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Bible Commentaries

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 1

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible

1 KINGS

INTRODUCTION

First and Second Kings are just a continuation of the Books of Samuel. As their name suggests, they record the events of the reign of Solomon and then the succeeding kings of Judah and Israel. In the Hebrew Bible 1st and 2nd Samuel form one book, 1st and 2nd Kings form a second, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles form a third book.

Author: The Jews understood that the book was written my Jeremiah, and indeed there are many resemblances (cf. 2 Kings 24:18-25:30 and Jeremiah 52:1-34).

Date: The books cover the time from Solomon’s reign to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity, a time span of about 400 years.

Background: First Kings begins with the death of David and the chapters 1-11 deal with the reign of Solomon. The nation divided into two kingdoms when Solomon died ca. 930 BC.

The northern kingdom (Israel) was made up by ten tribes and during its existence till 722 BC it had nine dynasties and 19 kings. It was sometimes called by the name of its leading tribe, Ephraim.

The southern kingdom composed of two tribes was referred to by its leading tribe, Judah. It had only one dynasty (i.e., David’s) and some 20 kings.

FIRST KINGS

Central Message: Division Because of Disobedience.

Structure of First Kings:

I. The Forty-Year Reign of King Solomon

Ch. 1-11

1. Solomon was the last king to reign over a united Hebrew kingdom. He was but a young man (1 Kings 3:7) when he became king.

2. Solomon prayed for wisdom and received it - 3

3. Builds temple of the Lord and dedicates its - 4-9

4. Receives royal visitors and increases wealth - 10

5. Solomon’s wives turn him from the Lord - 11

II. The First Eighty Years of Two Kingdoms Ch. 12-22

1. Immediately after the death of Solomon the division of the kingdom takes place and ten tribes in the north (referred to as ISRAEL are led by Jeroboam-- and two tribes in the south, JUDAH, remain loyal to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.

2. The sins of Israel (1 Kings 12:24-33). Jeroboam built false centers of worship at Dan and Bethel to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship--and he made "priests of the lowest people, not of the sons of Levi."

3. There are two lines of Kings and during this 80-year period of 1st Kings Judah had four and Israel eight. All eight of Israel were evil. Two of Judah’s kings (Asa and Jehoshaphat) were good kings and reign 66 of the 80 yrs.

4. Elijah and some of the events of his life - Ch. 17-22

a. Fed by ravens and widow of Zarephath - 17

b. Challenges Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel - 18

c. Flees for life from Jezebel - 19

d. Anoints Elisha to be prophet in his place - 20

e. Rebukes Ahab for taking Naboth’s vineyard - 21

Archaeological discoveries confirm the contents of 1st Kings. The invasion of Judah by Shishak in Rehoboam’s reign (1 Kings 14:25) is proved by the inscription of Karnak. The strongholds of Solomon in Megiddo, Hazor, and Gezer (1 Kings 9:15-19) have been discovered. Omri, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:21-28) is mentioned on the Moabite Stone in 850 BC, and King Jehu is pictured on the Black Obelisk.

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Verse Comments

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Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Kings 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-kings-1.html. 2021.