Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Kings 18

1 - After many days, The LORD's word came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain on the earth."

2 - Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria.

3 - Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly;

4 - for when Jezebel cut off The LORD's prophets, Obadiah took one hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

5 - Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land, to all the springs of water, and to all the brooks. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we not lose all the animals."

6 - So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7 - As Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. He recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, "Is it you, my lord Elijah?"

8 - He answered him, "It is I. Go, tell your lord, 'Behold, Elijah is here!'"

9 - He said, "How have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me?

10 - As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. When they said, 'He is not here,' he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they didn't find you.

11 - Now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Elijah is here."'

12 - It will happen, as soon as I leave you, that The LORD's Spirit will carry you I don't know where; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he can't find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared the LORD from my youth.

13 - Wasn't it told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed The LORD's prophets, how I hid one hundred men of The LORD's prophets with fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

14 - Now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Elijah is here".' He will kill me."

15 - Elijah said, "As the LORD of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today."

16 - So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 - When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"

18 - He answered, "I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken The LORD's commandments, and you have followed the Baals.

19 - Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and four hundred fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

20 - So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel.

21 - Elijah came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you waver between the two sides? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him."The people didn't say a word.

22 - Then Elijah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left as a prophet of The LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred fifty men.

23 - Let them therefore give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it.

24 - You call on the name of your god, and I will call on The LORD's name. The God who answers by fire, let him be God."All the people answered, "What you say is good."

25 - Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves, and dress it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it."

26 - They took the bull which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, "Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice, and nobody answered. They leaped about the altar which was made.

27 - At noon, Elijah mocked them, and said, "Cry aloud; for he is a god. Either he is deep in thought, or he has gone somewhere, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he sleeps and must be awakened."

28 - They cried aloud, and cut themselves in their way with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.

29 - When midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the evening offering; but there was no voice, no answer, and nobody paid attention.

30 - Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me!"; and all the people came near to him. He repaired The LORD's altar that had been thrown down.

31 - Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom The LORD's word came, saying, "Israel shall be your name."

32 - With the stones he built an altar in The LORD's name. He made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two seahs of seed.

33 - He put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, "Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood."

34 - He said, "Do it a second time"; and they did it the second time. He said, "Do it a third time"; and they did it the third time.

35 - The water ran around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

36 - At the time of the evening offering, Elijah the prophet came near, and said, "The LORD, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.

37 - Hear me, The LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you, The LORD, are God, and that you have turned their heart back again."

38 - Then The LORD's fire fell, and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39 - When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces. They said, "The LORD, he is God! The LORD, he is God!"

40 - Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal! Don't let one of them escape!"They seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.

41 - Elijah said to Ahab, "Get up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain."

42 - So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees.

43 - He said to his servant, "Go up now, and look toward the sea."He went up, and looked, and said, "There is nothing."He said, "Go again" seven times.

44 - On the seventh time, he said, "Behold, a small cloud, like a man's hand, is rising out of the sea."He said, "Go up, tell Ahab, 'Get ready and go down, so that the rain doesn't stop you.'"

45 - In a little while, the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

46 - The LORD's hand was on Elijah; and he tucked his cloak into his belt and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.


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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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