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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Kings

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Kings, the Books of. In the Hebrew canon they formed one book, as did the books of Samuel, which were also called books of the Kings. The two books of Kings deal especially with the theocratic promise of 2 Samuel 7:12 : see 1 Kings 14:7-11; 1 Kings 15:29; 1 Kings 16:1-7; and treat the history from the kingly side, and show the evil of schism and the worship of idols set up for political reasons, as by Solomon, 1 Kings 11:1-43, and Jeroboam, 1 Kings 12:26. The reign of Solomon is described, with a minute account of the glorious temple and the royal houses. The story of the revolt of the larger part of the land to form the kingdom of Israel follows, and of the frequent changes of dynasty, no less than seven, which furnished 19 kings, every one evil, during the 253 years of its existence. Captivity of the best of the land closed the history of this kingdom. The same books also show that David's royal house continued unbroken through a series of 19 kings, reigning in Jerusalem about 130 years longer, till Judah was punished for its idolatry. See list of kings and prophets in Appendix.

The author cannot be identified. Ancient tradition in the Talmud names Jeremiah; some have supposed them compiled by Ezra or Baruch. The books, originally one, have a very marked unity of design, plan, and style, and were first divided in the Septuagint. They are in large measure a compilation from existent documents. They have always had a place in the Jewish canon. The concise narrative is illustrated, enlarged, and confirmed by the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. This history is referred to in the New Testament, Luke 4:25; Acts 7:47; Romans 11:2; James 5:17, and modern research is continually bringing new evidence to the truth of the history.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Kings'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/k/kings.html. 1893.

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