Top of the day to everyone. I have been having this concerns for a while so I thought I could ask to get some clarity on it. A wise as King Solomon was in the bible, why did he choose to have so many wives and concubines? And why did he not marry one wife?

1 Kings 11:2 These women were from the nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, for surely they will turn your hearts after their gods.” Yet Solomon clung to these women in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines— and his wives turned his heart away.

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    Maybe it’d be helpful if you explained the premise of the question? Polygamy was the norm in ancient southwest asia, and all data shows that it was practiced heavily by ancient Israelites. Related fun fact: it was also practiced among Jewry of the Middle East until the 1950s after religious and secular authorities banned the practice Mar 13 at 1:22

5 Answers 5


We're given a hint as to the reason in 1 Kings 3:1 (NASB):

Then Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the LORD and the wall around Jerusalem.

1 Kings 10 show his later extensive foreign involvements.

Verse 1 (NIV):

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.

From verses 22-24 (NIV):

The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram... King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.

Also, in verse 29:

They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

We can infer from this that at least some, or perhaps many, of the marriages were likely marriage alliances (which is why 1 Kings 11:1 notes that many of them were foreign).


A wise as King Solomon in the bible, why did he choose to have so many wives and concubine? And why did he not marry one wife?

In this area of marriage, Solomon was not wise, Deuteronomy 17:

16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.


In addition to the reasons that have been stated by others, there there is another probable reason as to why Solomon took many wives. With great wisdom comes great sadness because you’re able to see peoples’ true motives as to why they do things or ask for things and most of the time these motives are bad and self-serving, and that causes great disappointment, sadness, and depression when you have to constantly be dealing with and thoroughly understanding peoples self-serving/bad motives. In fact, it can be quite depressing. So to combat the great depression that Solomon found himself in, he used a drug called oxytocin, dopamine, and or one or two others that he got from having new relationships with new women . So with 1000 women every time he spent time with one of them, it was a new experience, and he received these drugs, or what is commonly referred to as the love hormones and/or novelty hormones, and this mitigated his depression and so he continued to take another woman, again, and again to fight off the depression that he had to deal with on a daily basis of dealing with people that had very ugly and bad personalities/desires that they were acting upon and could not be hidden from him due to his wisdom, and this he could see the true person. Keep in the context that mostly it is only people with problems that seek out wisdom to solve them not people for which things were going well.

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    Interesting insight to one of the problems of the Social Workers profession. However , your answer would have been strengthened by referencing a Bible verse or two that hints at this dilemma. References always help in answering. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Mar 11 at 21:42

Several Likely Reasons (1) As was the custom of nations in ancient times---and not so ancient; see European history of Germany and Great Britain and France---potentates swapped children as symbolic of their international covenants and alliance. This is what Solomon did with his first wife (1 Kings 3:1). And several more were most likely acquired in this manner.

(2) With great insight, user Tim H introduced the second possible reason. Social work, and political intrigue is psychologically draining, as well as physically debilitating. Social-worker professionals today experience this same burn-out phenomena.

To compensate for this, the romantic experience with women would provide some exhilarating relief. The scent of a pretty woman would erase the odor of competing politicians. (Read Tim H answer.)

(3) Just because one has wisdom for administrating a nation, or doing research in science as Solomon did, or writing poetry and proverbs...does not automatically mean that one has maturity of personal character, or strength of character.

His pride was demonstrated by forcing many laborers to erect buildings throughout the Empire, and by taxing the people unto despair to fund those enterprises, as Jeroboam pointed out. His ego caused him to put his wisdom above the admonition of Moses not to multiply horses, silver...and wives. (Deuteronomy 17:16-17).

Solomon's fiasco is a warning to all Christians not to rely on giftings, skills---or anointings---to the point of ignoring the need to develop Christian character, or the need for being accountable to brothers in the Family of God.

(4) Another salient point: We read that David often consulted his prophets and seers for direction, confirmation, and correction (Nathan, Gad, Samuel), But we never read of Solomon's interaction with them! It is recorded in the scriptures that prophets kept a diary (chronology) of events in Solomon's life, but we do not have verses dealing with the interaction of those prophets during his reign.

Trueness, Solomon had visions at the beginning of his reign. But it is important for a person to "keep up an on-going relationship" by continuously communicating with God. We have no record that Solomon did this...and thus falling into sinful relations with wives.


Sex. Read Song of Solomon. As Henry Kissinger once said, "Power is the great aphrodisiac."

But consider the following related quotes from Ecclesiastes.

Solomon's decision:

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. - Ecclesiastes 2:1 ESV

Solomon's action:

And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. - Ecclesiastes 2:10 ESV

Solomon's predicament:

If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. - Ecclesiastes 6:3 ESV

Solomon's disappointment:

Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. - Ecclesiastes 7:27 ESV

Solomon's conclusion:

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 9:9 ESV

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