SOLOMON'S STRANGE WIVES
by Pastor Jeromy John Visser
Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to talk about the wise king Solomon and what it was that caused him to do evil in the sight of Yahweh. Many Christians who are familiar with the Biblical account are aware that it was his taking wives from the forbidden nations along with the daughter of Pharaoh that angered God, but less know exactly why certain nations are not allowed for us to associate with or intermarry. There is a definite reason for Yahweh to give such commandments as "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods (Exodus 23:32)" or "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son (Deuteronomy 7:3)."
In all honesty, I'll be addressing some 'touchy' issues this evening that may offend some modern-day baal priests but I care not -- scriptural truth is scriptural truth and as such we cannot be blind to His commandments nor put ourselves in the position of the Arbitrator. Far too many 'scholars' like to play 'little-case gods' and add their own interpretation to the scripture instead of adapting or conforming their lives around Yahweh's Laws and trusting in Him to know best.
Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Kings 11:1-2 and we'll read the story for ourselves; "King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which Yahweh said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love."
The term 'strange' or 'stranger' appears over 270 times throughout scripture and almost every time it's used in the negative sense like "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean (Genesis 35:2)" or "Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land not yours (Jeremiah 5:19)." Practically every variation of the word means "foreigner, alien or sojourner." Some Christian sects like to teach that the 'stranger' is really just an 'Adamic traveler' but that is the exact opposite of this word's meaning.
Was Pharaoh's daughter an 'Adamic traveler' or a dark-skinned Egyptian? The word 'strange' used in this verse is taken from the Hebrew word nokrîy (pronounced nok-ree') and it literally means "foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, alien or outlandish (Strong's #H5237)." Does that fit the description of an Adamic Israelite? The abominable tribes of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites are all descended through Adam's son Seth and could also be considered 'Adamic travelers' but then again -- so could Cain. Would you want to be the one to tell Yahweh that these are the 'strangers' He made certain provisions for in His Law when He expressly forbids them?
I'm sure many of you are well-aware of why this situation angered Yahweh -- "Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods (1 Kings 11:7-8)."
Now, let's re-read that verse in Deuteronomy 7:3 with the two verses that follow; "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Yahweh be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire."
It's obvious that Solomon was in error in this situation and his having a thousand women of various races eventually led to his accepting other gods over Yahweh. We read in 1 Kings 11:3-6; "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, 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. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father."
Wise king Solomon is considered one of the smartest men who ever lived. This situation in his life lead him to write several sections of our scriptures so that we can learn from his errors and in essence -- be even wiser than he was. One of the keys that unlocks the 'strange wives' account is found in Ecclesiastes 1:18; "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."
He writes in Proverbs 7:4-5; "Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words" and in Proverbs 23:27-28; "A whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men."
Here we discover what the mighty king Solomon had learned from his experiences with the strange (or foreign) women so we'd be wise to pay attention to one of his teachings. Let's now focus in the entire fifth chapter of Proverbs;
"My son, attend unto my wisdom, bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword (Proverbs 5:1-4)."
The word strange used here is taken from the Hebrew zûr (pronounced zoor) and it literally means "foreigner, strange or profane (Strong's #H2114)." Notice Solomon is asking us to pay attention to his wisdom and he wants us to understand that the 'strange woman' has an end that is 'bitter.' He gets a bit more descriptive in the following verses; "Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth (Proverbs 5:5-7)." This is the second admonition to listen to what's coming and he tells us it's impossible to understand a stranger's 'ways.'
Solomon is about to give us a detailed account so let's read what it says "Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me (Proverbs 5:8-13)!"
Here we see that those unfortunate souls that go after 'strange flesh' will eventually give up their honor, years, wealth, labors and soul to that particular desire. This can be seen a lot in today's society where miscegenation is a major issue, the disregard of Yahweh's 'kind after kind' order results in crime, disease, godlessness and so much more. Solomon continues; "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee (Proverbs 5:13-17)."
Water in the Bible is usually symbolic of people or races so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the teaching is in these verses. This is yet another Biblical commandment against interracial relationships as the remaining verses show; "Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. As the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love (Proverbs 5:18-19)."
He than tells us why; "And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of Yahweh, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray (Proverbs 5:20-23)." Can you hear his words?
This epidemic is becoming more apparent as we slip further into Babylon as we need to be wiser than the serpents about all things because our enemy loves to push this race-mixing envelope. This preacher has even heard a well-known television evangelist twist the entire text of Ezra-Nehemiah to state that it's okay to marry outside your race, pretty odd considering the entire body of work is about 'putting away strange wives.' We'll cover that account briefly right now.
Turn with me to the 10th chapter of the book of the minor prophet Ezra; "Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law (Ezra 10:1-3)."
Skip down to verse 10 and 11; "Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto Yahweh the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives."
Anyway, those familiar with the account should be aware that a pact was made that day the the Isralites put away their strange wives and children and began to be blessed again. Just as 2nd Chronicles 7:14 promises us; "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Back to the words of Solomon and another interracial warning from the book of Proverbs. Turn with me to the seventh chapter and we'll hurriedly move through another situation similar to the one we covered a few moments ago. I know I'm throwing a lot of scripture at you this evening but I think we should pay attention to the Word of Yahweh rather than 'modern thought.'
"My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words (Proverbs 7:1-5)."
Here we see that Solomon is again addressing the 'strange woman' using the same Hebrew word zûr. Right from the start we can see that these next few passages of scripture are warning against mixing. "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart (Proverbs 7:6-10)."
For such a sordid tale, there is some spectacular imagery used in these verses that show a simple young man going out of his way to meet a foreign whore with a subtle heart like that of the serpent (Genesis 3:1). There is so much truth in this story you won't want to miss the next part which further describes this particular 'stranger' -- "(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee (Proverbs 7:11-15)."
In the very next few verses we discover that she isn't just a 'stranger' but is also married making this act a double-sin. Notice how this lewd activity was done "in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night" proving there's an heir of secrecy about the entire affair? "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. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed (Proverbs 7:16-20)."
As we can already see, this 'strange woman' was dressed like a whore playing mind games with the youthful man. She says "I came forth to meet thee and to diligently seek thy face" then proceeds to entice him with promises of physical pleasure while her husband is on "a long journey." We already know that all sin is a transgression of the Law but how does this foolish person deal with this 'temptation?' Let's finish out the chapter to see.
"With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death (Proverbs 7:21-27)."
This is the cause and effect of the entire situation -- the Bible says that she causes him to yield to her sin with flattery and then Solomon even compares this very man to a dumb ox who unknowingly runs to be slaughtered. These passages prove she was not only a foreign whore but one that had been with many people; "she hath cast down many wounded: many strong men have been slain by her." Then the grave consequence of the act; "Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death."
There's one more section in the Proverbs that I feel fits in perfectly with the above passages. It's found over in chapter 2:16-22 and it more or less sums up most of the teachings we've already covered. It reads that wisdom is used; "To deliver thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it."
Tonight's sermon will be a little shorter than usual but we've certainly covered a lot of scripture. My intention with this particular study is to hopefully shed light on this term 'strange' and steer you away from anyone who would teach the twisted 'Adamic traveler' hypothesis. So many admonitions are given to the children of Israel against the 'stranger' that it can mean nothing other than 'foreign.' An example of this can be found in Jude 1:7; "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
This evening I only focused on Solomon's misdeeds but I intend to bring a more in-depth study on the topic of race relations in the Bible. I feel that we can all learn a great deal from his warnings and adapt our lives to the wisdom he has given us. Today's secular public schools, along with the media, will stop at nothing to push their humanist views and present teachings that are easily discredited with the Word of Yahweh. Miscegenation is one such topic; "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)." I pray that Jesus Christ will get the glory. War for Christ! Amen.
[ Date: Wednesday, March 16th,
Last Page Update: March 28, 2010
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