Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Kings 13

1 - Behold, a man of God came out of Judah by The LORD's word to Beth El; and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense.

2 - He cried against the altar by The LORD's word, and said, "Altar! Altar! the LORD says: 'Behold, a son will be born to David's house, Josiah by name. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and they will burn men's bones on you.'"

3 - He gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign which the LORD has spoken: Behold, the altar will be split apart, and the ashes that are on it will be poured out."

4 - When the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam put out his hand from the altar, saying, "Seize him!" His hand, which he put out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to himself.

5 - The altar was also split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by The LORD's word.

6 - The king answered the man of God, "Now intercede for the favor of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again."The man of God interceded with The LORD, and the king's hand was restored to him again, and became as it was before.

7 - The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward."

8 - The man of God said to the king, "Even if you gave me half of your house, I would not go in with you, neither would I eat bread nor drink water in this place;

9 - for so was it commanded me by The LORD's word, saying, 'You shall eat no bread, drink no water, and don't return by the way that you came.'"

10 - So he went another way, and didn't return by the way that he came to Bethel.

11 - Now an old prophet lived in Bethel, and one of his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king.

12 - Their father said to them, "Which way did he go?" Now his sons had seen which way the man of God went, who came from Judah.

13 - He said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it.

14 - He went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. He said to him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?"He said, "I am."

15 - Then he said to him, "Come home with me, and eat bread."

16 - He said, "I may not return with you, nor go in with you. I will not eat bread or drink water with you in this place.

17 - For it was said to me by The LORD's word, 'You shall eat no bread or drink water there, and don't turn again to go by the way that you came.'"

18 - He said to him, "I also am a prophet as you are; and an angel spoke to me by The LORD's word, saying, 'Bring him back with you into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" He lied to him.

19 - So he went back with him, ate bread in his house, and drank water.

20 - As they sat at the table, The LORD's word came to the prophet who brought him back;

21 - and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, "The LORD says, 'Because you have been disobedient to The LORD's mouth, and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you,

22 - but came back, and have eaten bread and drank water in the place of which he said to you, "Eat no bread, and drink no water"; your body will not come to the tomb of your fathers.'"

23 - After he had eaten bread, and after he drank, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back.

24 - When he had gone, a lion met him by the way and killed him. His body was thrown on the path, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the body.

25 - Behold, men passed by, and saw the body thrown on the path, and the lion standing by the body; and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 - When the prophet who brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who was disobedient to The LORD's mouth. Therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, which has mauled him and slain him, according to The LORD's word, which he spoke to him."

27 - He said to his sons, saying, "Saddle the donkey for me," and they saddled it.

28 - He went and found his body thrown on the path, and the donkey and the lion standing by the body. The lion had not eaten the body, nor mauled the donkey.

29 - The prophet took up the body of the man of God, and laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. He came to the city of the old prophet to mourn, and to bury him.

30 - He laid his body in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, "Alas, my brother!"

31 - After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, "When I am dead, bury me in the tomb in which the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his bones.

32 - For the saying which he cried by The LORD's word against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely happen."

33 - After this thing Jeroboam didn't return from his evil way, but again made priests of the high places from among all the people. Whoever wanted to, he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high places.

34 - This thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the surface of the earth.


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1 Kings Images and Notes

The Books of Kings

1 Kings 2:11 - And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
1 Kings 2:12 - Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

1 Kings 8:27 - But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Reconstruction of Solomons Temple
Reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon

1 Kings 8;6 - And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy [place, even] under the wings of the cherubims.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Kings
Hebrew Name - Melechim "kings"
Greek Name - basilia (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Jeremiah (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1015-562 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Kings - The division of the kingdom
Theme of 2 Kings - The history of Israel and Judah
Types and Shadows - In Kings Jesus is the peaceful King

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ark Relief at Capernaum Synagogue

Close up of the Sculptured Block of the Ark at Capernaum

The ancient Ark of the covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.

Summary of The Books of Kings

The books of Kings were originally one book in the ancient Hebrew manuscripts, and the writers of the Septuagint divided them. They  were called the Third and Fourth Books of Kingdoms, although in the Hebrew  manuscript the title was called Kings, exactly the same as we have in our English Bible. The books of Kings follow the books of Samuel chronologically.

The time period extends from the anointing of King Solomon (1015 BC) throughout the history of Israel and Judah all the way to the death of Jehoiachin after he was freed from Babylonian imprisonment (561 BC). The book of 1 Kings begins with Solomon, and not David or Saul because the books of Samuel cover their lives. Under King Solomon the dominion of Israel extended from the Euphrates River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and down to the  Egyptian border (1 Kings 4:21). At the end of each the kingdoms of Israel and Judah the remaining kings were not seeking God and became a sad remnant who were puppets of either Egypt or Assyria or Babylon until they were finally uprooted and taken away. The beginning of all of their problems happened after the death of Solomon when his sons Rehoboam and Jeroboam divided the kingdom, 10 of the tribes went with Jeroboam to the north (Israel), and 2 of the tribes remained with Rehoboam in the south (Judah). All 19 of Israel's Kings followed the heathen nations and were idol worshipers and evil, leading Israel into sin bringing upon themselves the wrath of God. They were destroyed and taken captive to Assyria in 722 BC. In the southern kingdom of Judah 8 out of their 20 Kings sought the Lord and the rest forsook him also bring the wrath of God when the Babylonian captivity took place under King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.

It is difficult to give a precise  chronology of the books of Kings. According to  Hebrew tradition Jeremiah was the author, and wrote shortly after the events have taken place. The Books of Chronicles record the events of the same time period from a different perspective.

Quick Reference Map
Map of Israel and Judah During the Period of the Kings
Map of Israel and Judah During the Period of the Kings (Click to Enlarge)

 

The books of Kings may be arranged with this quick outline:

Outline of the Books of Kings

I. The Reign of Solomon (1 Kings 1:1 -14:43)

1) The last days of David (1 Kings 1:1-2:11). Adonijah usurps David's throne, but flees after the anointing of Solomon. David dies and is buried in Jerusalem.
2) Solomon's formal accession to the throne and the early days of his reign (1 Kings 2:12-46).
3) Solomon's request for wisdom and his sagacious decision concerning the disputed child (1 Kings 3).
4) A description of Solomon's power, wealth, and wisdom (1 Kings 4). In this section we learn that Solomon wrote over 3,000 proverbs and 105 songs. For a further discussion of this, see the introduction to Proverbs.
5) The erection of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 5-8).
6) A further description of the splendor of Solomon's kingdom (1 Kings 9-10). After mentioning the stables, the navy and the great riches of the kingdom, the narrative records the visit of the queen of Sheba, who was so impressed by the scene that she remarked, "Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which heard" (1 Kings 10:7).
7) Solomon's wives and apostasy (1 Kings 11). One cannot read this chapter seriously without being saddened. In his search for wealth and pleasure, Solomon contracted a large number of foreign wives—many, no doubt, for political reasons. These women brought their foreign deities with them and eventually Solomon's heart was turned away from the Lord "and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father" (1 Kings 11:4). Whether or not Solomon was "the preacher" of Ecclesiastes cannot be proved beyond doubt. If he was, however, surely the situation to which this chapter bears witness would lead him to the statement of cynicism and despair: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, saith the preacher" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

II. The Divided Kingdom (1 Kings 12:1-2 Kings 17:41)

1) The division of the kingdom (1 Kings 12). After Solomon's death, his son Rehoboam became king. Instead of lightening the heavy tax burden which Solomon's extravagances had forced on the people, Rehoboam decided to increase it. Disgruntled, the ten northern tribes chose Jeroboam as their leader and seceded from the union with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In order to keep his people from returning to worship in Jerusalem, where they might be influenced to stand with Rehoboam, the king of the North instituted the worship of the golden calf. This act of political expediency was the major factor in Israel's ultimate humiliation.

2) The remainder of Jeroboam's reign (1 Kings 13:1-14-20). This section includes a rebuke to Jeroboam by a man of God which contains an amazing prophecy concerning the reformation of Josiah (v. 2), which was not to be fulfilled for over 300 years (2 Kings 23:15-18).

3) Rehoboam, Abijam and Asa, kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:21-15:24).

4) Kings of Israel from Nadab to Omri (1 Kings 14:25-16:28).

5) Ahab, Jezebel and Elijah (1 Kings 16:29-22:40). These three individuals stand out as among the more memorable in all the history of Israel, the first two for their consummate wickedness and the latter for his fiery zeal and courageous efforts in the service of God. 1 Kings 17 tells of the feeding of Elijah by the ravens and his boarding at the house of the widow of Zarephath during the three and a half year drought which was on the land. 1 Kings 18 informs us that Jezebel's wickedness prompted her to subsidize Baal worship and a cult of heathen prophets, while she strove to exterminate the prophets of God (verse 13). Also contained in this chapter is the magnificent story of Elijah's "duel" with the prophets of Baal atop Mt. Carmel. 1 Kings 19 records the anger of Jezebel at Elijah's having slain her prophets and her threat upon his life. Elijah is reduced to desperation, but is comforted by the "still, small voice" (verses 11, 12). 1 Kings 20-22 relate other incidents concerning Ahab, including his brutal treatment of Naboth and his death at the hands of the Syrians.

6) Jehoshaphat of Judah (1 Kings 22:41-50).

7) Ahaziah of Israel (1 Kings 22:51-2 Kings 1:18).

8) Elijah's translation and the imparting of his spirit to Elisha (2 Kings 2).

9) Jehoram of Israel (2 Kings 3).

10) The ministry of Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 4-7). Elisha's ministry was characterized by a considerable number of miracles, including the resurrection from the dead of the son of the Shunammite woman, the healing of Naaman's leprosy, and the floating axe head. Ch. 8 records the strange phenomenon of a prophet's anointing the head of a foreign king to punish the prophet's own people. Instructions to this effect had been given to Elijah (I Kings 19:15).

11) Jehoram and Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kings 8:16-29).

12) Jehu, king of Israel (2 Kings 9-10). Having been anointed by Elisha to punish the house of Ahab for its great wickedness, Jehu set about his task with a frightening zeal. Everything which is known of him can be characterized by the statement in 2 Kings 9:20:"he driveth furiously."

13) Miscellaneous kings of Israel and Judah (2 Kings 11-16). During his period Israel reached a period of great prosperity under Jeroboam II, regaining many of the areas which she had previously lost.

14) The captivity of Israel by Assyria in 722 BC (2 Kings 17). The last king of Israel was Hoshea. He, like the nineteen kings before him, was guilty of idolatrous worship. Finally, after repeated efforts by the prophets to turn the people from their idols, God allowed the ten tribes of Israel to be carried out of their homeland.

III. The Kingdom of Judah Alone (2 Kings 18-25)

This section contains an account of the last nine kings of Judah and the fall of Jerusalem. Also see the introduction to the books of Chronicles. Although the books of Kings contain a great deal of historical material, history is not their primary concern. In the Hebrew canon, they are classified, along with Joshua, Judges and the books of Samuel, as "The Prophets." The message is more spiritual than political. The writers of these books have written their history with a focus on devotion to God, the factual information is mentioned for illustration and confirmation. Examining the writings of the prophets is important when researching history, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah. An intimate acquaintance with these prophets is essential for a clear grasp of the meaning of these books.

Quick Reference Maps - 1 Kings

The Period of the Kings
The Empire of David and Solomon
The Kingdom of David
Solomon's Temple Illustration
Chart - The House of the LORD
Ophir and Tarshish
Israel and Judah During the Time of Rehoboam
Samaria
Zaraphath and Mount Carmel
Ramoth Gilead

The First Day. Light.

1 Kings Resources

Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon
The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity

More About the Book of 1 Kings
More About the Book of 2 Kings
1 Kings in the Picture Study Bible
2 Kings in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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