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The Success Of Solomon As A King

3242 words - 13 pages

The Success of Solomon as a King

John Drane came to the conclusion that 'Judged by the standards of
world powers, Solomon was outstandingly successful, the greatest of
all Israel's rulers. But judged by the moral and spiritual standards
of the covenant, he was a miserable failure.' I agree with Drane in
this statement because there were indeed many things Solomon did in
his reign that were beneficial to the people and the country. However,
for a man working for God, he does not seem to apply the covenant of
Yahweh very much to the decisions he makes as king.

Previously, during the reign of David, a new kingdom was beginning to
be established. The small towns of the tribal confederacy were
developing into larger cities throughout the land, noted for their
economic and political importance. Israel was growing into a powerful
nation, while David's powerful armies were defeating others around it.
Therefore, when Solomon became king, he inherited an already large and
stable kingdom in a secure position, with relatively large military
forces and a reasonably content population. He also had the great
example of his own father to follow, unlike Saul previously. However,
his Father advises him to follow the word of God, which he does not
take much heed of. He did many things within his reign that
consolidated not only his own position, but also aided the position of
Israel.

Solomon was 'born to the purple' (Anderson), and never knew anything
but the sheltered, extravagant life of a king's palace. However, it
was this influence that made him want to demonstrate his power and
wealth to the surrounding nations, therefore both building up the
strength as well as the image of Israel. Due to the fact that Solomon
was born to kingship, it can be debated whether he was actually chosen
by God to be the king. He ruthlessly killed his brother Adonijah, even
thought he was the rightful heir, and so it can be argued that he
manipulated the circumstances to make himself king instead of being
the intention of God.

Solomon's enemies at the time were very weak and because he was a poor
military leader, he set up a series of preventative measures as a
disincentive for people to even attempt to attack. He increased the
size of his army and established chariot stations in major towns and
other vulnerable places. Although the kingdom was kept stable
throughout Solomon's reign, his enemies were weak so this position was
never actually challenged. His two main potential enemies were the
Philistines and the Egyptians. Due to the discovery of iron by the
Philistines, the structure of the chariots were very secure, and so
the Philistines had been using them previous to Solomon introducing
them. In 1Kings 4:26, we hear that 'Soloman had 4000 stalls for his
chariot horses and 12000 horses.' Recently when...

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