Solomon ruled over a united kingdom of Israel, with Judah having its own political authority and special privileges. David, Solomon’s father and predecessor, had turned Edom and Moab into Israelite vassal states. After David’s death, they became rebellious and difficult to control. The core territories were the twelve provinces of Israel, formed from the twelve tribes of Israel. Each province had its own governor and, until the end of Solomon’s reign in 931 BCE, they were relatively stable. However, Solomon’s building projects needed funding and he imposed heavy taxation on the provinces, making them bitter and angry. He also introduced conscription, forcing many men to join his army. The elevated status of Judah began to frustrate his other provinces. Solomon’s wives had been given permission to worship their own gods, which also offended many of his people, and the kingdom broke apart upon Solomon’s death.
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