Author: Not stated and unknown; one early tradition claimed Jeremiah wrote 1 and 2 Kings.
Date: Covering events from about 970 to 850 BC, 1 Kings was probably written sometime after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
In Ten Words or Less: Israel divides into rival northern and southern nations.
Details: King David, in declining health, names Solomon, his son with Bathsheba, successor. After David’s death, God speaks to Solomon in a dream, offering him anything he’d like - and Solomon chooses wisdom. God gives Solomon great wisdom, along with much power and wealth. The new king soon builds God a permanent temple in Jerusalem, and the Lord visits Solomon again to promise blessings for obedience and trouble for disobedience. Sadly, Solomon’s wisdom fails him, as he marries seven hundred women, many of them foreigners who turn his heart to idols. When Solomon dies, his son Rehoboam foolishly antagonizes the people of Israel, and ten northern tribes form their own nation under Jeroboam, a former official of Solomon’s. Two southern tribes continue under Solomon’s line in a nation called Judah. Jeroboam begins badly, initiating idol worship in the north; many wicked rulers follow. Judah will also have many poor leaders, though occasional kings, such as Asa and Jehoshaphat, follow the Lord. 1 Kings introduces the prophet Elijah, who confronts the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel regarding their worship of the false god Baal. In God’s power, Elijah defeats 450 false prophets in a dramatic contest on Mount Carmel.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.