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Solomon Is In Hell

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind;1 for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9)

Solomon heeded this advice from his father, king David, for most of his life. But, near the end of his life, Solomon forsook the Lord for idols (1 Kings 11).

I. The Good Days

Although Solomon was the result of an ill-gotten marriage (2 Samuel 11),2 the Lord nevertheless loved him (2 Samuel 12:24-25)3 and blessed him greatly. He blessed him with a heart that sought after wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-12), and He gave Solomon an abundance of wisdom and wealth (1 Kings 4:20-34; 10:3; 2 Chronicles 1:15; 9:13-28). "Solomon loved the Lord" (1 Kings 3:3) and wrote the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes,4 Psalm 72, 127, Proverbs chapters 1-29, and instructions for the priests (2 Chronicles 35:1-5).5 He was a holy man of God "moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 2:21). He received prophecy (2 Peter 2:21), God-breathed Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16).

Solomon built the temple by the direction of king David and the Lord Himself (1 Chronicles 28), and when it was finished, the Lord Himself showed up (1 Kings 8:10-13). At that time, Solomon prayed an extensive prayer (1 Kings 8:22-54),6 and the Lord heard Solomon (1 Kings 9:1-3; Proverbs 15:29). The Lord "exalted him exceedingly" (2 Chronicles 1:1), appeared to him twice (2 Chronicles 1:7-12; 7:12-22), and blessed Israel abundantly during his reign.

At the completion of the temple Solomon blessed the people saying,

May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day. (1 Kings 8:57-61)

Solomon heeded his own words, but not forever.

II. The Bad Days

Solomon's "bad days" didn't come until near the end of his life, "when Solomon was old" (1 Kings 11:4). It wasn't until then "that his wives turned his heart after other gods" (1 Kings 11:4). When he wrote the Song of Solomon he only had sixty wives and eighty concubines (Song of Solomon 6:8). By the time he was old, he had acquired seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

Because Solomon "turned from the Lord God of Israel" (1 Kings 11:9), the Lord raised up adversaries7 against Solomon in his latter days (1 Kings 11:14-40). Scripture doesn't give much detail on the trouble Hadad and Rezon caused. Nonetheless, there evidently was some (1 Kings 11:25). In Solomon's prior days "he had peace on every side all around him" (1 Kings 4:24). Now, after turning away from the Lord, Solomon had trouble from Hadad and Rezon.

Solomon's days in which he was evil were a few too many, for there was a sufficient amount of them for Solomon not only to build a "high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab," but also to build a high place "for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon" (1 Kings 11:7). Molech is the false god to which the people sacrificed their children (Leviticus 18:21; 20:1-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35). Solomon also built a high place "for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians" and "for Milcom the abomination of the people of Ammon" (2 Kings 23:13). Solomon also had time to build,

likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. (1 Kings 11:8)

There is no record of how many wives were idolaters, but with a thousand of them, no doubt, there were quite a few, since Solomon married "many foreign women" (1 Kings 11:1). Thus, this indicates he had not a few building projects for his wives to satisfy their demon worship (1 Corinthians 10:20).8

All of this is indicative that Solomon was wicked for a fair amount of time before he died. This also dictates he was completely given over to evil, as it is written,

For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess9 of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. (1 Kings 11:5)

Romans 1:18-25 reveals such idolatry is indicative of a complete rejection of the real God, the Creator, the God of Israel.

Finally, the Lord rebuked Solomon for his wickedness (1 Kings 11:9-13), but mentioned nothing about any repentance in His rebuke. Moreover, because of Solomon's sin, the Lord caused Jeroboam to rebel against Solomon (1 Kings 11:26-39), and Solomon "sought to kill Jeroboam;" but he escaped to Egypt (1 Kings 11:40).

III. The Bad Moves

A. Bad Move One

An early bad move by Solomon is recorded in 1 Kings chapter three.

And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places. (1 Kings 3:3)

This "sacrificed and burned incense at the high places" is not in a good light, since it is in contrast to "walking in the statutes of his father David." Evidently, David did not sacrifice on the high places. Solomon did, which was contrary to the statute of his father David. In other words, he didn't heed his father's statute on this.

In Deuteronomy 12:5-6, 10-14, 17-18, the Lord instructed the Israelites to sacrifice only where He placed His name, and David knew that placement was in Jerusalem. David had brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord into Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6 and it says there;

So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:17)

It doesn't say exactly when David was told, but it does say he was told that Jerusalem was the place, as it is written,

He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever." (2 Kings 21:7; 2 Chronicles 33:7)

So, Jerusalem was marked as the place where the Lord would put His name forever by the time David is still king. By the time Solomon becomes king, the ark is still there in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 1:4), and Solomon sacrificed before it (e.g. 1 Kings 3:15); but he also sacrificed to the Lord at the high place of Gibeon, "for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness" (2 Chronicles 1:3).10

So, we see Solomon sacrificed in Jerusalem and at the high place in Gibeon, but, as already noted, he also "sacrificed and burned incense at the high places" (1 Kings 3:3).11 1 Kings 3:2 points out that high places were used because "there was no house built for the name of the Lord." Yet, it's evident from 1 Kings 3:3 that David did not sacrifice and burn incense at the high places, but Solomon did. Moreover, when the Lord appeared to Solomon at the high place in Gibeon in a dream in 1 Kings 3:5-15 (2 Chronicles 1:7) there is no record of the Lord rebuking Solomon or the Israelites for sacrificing on the high places. Nevertheless, it was not something that was to be done, because of both the statute of his father David12 and Deuteronomy 12.

B. Bad Move Two

Deuteronomy 17 also commanded the king not to "multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away" (Deuteronomy 17:17). Solomon breached this extensively.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. (1 Kings 11:3)

In 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 Paul describes how just one wife is a distraction from the "things of the Lord." How much more with a thousand of them?

C. Bad Move Three

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites - from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. (1 Kings 11:1-2)

Solomon married pagan women whom God had forbidden the Israelites to marry (see Deuteronomy 7:1-4; Exodus 34:11-16). Nehemiah said,

Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin. (Nehemiah 13:26)

Not only did Solomon marry too many women, which could cause "his heart [to] turn away" (Deuteronomy 17:17), but he married the wrong women as well. Thus, Solomon brought double trouble upon himself - too many women, and pagan women on top of that! He was doomed to failure, as God prophesied above, "Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods."13

D. Bad Move Four

As a result of the influence of his wives (1 Kings 11:3-4), Solomon disobeyed the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments.

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Exodus 20:3-5a)

Solomon became an overt idolater.

For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. (1 Kings 11:5-8)

E. Bad Move Five

Resultant of the influence of his wives, Solomon "turned from the Lord God" (1 Kings 11:9), and thus he became wicked and forsook his own wisdom. He forsook "her" and stopped loving "her" (Proverbs 4:6). He turned "away from the words of my mouth" (Proverbs 4:5). He forsook the very Proverbs he himself wrote. He forsook the conclusion of Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 to fear God and keep His commandments. He forsook the commandment to "treasure my commands within you" (Proverbs 2:1). He forsook the command to "not forget my law" (Proverbs 3:1), to not let "mercy and truth forsake you," to "bind them around" his neck (Proverbs 3:3).

Solomon took firm hold of instruction, but let go (Proverbs 4:13). He bought truth, but sold it (Proverbs 23:23). He forsook his "father's command" (Proverbs 6:20). He disdained his own words (Proverbs 8:33). He wronged his own soul and turned and loved death (Proverbs 8:36). He stopped hating evil (Proverbs 8:13), stopped fearing God (Proverbs 16:6), and thus forsook wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). He forsook the knowledge of the Holy Ones, and so he forsook understanding (Proverbs 9:10, קְדשִׁים [qedôshiym] literally, "Holy Ones").

IV. The Condemnation

How do we know for certain that Solomon is indeed in hell? After all, wasn't the "way of . . . Solomon" (2 Chronicles 11:17) righteous? It indeed was, until he was old. Sadly, Ezekiel 18:24 became true of him.

When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24)

Solomon was "a righteous man" who turned "away from his righteousness" and committed iniquity. Solomon clearly became an idolater (1 Kings 11). Scripture is not unclear. Idolaters go to hell. See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8; 22:15.


A. His own Proverbs did and will condemn him (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Since Solomon turned wicked (became an idolater), the Proverbs he wrote regarding the wicked apply to him. Therefore, his name will rot, as he said it would (Proverbs 10:7). He will be filled with his own ways (Proverbs 14:14). Fear and destruction will come upon him (Proverbs 10:24, 29). He will not go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21). His stomach will be in want (Proverbs 13:25). He will be destroyed and condemned (Proverbs 11:3; 12:2; 13:13).

Since Solomon was a backslider in heart, we know he will be filled with his own ways (Proverbs 14:14), and he will bow before the good (Proverbs 14:19).14

Before his destruction, Solomon became haughty (Proverbs 18:12; 16:18), abominable to the Lord (Proverbs 16:5), and his pride brought him low (Proverbs 29:23). Solomon was careless of his ways, and he will die, just as he said (Proverbs 19:16).

Finally, Proverbs 21:16 well sums up Solomon's life.

A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.

The final assembly of the dead is in the lake of fire, the second death. See Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8.

B. David's warning came upon him.

In the Lord's second appearance to Solomon, He warned Solomon with these words,

If you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples. (1 Kings 9:6-7)

Nothing specific is given here for Solomon regarding any consequences he may receive for turning away from following Him. But such is not the case with David's words:

If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9)

David's words to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:9 were not idle. David was not wrong when he warned him explicitly that if he forsook the Lord, the Lord would forsake him (1 Chronicles 28:9). This was not a lie, a scare tactic with no teeth. David was serious, and seriously correct.

As already noted, 1 Kings 11 records Solomon forsaking God, and the wording in verse 33 even uses the word "forsaken." Note the wording:

because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments, as did his father David. (1 Kings 11:33)

Notice the verse ends with "as did his father David." The "his" here obviously refers to Solomon. Thus, the "they" at the beginning of the verse, which describes the forsaking of the Lord with details of idolatrous worship, includes Solomon. In fact, the Septuagint (Old Greek translation of the OT) has "he" instead of "they" at the beginning of this verse. Also, the context is Solomon from verses 31-33.

Solomon clearly forsook the Lord, and David's words indeed became true, as Azariah told Asa,

The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. (2 Chronicles 15:2)

The real scary part of David's words to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:9 is the last word, לָעַד (lâ`ad), "forever." David gives no hope in his use of this word. He says to Solomon,

if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

Solomon forsook Him, and the truth is, David was right. He cast him off forever.

C. God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7-8).

Some might argue, "Doesn't the Lord say in 2 Samuel 7:15, "My mercy shall not depart from him?" Indeed it does, and it goes on to say, "as I took it from Saul" (2 Samuel 7:15). The Lord took the kingdom entirely from Saul (1 Samuel 13:13-14; 1 Samuel 15:28) and killed him (1 Chronicles 10:13-14). He did not deal with Solomon in this way. He chastened Solomon (2 Samuel 7:14) with adversaries (1 Kings 11:14-25), but He did not take the kingdom away from him in his days (1 Kings 11:11-12), nor did He take it away from him entirely, as He did with Saul. The Lord left the southern kingdom to his son, Rehoboam (1 Kings 11:34). There is also no record of the Lord killing Solomon, as He did Saul.15


Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Even though Solomon sowed to the Spirit for most of his life, he sowed to the flesh at the end of his life. Therefore, the former planting is not remembered by God, as it is written,

When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. (Ezekiel 33:13)

Here, as elsewhere (John 3:16), God says to the righteous (that is, those who believe whatever He says, Romans 4:3), "that he shall surely live." That does not give the righteous license (Jude 4) to live any way they please (Romans 2:8 "self-seeking"). God always reserves the right to deal with men according to their deeds. As the Lord said to Eli,

I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever. But now the Lord says: "Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed." (1 Samuel 2:30)

God promised Eli's house, and the house of Eli's father, would endure (walk) before Him forever. Yet, since Eli was unfaithful and did not continue to honor the Lord, He discarded that promise and cursed Eli and his house, as the following verses declare (1 Samuel 2:31-36; see also 1 Kings 2:27).

Paul wrote,

If we deny Him, He also will deny us. (1 Timothy 2:12; see also Luke 12:9)

Being lightly esteemed, as the Lord says in 1 Samuel 2:30, equals rejection by God and receiving His wrath (see 1 Samuel 2:31-36), even if the Lord had promised otherwise (1 Samuel 2:30). Thus, anyone who chooses sin over obedience to God, as Solomon did, despises Him (Proverbs 14:2) and will be lightly esteemed forever (Daniel 12:2; Proverbs 12:8; 13:5). As it is written,

And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)


1. "With a willing mind" is more literally, "in a delighting soul," בְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה (benephesh chaphêtsâh). See also Psalm 1:2; 37:4; 40:8; 94:17-19; 112:1; 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, 174; Romans 7:22.

2. The ill-gotten marriage is not forgotten even in the genealogy of Christ. Matthew 1:6 notes that Solomon is "out of her of Uriah" (my translation), εκ της του Ουριου (ek tês tou Ouriou).

3. 2 Samuel 12:25 more literally reads,

And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet and called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord. (my translation)

Jedidiah in the Hebrew is יְדִידְיָהּ (yediydyâh) and means "Beloved of Yah."

4. Ecclesiastes 1:1; 2:7-9; & 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 reveal Solomon was indeed the author of Ecclesiastes.

5. It does not say whether the command was written or not, but see also Nehemiah 12:45.

6. One main emphasis in Solomon's prayer was that God hear and forgive when people repent and pray toward the temple. See 1 Kings 8:30, 35, 38-39, 41-42, 44, 48. Also, in the prayer Solomon acknowledges, "there is no one who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46; see also Ecclesiastes 7:20).

7. All three times "adversary" is used in 1 Kings 11:14, 23, & 25 it is the Hebrew word שָׂטָן (sâtân). For more on שָׂטָן (sâtân) see the footnote on 2 Samuel 24:1 in the Calvinism & Arminianism article.

8. At least some of the high places Solomon built were later destroyed by king Josiah. See 2 Kings 23:13.

9. The Hebrew word translated "goddess" in 1 Kings 11:5 is אֱלהֵי ('elohêy) which is the plural construct form of אֱלהִים ('elohiym, "gods" or "god" or "Gods" or "God" depending on context). This plural usage for a singular pagan god can also be found in Judges 9:27 (LXX "θεου"); 11:24 (LXX "θεος"); 1 Samuel 5:7 (LXX "θεον"); 1 Kings 11:33 (3x; LXX none); 2 Kings 1:16 (LXX "θεον"); 2 Chronicles 32:21 (LXX "θεου"); Ezra 1:7 (LXX "θεου," could also be translated "gods," e.g. KJV); Daniel 1:2 (2nd, LXX "θεου," could also be translated "gods," e.g. NRS); Jonah 1:5 (LXX "θεον", could also be translated, "gods" e.g. NLT). אֱלהִים ('elohiym) is also used in 1 Samuel 28:13 along with the plural participle עלִים (`oliym) "ascending." Thus it reads more literally, "I saw gods ascending from the earth" (KJV; LXX "θεους εωρακα αναβαινοντας εκ της γης"). But, Saul's response is singular, "What is his form?" (1 Samuel 28:14; LXX "τι εγνως").

10. 1 Chronicles 6:31-32 records,

Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark came to rest. They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they served in their office according to their order.

The tabernacle of meeting was formerly in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1; 19:51; 1 Samuel 1:3, 9, 24; 2:22), apparently moved to Nob (1 Samuel 21:1, 6-7), then to Gibeon (2 Chronicles 1:3-6). 2 Chronicles 1:5 notes David put a bronze altar before the tabernacle, and 2 Chronicles 1:6 notes that same bronze altar that David placed is the one which Solomon used at the tabernacle of meeting at Gibeon. In other words, we can see the tablenacle of meeting was at Gibeon during David's time via David's placement of the bronze altar before it, and Scripture noting that, "Solomon went there to the bronze altar before the tabernacle, which was at the tabernacle of meeting," which was at Gibeon. This is all in the context of the tabernacle of meeting being at Gibeon. And, of course, Gibeon is not in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 1:13). Thus, the ark was at Jerusalem in a tent David pitched for it (2 Chronicles 1:4), but the tabernacle of meeting was at Gibeon, just as 2 Chronicles 1:3 says.

Therefore, the "ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting" (1 Chronicles 6:31-32) must have been at Gibeon, that is, once the tabernacle was placed there.

Note also what David said after he made his son Solomon king (1 Chronicles 23:1-2).

For David said, "The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever"; and also to the Levites, "They shall no longer carry the tabernacle, or any of the articles for its service." (1 Chronicles 23:25-26)

This is said in the context of the soon to be built temple (1 Chronicles 28), for the "tabernacle of meeting" was eventually brought to the temple once it was built (1 Kings 8:4) along with the ark, and the Levites are the ones who brought them (2 Chronicles 5:4-5).

11. Samuel sacrificed at a high place in 1 Samuel 9 (9:12-14, 19, 25). Prophets came down from a high place in 1 Samuel 10:5 (see also 10:10-13).

12. See Proverbs 1:8; 4:3-5; 6:20-24; 13:1; 23:22.

13. These exact words are not found anywhere else in the OT. For similar concepts (besides what has been already mentioned), see Exodus 23:31-33; Deuteronomy 20:16-18. Moreover, Judges 3:1-8 describes a fulfillment of what God warned.

14. Note also Revelation 3:9. Furthermore, since we know Solomon did turn wicked (1 Kings 11), we know the Lord is the one who eventually hardened his heart (Romans 9:18). Solomon received temporary mercy (Exodus 33:19), but eventual hardening; and it was all spoken into being and written "when as yet there were none of them" (Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 139:16; Isaiah 46:10; Romans 11:36).

Therefore, even though Solomon was "Beloved of Yah" (Jedidiah, 2 Samuel 12:25), he was eventually hated (Psalm 5:5-6; 11:5), though eternally hated (e.g. Romans 9:11-13), a vessel of wrath, prepared for destruction (Romans 9:11-22). People can be temporarily in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and fall away (John 15:1-6; Romans 11:22; Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31), as Paul said he could be. If he himself did not take heed, he would be reprobate (αδοκιμος, 1 Corinthians 9:27; see also the following context, 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 [13-22]).

Nonetheless, Solomon is unique in that he was "Beloved of Yah" from birth (1 Samuel 2:24-25), yet hated by Yah from eternity (Romans 9:18). And it is all the work of God (Romans 11:36).

Known to God from eternity are all His works. (Acts 15:18; so with the Majority and Received Texts. Critical Text, "γνωστα απ αιωνος" [ynôsta ap aiônos] "known from eternity")

15. Of course, everyone who dies, dies by the hand of God (Deuteronomy 32:39; Romans 11:36). Yet, Scripture does not record the Lord killing Solomon for any particular sin(s), as it does with Saul (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).

Also, it is interesting to note, Saul (Acts 13:21), David (1 Kings 2:11), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:42; 2 Chronicles 9:30) all reigned the same length of time, forty years.

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