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Solomon was a failure because he specifically did what kings of Israel were commanded NOT to do by the LORD; collect horses, wives, and wealth. Compare the following verses:

Deuteronomy 17:16-17 "Only he [the king] must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold."

1 Kings 10:27-28 And the king [Solomon] made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. And Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders received them from Kue at a price.

1 Kings 11:1-3 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Of course he was not a good king in the practical sense of the word. He was a tyrant. He is an example that the idealized philsopher-king is a myth. Tyranny, high taxation, ruinous misallocation of resources, and debauchery are all the products both then and now. In the spritual sense he is a good king - he demonstrates to us that idolaizing a leader, a very wise one at that, is wrong and will lead to destruction as all idolatry does. He demonstrates for us that the very best of man is filthy, selfish, ugly, and cruel. This is why the Lord didn't want us to have any king but Himself, and this is the reason that eventually we will have that reality. So the warning to all believers: don't trust in a State, experts, smart folks, wise people... that is a form of progressive idolatry. You might was well carve up some logs to worship, and use the shavings to keep warm! Come to think of it, that type of idolatry might be less expensive than what we have now.

I love the question. I am amazed at the ease with which people extrapolate Solomon's proverb wisdom and the early Davidic Kingdom success to enshrine him as a worthwhile role model for life.

As has been mentioned his life moved further and further from Gods requirements. Despite some examples of International prominence and success, his personal life was a mess.

I have often wondered if his prayer at the beginning set him up to fail
It seems like more a prayer for wisdom and discernment in governing not in living
While his judgements won him admirers his life and alliances let him down almost immediately.

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