomon, his son by Bath-sheba, inherited the kingdom. Solomon was the third and last king to rule over both Israel and Judah. He walked in the in the ways of the Lord and built a temple to the Lord. Not long after he became king he made an "affinity" with the King of Egypt and took Pharaoh's daughter as his first wife.
Facts about her:
- Her marriage to Solomon was a political alliance (1 Kings 3:1);
- After the alliance she went to live in Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1);
- Her Father burnt Gezer with fire and killed all the Canaanites who lived there. He gave the city to her as a present (
1 Kgs.9: 16);
- She was not an Israelite, and Solomon marrying her was breaking the commandment that God gave to his people in Deuteronomy 7:3-4;
- She was Solomon's first wife. Solomon had 700 hundred wives and 300 concubines (1 Kgs. 11: 3);
- She was the only one of his wives who was given her own palace (1 Kings 7:8);
- It took 20 years for her palace to be finished;
- Once her palace was finished she left Jerusalem, as did Solomon's other wives
- Solomon moved his wives because he didn't want his non-Israelite wives (and their Gods) corrupting the Lord's holy house. He said: 'No wife of mine shall dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the Lord hath come.' (2 Chronicles 8:11);
- Eventually she, as well as Solomon's other "strange wives", turned his heart from worshiping the Lord. By the end of his life Solomon was worshiping "Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the detestation of the Ammonites." (
1 Kgs.11: 1.) He also built idols, made false sacrifices, and did not observe the commandments of the Lord (1 Kings 11: 1-10);
- Solomon's kingdom was overthrown by Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:19-25). Jeroboam was successful because he was supported by the people who were tried of all the taxes and labor forced upon them because of Solomon's building projects, which included the palace and upkeep for Pharaoh's daughter (1 Kings 12:3).
- The fact that the Pharaoh's daughter married Solomon shows the great prestige and wealth of the Hebrew monarchy. Pharaoh's daughters did not ordinarily marry outside of their own family, in fact it had never happened before;
- Her marriage to Solomon may have been the cause of the increased trade with Egypt talked about in1 Kings 10:28-29;
- Some scholars think that the Song of Solomon was addressed to Pharaoh's daughter. Their reason for believing this are passages 1:9 that states "I have compared thee, O my love, to a steed before Pharaoh's chariots." and 1:5 in which the woman says "I am black";
- Scholars don't agree as to her identity, but she is speculated to be the daughter of Pharaoh Shoshenq 1 and that her name was Nicaule or Tashere.
- This tomb in Jerusalem is claimed to be hers. Archeologists say that the reason it has a flat roof is because it once supported a pyramid on top of it as a fancy headstone.
- Women have great influence over their husbands, and can use that influence to bring their husbands closer to God or to alienate their husbands from God;
- Unrighteous women can be bring about the downfall of great men;
- God has given commandments on marriage. The greatest joy and peace possible, in this life and in eternity, comes when these commandments are followed.
- What type of influence do you have on the men (or women) in your life? Are you using that influence to bring them closer to God?
- Why do you think the Lord command the Israelites not to marry foreign wives? What harm could it do?
- Do you think that Solomon knew he was sinning by taking a foreign wife? How do you think he justified it?