I can see that Solomon didn’t disobey David, like Joab had done. And I’m sure he knew that sooner or later Shimei would leave the city for some reason so he could kill him. That’s monarchy for you. Is that okay with You?
“And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days.
And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places” (1 Kgs 3:1-3).
The greatest high place was in Gibeon so Solomon went there and burnt a 1,000 burnt offerings. While he was there the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, Ask what I shall give thee.
“And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: or who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants” (1 Kgs 3:6-15).
Then two harlots came to the king one of them said,
“O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.
And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it.
And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king” (1 Kgs 3:24-28).
1 Worshiping anything but God is a sin against Him.
“Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places” (Num 33:52).
“And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through fire unto Molech; which I commended them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
And now therefore thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof he say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence” (Jer 32:35-36).
Why God didn’t want people to worship in high places is not known for certain, but probably because in Canaan the high places had become the scenes of orgies and human sacrifice connected with the idolatrous worship of these imaginary gods.
It doesn’t matter why God said it, He did and that’s all that matters.
Solomon and the Israelite Empire
Solomon inherited a vast empire, extending from the Euphrates to the Gulf of Aqaba and from Tyre to Egypt. He maintained this kingdom during a 40-year reign through diplomacy, industry and effective administration.
Although Israel dominated the political scene of his day, the name Solomon is not attested in extra biblical records discovered to date.
Even so, archaeology gives us a better appreciation for the glory of Solomon’s age.
Efficient internal administration facilitated control of the empire. Royal administrators included a chief of staff, secretaries, a military commander, a supervisor of forced labor, royal priests, a recorder (for foreign affairs) and a chief over regional districts.
Twelve regional governors each furnished a month’s support for the central government. A similar administrative structure may have been in place in Egypt.
An older contemporary, Pharaoh Siamun, may have conquered the Philistine city of Gezer and given it to his daughter, with whom Solomon is thought to have entered a marriage alliance (the identity of this pharaoh has not been authoritatively confirmed).
Excavations at Gezer confirm its destruction in the early tenth century B.C.
Archaeological finds confirm the rebuilding of Gezer, Megiddo and Hazor, as described in 1 Kgs 9:15.
Fortified cities controlled the major trade arteries around and through the Holy Land. More than 40 small, 10th century b.c. fortresses have been discovered in the southern Negev.
Storehouses have been excavated at Hazor, Beth Shemesh and other locations. Similar structures at Megiddo, previously identified as “Solomon’s stables,” have more recently been assigned archaeologically to the time of Jeroboam. However, these structures may have been built on foundations from an earlier period.
Trade and Wealth
Sources of revenue were foreign trade, caravan tolls, the export of refined copper and tribute from vassal nations.
Solomon capitalized on a vigorous import-export trade in horses and chariots with Egypt, Anatolia, Syria and Mesopotamia.
An alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, allowed Solomon to develop trade between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Hiram provided experienced seamen and experts in both ship and harbor construction.
The visit of the queen of Sheba to Jerusalem was probably concluded with a trade agreement. Israelite sea trading ventures from Ezion Geber on the Gulf of Aqaba threatened overland trade, previously monopolized by Arabian tribes.
The precise location of Ezion Geber is disputed.
Subjugation of Ammon, Moab, Edom and Syria gave Solomon control over the major north-south land routes through the region.
The Temple and the Palate
Hiram furnished artisans and architects for Solomon’s construction projects. Nothing remains of the Jerusalem temple, but it is described in detail in 1 Kings 6.
Phoenician influence in the temple’s architecture and decoration has been confirmed by comparison with other temples excavated in Syria and Palestine.
The Ain Dara Temple near Halab (Aleppo) in northern Syria, roughly contemporary with Solomon’s temple, was remarkably similar in size and style.
It featured a portico with two columns, one on each side of the entryway. Within, it was divided into three parts, with an antechamber, main hall and main shrine (“Most Holy Place”).
A multi-story corridor enclosed the inner temple on three sides. Ornamentation using both cherubim and palm trees is well attested in Canaanite art of the Iron Age.
A twelfth-century B.C. ivory panel recovered from Megiddo depicts a throne similar to Solomon’s.