After the death of David his son Solomon becomes king. He starts well but in time he goes away from the Lord. After his death the kingdom splits into two, and the history of both kingdoms vary depending on the king on the throne. Some were good, but sadly many were bad. The book ends with the story of Elijah the prophet and the wicked king Ahab.
Author & date
The writing, or rather editing of the Kings is usually ascribed to Ezra, though Ch8:8 suggests that some parts were written whilst the Temple was still standing.
A. Solomon Ch.1-11
- Solomon proclaimed king Ch.1-2
- Solomon’s wisdom Ch.3-4
- Solomon builds the Temple Ch.5-9
- Solomon’s fame & wealth Ch.10
- Solomon’s falling away Ch.11
B. The kingdom divides Ch.12-13
- Rehoboam succeeds & rejects wise counsel Ch.12:1-15
- Jeroboam’s revolt Ch.12:16-33
- A prophet visits Jeroboam. Ch13
C. Kings of Israel & Judah Ch.13-22
1. Northern Kingdom – Israel
2. Southern Kingdom – Judah
D. Elijah & Ahab Ch.17-21
- King Ahab
- Famine in the land Ch.17
- The challenge on Mt. Carmel Ch.18
- Elijah anoints Elisha Ch.19
- Benhadad fights against Israel Ch.20
- Naboth’s vineyard Ch.21
- Ahab joins dies in battle Ch.22
In the Hebrew Bible, what we have as the two books of Kings are in fact one book. Like Samuel and Chronicles they were split up when the LXX was made, and then became known as the third and fourth books of the Kings.
b. Time period
This book deals with the period of Solomon’s reign until the death of King Ahab, thus covering a period of some 120 years. Ch.6:1 has an interesting time note: it is stated that the Temple was begun in the 480th. year since the Exodus. However it was in reality 573 years, the extra 93 years appears to be the time covered by the captivity of the Judges.