Solomon inherited the benefits of David’s achievements. The nation was basically united through its political and religious center in Jerusalem. The nation was also generally at peace with all of its neighbors. The glory of Solomon’s kingdom is reflected in the following list of Solomon’s own accomplishments, by the grace of God:
- Building projects: Temple, palace, chariot cities (1 Kgs 9:15, 17-19)
- Alliances: Marriage alliance with Egypt; covenant of peace with Hiram of Tyre
- Wisdom, riches, and honor (1 Kgs 3:5, 9-13)
- Great wealth: 1 Kgs 4:20-28; 10:16-27
- Devotion to God: 1 Kgs 3:3-4; 8:56-61
The later downfall of Solomon’s glory can be attributed to two major factors. First, in order to accomplish such great building projects, Solomon made use of forced labor and heavy taxation upon his own people. This resulted in great discontent among his subjects. The second factor is just as, if not more, significant to Solomon’s downfall. Against God’s instruction, Solomon married many foreign women and was influenced by their pagan and idolatrous worship of false gods (1 Kgs 11:4-8).