Q&A: Covenant Loyalty and Sin for Solomon and David (2 Sam. 11; 1 Kings 11

Covenant Loyalty and Sin for Solomon and David (2 Sam. 11; 1 Kings 11

Question

How can David be thought to be more loyal to God than Solomon? They both had women problems (2 Sam. 11; 1 Kings 11:4).

Answer

1 Kings 11:1-8 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaohs daughter - Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.

1 Kings 11 is contrasting Solomon and David, when it comes to "serving other gods." It literally says that Solomon was not as fully devoted as David was. He was enticed by his wives to worship and serve other gods; however, David worshiped only the God of Israel. Though David had committed some very grievous sins (murder, adultery), he never worshiped or served other gods. So, though they both had sexual sinful problems, they led in different directions. Both men's sins were very grievous to God, but here the author is explaining why God's judgment was forthcoming on Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-13).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).