QR code Bible Pathways

go to previous book

1 Kings study guide

go to next book

Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read:
1 Kings 3: 16-28: Solomon demonstrates his remarkable wisdom
1 Kings 6: details the contruction of the elaborate temple
1 Kings 11: 1-14: Solomon's wives are the catalyst of his downfall
1 Kings 18: 16-45: Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal
Orientation 1 Kings is book #11 of 39 in the Old Testament. It is considered a book of History. For more information see the Bible Overview page.

Some events from 1 Kings also appear in 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. For a comparison, see Harmony of 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Synopsis The theme of 1 Kings is that godly kings (that is, David and Solomon) will be blessed by God with success over enemies, good crops, and prosperity; while ungodly kings (everyone else) will reap disaster. King David names his successor - Solomon - his son with Bathsheba (1:29). Under Solomon's godly rule, the people have a time of unmatched prosperity and success. He builds an opulent temple outside Jerusalem (5-8) and places the ark in it. Solomon accumulates a harem of wives (11:1) who eventually influence him to worship other gods (11:7). Enemies rise up and prosperity evaporates. Solomon dies (11:41), the nation splits into two. Various kings rule through times of turmoil (14-22). In the midst of this, Elijah stages a spectacular demonstration against the prophets of Baal (18: 16-45).
Major Characters David, Israel's second king, now elderly and dying (1:1)
Solomon, David's son and surprise successor
Elijah, a prophet who challenges the priests of Baal (18: 16-45)
Major Events Solomon orders a baby cut in two (3:16-28)
Solomon builds the temple (6: 1-28)
The nation splits into two: Israel in the north, Judah in the south (including Jerusalem) (12:18-20)
Flour and oil extended (17:12)
Elijah raises a boy from the dead (17:17)
Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal (18: 16-45)
Activities 1. Why is Solomon a suprise successor to succeed David? *
2. List the Kings in order so far (You may need to go back to 1 and 2 Samuel). Note that after Solomon, the nation split in two - Israel and Judah - so make 2 lists after that point. **
Relevance What scriptures in this book have application for my life?
Can people with 'baggage' (like Solomon - born from an affair) become successful leaders?
Do wives/husbands of leaders have influence as seen with Solomon?
Connections The story continues in 2 Kings. The two books were originally one.
Read Deuteronomy 17:17. Was this Solomon's downfall?
A prophet similar to Elijah will come just before the Messiah. See Malachi 4: 5-6 and Matthew 11: 7-14.

For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014

Home > Bible Pathways home page This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. click for license

* not the firstborn son, 
Adonijah his half-brother tried to make himself king, 
Solomon was his son by Bathsheba, notorious 

** Saul

Rehoboam-Judah (12:1)
Abijam (15:1)
Asa (15:9)
Jehosaphat (22:41)
Jehoram (22:50)

Jeroboam-Israel (12:20)
Nadab (15:25)
Baasha (15:32)
Elah (16:8)
Zimri (16:15)
Omri (16:21)
Ahab (16:29)
Ahaziah (22:51)