Lesson 2 of 5
In Progress

Outline of 1 Kings

1. Solomon (1 Kings 1:1–11:43)

The first half of 1 Kings tells the story of Solomon as he builds the temple, grows in wisdom and wealth, and ultimately falls into apostasy.

A. Solomon Becomes King (1 Kings 1:1–2:12)

Solomon becomes king at the end of a bloody struggle for succession.

B. Solomon Eliminates the Opposition (1 Kings 2:13-46)

Solomon consolidates his kingdom by purging those who might threaten his reign.

C. Solomon’s Wisdom (1 Kings 3:1–4:34)

Solomon’s legendary wisdom is presented as a gift from God.

D. Solomon Builds the Temple (1 Kings 5:1–9:9)

Solomon’s greatest achievement was the building of the temple in Jerusalem, which is meticulously related in these chapters.

E. Solomon’s Wealth (1 Kings 9:10–10:29)

The themes of Solomon’s wealth and wisdom appear again in these descriptions of Solomon’s luxurious court along with indications of the king’s approaching apostasy.

F. Solomon’s Apostasy (1 Kings 11:1-43)

Solomon’s apostasy is blamed on his many marriages to the original inhabitants of the land in violation of Deuteronomy’s proscriptions.

2. Rebellion Splits the Nation (1 Kings 12:1–16:28)

Following Solomon’s death, the nation split into two kingdoms: Judah in the south, comprised of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi; and Israel, comprised of the ten northern tribes that broke away.

A. Jeroboam I of Israel (1 Kings 12:1–14:20)

The division of the kingdom following Solomon’s death–fulfilling the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 11:26-40)–is recounted, with Jeroboam receiving the ten northern tribes.

B. Early Kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:21–15:24)

From this point on, the books of Kings present evaluations of the kings of Judah and Israel. First we hear about the early kings of Judah: Rehoboam, Abijam, and Asa.

C. Early Kings of Israel (1 Kings 15:25–16:28)

The early kings of Israel: Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri are evaluated very differently than those of Judah. Following in the pattern of Jeroboam, they flourish politically while growing in apostasy.

3. Elijah and the Prophets Confront Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16:29–22:53)

The reign of Ahab will dominate the rest of 1 Kings. Like his father Omri, this powerful king’s political triumphs are of little concern to the narrator, who presents Ahab and Jezebel as the religious foes of the prophets of the Lord.

A. Elijah Battles Baal (1 Kings 17:1–19:21)

First Kings draws on another source for these dramatic stories that relate the battle between Yahweh, the God of Israel, and the Canaanite god, Baal.

B. Ahab Battles Syria (1 Kings 20:1-43)

Three prophetic encounters are woven into Ahab’s battles with Syria.

C. Ahab Covets Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-29)

Ahab and Jezebel attempt to gain the vineyard of Naboth through their political power. Elijah challenges them and announces the destruction of Ahab’s house.

D. Micaiah and the Death of Ahab (1 Kings 22:1-40)

Ahab’s final battle with Syria is fought in collaboration with Jehoshaphat of Judah. His encounter with Micaiah typifies the struggle between king and prophet that runs through the book of Kings.

E. Jehoshaphat of Judah and Ahaziah of Israel (1 Kings 22:41-53)

Jehoshaphat’s reign is evaluated mainly in terms of his political accommodation with Israel. Ahaziah’s evil reign is curiously split between 1 Kings and the beginning of 2 Kings.

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