"First Kings is not so much a book of history as a book of religion," says Dr. Simon J. DeVries. "Through the historic events it relates, the religion of the Hebrew people was being shaped."
Dr. DeVries's thorough overview of the world of 1 Kings--its geography, its culture, its politics, and the religious situation--brings the biblical record alive in its time and place. Upon this foundation is superimposed a comprehensive, lucid discussion of sacred history as theological testimony, and responsible consideration of 1 Kings as literary composition.
In this commentary, Dr. DeVries provides keen insight into the intricacies of both the events and the textual difficulties of 1 Kings: The throne succession from David to Solomon Solomon's reign--his influence and his failings The building of the Jerusalem temple and its significance The division of the United Kingdom The puzzling chronology of the Hebrew kings The problem of heathen shrines and cult objects The role of the prophets in Elijah's time.
For this second edition, he has updated and expanded the bibliography.
Prophecy, a burgeoning new religious impulse of the period of 1 Kings, receives special emphasis as a particularly rich source of profound theological truth communicated in the effective linguistic forms of prophet-narratives.
"Whether appearing as historiography or as pious story, the contents of 1 Kings offer themselves as testimonies to the ways of God with men," Dr. DeVries notes. "The scene is history; the players are kings and prophets; behind the curtain is the Lord of history, challenging his players to make history the scene of salvific revelation."