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1 Kings 11:9-13 -

After the consecration of the temple Solomon reached the culminating point of his reign, both in a spiritual and temporal point of view. His fame and his dominion continued to increase. The Queen of Sheba came from the far East to pay him homage. From this summit of glory he had a sudden and shameful fall, and became all but an apostate. This son of David, whose high honour it was to have built and consecrated the temple of Jehovah, this heir of the promises on which hung the salvation of mankind, sank into idolatry. The causes of his fall were—1st, PRIDE : he forgot to give glory to God. 2nd, LUST : strange women enticed him after strange gods ( 1 Kings 11:8 ). The fall of Solomon repeats in a manner the features of the first transgression. It began in the desire to be as God, and was consummated in the gratification of the flesh. Its emphatic warning to all God's people is, "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall" ( 1 Corinthians 10:12 ). Chastisement from God is the consequence of this fall. God had already warned Solomon that His most glorious promises were contingent on obedience to His commands. "If thou walk in my ways," etc. ( 1 Kings 3:18 , 1 Kings 3:14 ). God chastens Solomon because He loves him, and does not altogether take His mercy from him, since He still leaves the kingdom of Judah to his descendants. The book of Ecclesiastes, with its blending of bitterness and repentance, is perhaps the ripening fruit of this merciful severity.—E.deP.

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