"The writing of history,
by its very nature, requires a selection of details, the imposition of a
pattern of organization, and the expression of the historianís point of
- Those who want to uncover "what
really happened" see a barrier
- Those so feel that the truth of the
text is in the telling see a real need to analyze the authorís
Signs of Structure
- References to
other works to show he has chosen to tell part of the events
- Each king is judged either good or bad
"in the sight of God"
- All of the Northern kings are
categorically viewed as evil
- The author is not really interested in
the political and social motivations of the kings.
The Deuteronomy Connection
- These History
books follow the choices and consequences of Israel based upon the
covenant Moses presented to the nation before they entered the
- Key issue: Israelís presence in the
land derives from it's covenantal relationship with God. (See Deut.
- Serving God vs. Idolatry
The Structure of the Book
The History of the Monarchy
- 1 Kings 1-11 United Monarchy, primarily the reign of Solomon
- 1 Kings 12-2
Kings 17 Synchronistic history of divided Israel
- 2 Kings
18-25 The gradual failure of Judah leading to captivity
The Major Themes of the Book in
Monarchy (1 Kings 1:1-11:25)
divided kingdom (1 Kings 11:26-14:31)
C. Kings of
Israel/Judah (1 Kings 15:1-16:22)
fall of Baal (1 Kings 16:23-2 Kings 12)
of Judah/Israel (2 Kings 13-16)
Bí. Fall of
Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 17)
Aí. Kingdom of
Judah (2 Kings 18-25
Characterization and Moral
Look for the
following clues to determine a characterís spiritual virtue
- From what point of view is the story being told?
- What key words are being used to tell
- Watch for implicit linkage of sin with
- Unique characterization of Ahab
- He and his father are more wicked
that all before them
- But he was obedient to Elijahís
- Note his willing capitulation to
whoever confronts him
- Weakness to bear false witness
- His indifference to justice and
- His repentance is suspect due to
- His is opportunistic and finally
forced to choose between two mutually exclusive claims to the
truth. He chooses badly and dies for it.
The Role of Solomon
The account of Solomonís life is far lengthier that that of any other king mentioned in
1 & 2 Kings.
- He is the
prototypical figure in both a positive and a negative sense.
- Chapter 1 Solomon is passive
- Chapter 2 Solomon is active
- Chapters 3-17 Solomon receives praise but little drama just list of actions
There are Three Major Themes that begin with
Solomon that continue throughout the book.
- Will the king be loyal to the covenant with God?
- What is the
kingís (the peopleís by extension) concern for the Temple?
- What is the
concern for Godís prophets and the messages they give?
Material gleaned from George Savran,
"1 & 2 Kings", The Literary Guide to the Bible, pp.