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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' CommentaryMeyer's Commentary

- 1 Kings

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

Outline of First Kings

National Development under the Monarchy

I. The United Kingdom, I Kings 1-11

1. The Rebellion of Adonijah and the Coronation of Solomon , 1 Kings 1:1-53

2. Solomon’s Establishment in Power Wealth and Wisdom , 1 Kings 2:1-46 ; 1 Kings 3:1-28 ; 1 Kings 4:1-34

3. The Building and Dedication of the Temple , 1 Kings 5:1-18 ; 1 Kings 6:1-38 ; 1 Kings 7:1-51 ; 1 Kings 8:1-66 ; 1 Kings 9:1-25

4. Solomon’s Commerce; Visit of the Queen of Sheba , 1 Kings 9:26-28 ; 1 Kings 10:1-20

5. Solomon’s Polygamy, Apostasy and Death , 1 Kings 11:1-43

II. The Divided Kingdom, I Kings 12-22

1. Rehoboam Alienates the Ten Tribes, Who Choose Jeroboam , 1 Kings 12:1-24

2. The Reign of Jeroboam , 1 Kings 12:25-20

3. The Reign of Rehoboam , 1 Kings 14:21-31

4. The Reigns of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri and Omri in Israel; and the Reigns of Abijam and Asa in Judah , 1 Kings 15:1-34 ; 1 Kings 16:1-28

5. The Reigns of Ahab and Jehoshaphat and the Work of Elijah , 1 Kings 16:29-50

(1) The Season of Drought, 1 Kings 17:1-24 ; 1 Kings 18:1-16

(2) The Contest on Mount Carmel , 1 Kings 18:17-46

(3) The Revelation to Mount Sinai , 1 Kings 19:1-18

(4) The Call of Elisha , 1 Kings 19:19-21

(5) The Doom of Ahab , 1 Kings 20:1-43 ; 1 Kings 21:1-29 ; 1 Kings 22:1-40

(6) Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign , 1 Kings 22:41-50


Originally Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were regarded as one series, and called the Books of Kings. In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament, made during the period between the Testaments), each of these books was divided into two parts; and what we term First Kings was called the Third Book of Kings.

It is impossible to fix accurately either the date when this book was compiled, or the name of the writer. From the fact that the last chapter of II Kings records the release of Jehoiachin from captivity, which took place b.c. 562, but makes no mention of the decree of Cyrus, b.c. 538, with which the return of the Jews from captivity began, it is concluded that the book was compiled sometime between these dates.

The sources from which the compiler drew were three: the Book of the Acts of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:41 ; the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, 1 Kings 14:29 , etc.; and the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, 1 Kings 14:19 . The Chronicles here referred to are not the books called Chronicles in the Bible, but separate works which are now lost.

The history of the nation is recorded from the close of the reign of David to the middle of the reign of Ahaziah. In its highest glory under Solomon, the kingdom foreshadows the millennial kingdom of our Lord. The prosperity of the nation rises or falls according to the character of the ruler and his people, illustrating for us the important truth that obedience is the condition of blessing.

e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of 1 Kings in the printed edition

Review Questions on First Kings


( a ) What is the general theme of I Kings?

( b ) Into what two parts does the history naturally fall?

( c ) By what method does the writer follow the history of the two kingdoms?


( d ) From what sources was the book compiled?

( e ) With what events does the book begin and end?

I Kings 1-10

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

1. How did Adonijah plan to secure the throne?

2. Of what promise was David reminded by Bathsheba and Nathan?

3. How was the anointing of Solomon received by the people?

4. What was Solomon’s attitude toward Adonijah?

5. What final charges did David give to Solomon?

6. Why was Adonijah put to death?

7. How is Joab’s life, as a whole, to be regarded?

8. How did Shimei forfeit his life?

9. What great choice did Solomon make at the beginning of his career?

10. How did Solomon decide between two women who claimed the same child?

11. What is said of Solomon’s wealth and dominion?

12. How did Solomon prepare for the building of the Temple?

13. From whom did Solomon secure material and workmen for the building of the Temple?

14. What was the place of the Temple in the national life of Israel?

15. What were the leading features of the “Holy of Holies”?

16. How was the Temple decorated?

17. What other structures did Solomon undertake?

18. How were the pillars, Jachin and Boaz, and the molten sea constructed?

19. Why were lavers so abundantly provided?

20. What were the final furnishings provided for the Temple?

21. What remarkable manifestation attended the placing of the Ark in the Temple?

22. What was David’s share in the completed Temple?

23. What special promise had God made concerning the Temple?

24. What was Solomon’s prayer for all the people of the earth?

25. What supplication did Solomon make for Israel in time of captivity?

26. How was the service of dedication concluded?

27. What message did Solomon receive in the second revelation that was made to him? What was the disagreement between Solomon and Hiram?

28. What hardship did Solomon impose upon the Canaanites?

29. Why did the Queen of Sheba visit Solomon?

30. How great were Solomon’s wealth and fame?

I Kings 11-22

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

31. How was Solomon’s heart turned away from God?

32. By what means was Solomon chastised?

33. Why did Solomon seek to kill Jeroboam?

34. How was Rehoboam led to alienate his people?

35. How was civil war in the kingdom averted?

36. By what means did Jeroboam seek to strengthen himself as king?

37. How was Jeroboam rebuked for his idolatry?

38. How was the prophet from Judah betrayed?

39. What was the fate of the disobedient prophet?

40. What did Ahijah predict concerning Jeroboam?

41. Who invaded Judah in the days of Jeroboam?

42. Who succeeded Rehoboam? What was the strength and what the weakness of Asa’s early reign?

43. Why did Asa make a league with Ben-hadad?

44. How was Zimri’s reign cut short?

45. How did Omri show his power as a ruler?

46. How did Ahab provoke the Lord to anger? What prophet was raised up to rebuke him?

47. How was the widow’s faith tested by Elijah’s demands?

48. What miracle did Elijah perform while in the widow’s home?

49. How do the characters of Elijah and Obadiah appear in contrast?

50. How did Elijah bring the prophets of Baal to judgment?

51. How did the true God make Himself known?

52. How can you account for the depression of Elijah?

53. What was Elijah’s experience at Mount Sinai?

54. What tasks were committed to Elijah? How many Israelites had remained true to God?

55. What occasioned war between Ahab and Ben-hadad?

56. Why were the Israelites victorious?

57. How was Ahab’s folly reproved?

58. How did Ahab become the owner of Naboth’s vineyard?

59. Why was Elijah Ahab’s best friend?

60. What was Micaiah’s message to Ahab?

61. Why did Ahab reject Micaiah’s warning?

62. How did Ahab meet his end?

63. What was the great defect of Jehoshaphat’s reign?

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