In the Old Testament, we learn that Solomon was the son and successor of King David, and in the Book of 1 Kings, his story is told. When Solomon led Israel, the people enjoyed a great deal of power and influence throughout the world. The holy Temple was also constructed during this time. The book also reveals the unfortunate tale of how Solomon’s enthusiasm for God faded as he got older. In this article, you will learn more about 1 Kings in the Old Testament.
The author of 1 Kings is not specified in the text, but it is traditionally believed that the prophet Jeremiah wrote the book sometime between 560 and 540 BC. The Book of 1 Kings serves as a sequel to 1 and 2 Samuel , starting with the rise of Solomon as king after David dies. The story begins with a kingdom that is unified, but ends with a divided nation that splits into two different kingdoms , known as Judah and Israel. In the Hebrew Bible, 1 and 2 Kings are combined into one book.
When Solomon was born, he entered a world where the palace was dealing with the scandal of David and Bathsheba. A trait that he inherited from his father was a weakness for women. In the beginning, Solomon did well as a leader. He prayed for wisdom and constructed a temple to God that took seven years to build. But then, he followed up by building a palace in honor for himself. He also accumulated many wives that led to him worshipping their idols. This led him further away from God.
When Solomon died, Israel entered a period of time where a series of different kings ruled the land. Most of the leaders were evil and did not mean well. This pushed the nation further away from God. Even the preaching of Elijah could not bring the people back. Some of the worst kings to rule include Ahab and his queen Jezebel. Elijah made an attempt to turn the Israelites back to the worship of God. He even challenged the priests of Baal to a showdown with God on Mount Carmel, which God won. Jezebel was angered by this act, and she ordered the death of Elijah. He was forced to flee and hide in the wilderness. This placed Elijah in a state of depression. He was exhausted and is quoted as saying, “Let me die.” But God sent food and words of encouragement to the prophet. He whispered to him, which gave Elijah a boost. He was able to survive and later continued his work in the future.
Significant verses found in 1 Kings includes:
“I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.” (1 Kings 1:30)
“The LORD said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.'” (1 Kings 9:3)
“When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: ‘What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!'” (1 Kings 12:16)