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The First Book of Kings is a book of Israel's History

The First Book of Kings, simply First Kings or 1st Kings is the eleventh book of the Old Testament and also the eleventh book of Bible. First Kings chronicles the events that took place between the time of King David's death and the death of King Ahab.

Solomon is made king in the place of his father David and builds the First Temple. Solomon's multiple marriages lead him into idolatry, which God judges by having the kingdom split in two during his son Rehoboam's reign: the northern kingdom of Israel consisting of ten tribes ruled by Solomon's servant Jeroboam, and the southern kingdom of Judah consisting of Judah and Benjamin.

The rest of the chapters following the dividing of the kingdom tell of the reigns of both kingdoms' kings, with Elijah the prophet being a prominent figure during the reign of King Ahab of Israel during Chapters 17 to 22.

Authorship

Author

The First Book of Kings does not state any explicit author. The author is relatively unknown, while one suggested candidate is often the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah received his vision during the reign of Josiah,[1] placing his lifespan a few hundred years after the events in the book. There is possibility that he wrote it, but there is no compelling evidence to suggest whether or not he did. The author may have been a first hand witness of many of the events or God revealed the events,[2] perhaps both. Another candidate for authorship is Ahijah, because he is a prominent prophet in many of the events and one of his prophecies was fulfilled.[3]

The author also may have used one or two other sources as major information for the writing of the book.

Sources

Some information on Solomon's life may have been paraphrased from the annals of Solomon,[4] written by his staff or himself. The annals of Solomon would've been original documentation of the actions and the wisdom of Solomon in his lifetime. The annals may also been a collection of other sources, such as the original letter between Solomon and Hiram.

The other major source is the both the annals of the Kings of Israel,[5] and of the Kings of Judah.[6] Just as the annals of Solomon, they would have been the original accounts of the actions in the lives of the various kings. Compared to Solomon's, these annals would have been a collection of many smaller annals, probably kept together because of the kingdom's split.

The other source for the content is God's divine revelation, as with much of the prophecy and events concerning Ahijah.[3]

Purpose

As with all Scripture, the Book of First Kings was written by the author, because he was inspired and lead to by the Holy Spirit.[7] First Kings may have been written as a contrast to the annals of the kings, written by their personal staff. A plausible purpose for its authorship was to both summarize the life of various kings, and hold their evil deeds accountable to God's warnings to Israel of having a king.

First Kings provides a shorter summary of the life of king Solomon to king Ahab, referring back to the original annals for a more detailed and complete description.[4][5][6] Also in comparison to the annals, First Kings documents gives details on the sinful and evil actions of the Kings. Many of the annals may completely overlook the sinful actions of their King's reign, especially the wicked kings who weren't faithful to God. First Kings shows the evil and sinful deeds of the kings, relates their actions back to Israel as a whole, and points back to warning God gave that Israel would regret having a king.[8] In particular, Israel began to regret Kings after Solomon's reign with the split of the kingdom.

Genre

Historical Account

First Kings is a historical account. It highlights the major actions of each of the kings of Israel and Judah, and it does this in a very linear fashion and chronologically records a summary of the life of the kings from Solomon to Ahab.

Records

First Kings also contains records. These records contained everything from the exact architectural dimensions of the First Temple (which were written by David and specified by God), a manifest and design of all its furniture to daily rations, government officials and even the specific assets and riches of Solomon's wives.

Verses

  1. Jeremiah 1:2-3 (Link)
  2. Hebrews 1:1 (Link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 1 Kings 15:29
  4. 4.0 4.1 1 Kings 11:41
  5. 5.0 5.1 1 Kings 14:9, 15:31, 16:5, 16:14, 16:20, 16:27, 22:39
  6. 6.0 6.1 1 Kings 14:29, 15:7, 15:23, 22:45
  7. 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21 (Link)
  8. 1 Samuel 8:18 (Link)

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