Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Kings 2

1 - Now the days of David came near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying,

2 - "I am going the way of all the earth. You be strong therefore, and show yourself a man;

3 - and keep the instruction of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself.

4 - Then the LORD may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your children are careful of their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you,' he said, 'a man on the throne of Israel.'

5 - "Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was around his waist, and in his shoes that were on his feet.

6 - Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don't let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.

7 - But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.

8 - "Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by The LORD, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.'

9 - Now therefore don't hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood."

10 - David slept with his fathers, and was buried in David's city.

11 - The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

12 - Solomon sat on David his father's throne; and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 - Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, "Do you come peaceably?"He said, "Peaceably.

14 - He said moreover, I have something to tell you."She said, "Say on."

15 - He said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign. However the kingdom is turned around, and has become my brother's; for it was his from The LORD.

16 - Now I ask one petition of you. Don't deny me."She said to him, "Say on."

17 - He said, "Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not tell you 'no'), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife."

18 - Bathsheba said, "Alright. I will speak for you to the king."

19 - Bathsheba therefore went to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.

20 - Then she said, "I ask one small petition of you; don't deny me."The king said to her, "Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny you."

21 - She said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife."

22 - King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."

23 - Then king Solomon swore by The LORD, saying, "God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life.

24 - Now therefore as the LORD lives, who has established me, and set me on my father David's throne, and who has made me a house as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death today."

25 - King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell on him, so that he died.

26 - To Abiathar the priest the king said, "Go to Anathoth, to your own fields; for you are worthy of death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the Lord God's ark before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted."

27 - So Solomon thrust Abiathar out from being priest to The LORD, that he might fulfill The LORD's word, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 - This news came to Joab; for Joab had followed Adonijah, although he didn't follow Absalom. Joab fled to The LORD's Tent, and held onto the horns of the altar.

29 - King Solomon was told, "Joab has fled to The LORD's Tent, and behold, he is by the altar." Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, "Go, fall on him."

30 - Benaiah came to The LORD's Tent, and said to him, "Thus says the king, 'Come out!'"He said, "No; but I will die here."Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, "Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me."

31 - The king said to him, "Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him; that you may take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father's house.

32 - The LORD will return his blood on his own head, because he fell on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David didn't know it: Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah.

33 - So their blood will return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his offspring forever. But for David, for his offspring, for his house, and for his throne, there will be peace forever from The LORD."

34 - Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell on him, and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

35 - The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his place over the army; and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

36 - The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and live there, and don't go anywhere else.

37 - For on the day you go out and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you will surely die. Your blood will be on your own head."

38 - Shimei said to the king, "What you say is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do." Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 - At the end of three years, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, "Behold, your slaves are in Gath."

40 - Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his slaves; and Shimei went, and brought his slaves from Gath.

41 - Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had come again.

42 - The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, "Didn't I adjure you by The LORD, and warn you, saying, 'Know for certain, that on the day you go out, and walk anywhere else, you shall surely die?' You said to me, 'The saying that I have heard is good.'

43 - Why then have you not kept the oath of The LORD, and the commandment that I have instructed you with?"

44 - The king said moreover to Shimei, "You know in your heart all the wickedness that you did to David my father. Therefore the LORD will return your wickedness on your own head.

45 - But king Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will be established before the LORD forever."

46 - So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell on him, so that he died. The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

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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