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THE SIN OF SOLOMON
ALTHOUGH God had blessed Solomon in so many ways, and made him one of the richest and most
powerful of kings, yet he did not remain mindful of the benefits that had been
bestowed upon him, and he fell into grievous sins. He took for his wives a great
number of heathen women, though God had forbidden any of the Israelites to marry
them; and when Solomon was old and weak, his wives persuaded him to worship their
idols and to forsake the true God. Then the Lord was very angry with him, and He
sent a prophet to tell him that because of his wickedness his kingdom should be
divided, and his sons should rule over only a small part of it.
There was a young man among the Israelites whose name was Jeroboam. He was a brave
man and a skilful general. A prophet one day came to him and saluted him, and taking
him aside to a place where there was no other person present, he rent his garment into
twelve pieces and bade Jeroboam take ten of them.
"For this is the will of God," said the prophet; "He will part the dominions of Solomon.
Only two of the tribes will be left to his sons to rule over, and He will give ten tribes
to thee, because Solomon hath sinned against Him." When Solomon heard what the prophet
had said, he tried to kill Jeroboam, but the young man fled from the country and sought
the protection of Shishak, king of Egypt.
Not long after Solomon died. He was ninety-four years of age, and had ruled eighty years.