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Passage: 1 Kings 1:1-11:43

1 Kings 1:1-11:43 – Solomon

Summary

The first half of 1 Kings tells the story of Solomon as he builds the temple, grows in wisdom and wealth, and ultimately falls into apostasy.

Analysis

The story of Solomon's reign begins with the grisly account of Solomon's accession to the throne of his father David amid plots and political manipulation (1 Kings 1-2). Following Solomon's consolidation of his power, the story falls into two unequal halves: a generally positive section that lifts up the king's gift of wisdom and how that gift manifested itself in judicial, administrative, religious, architectural, and diplomatic settings (chapters 3-10); and a decidedly negative portrayal in which Solomon's many foreign wives ultimately lead him into apostasy and the worship of foreign gods (chapter 11). In response, after prophetic warnings, God punishes Solomon through two external adversaries and the internal rebellion of Jeroboam that ultimately results in the division of the kingdom.