Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Books of Kings

In my daily reading schedule, we have now come to the Books of Kings. The outline of the books is pretty simple:
I. Solomon's Reign, 1 Kgs 1-11
II. The Divided Kingdom, 1 Kgs 12-2 Kgs 17
III. The Fall of Judah, 2 Kgs 18-25

These books are included as part of the Former Prophets in the Hebrew Canon. Once you get past the reign of Solomon, you can tell why. The story from 1 Kgs 17-2 Kgs 7 is devoted to the exploits of Elijah and Elisha. In other words, more than one-fourth of the two books is devoted to the lives of two prophets. As you read through, you will also see references to other prophets playing a significant role in the story. Thus, the books can be understood as the history of Israel from the perspective of the prophets, explaining why the kingdom started out so well, how it lasted as long as it did, and how it came to its ignominious end. This differs from the history in Chronicles, which tells roughly the same story, but from the priestly perspective.

Happy reading!


Benjamin P. Glaser said...

How best should we answer those who say Kings and Chronicles contradict one another?

Jeff said...

I'd like to get your thoughts on this article by Daniel Block "How Many Is God?: An Investigation Into the Meaning of Deuteronomy 6:4-5" where he prefers this translation "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord alone."