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1Ki 11:1 Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites-
Yet at the very time he was marrying them, he wrote in his wisdom that the words of wisdom would preserve / keep / defend a Jewish man from being damaged by them (Prov. 2:16; 6:24; 7:5). The connection would seem to suggest that Solomon reasoned that because he had wisdom, because he had 'the truth', he could therefore enjoy these "strange women" without them corrupting his heart; because he had wisdom. Thus he thought that mere possession of Divine truth was some kind of insurance policy against moral sin being counted to him. And so many have gone down this road; so many who knew more true theology than many have at the same time made an awful mess of their personal lives, just as Solomon did. This is why the higher one goes in the echelons of Christian organizations, the greater the learning and knowledge a person has, the more powerful is the tendency towards gross hypocrisy in moral terms. The point is, of course, that all the knowledge of God which we quite rightly seek after must be personally applied. The very possession of it and teaching of it to others can of itself make a man or woman demotivated to personally apply it.

1Ki 11:2 of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods. Solomon joined to these in love-
The implication is that Solomon took those wives thinking 'Well, I know the law says they will surely turn away my heart, but actually they won't, I can handle it'; and he didn't handle it. Solomon seems to have realized, in the bitterness of Ecclesiastes, that he had made the same mistake as Samson: "I find more bitter than death [i.e. it would be better to be dead than be in this position] the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her" (Ecc. 7:26). These were surely Samson's thoughts in those eyeless weeks in Gaza: better to have died than to have been snared by Gentile women.

Solomon "clave unto  these in  love", surely alluding to God's definition of marriage  as a leaving father and mother and cleaving to a wife. Solomon really loved those women; they weren't just political strings to his bow. They would not have turned away his heart if they  were  only  political  relationships.  1000 seems a rather exorbitant  number  of  political alliances to have in any case. And Ecc. 2:8 RV says that Solomon sought “the delights of the sons of men, concubines of all sorts”. He took sex to its maximum extent- he had every possible type of woman in his harem. Every hair colour, size, type. “Whatsoever mine eyes desired [this is language elsewhere used about sexual desire] I kept not from them” (Ecc. 2:10). And yet still, he never found one… counting one by one, as he put it. If ever there is a warning against immorality, it is here. The more relationships one has- and our world glorifies this- the less ultimate satisfaction there can be. God’s way has to be best.  

1Ki 11:3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart-
This lack of self examination and confidence that he could not spiritually fail is reflected in 1 Kings 11:2,3, where we are reminded that God had said that foreign wives would "surely... turn away your heart after their gods". How "surely" this would happen was not believed by Solomon. "He had seven hundred wives... and his wives turned away his heart". He started marrying these foreign wives when he was young; presumably he reasoned that they could never turn away his heart because he was the Son of David, the Messianic King. In Prov. 6:27 he soberly warns against the strange (i.e. Gentile) woman, observing that a man cannot take this kind of fire into his bosom and not be burned by it. Yet this is exactly what he was doing at the time he wrote that. His public removal of his Egyptian wife from the house of David " because the places are holy" (2 Chron. 8:11) is therefore to be seen as spiritual pride, appearing to do the right thing, when his heart was far from it.

Solomon's heart was "turned away", or 'influenced' by his wives towards idols (1 Kings 11:3). Yet Solomon uses this very idea of the heart being turned or influenced in Prov. 2:2; 22:17 about the need to turn our hearts towards God's word. He taught, but did the very opposite. And perhaps Prov. 21:1 explains why he did this- he says there that Yahweh turns the heart of the King wherever He wishes- and so perhaps he thought that control of our thinking and inclinations is unnecessary, because somehow God will do it for us. And there's a lesson there for us, who may assume at times that God will somehow control our hearts for us, rather than our making a conscious effort towards mind control.

Many passages make the connection between marriage out of the covenant, and adopting idolatry: Ex. 34:12-16; Dt. 7:2-9; Jud. 3:6,7; 1 Kings 11:2,3; Mal. 2:11; 2 Cor. 6:14. Dt. 7:4 RV dogmatically predicts that a Gentile man will definitely turn away the heart of his Hebrew son-in-law… So certain is it that marriage to Gentiles leads to accepting their idols that Ezra 9:1,2 reasons that Israel hadn't separated from idols because they had married Gentiles. Time and again, those who marry out of the covenant claim that they feel strong enough to cope with it, that marriage is only a human thing, and that their spiritual relationship with God is between them and God, and unaffected by their worldly partner. Yet this is exactly the opposite of what God's word says. It's not true that you can marry into the world and be unaffected in your own spirituality.

1Ki 11:4 For it happened, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as was the heart of David his father-
"Turned away" is the word used by Solomon in warning his son about the dangers of bad women: "With persuasive words she led him astray" (Prov. 7:21). "Led him astray" is the very term used of how Solomon's wives turned his heart astray from God (1 Kings 11:4,9). The more Solomon knew Divine truth, the more he seems to have considered himself free to ignore it and in fact do the very opposite. He clearly thought that mere possession of that truth was the basis for his justification, and dismissed any idea of self examination or awareness that he might in fact personally fail in obedience.

God said that He accepted the temple not so much as a place to dwell in (as Solomon assumed it was) but as a place facilitating sacrifice, prayer etc., for the glorification of His Name through these things; He emphasized that He dwelt amongst His people (1 Kings 6:13; 2 Chron. 7:12-16). There are several other places where God’s response to Solomon’s words seems to be corrective rather than affirmatory. Thus Solomon says that God will hear the prayers of His people because the temple is called by God’s Name; but God’s response is that “my people, which are called by my name” would pray to Him themselves and be heard, quite apart from the temple (2 Chron. 6:33 cp. 7:14). He sees them as bearing His Name rather than the temple building, as Solomon perceived it. God goes on to parallel the temple and His people in 2 Chron. 7:21,22, saying that if He punishes the temple He will punish the people. Solomon seems to have thought that the temple would still stand favourably in God’s eyes even if the people were punished. The record records that the temple was “perfected” whereas Solomon’s heart wasn’t perfect [s.w.] (1 Kings 11:4 cp. 2 Chron. 8:16).

There are copious connections between Solomon's  writings:  Proverbs,  Ecclesiastes  and the Song; and also  between  then and the historical record of his life. These serve  to demonstrate how he clearly contradicted the principles of  the Gospel which he taught both to Israel and the world. One of  the  clearest  examples  of  this  is in Prov. 7:16,17, which describes the bed of the strange (i.e. Gentile) woman with which she  allures  the simple young Israelite: "I have decked my bed with  coverings  of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of  Egypt.  I  have  perfumed  my  bed  with  myrrh,  aloes, and cinnamon".  Yet  these  are  the  very  descriptions  of the bed Solomon  shared  with  Miss Egypt (Song 3:6-10). The young man's heart  was made to go astray because of her (Prov. 7:25), and her house  led him to death (Prov. 7:27). Miss Egypt caused Solomon's heart  to  go astray (1 Kings 11:1-4), he built her a house, and her house became an idol temple which destroyed Solomon's faith. Yet  Solomon  warned  the  young men of Israel all about this in Prov. 7; and he even pointed out that such a woman would have all the  outward  trappings  of  Yahweh  worship; she would claim an enthusiasm  for  keeping  peace  offerings and vows (Prov. 7:14). Solomon was  the young  man  whose picture he was painting. In Ecc. 9:12  he  says  that he suffered the fate of all men in that soon  he would die, he would suddenly be caught like a bird in a snare,  although  he knew not his time. These are the very ideas of  Prov. 7:23  concerning the snaring of the simple young man by the  Gentile woman: "As a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life".


1Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites-
Solomon went off to other gods because his heart was not "perfect", not at peace [Heb.- not at shalom] with the one true God- so says 1 Kings 11:4,5. We see here the upward spiral of spirituality- knowing we are forgiven, being comfortable and at peace with God, means we will not go after the idols of this world. For there is an endless searching for peace in the human heart. If we don't accept the forgiveness and peace that can from God alone, we will seek peace in false ways. And that's just what Solomon did- for all his wisdom, he didn't personally know peace with God. Head knowledge doesn't give peace- for that is experiential.

1Ki 11:6 Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and didn’t go fully after Yahweh, as did David his father-
Solomon didn't go "fully" after Yahweh (1 Kings 11:6)- and yet this same Hebrew word is often on his lips in describing how God has "fulfilled" His promises to David through Solomon. Thus he saw the promises of God as some kind of unconditional offer of blessing- rather than grasping that their fulfillments to us actually demand a 'fulfillment' from us. So for all Solomon's references to the promises to David, he didn't see that they required something from him. And we can be so very similar, knowing God's promises and rejoicing in their fulfillment, without perceiving that this of itself requires response from us.

Having spoken of the need to tolerate our brother, the Lord Jesus repeated His common theme: that there is no third road: "For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Lk. 6:41-43). There's no third position. Either we love our brother, and bring forth good fruit; or we don't get down to it, and bring forth bad fruit. We can't sometimes bring forth good, sometimes bad. At heart, we are either loving or selfishly hateful. Anything less than following Yahweh with all our heart is seen as doing evil in His eyes (1 Kings 11:6).

1Ki 11:7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the mountain that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon-
Solomon could calmly warn others in Prov. 5:8 "don't go near the house of the Gentile woman". But he built his Gentile woman a house and then a house for her gods.

What a contrast with Ps. 125:2 "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so Yahweh surrounds His people from this time forth and forever". The hills around Jerusalem are not huge mountains. They are small hills, and this is the picture of God's protection; not hugely visible, but there. But the mountains around Jerusalem became the "high places" of idolatry (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; 2 Chron. 21:11); what should have been the symbols of Yahweh's protection became perverted.

1Ki 11:8 So he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods-
I suggest on Ecc. 5:1,2 that we are reading there Solomon's regret that David had taken the oath about building the temple, because he is now rejecting the temple cult. He built "houses" of worship for the gods of his wives, and worshipped them instead of Yahweh (1 Kings 11:4-8), worshipping in those temples rather than in Yahweh's temple. So we can understand his reflections in Ecc. 5 as meaning that he was regretting David had vowed to build the temple, leaving him to fulfil it; and his references there to Yahweh dwelling in the temple are therefore to be read as sarcastic.

1Ki 11:9 Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Yahweh, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice-
As noted on Ps. 119:36; 141:4, David believed that God could act deep within the psychology or heart of man, to incline us toward righteousness and away from evil. This is how the Holy Spirit works today. Solomon believed the same (s.w. 1 Kings 8:58), but only in theory; for his Gentile wives inclined or turned away his heart from God (s.w. 1 Kings 11:3,9). God will not turn our hearts anywhere we ourselves don't want to go. Solomon often appeals for us to incline our hearts to wisdom (s.w. Prov. 2:2; 4:20; 5:1; 22:17), but he himself was inclined to apostasy (s.w. 1 Kings 11:3,9). All his emphasis is upon the need to incline ourselves, whereas his father David trusted in the work of the Spirit to incline his heart to good and away from evil (Ps. 141:4; 119:36 etc.).   

1Ki 11:10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he didn’t keep that which Yahweh commanded-
God is clearly stating that Solomon had failed to meet the conditions required for him to be the Messianic son of David according to the promises of 2 Sam. 7. This made all Solomon's reasoning about the nature of the temple null and void. Not keeping that which was commanded by Yahweh is the language of the breaking of the covenant in Dt. 28:45, and therefore "all these curses shall come upon you". But by grace they didn't come upon Solomon, because of God's great respect for his father David. Considering the extent of God's wrath with Solomon (:9), this of itself reflects the high opinion God had of David. His various out of character failures did not ultimately change God's very high and fond opinion of a man who gave his heart to Him. 

1Ki 11:11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, Because this is done by you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant-
The same punishment which came upon Saul was to come upon Solomon (s.w. 1 Sam. 15:28). And yet Solomon's Proverbs are full of indirect allusions to Saul, presenting him as the archetypical fool. Now, Solomon is told that he will suffer the same fate as Saul.

Solomon's prophetic sonship of David was conditional upon him preserving or observing Yahweh's ways (1 Kings 2:4; 1 Chron. 22:13; 2 Chron. 7:17); but he didn't preserve of observe them (1 Kings 11:10,11); despite David praying that Solomon would be given a heart to observe them (1 Chron. 29:19). We can pray for God to work upon the hearts of others, but He will not force people against their own deepest will and heart position. Solomon stresses overmuch how God would keep or preserve the righteous (Prov. 2:8; 3:26), without recognizing the conditional aspect of this. Why did Solomon go wrong? His Proverbs are true enough, but he stresses that obedience to his wisdom and teaching would preserve his hearers (Prov. 4:4; 6:22; 7:1; 8:32; 15:5), preservation was through following the example of the wise (Prov. 2:20); rather than stressing obedience to God's ways, and replacing David his father's simple love of God with a love of academic wisdom: "Yahweh preserves all those who love Him" (Ps. 145:20).

1Ki 11:12 Notwithstanding I will not do it in your days, for David your father’s sake; but I will tear it out of the hand of your son-
As observed on :10, this reflects God's abiding high opinion of David. As we try to attach meaning to event in life, we soon perceive that everything is so multi factorial. There are so many factors involved. Solomon's reaping the results of his sins was ameliorated for him in this life, because of his father. Rehoboam his son suffered the effects of his father's sins, whereas Solomon suffered the effects of his father's righteousness. The ultimate equilibrium in each human life is not ultimately discernible; and things are this way in order to humble us and exercise our faith in the simple fact that God is the judge, and He is ultimately just. Even if that justice is not immediately discernible in life.

1Ki 11:13 However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for David My servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen-
The extent of grace explains countless apparent contradictions and paradoxes throughout God's relationships with men- e.g. God repeatedly said that He would leave David with “one tribe” (1 Kings 11:13). But actually by grace He gave David and Judah two and a half tribes. As discussed on :12,  Solomon's reaping the results of his sins was ameliorated for him in this life, because of his father. The 'choosing' of Jerusalem doesn't simply mean God chose it in the sense of selecting it from all the other cities of the earth. For Zech. 1:17; 2:12 speak of God choosing Jerusalem again at the restoration, implying His choice of it had somehow been annulled. So we need to understand 'choosing' as meaning 'choosing to manifest His presence there'. 

1Ki 11:14 Yahweh raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom-
The Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament uses the Greek word diabolos to translate the Hebrew 'Satan'. Hence Devil and Satan are effectively parallel in meaning. Thus we read in the Septuagint of David being an adversary [Heb. Satan, Gk. diabolos] in 1 Sam. 29:4 ["turns against us"]; the sons of Zeruiah (2 Sam. 19:22), Hadad, Rezon and other opponents to Solomon (1 Kings 5:4; 11:14,23,25). We face a simple choice- if we believe that every reference to 'Satan' or 'Devil' refers to an evil cosmic being, then we have to assume that these people weren't people at all, and that even good men like David were evil. The far more natural reading of these passages is surely that 'Satan' is simply a word meaning 'adversary', and can be applied to people [good and bad], and even God Himself- it carries no pejorative, sinister meaning as a word. We note too that Yahweh raised up this 'satan'. The 'satan' was not outside God's control; there is no radical evil in the cosmos. For God is almighty.

1Ki 11:15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the army was gone up to bury the slain, and had struck every male in Edom-
David made the captives lay down in three lines. He arbitrarily chose one line to keep alive, and killed the other two lines (2 Sam. 8:2). This can’t be justified as some careful obedience to some Mosaic law. It reads like something out of the Holocaust, an arbitrary slaying of some in order to exercise the whim of one’s own power. No wonder David was barred from building the temple because of his attitude to bloodshed. Likewise when Rabbah is captured, David proudly puts the crown of the king on his head, grabs their spoil for himself (not following Abraham's example), “and he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon” (2 Sam. 12:31). Now all that is torture. It’s one thing to obey Divine commands about slaying enemies; it’s another to willfully torture them, Auschwitz-style. These incidents reveal David at his worst. And again- did he really have to ensure that every male in Edom was murdered (1 Kings 11:15,16)- was that really necessary? What about the mums, wives, sisters left weeping, and the fatherless daughters, left to grow up in the dysfunction of a leaderless Middle Eastern home? Those men were all somebody’s sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers. Was David really obeying some Divine command here, or was this the dictate of his own anger and dysfunctional bloodlust? We get the impression this was another example of his wrong attitude to the shedding of blood (1 Chron. 22:8).

1Ki 11:16 (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom)-
The cutting of every male must be understood in the context of :14, which says that Hadad was of the king's seed in Edom. I suggest it means that all the royal family of Edom were cut off, but Hadad was the only one who managed to escape. So "every male", rather like "all Israel", is not to be read as globally "every" and "all".

1Ki 11:17 that Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt, Hadad being yet a little child-
"His father's servants" suggests Hadad was the son of the king of Edo m who had been killed by David's men. The flight to Egypt could be seen as looking ahead to the experience of the Lord Jesus, because as explained on :28, Jeroboam was set up as a potential Messianic figure. Had he succeeded as intended, then the flight to Egypt would have become clear in its typical significance. We marvel at the detailed effort God puts in to setting up so much potential which so often comes to nothing.

1Ki 11:18 They arose out of Midian-
This would be better read as "Maon", the area where Nabal was from (1 Sam. 25:2), and is near Paran. Nabal's people were perhaps like him, against David.

And came to Paran; and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and appointed him food, and gave him land-
Even in the time of David, when the Edomites were subdued, Pharaoh was very open to supporting the enemies of Israel. This is why Solomon's marriage to his daughter at the start of his reign, not so long after Hadad's establishment in Egypt, was foolhardy. At best it put his wife in an impossibly compromised position of conflicting loyalties, which we sense beginning even during their romance as recorded in the Song of Solomon. For there she so wishes that she and Solomon could live together in Egypt, and decide wholeheartedly for the sake of their romance to be Egyptians and live there in her homeland.

1Ki 11:19 Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen-
Solomon had married Pharaoh's daughter, and so Hadad may have ended up related to Solomon by marriage. This would have put Solomon's wife in an impossible position of conflicted loyalties. That may be one reason Solomon moved her out of the palace area and built her a separate house. See on :18.

1Ki 11:20 The sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh-
This was very high honour, meaning that Hadad's son was effectively amongst the contenders for the Egyptian throne as one of the "sons of Pharaoh". None less than the queen Tahpenes had performed the weaning ceremony which was seen as so significant (Gen. 21:8).

1Ki 11:21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to my own country-
Hadad wanted to return to Edom and revive Edomite nationalism, so as to become king again once he had thrown off the yoke of Israel in that area. He did much "mischief" to Israel and Solomon (:25). And yet it was at this very time around the death of David and Joab that Solomon was marrying Pharaoh's daughter. This was clearly Pharaoh using marriage for political means. And on Solomon's side, it was following his passions for the Egyptian woman, when both spiritually and politically this was not going to be a good move. Hence Pharaoh was supporting the Edomite insurrection against Solomon, because his son was leading it, at the same time as entering relationship with Solomon. And Solomon's unwisdom therefore resulted in the Hadad issue being a problem for him throughout his life.

1Ki 11:22 Then Pharaoh said to him, But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you seek to go to your own country? He answered, Nothing, however please only let me depart-
Pharaoh had just married off his daughter to Solomon and so he was not initially enthusiastic for his adopted son's desire to lead an insurrection against Solomon in Edom. All this complex web is the stuff of human politics and not love marriage.

1Ki 11:23 God raised up an adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah-
The later king of Syria Benhadad was the grandson of Hezion (1 Kings 15:18), a name which uses similar characters to Rezon who led the first attempted revival of Zobah and Damascus (1 Kings 11:23) after David's victories against them in 2 Sam. 8:3-8. Rezon perhaps didn't so much as flee from Hadadezer, but rather fled from the area at the time when David had conquered Hadadezer.

1Ki 11:24 He gathered men to him, and became captain over a troop, when David killed them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and lived therein, and reigned in Damascus-
2 Sam. 8:3-8 says that David had subdued both Zobah and Damascus, to the point of placing a garrison in Damascus (2 Sam. 8:6). But for all his worship of his father and attempt to give the impression of a territory totally under his control, Solomon failed to maintain what David had done. For he had clearly lost control of Damascus and the Israelite garrison had had to retreat.

1Ki 11:25 He was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief of Hadad: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria-
When reviewing the references to ha-Satan ("the adversary") in the Old Testament, it's significant that a number of them occur in the context of the life of David. There was an incident where David behaved deceitfully with the Philistines with whom he once lived, and he is described as being "a Satan" to them (1 Sam. 29:4). That's another example of where the word 'Satan' doesn't necessarily have an evil connotation- a good man can be an adversary, just as Peter was (Mt. 16:21-23) and God Himself can be (2 Sam. 22:4). But we find that David and his dynasty were afflicted with Satans, adversaries, from then on. The word is used about human beings who were adversarial to them in 2 Sam. 19:22; 1 Kings 5:4,18; 11:14-22,25; Ps. 109:6,20 (Heb. "They say, "Appoint a wicked man against him, let an accuser [Satan] stand on his right hand"". David's enemies are described by a word related to ‘satan’ in Ps. 38:20; 71:13; 109:4. Note that it is stated that God stirred up men to be 'Satans' to David and Solomon- whatever view we take of 'Satan', clearly it or he is under the direct control of God and not in free opposition to Him.

1Ki 11:26 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah-
Zarethan where Solomon cast the lavers for the temple with their pagan motifs (1 Kings 7:46) is called Zaredathah in 2 Chron. 4:17, which is a form of Zeredah (1 Kings 11:26), the birthplace of Jeroboam son of Nebat. It doesn't therefore have good connections. We wonder if the golden calves were cast there too.

A servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, he also opposed the king-
Solomon alludes to Jeroboam in Prov. 14:35: "The king’s favour is toward a servant who deals wisely, but his wrath is toward one who causes shame". Although what Solomon writes is true and inspired, he clearly has in view his favour and then wrath against his servant Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:26). Solomon uses his own feelings against Jeroboam as a basis for a global truth about kings and their servants. His Proverbs were indeed inspired, but there was a human element behind his words, ever seeking to use God's truths in order to justify himself.

Solomon was so confident that he was or would be the Messiah that he seems to have felt that he was beyond the possibility of sinning; real self-examination and the sense of the possibility of failure just didn’t exist for him. He says that the land of Israel is “blessed” because her king is the son of a noble, and she will be cursed if her ruler is a servant (Ecc. 10:16,17 RVmg.). Solomon proudly presented himself as the son of King David- and he makes a clear swipe at Jeroboam, the pretender to the throne who was a servant (1 Kings 11:26). By reasoning like this, Solomon sets himself in direct opposition to the spirit of Jesus, who declared that the servant is to be the King of all.

1Ki 11:27 This was the reason why he opposed the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father-
Solomon began repairing the breaches (cp. Jud. 21:15), but this contrasts with how Solomon's later behaviour led to the rending apart of David's kingdom. Perhaps the breaches in the wall David had built had happened during some unrecorded invasion or attack upon Jerusalem. "Millo" means 'rampart' and refers to the fortifications built around the citadel where David's palace was. But "the breach" is singular, and "repair" can be 'to close up'. The reference may be to Solomon building a wall between the mounts of Zion and Moriah, i.e. across the Tyropean valley, extending David's city walls in order to include the temple within them.

"Opposed" is Heb. 'lifted up his hand against'. It is the same word translated "exalted" when we read that God exalted / lifted up Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:7), so that ultimately he became king of the ten tribes. His opposition or lifting up his hand against Solomon was therefore of God and confirmed by God.

1Ki 11:28 The man Jeroboam was a brave man; and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he put him in charge of all the labour of the house of Joseph-
That is, the tribe of Ephraim, the largest tribe, who would have been the most resentful and resistant to sending their men to work on the new capital of Judah. And so this largest and most difficult group of workers were put under Jeroboam's control, indicating the senior nature of his role.

The final comment upon Jeroboam is that he was not as God’s servant David (1 Kings 14:7-9). And yet he was set up with that potential possibility. Consider:

Jeroboam (1Kings 11) - David

Man of valour v. 28- As David 1 Sam. 16:18 RV;

Young man v. 28 - 1 Sam. 17:58

Ruler over all v. 28 - 1 Sam. 18:5

I will take you and you shall reign over Israel v. 37 - 2 Sam. 7:8

Build a house v. 38 - 2 Sam. 7:11

v. 40 - 1 Sam. 19:2,10

And it works the other way, too. Prophecies of doom can be turned round by our repentance. Nineveh avoiding certain destruction on account of their repentance is a clear example.

1Ki 11:29 It happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now Ahijah had put on a new garment; and they two were alone in the field-
God never essentially recognized that division; for there was one Israel, one body. Indeed, He said that the division was the greatest tragedy to come upon His people (Is. 7:17). The way the new garment of Ahijah was torn up to symbolize the division, reflects the utter waste (1 Kings 11:29). For an outer cloke was a garment a man could wear for life; to have a new one was something significant. Significantly, the road to Jericho which features in the parable of the good Samaritan was the very dividing line between Judah and Ephraim (Josh. 16:1). The significance of this may be in the implication within the parable that Israel fell among thieves, needing the Messianic grace and rescue, as a result of their division into two kingdoms. And so many other spiritual lives have been shipwrecked over the rocks of division. Indeed, the Greek words for "division" and "stumbling block" are related; divisions are a stumblingblock to so many, even if they externally remain within their faith communities.

1Ki 11:30 Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces-
The Lord’s robe was not to be torn, schizein. There was to be no schism in it. Ahijah tore his garment into twelve pieces to symbolize the division of Israel (1 Kings 11:30,31). The Lord’s coat being unrent may therefore be another reflection of how His death brought about unity amongst His people (Jn. 11:52; 17:21,22). Before Him, there, we simply cannot be divided amongst ourselves. Likewise the net through which the Lord gathers His people was unbroken (Jn. 21:11). Note how all these references are in John- as if he perceived this theme of unity through the cross.

1Ki 11:31 He said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces; for thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you-
The word "tear" is used several times in this chapter, and it is the word used multiple times when describing the rending of garments in grief and distress. The same idea is in view; but whose was the grief, and who as it were rent their garments? It was God. His intense grief was because of the division of His people. This judgment hurt Himself, and was not simply thrown by Him at His people without personal grief. And His grief about the division of His people continues to this day. 

1Ki 11:32 (but he shall have one tribe, for My servant David’s sake and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel)-
As noted earlier, by grace, David was given not just one tribe but two and a half tribes. The whole Bible is really the story of God's endless grace in ameliorating the just judgments He has given; perhaps partly because, as explained on :31, they are so painful to Himself.

1Ki 11:33 because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon. They have not walked in My ways, to do that which is right in My eyes, and to keep My statutes and My ordinances, as David his father did-
Notice the "they", of Israel, who were effectively guilty of the very same apostacy as Solomon. Solomon was fully representative of Israel (1 Kings 11:1,5-7 cp. 33; 8:52; and note the ye... thee confusion of 1 Kings 9:4-7 AV); his prayer was their prayer (2 Chron. 6:21); his worship was theirs (2 Chron. 1:3,5).

1Ki 11:34 However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David My servant’s sake whom I chose, who kept My commandments and My statutes-
"Make him prince" suggests that in God's eyes, Solomon was demoted from king to prince. Solomon of course acted as if he were still king, as if God's appearance to him hadn't really happened; but his status changed in God's sight.

1Ki 11:35 but I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it to you, even ten tribes-
If Rehoboam had listened to the advice of the older men and relaxed Solomon's oppressive taxation system, then Israel would likely have remained loyal to him. But he didn't take that good advice, because it was "of the Lord" to fulfill prophecies like this (1 Kings 12:15). There is a hand greater than our own, a factor beyond our freewill receipt and processing of information, which works to fulfil God's will. And that is why we cannot judge human behaviour, because it reflects such a complex of factors which only God knows.

1Ki 11:36 To his son will I give one tribe, that David My servant may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Me to put My name there-
This was God's intended purpose, but its fulfilment was precluded by the unfaithfulness of the seed. He did not chose Jerusalem for ever; because it was to be destroyed, and was only to be chosen "again" at the restoration (Zech. 2:12). The lamp in Jerusalem was the budding of the horn of David (Ps. 132:17). And this was to finally come true in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, David's great son. But that lamp could have "always" burned in Jerusalem- potentially. But the various potential fulfillments failed to realize the potential. 

1Ki 11:37 I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires, and shall be king over Israel-
This seems to be saying that Jeroboam had absolute freewill, he could reign as he wished- but God had set him up with the amazing potential of being the seed through whom He would rule Israel (:38).

1Ki 11:38 It shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in My ways, and do that which is right in My eyes, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as David My servant did; that I will be with you, and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you-
This indicates the presence of some basic spirituality within him. In 1 Kings 11:35 God tells Jeroboam that He would take the ten tribes from the house of David, and give them to Jeroboam. This is exactly the language of God speaking about righteous David, who was given the Kingdom which God took away from Saul. So initially, Jeroboam had some of David's characteristics; it seems rather strange for God to take away the ten tribes from one sinner and give them to another sinner. At that time, Jeroboam's potential spirituality was reasonably to the fore. If Jeroboam had continued in God's ways, God would have established Jeroboam as king over His Kingdom (1 Kings 11:38). So Jeroboam was being given a chance to make the right choices. He had the potential to do so. This echoes God saying to Moses 'I will make of you a great nation' because of the apostasy of others. Thus Jeroboam is faintly connected with Moses. However, as noted on 1 Kings 12:27, Jeroboam simply didn't have the faith to believe in this wonderful grace; that he, son of a whore (1 Kings 12:24 LXX) could be empowered by God to be the Divinely chosen king of Israel and the fulfilment of the promises to David.

1Ki 11:39 I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not forever’-
This could imply that Jeroboam would only rule as the king of Israel for the period during which God would afflict David's seed. Or we could take this as meaning that the seed of David would be afflicted "for this", for the sake of Solomon's sin. But in this case we wonder why they are called "the seed of David". I suggest that "the seed of David" therefore refers to Solomon specifically, and that this final prophecy doesn't chronologically follow :38. It could be that God's potential plan was that Solomon was to be afflicted for a period, during which Jeroboam and not Rehoboam was to reign, and then Solomon would repent and be fit to rule. But Solomon refused to respond, as did Jeroboam, and so this potential plan wasn't realized.

1Ki 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam-
We see here how little Solomon respected God's word. He though that by murdering someone he could stop the fulfilment of the prophecies. He was acting just like Saul, who tried to kill David when told that David was to have the kingdom.   

But Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon-
Even politically, his marriages with all those Gentile women  didn't  seem  to  achieve him the support he desired from their  home  countries; Egypt gave refuge to Jeroboam, Solomon's main rival (1 Kings 11:40), even though he always acquiesced to his wives and even in his very old age he still didn’t destroy the idol temples he built for them (2 Kings 23:13).

1Ki 11:41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, aren’t they written in the book of the acts of Solomon?-
This book may have been a compilation from various prophetic writings, for the equivalent in 2 Chron. 9:29 is "the history of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam".

1Ki 11:42 The time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years-
Saul, David and Solomon are all said to have reigned for "forty years", but the similarity is such that we wonder whether this isn't a symbolic period. For numbers were not used in Semitic literature in the precise way which we are accustomed to. Thus three consecutive kings of Babylon, Saosduchinus, Chiniladanus, and Nabopolassar are each recorded as having reigned 21 years.

1Ki 11:43 Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place
The description of death as sleeping with fathers is clear evidence that death is seen as a sleep, unconsciousness, and not as the start of an immortal soul going to heaven or 'hell'. Good and bad, David and Solomon, are gathered together in death. The division between them will only therefore come at the resurrection of the dead, and the granting of immortality at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus.