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FRAMEWORKS: Introducing 1 Kings


Why Read 1 Kings: This is book of the Bible that shows the sharpest extremes of the possibilities of mankind, and it does it through the life of Solomon in the first half of this book. The questions it raises arise when there is competition as to who becomes the next king after David. Adonijah makes a play for the kingship but Nathan the prophet is not happy about this and approaches Bathsheba. He knows that the Lord especially loved Solomon [2 Sam 12:24,25], perhaps as a remarkable sign of genuine heart repentance that releases grace and mercy from heaven. The prophet obviously senses that of all the sons, this one is the one on God's heart to be king.


It is worth considering why this should be especially when the Lord must have known how Solomon would eventually turn out. Perhaps the answer is that although there was a bad end for Solomon, he is an example of one who initially had an open heart to the Lord, willing to be His wise representative who would show the potential of the nation in the hands of God. The fact that the Lord chose him despite knowing his end outcome, merely goes to confirm our earlier suggestion that one of the reasons for the Lord to choose Israel was to reveal the sinfulness of mankind and our desperate need of a saviour. Solomon thus reveals both glorious potential and the folly of sin.


We have divided the book as follows:

Part 1 (ch.1-4) shows how Solomon comes to be king and how the Lord grants him wisdom to make him the wisest man on earth.

Part 2 (ch.5-8) shows Solomon building the temple that lasted until 587 and the start of the Exile. We will see that both his palace and the temple were amazing and rich with gold which lasted through his reign. With what one assumes is the discipline of the Lord, Shishak, king of Egypt, comes and take away all this gold in only the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign (1 Kings 14:25,26)

Part 3 (ch.9-11) shows first of all the Lord promising blessings on obedience but judgment on disobedience (ch.9), the clarity of which makes Solomon's subsequent folly (ch.11) even more foolish. Chapter 10 is the high point of the reign of Solomon, and some might say the high point of the history of Israel when the Queen of Sheba comes and sees the immensity of both Solomon's wisdom and his riches and the nation's prosperity. God's word against Solomon's folly in chapter 11, sets the scene for the following chapters.

Part 4 (ch.12-16) shows us how the judgment of God caused the kingdom to be divided after Solomon's death, and despite the clarity of God's word to Jeroboam, his pure folly in the northern kingdom setting up idols which were never removed through the northern kingdom's history, and a counterfeit religion. The revelation of the sin of mankind is obvious. The subsequent kings of the north only go to confirm that. [This is mostly about the northern kingdom while Chronicles covers only the southern kingdom].

Part 5 (ch.17-19) covers the amazing goings on of Elijah in Ahab's reign.

Part 6 (ch.20-22) covers the concluding activities of Ahab's reign until his death.





Part 1: Ch.1-4: Establishing Solomon as King

1: Competition for the Kingship

2: David commissions Solomon, then dies

3: Solomon receives Wisdom from God

4: Solomon's Administration & Wisdom


Part 2: Ch.5-8: Building Works

5: Preparations for Building the Temple

6: Solomon Builds the Temple

7: Solomon Builds His Palace

8: Setting up, Prayers and Dedicating the Temple


Part 3: Ch.9-11: Possibilities, Greatness & Failure

9: God's Promises & Warnings & Solomon's activities

10: Solomon's Fame

11: Solomon's Fall


Part 4: Ch.12-16 The Early Divided kingdom

12: The Kingdom is Divided

13: The Man of God from Judah

14: Jeroboam's end & Rehoboam's limited reign

15: Abijah King of Judah

16: Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab (of Israel)


Part 5: Ch.17-19: The Ministry & Life of Elijah

17: Elijah (Part 1)

18: Elijah (Part 2)

19: Elijah (Part 3) & Elisha


Part 6: Ch.20-22: Final Activities of Ahab

20: Encounters with Ben-Hadad of Aram

21: Ahab & Naboth's Vineyard

22: Micaiah Prophesies against Ahab & Ahab's death




Continue to Chapter 1