Both in Jewish and Christian circles (and even in the Bible itself), there seems to be a fair bit of reverence around the person of Solomon: He is regarded as the wisest man who ever lived prior to Christ, a great king during Israel’s “golden age,” and a great writer of proverbs and poetry.
To be honest, though, I have trouble with this view. While Song of Solomon is regarded as a divinely-inspired celebration of marital love, the man to whom it is credited married 700 women and had 300 mistresses on the side in defiance of God’s command (Deuteronomy 17:17a); Solomon built the long-awaited temple to Yahweh, yet was led astray by his pagan wives to build sanctuaries to foreign gods; his wealth is regarded as a sign of God’s blessings, yet it was measured by the things (horses and precious metals) that Israelite kings were forbidden to accumulate (Deuteronomy 17:16, 17b); his wisdom is legendary, yet his kingdom was fragile enough to fall apart days after his son took the throne. For all his successes, Solomon seems to have been a failure on every front that really mattered. How do we reconcile this reality with the praise that Solomon has received? (I wouldn’t be troubled much if this praise came mainly from outside the Bible, but even the biblical text seems to rank him higher than his performance really deserves.)