These are the main ideas/key concepts from I and II Kings (the readings listed on the syllabus), which we did not get time to discuss in class


I Kings 8: Solomon, who has been responsible for seeing that the Temple is built, now has the Ark of the Covenant brought to the Temple.

Vs. 22-53 – are a combination of prayer and sermon of Solomon to God about being allowed to build the Temple and about God protecting the Temple

Vs. 56 to the end of the Chapter: Solomon blesses the people and they offer sacrifice


I Kings 10: The Queen of Sheba comes to visit Solomon; she’s coming to confirm whether Solomon truly is the person of wisdom she’s heard about.  She gives him riches/precious spices.  In turn, Solomon gifts her.


I Kings 11-13: Solomon’s many wives, many loves—especially from groups God had told the people they should not marry with.  Vs. 4 tells of how Solomon is being led astray and begins building altars to the gods/goddesses of other cultures.  Vs. 9 God is angry, tells Solomon (Vs 11) about “tearing the kingdom from you” though this will not happen in Solomon’s lifetime; also God will give one tribe to “your son, for the sake of my servant David”

Adversaries of Solomon arise; major person is Jeroboam, who is given 10 tribes—the Northern Kingdom encompassed in the name Israel; Jerusalem must be kept for the descendents of David.  Jeroboam eventually establishes himself at Shechem and creates places of worship at Bethel and Dan, so that the people will not go up to Jerusalem to the Temple to worship.  But establishing other places of worship is displeasing to God. Rehoboam, son of Solomon, has Jerusalem and Judah, the Southern Kingdom.


I Kings 17-19: Stories of the Elijah, the major prophet of Israel during the reign of Ahab, a wicked king and his wife, Jezebel. Elijah is first sent to a widow, during a time of famine and works miracles there—one is to raise the widow’s son from the dead.  Ch. 18 the story of the battle between Elijah, prophet of Israel, and the hundreds of prophets of Baal and Asherah (Canaanite gods)—great story.  Elijah, eventually tries to run and hide from the forces of Ahab; God calls him and tells Elijah to look for God to reveal himself.  A famous passage follows—God is not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in fire, but “in the sound of sheer silence” 19: 12 (sometimes translated as in a small whispering sound.)


I Kings 22: summarizes more problems for Israel under corrupt kings.


II Kings 2—Elijah is taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot; Elisha is a follower of Elijah, and Elisha is the one who sees Elijah “taken up.”  Elisha is also granted his one request of Elijah—to have a double portion of Elijah’s spirit—meaning to be twice as much a man of God as Elijah has been.  Chs. 3-5—more stories of Elisha’s role and the miraculous works he does. 

Ch. 23: tells of Josiah, the one good king of Judah and Jerusalem; he finds “The Book of the Law” and has it read to the people.  Chs. 24-25 tell of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple and the exile of the people into Babylon.