Author: Unknown Judahite exile
1 & 2 Kings originally 1 book. Like Samuel, divided into two books by Septuagint translators around A.D. 400. (about 200 years before Muhammad brings a “new” revelation.
Possibly Kings was written at the end of the reign of Babylon’s Evil-merodach, after Jehoiachin’s release from prison (562 B.C.
2 Kings 25:37-30)
The timing of the story of 1 Kings
- Begins with Solomon’s reign (1:1-12:24)
- Ends with Jehoshaphat King of Juda, Ahaziah King of Israel (22:41-53
- Major Themes
- The Kings’ reigns and the Mosaic Covenant
- Davidic Covenant and David’s reign as the yardstick
- One True God – one central place of worship
- Biblical Principle Application
- God is the standard, the real one (Be ye perfect)
- Distraction through outside influence brings trouble
The story line of 1st Kings – “Commonly called the third book of the kings”
David is old and unable to function because of his advanced years.
A Shunammite virgin is called to join him to keep him warm and care for him and while this is taking place Adonijah seeks to be king, even though he knew it was to be Solomon, his brother from ‘anotha motha’
Solomon is anointed king, son of Bathsheba
David’s last words: 2:2-9 – focus on Law of Moses
Solomon cleans house of those involved in making Adonijah king in his place
Solomon’s prayer for wisdom 3:2-15
2 women and a baby
Court officials pointed and a provision of his household described.
Preparing to build the temple
The ark is brought to the temple – temple dedicated
7 years to build, 20 years to complete all the building
Visit of the Queen of Sheba (pride)
Solomon takes foreign wives
His adversaries increase (Hadad the Edomite)
The Death of Solomon 11:41 (40 years as king)
Rehoboam King of Israel
Jeroboam had been hiding from Solomon in Egypt, heard about the party about to begin but his heart was troubled. He went to Rehoboam along with “all the congregation of Israel” and asked him to not be as harsh as his father had been and they would be loyal. Solomon’s older advisors agreed. BUT –Rehoboam was young and he and his friends decided he would be even more strict which led to the division of the kingdom and Jeoboam built Shechem in Ephraim (Israel)… he built an altar there with … you guessed it…. Two golden calves.
A prophet of God came to him at bethel and when Jeroboam reached his hand from the altar toward the prophet, his hand withered. He tried to get the prophet to come home with him to bless them but he had been told not to so he went away
another way, BUT… an old prophet heard of it and went out, telling the young prophet that an angel had told him to tell the prophet to go home with him, so he did and then God told him he would die… a strange death it was too… killed but not consumed by a lion and laid there, dead with the lion and the ass looking over him untouched. The old prophet reclaimed him, buried and mourned him. A very odd passage.
Chapter 14 a prophecy against Jeroboam
When his son became ill Jeroboam instructed his wife to disguise herself to go see Ahijah the prophet at Shiloh, take him an offering and plead for their son. The Lord told Ahijah that she was coming and even though blind, he immediately recognized her and told her that because of his actions, God had torn the kingdom away from the house of David and given it to Jeroboam but because of his actions, all those of his line would die and be horribly devoured by dogs, except Jeroboam because he did have some good in him, he would go to the grave and all Israel would mourn. And, the wife, as she returned home, as the prophet promised, she died.
Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was king over Judah during this time. While king, the Egyptians came and looted the Temple of all the gold shields etc that Solomon had made. Rehoboam replaced them with brass ones. He and Jeroboam were at war all their days. Then Rehoboam died. (A short story) Abijam became king. A descendant of David, he was no better than his father Nebat. But God had mercy and gave him a son (a light) in Judah. That light was Asa, a very good king indeed. He reigned 41 years and took on the sin and the disease and made things right. Asa killed all the house of Jeroboam as the prophet had long ago told Jeroboam’s wife would happen. Asa and Basha (new king of Israel) made war all their days. Basha was evil all his days. Elah replaced him for all of two years. His servant Zimri killed him. Zimri made himself king and killed all of Basha’s family. Zimri’s army conquered Tirzah; he went into the kings palace and burnt it down around him, and he died. Eventually Omri became king of Israel. He too was evil. Ahab became king and Elijah fled and was fed by ravens.
Once renewed, refreshed and re-strengthened by God, Elijah was ready to face Obidiah on Mount Carmel. After such an amazing show of God’s strength, Elijah flees from Jezebel. He was burnt out. Tired, mission complete, unable to go on, the Lord agrees to take him home and reassures him in a still small voice. Enter Elisha.
It was in a whirlwind that Elijah was taken up in the view of Elisha and as he went his mantle, cloak type garment fell to the ground and Elisha picked up the mantel and went to complete a sacrifice using the oxen with which he was plowing and the plow. What a great symbol of leaving one way of life dedicated to another!
Ahab, Jezebel, a vineyard, a prophet, a battle and death. Surely God knows the desires of a man’s heart and will see justice come upon that man, even as Micaiah had prophesied.
Jehoshaphat had followed God’s design though he left the high places untouched. Ahaziah took over Israel upon the death of Ahab and evil continued, even worshipping Baal as his father had done.