Outline of 1 Kings
1. SolomonThird king of Israel who was known for wisdom and building the first Temple More (1 Kings 1:1–11:43)
The first half of 1 Kings tells the story of Solomon as he builds the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged… More, grows in wisdomWisdom encompasses the qualities of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, which sometimes invokes a Woman as the personification of Wisdom, is a collection of aphorisms and moral teachings. Along with other biblical passages, it teaches, “The fear of the… More 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: JudahJudah was the name of Jacob’s fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More in the south, comprised of the tribes of Judah, BenjaminA son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More, and Levi; and Israel, comprised of the ten northern tribes that broke away.
A. Jeroboam IThe first king of the northern kingdom when Israel separated from Judah More of Israel (1 Kings 12:1–14:20)
The division of the kingdom following Solomon’s death–fulfilling the prophecyProphecy is the gift, inspired by God, of speaking and interpreting the divine will. Prophets such as Amos, Isaiah, and Ezekiel spoke words of judgment and comfort to the people of Israel on behalf of God. More 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: RehoboamThe son of Solomon during whose reign the kingdom divided into north and south More, 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. ElijahA miracle working Israelite prophet who opposed worship of Baal. More and the Prophets Confront AhabKing of Israel who opposed Elijah More and JezebelQueen who promoted worship of Baal and who opposed Elijah More (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.