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5.39 1 Kings -- Bird in a Gilded Cage

Solomon brought his wife into Jerusalem,

          until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1).

Then he built her a palace of her own (1 Kings 7:8).  This was not in Jerusalem, but somewhere else:

          Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, "My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the Lord has entered are holy" (2 Chron 8:11).

Here is where Solomon started to go off track.  The Ark was not the real issue:  it had not entered the king’s palace, but resided in a tent until the Temple was built (2 Sam 6:17).  The king’s palace wasn't holy -- hadn’t David committed adultery with Bathsheba in it?  Despite this, Solomon felt his wife was so unclean that she could not live among God's people: he banished her not only from the palace but from the city (1 Kings 9:24).  This shows that she did not convert to the Israelite faith at the time of her marriage, but retained her Egyptian beliefs.  Solomon was aware that his union with her was not righteous before the Lord.  If he could not sleep with her in his own house in Jerusalem, but had to travel to her own palace outside the city, there was something seriously wrong not just with the marriage, but with Solomon’s relation to God.   His conduct towards his wife betrayed a guilty conscience, as if to say:  “I will hide her away out of the Lord’s sight.” As Jesus put it:

         "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (Jn 3:20).
           Pharaoh’s daughter was Solomon’s "secret sin," a private indulgence, his "trophy wife." 

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