King Solomon was the wisest man in history, who, after proving himself to be a righteous king like his father David, was granted anything he wanted by God and chose wisdom to govern his people. His heart was turned from God, however, and his kingdom soon became divided.
King Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba, and was declared king soon before his father died. He was righteous in the eyes of The Lord, and for his reward God granted him anything he wanted. Rather than longevity of life or great riches, Solomon asked for wisdom to rule his people; for this request, God was proud of Solomon, granting him the vast riches and great fame and honor for which Solomon had not asked in addition to understanding and discernment. For many years, Solomon was famed not only in Israel, but in many parts of the world for his wisdom. During his reign, Solomon amassed great wealth and supply in order to build the famous temple to God, and he also built for himself a lavish palace. However, because of the connections that he developed with so many foreign kingdoms, Solomon began to love many foreign women, and eventually had over 700 wives and princesses, whose foreign religions turned his heart away from God. God was furious, raising adversaries for Israel and declaring that Solomon's kingdom would be divided under his sons. Israel became the Kingdom of Israel, ruled by the wicked king Jeroboam, and the Kingdom of Judah, ruled by the equally wicked Rehoboam. Israel would be ruled by wicked kings for hundreds of years, but though Judah had its share of evil rulers, it had some kind and good rulers as well.