1 Kings

Describes Solomon's reign, the division of the kingdom, and Elijah's activities.

Old Temple

Solomon built the Temple

Ancient gate

1 Kings 1-11 tells of the united kingdom under King Solomon.   Near the end of David's life, Solomon becomes king through the intrigue of Bathsheba and other supporters.  After David's death, Solomon arrests or kills his opponents.  Solomon prays for wisdom to rule the people and builds a palace and Temple in Jerusalem.  To secure political alliances, however, Solomon takes foreign wives, who bring the worship of foreign deities to Jerusalem.

1 Kings 12-16 recounts the division of the kingdom into north and south.   Solomon's son Rehoboam vows to rule harshly, and the northern tribes secede, forming the kingdom of Israel.   Jeroboam, the king of the north, placed golden calves in the sanctuaries of the northern kingdom. David's descendants continue to rule only the southern kingdom, which is known as Judah.

1 Kings 17-22 centers on Elijah the prophet.  Elijah works miracles and opposes the idolatrous worship promoted by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.  He flees to Mount Sinai after calling down fire from heaven and slaying the priests of the god Baal.  There God tells him to anoint three people to foment rebellion in Israel.  In response, Elijah anoints Elisha to be a prophet.  He also denounces Ahab and Jezebel for arranging the death of a man named Naboth in order to seize his vineyard.

1 Kings 3:1-15 - Solomon prays for wisdom
1 Kings 8 - Solomon dedicates temple
1 Kings 9:1-20 - Kingdom divided
1 Kings 18 - Elijah's contest on Mount Carmel


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