6. Its parts are two: I. The history of the whole or undivided Kingdom, with Solomon taking possession of the Kingdom (1 Kings 1-10). II. The history of the Kingdom divided on account of the sin of Solomon under four Kings of Judah, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 11-22). A Synoptic Table, and the Interpreters of the book, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Hebrew.
Now, for an account of the Kingdom, whole and undivided, and afterwards, because of the sin of Solomon, divided and distracted, a twofold division is not clumsily adopted. For, first, the history of the whole Kingdom, or the undivided Kingdom, with Solomon getting possession of the Kingdom, is narrated, chapters 1-10. Second, the history of the Kingdom divided because of the sin of Solomon, under four Kings of Judah, Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, and Jehoshaphat, is composed, chapters 11-22.
I. The history of the Kingdom, whole or undivided, with Solomon taking possession of the Kingdom, Chapters 1-10. See:
1. Solomon’s election, accomplished by David, with David yet surviving and being stiff because of old age (verses 1-4), and with Adonijah conspiring in vain with Joab and Abiathar, that he might seize his father’s Kingdom, soon after which Solomon, then anointed with the Royal ointment by Zadok the Priest, is named King (verses 5-40), and Adonijah, having been removed from the altar, is preserved by the grace of Solomon (verses 41-53): chapter 1.
2. David’s final commandments to Solomon, especially that he might repay the kindnesses to the posterity of Barzillai, but inflict punishment upon Joab and Shimei (verses 1-11), which, with his Father dead, and with Adonijah killed on account of the request for Abishag (verses 12-27), he promptly obeys, with punishments exacted from Joab and Shimei (verses 28-46): chapter 2.
3. Solomon’s marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh, and his piety towards God, whom he worships at Gibeon with extraordinary sacrifices (verses 1-4), where by night the Lord, having appeared to him at the altar, grants to him the option of seeking what he will. With him asking for wisdom, he, having been made a sharer in it, and also in riches (verses 5-15), gave a singular proof of the same in the untangling of the quarrel of the women (verses 16-28): chapter 3.
4. Solomon’s administration:
a. Economic and political; in which Solomon, ruling over all Israel, sets the kingdom in order: he makes provision for administrators, overseers of provisions, horses, etc. (verses 1-28), and wins for himself a reputation for wisdom, both among his citizens, and among foreigners (verses 29-34): chapter 4.
b. Ecclesiastical, in managing the construction of the Temple. See:
α. The material for the Temple procured from Hiram by mutual agreement (verses 1-12), with Solomon supplying laborers, with prefects and overseers also adjoined (verses 13-18): chapter 5.
β. The building of that most costly Temple, accomplished in the space of seven years (verses 1-14), of which the magnitude, parts, and ornaments are described at length (verses 15-38): chapter 6.
γ. The private and public building projects of Solomon (verses 1-12), especially the religious workman of the columns, molten sea, bases with basins, and instruments of brass pertaining to it, where also things of gold prepared for the worship and honor of God are described (verses 13-51): chapter 7.
δ. The solemn dedication of the Temple built, after the bringing of the ark into its sanctuary on Zion, and the bringing of the tabernacle and the sacred vessels from Gibeon into the treasury of the house (verses 1-9), with Solomon, after God’s displaying of a visible sign of His presence (verses 10-11), blessing God with the people, sacrificing with solemn prayers, consecrating the house of God, celebrating the feast of tabernacles, and soberly exhorting the people to piety (verses 12-66): chapter 8.
ε. The approbation of God, testifying to Solomon, that He heard his prayers, poured out at the dedication, with promises added, and with a threat of destruction of the Temple, if his sons should conduct themselves impiously (verses 1-9): where also Solomon offers Hiram a region recently acquired in compensation for services (verses 10-14): receives by forfeiture the nations intermixed with his people, and consigns them to servitude; and, with his navy sent to Ophir, raises for himself a vast abundance of foreign gold (verses 15-28): chapter 9.
5. Solomon’s reputation among foreigners; confirmed by the coming of the Queen of Sheba, incited by the fame of his magnificence and wisdom, to see him and his glory face-to-face, and to honor him, with gifts also bestowed (verses 1-13), on which occasion more examples of Solomon’s glory are set forth (verses 14-29): chapter 10.
II. The history of the Kingdom divided on account of Solomon’s sin, under four Kings of Judah, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat, Chapters 11-22. See:
1. The cause of the division, namely, the sin of Solomon, who, by his wealth having slipped into luxury and vice, inasmuch as he had taken wives of foreigners against the prohibition of God, even seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, set up idols for them after the manner of their nations, to which they might sacrifice (verses 1-10). Whence the Lord, being hostile, with Solomon severely rebuked, threatened punishment, that after his death the Kingdom, in large part withdrawn from his son, would be delivered to Jeroboam: which Ahijah the Prophet also signifies: and at the same time He raises up rivals against him, Hadad the Edomite, and Rezon the son of Eliadah (verses 11-43): chapter 11.
2. The history of four Kings of Judah after the division of the Kingdom, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat, to which is connected the history of eight Kings of Israel. See:
a. The history of Rehoboam, and of the matters conducted under him in Judah and Israel: chapters 12-14. See:
α. The division of the Kingdom, the proximate cause of which was the harsh response of Rehoboam, whereby exasperated, they ten tribes place Jeroboam as a new King over them, with Rehoboam in vain preparing war against him, that is, with it Divinely commanded that he abstain from war, because at the will of heaven Jeroboam received the Kingdom (verses 1-24), with Jeroboam also impiously instituting new worship there with calves set up at Dan and Beth-el, lest attendance upon worship at Jerusalem should turn the people from following him (verses 25-33): chapter 12.
β. The rebuke of Jeroboam in his idolatry, while sacrificing at Beth-el, by a Prophet of God, denouncing judgment against the altar and its Priests, and confirming it with miracles, namely, of the split altar, and of the hand of Jeroboam extended against him (verses 1-6), who, nevertheless, being deceived by a False Prophet of Beth-el under the pretext of a Divine oracle, contrary to the commandment of God returns to Beth-el and eats bread with him, for which reason he is torn by a lion in the way (verses 7-24), yet is buried honorably by the False Prophet (verses 25-32): with Jeroboam continuing in idolatry (verse 33, 34): chapter 13.
γ. The affliction both of Jeroboam, who, consulting the Prophet Ahijah through his wife concerning his ailing son, receives a response both concerning the extirpation of his house, and of the death of his son; with both the son and Jeroboam himself soon dying, to whom Nadab succeeded (verses 1-20): and of Rehoboam and Judah, fallen into idolatry, who are afflicted and spoiled by Shishak, King of Egypt: with Rehoboam dying afterwards, whom Abijam succeeds (verses 21-31): chapter 14.
b. The history of Abijam, who impiously reigns for three years: chapter 15:1-8.
c. The history of Asa, who, being a religious worshipper of God, destroys the altars and groves of idols, especially of Maachah, his mother; and by ill counsel resists the attempt of Baasha, King of Israel, with a covenant entered into with Ben-hadad, King of Syria (verses 9-24): chapter 15:9-24.
d. The history of Jehoshaphat, to which was especially connected the history of impious Ahab: chapter 15:25-22:53. See:
α. The murder of Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, and the extirpation of the house of Jeroboam by Baasha: chapter 15:25-34.
β. The prophecy of Jehu against Baasha, and its execution in Elah, the son of Baasha, through the succession of Zimri to him in the Kingdom (verses 1-14), who also himself, being besieged at Tirzah by Omri, after seven days burns himself (verses 15-20): with the Kingdom of Israel afterwards divided between Omni and Tibni, until Omni alone got possession of it, who built Samaria, and has Ahab as successor, outdoing all the rest in impiety (verses 21-33); the punishment of Hiel is also narrated, who rebuilds Jericho contrary to the prohibition of Joshua (verse 34): chapter 16.
γ. The Prophecy of Elijah to Ahab, announcing a drought of several years (verse 1), who also, having been commanded to withdraw into a certain place, is fed by the ministry of ravens (verses 2-6), and, proceeding to Zarephath at the command of God because of the scarcity of water, is sustained for more than two years by widow, with the promise of God that the pot would not be diminished with respect to grain, nor the vessel with respect to oil, whose son, having died, Elijah brings back to life (verses 7-24): chapter 17.
δ. Of the same Elijah, sharply reproving Ahab, to whom he, having long been sought, at last presents himself, the disputation with the Prophets of Baal, called together at mount Carmel, over the true God, consuming the offering of Elijah with fire sent down from heaven, concluding with the slaughter of the Prophets of Baal (verses 1-40); he then announces the coming of rain to the King, and goes before him, departing to Jezreel (verses 41-46): chapter 18.
ε. The flight of Elijah, smitten with fear on account of the threats of Jezebel, into the desert, where he, desiring death, is raised up by an Angel. Proceeding from there to Horeb, he hides himself in a cave (verses 1-9): in which an oracle consoles him, doubting of the remnant of the faithful in Israel (verses 10-18): he, soon called from there, is sent to establish new Kings of Syria and the Israelites through Elisha, being about to succeed him in the Prophetic office (verses 19-21): chapter 19.
ζ. The war of Ben-hadad, King of Syria, brought against Ahab, in which Ben-hadad is routed in two battles (verses 1-30), in the latter of which Ahab honorably receives the Syrian surrendering himself, sending him away with a covenant: therefore, he is severely reproved by a Prophet with a denunciation of punishment (verses 31-43): chapter 20.
η. The sin of Ahab against Naboth, whose vineyard he covets, with Jezebel taking care, to the end that he might get possession of it, that Naboth, overwhelmed by false witnesses, be stoned (verses 1-16). Whence Ahab, rebuked by Elijah, acknowledging his crime and putting on sackcloth, repents and averts the threatening punishment (verses 17-29): chapter 21.
θ. The confederate war of Jehoshaphat and Ahab against Ramoth-Gilead (verses 1-5), in which Ahab, according to the Prophecy of Micaiah, who, unlike the False Prophets, warned that the battle would be deadly to him, is killed, even while fighting in disguise (verses 1-40). A concise narration of the matters conducted under Jehoshaphat is adjoined, and the succession of Ahaziah into the place of Ahab (verses 41-53): chapter 22.