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- 1 Kings
by L.M. Grant
The two books of Samuel deal with the establishing, gradually, of the kingdom in Israel by war and conquest. Saul, the first king, pictures government in the hands of mere fleshly man (though head and shoulders above his contemporaries), beginning well but ending in failure and disgrace. David followed him, and was called the man after God's heart, for he is a type of Christ, gaining His ascendancy by war and bloodshed, as will be the case when the Lord Jesus, through the horrors of the Great Tribulation, will triumph over every enemy and bring settled peace to Israel.
1 Kings then records the transfer of authority from David to Solomon while David was yet alive, thus indicating no break in the government of Israel Solomon (his name meaning "peaceableness") pictures the Lord Jesus establishing the kingdom in a state of settled peace in the Millennium. His reign was the most illustrious that Israel's history has ever seen. Yet, just as David (though a type of Christ) failed badly in his personal life, Solomon failed more badly still, showing that authority put in the hand of even the most godly of men, will always be abused.
Because of Solomon's serious failure, when he passed off the scene, the kingdom was broken into two parts, with ten tribes separating from Judah and Benjamin (ch.12). Solomon's son continued to reign only over the two tribes, and his descendants succeeded him, while Israel had no such succession of kings, but were under the domination of whatever king could gain power enough to displace one who reigned before him.
Appropriately, therefore, God introduced the prophets Elijah and Elishah (ch.17-21), to rebuke the wickedness of Israel's kings, yet to show how His grace could overrule their evil to bring blessing to at least some of the people who suffered under such evil regimes. Other prophets also arose, such as Michaiah (ch.22:7-28), to confirm such witness, and more still are found in 2 Kings. But 1 Kings, after the separation of the 12 tribes from the 2, deals more emphatically with the 12 tribes, while 2 Kings more emphasizes the two tribes.
The New King James Version is generally used in this commentary: any variation from this will be noted when used.
David's death 1 Kings 1 - 2 1015 B.C.
Solomon's Reign 1 Kings 3:1-28; 1 Kings 4:1-34; 1 Kings 5:1-18; 1 Kings 6:1-38; 1 Kings 7:1-51; 1 Kings 8:1-66; 1 Kings 9:1-28; 1 Kings 10:1-29; 1 Kings 11:1-43
Solomon prayer for wisdom; ch.3 - 4 1014
Temple building; ch.5 - 8 1012 - 1005
Solomon's fame; ch.9 - 10 1004
Solomon's shame and death; ch.11 992
Kingdom division 1 Kings 12:1-33 - 2 Kings 16 984 - 742
Assyria captures Isreal 2 Kings 17:1-41
Babylon captures Judah 2 Kings 18 - 25 721 - 588
the Sixth Week after Easter