Survey of the Bible - I Kings

Text: I Kings 9:1-9


I.         The books of I Kings and II Kings are actually one book but were divided to make scrolls not so large.

            A.        The books of I Kings and II Kings focuses more on the moral history of Israel, with emphasis on tracing Israel’s decline.

                        1.         It isn’t truly a political history. For example, Omri was a significant king from a political point of view, but gains only a few verses in I Kings.

                        2.         A verdict is given on each king’s rule

            B.        It particularly focuses on the northern kingdom after the divide since it declined first and influenced the decline of the southern kingdom.

            C.        I Kings goes from Israel’s peak of glory under Solomon to the reigns of Ahaziah in the north and Jehoshaphat in the south.

            D.        The authors of I Kings were the prophets of that day. We know some of their names:

                        1.         Nathan, Ahijah, Iddo for Solomon’s reign - II Chronicles 9:29

                        2.         Shemaiah and Iddo for Rehoboam and Jereboam’s reigns - II Chronicles 12:15

                        3.         Unknown for Asa - II Chronicles 16:11

                        4.         Jehu for Jehoshaphat’s reign - II Chronicles 20:34

            E.        Tradition states that Jeremiah was the editor of the accounts as the style of writing is similar to his and the accounts end in his time.

                        1.         But he could not be the original author of it all since there are mentions things continuing “to this day” that did not continue in Jeremiah’s day - I Kings 8:8; 12:19

II.        Solomon - I Kings 1-11

            A.        Solomon was the wisest king in Israel’s history and in world history - I Kings 3:12; 4:29-34

            B.        Establishment of Solomon’s rule - I Kings 1-2

                        1.         I Kings 1 - Adonijah attempts to usurp the throne and David quickly confirms Solomon as king

                        2.         I Kings 2 - Solomon deals those who oppose his rule

                        3.         Key verse: I Kings 2:46

            C.        The rise of Solomon - I Kings 3-8

                        1.         Solomon uses marriages to form alliances which eventually lead to his downfall - I Kings 3:1

                        2.         God offers Solomon a gift and Solomon selects wisdom - I Kings 3-4

                        3.         In this period Solomon builds the temple - I Kings 5-8

            D.        The decline of Solomon - I Kings 9-11

                        1.         God’s warning and encouragement - I Kings 9:4-5

                        2.         The visit of the queen of Sheba - I Kings 10

                        3.         Solomon’s failure - I Kings 11:11

                                    a.         The wisest man in history becomes a fool in his old age.

III.       The Divided Kingdom

            A.        Rehoboam - I Kings 12:1-24; 14:21-31; 15:6

                        1.         Judah. An evil king. Reigned 17 years

                        2.         He did not listen to his father’s advisors and decide to raise the taxes, which were already high from Solomon’s building projects - I Kings 12:1-24

                                    a.         As a result he split the kingdom, losing ten tribes

                        3.         Allowed idolatry in - I Kings 14:22-24

                        4.         Was plundered by Shishak of Egypt - I Kings 14:25-28

                        5.         Constantly warred against Israel - I Kings 14:30

            B.        Jeroboam - I Kings 11:26-40; 12:1-14:20

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigned 22 years

                        2.         He rebelled against Solomon and he was prophesied to receive the 10 northern tribes. He fled to Egypt to hide from Solomon under the same Shishak who later plunders Judah.

                        3.         He establishes a false religion with golden calves to lure people not to go to Jerusalem to worship. This religion remains for the rest of Israel’s days - I Kings 12:25-13:10

                        4.         Interestingly, when his son becomes ill, he turns to Ahijah, a prophet of God for help, but God rejects him - I Kings 14:1-20

            C.        Abijam (Abijah) - I Kings 15:1-8

                        1.         Judah. An evil king. Reigned 3 years

                        2.         Wasn’t committed to God - I Kings 15:3

                        3.         Continued the war with Israel - I Kings 15:6

            D.        Asa - I Kings 15:9-24

                        1.         Judah. Good king. Reigned 41 years

                        2.         He followed the ways of David.

                        3.         He removed most, but not all the idolatry from Judah.

                        4.         When Baasha attacked, Asa made a treaty with Ben-hadad for help in harassing Israel - I Kings 15:18-20

            E.        Nabah - I Kings 15:25-32

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigned 2 years

                        2.         Followed after Rehoboam his father.

                        3.         Assassinated by Baasha

            F.        Baasha - I Kings 15:33-16:7

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigns 24 years

                        2.         Followe Jereboam’s ways

                        3.         Attacked Judah

            G.        Elah - I Kings 16:8-14

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigns 2 years

                        2.         Continued the idolatry

                        3.         Assassinated by Zimri, one of his chariot commanders.

            H.        Zimri - I Kings 16:8-20

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigned only 7 days.

                        2.         Even though such a short reign - I Kings 16:19

                        3.         Committed suicide

            I.         Tibni and Omri - I Kings 16:21-22

                        1.         A six year division in Israel until Omri killed Tibni

            J.         Omri - I Kings 16:15-28

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigns 12 years total.

                        2.         Worse than prior kings - I Kings 16:25

                        3.         Most noted for making Samaria the capital of Israel - I Kings 16:24

            K.        Ahab - I Kings 16:29-22:40

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigns 22 years

                        2.         Worse than all prior kings - I Kings 16:30-33

                        3.         He marries the notorious Jezebel who tries to wipe out God’s prophets.

                        4.         Contests with Elijah the prophet

                                    a.         Drought for three years - I Kings 17

                                    b.         Elijah’s famous contest against the prophets of Baal and Asheroth - I Kings 18

                                    c.         Elijah’s depression - I Kings 19

                        5.         War with Aram, which Ahab wins but loses because he did not kill the king of Aram - I Kings 20

                        6.         Naboth’s vineyard - I Kings 21

                        7.         Third campaign against Aram which leads to his death - I Kings 22

            L.        Jehoshaphat - I Kings 22:41-50; 22:2-36

                        1.         Judah. A good king. Reigns 25 years

                        2.         Allied himself to Ahab’s household by marriage.

                                    a.         Joined Ahab in his defeat against Aram.

                        3.         Removed many but not all the idols in Judah

            M.       Ahaziah - I Kings 22:51-53

                        1.         Israel. An evil king. Reigns 2 years

                        2.         His story is split between I Kings and II Kings

                        3.         He follows after the earlier kings in their idolatry.

IV.      What the book tells us

            A.        Men cannot rule without being dependent on God

                        1.         In the divided kingdom only Asa and Jehoshaphat are called good kings.

            B.        The character of the king directly effects the character of the country and God’s response

                        1.         Though good kings did not fully turn the people to righteousness

            C.        Following God gains blessings and disobeying God gains punishment

            D.        Without active resistence against sin, evil tends to increase.




Solomon (Mostly Good) 40 years

I Kings 1-11


I Kings 1


I Kings 11


Rehoboam (Evil) 17 years

I Kings 12:1-24; 14:21-31; 15:6

Jeroboam (Evil) 22 years

I Kings 11:26-40; 12:1-14:20


I Kings 14



Abijam (Abijah) (Evil ) 3 years

Started 18th year of Jereboam

I Kings 15:1-8

Asa (Good) 41 years

Started 20th year of Jereboam

I Kings 15:9-24

Nadab (Evil) 2 years

Started 2nd year of Asa

I Kings 15:25-32


Baasha (Evil) 24 years

Started 3rd year of Asa

I Kings 15:33-16:7


I Kings 16

Elah (Evil) 2 years

Started 26th year of Asa

I Kings 16:8-14


Zimri (Evil) 7 days

Started 27th year of Asa

I Kings 16:8-20


Tibni and Omri battle for the throne (Evil) 6 years

I Kings 16:21-22


Omri (Evil) 12 years

Started 27th year of Asa

Started alone 31st year of Asa

I Kings 16:23-28


Jehoshaphat (Good) 25 years

Started 4th year of Ahab

I Kings 22:2-33,41-50

Ahab (Evil) 22 years

Started 38th year of Asa

I Kings 16:29-22:40


I Kings 17-19; 21:17-29


I Kings 22

Ahaziah (Evil) 2 years

Started 17th year of Jehoshaphat

I Kings 22:51-53


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