Four centuries of Israelite history are covered by the next two books. They take us from the end of David’s reign, through Solomon’s reign and the rift between Israel and Judah to the fall of Samaria and the destruction of Jerusalem.

1. David is now old and at night feels the cold. So they find a beautiful virgin, Abisag, to sleep with him and keep him warm. ‘But the king did not have intimate relations with her.’ 1 Kings 1:1-4.
2. David’s son Adonijah has ambitions to be king and obtains much support including the army commander, Joab. Nathan, who is loyal to David, tells Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba to let David know of Adonijah’s ambitions. During the conversation Nathan joins them and confirms the truth of her words. 1 Kings 1:5-27. B.C.
3. David immediately sends for the priests and tells them to anoint Solomon and declare him to be ruler over Israel and Judah. Adonijah is fearful for his life. He comes to Solomon bows down to him. Solomon sends him home saying that provided Adonijah does not have evil in him then he will not be harmed. 1 King 1:28-53.

972 BC

4. David is close to death. He gives his advice to Solomon. His words commence by telling Solmon to obey that which the Lord requires. But then his words turn to vengeance against those who have offended him but with whom he has made an oath of peace. Those oaths will die with David and 972 he tells Solomon to deal with them accordingly. David dies and is buried in the Ciy of David. 1 Kings 2:1-12
5. Adonijah gets his mother to ask for the hand of Abishag in marriage. The request to marry one of his father’s harem leads to his death. Such a marriage would give him a claim to the throne. 1 Kings 2:13-25.
6. A potential troublemaker, Shimei, is put on parole but when he breaks it, even for an innocent reason, he is put to death. 1 Kings 26-46.
7. Solomon makes an alliance with the king of Egypt and marries his daughter. When praying God speaks to him in a dream and says; "Ask for whatever you want me to give you". Solomon asks for wisdom and God grants this request. 1 Kings 3:1-15.
8. This wisdom is apparent in Solomon’s ruling regarding the two prostitutes and the two babies; one alive, one dead. (This situation shows how accessible Solmon made himself to the people.) 1 Kings 3:16-28.
9. There follows a chapter which names Solmon’s chief officials and the daily provisions for this entourage. 1 Kings 4:1-34.
10. Solomon makes plans for the building of a Temple. He makes a pact with the king of Tyre and asks him to provide Cedars of Lebanon towards the construction. This request was agreed. In return Solomon will provide food to the king of Tyre. 1 Kings 5:1-18. 950

950 BC

11. The building of the Temple and Palace take place three hundred years after the Israelites had come out of Egypt and in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. (The mention of four hundred and eighty years is probably calculated by 40 x 12 generations.) These chapters give details of the size and method of construction and also furnishings for the Temple. 1 Kings 6:1-38 & 7:1-51.
12. Solomon has the Ark brought to the Temple with much sacrificing and prayers of dedication. 8:1-66.
13. The Lord speaks to Solomon and warns him of the penalties if Pagan Gods are worshiped. 1 Kings 9:1-9. B.C.
14. Solomon has trade problems. He makes over twenty cities to king Hiram of Tyre as security. This chapter also gives details of the forced labour used to construct the Temple, the palace, supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem and other constructions including Megiddo. 1 Kings 9:10-25.
15. Solomon is the first of Israel’s kings to build a navy. 1 Kings 9:26-28.
16. The Queen of Sheba, having heard of the fame of Solomon decides to see for herself and to question him. He answered all her questions with great wisdom. 1 Kings 10:1-13.
17. This section of the chapter details Solomon’s great wealth. 1 Kings 10:14-29.
18. Solomon’s political marriage-alliances help the country’s security but lead him to worship pagan gods. (The worship of some of these gods involved child-sacrifice and sexual deviations.) Solomon built places in Jerusalem for these pagan gods. 11:1-13.

931 BC

19. Solomon’s reign is not entirely trouble free. Hadad of Edom, Rezon of 931 Damascus and his own son Jeroboam all cause problems. Solomon dies and is buried in the City of David. 1 Kings 11:14-43.


The division is a direct result of Solomon’s idolatry and was prophesied by Samuel (See 1 Samuel 12:14-15). As Israel strays further and further away from God’s law and the worship of God, things go from bad to worse. The nation becomes prey to stronger neighbours and is eventually devoured by them. Dates and/or length of reign are shown.

1. Solomon’s son, King Rehoboam (931-913), is given the opportunity of repairing the damage done by his father by the heavy yoke he put on them. Rehoboam doesn’t listen to the elders and it further damages the unity of the tribes931-910 and they split, Rehoboam being king of Judah and Jeroboam I(931-910) king of Israel. In order to disuade his people from visiting the Temple in Jerusalem, Jereboam made two golden calves and built shrines for them. 1 Kings 12:1-33.
2. A man of God from Judah comes to Jereboam and speaks against the idolatry which he sees. Jeroboam reaches out to attack him but his hand becomes paralysed. He asks the man of God to pray that his hand may be restored and it is done. The man of God refuses to go and eat with Jereboam. But later he is persuaded to go with an old prophet who lies to him that an angel of God has agreed to them eating together. For not obeying God’s word the old man of Judah is attacked and killed by a lion. 1 Kings 13:1-32.
3. Jeroboam continues his evil ways. He appoints high priests from anyone who wants to become a priest. 1 Kings 13:33-34.
4. Jeroboam’s son, Abijah, became ill. Jeroboam tells his wife to disguise herself and go to the prophet Ahijah to get his advice. Ahijah was blind but the Lord had told him that Jeroboam’s wife was coming and the purpose of her visit. Ahijah tells Jeroboam’s wife that her husband has done evil and that, as soon as she gets home, her son will die. Jeroboam ruled for twenty910-908 two years then he died and was succeeded by his son Nadab (910-908). 1 Kings 14:1-2O.
5. Judah was ruled by Rehoboam for seventeen years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They even had male shrine-prostitutes in the land. In the fifth year of king Rehoboam’s reign, Shishak, the king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and carried off the treasures of the Temple. Rehoboam died and was succeeded by his son Abijah. (Some manuscripts have this name as Abijam.) 1 Kings 14:21-31. 913-911
6. King Abijah (913-911) of Judah was no better than his father and did evil as his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah dies and his son Asa succeeds him. 1 Kings 15:1-8.910-869
7. In the twentieth year of Jeroboam’s reign Asa (910-869) reigned as king of Judah and reigned there for forty one years. He was a good man as king David had been. He expelled the male shrine-prostitutes and got rid of all the idols. 1 Kings 15:9-15.909-885
8. In the third year of the reign of Asa king of Judah Baasha (909-885) became king of Israel. He reigned for twenty four years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 1 Kings 15:16-34 & 16:1-7.886-885
9. In the twenty sixth year of the reign of Asa king of Judah, Elah (886-885) son of Baasha became king of Israel. He reigned for two years. Elah caused Israel to commit sins. 1 Kings 16:8-13. 885
10. Elah was killed by Zimri (885 7days) who succeeded him as king. Zimri then killed 7 days the whole of Elah’s family. Seven days later he was overthrown by Omri the commander of the army. Zimri withdrew to the citadel, set it on fire, and died in the blaze. 1 Kings 16:9-20.
11. Then the people were split. Some followed Tibni others followed Omri. 885-874 Omri’s followers proved stronger. Tibni died and Omri (885-874) reigned for twelve years. Politically he was a very strong king. So much so that during his reign the Assyrians referred to Israel as ‘the land of Omri’. But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. Omri died and his son Ahab succeeded him. 1 Kings 16:21-28. 874-853
12. In the thirty eighth year of Asa’s reign of Judah, Ahab (874-853) became king of Israel and he reigned for twenty two years. Ahab did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than all those before him. He married Jezebel and began to serve Baal and to worship him. In Ahab’s time Hiel rebuilt Jericho at the cost of his eldest and youngest sons. (See Joshua 6:26) 1 Kings 16:29-34. B.C.
13. Elijah provides a mirror image of the feeding of the five thousand through the jar of flour and jug of oil which never ran dry. He also brings back to life the widow’s son who had stopped breathing. 1 Kings 17:1-24.
14. Elijah puts Baal to the test and their fire does not light. After the wood has been doused three times Elijah’s fire lights at his prayer to the Lord. Elijah prays for rain and heavy rain falls. 1 Kings 18:1-46.
15. Jezebel threatens Elijah and he escapes into the desert. The Lord speaks to him and gives him a companion and successor, Elisha. 1 Kings 19:1-21.
16. The next chapter tells of wars between Israel and Syria. 1 Kings 20:1-43.
17. Naboth refuses to sell his vineyard to Ahab. While Ahab sulks Jezebel has Naboth stoned to death. 1 Kings 21:1-29.
18. Israel and Judah are, temporarily, allies against Syria. Jehoshaphat’s request brings the prophet Micaiah with his fateful prophecy. Despite Micaiah’s prophecy the kings go to battle and Ahab was wounded and later died as Micaiah had prophecied. 1 Kings 22:1-40.872-848
19. Jehoshaphat (872-848) son of Asa becomes king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem for twenty five years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. But the people continued to offer sacrifice to pagan gods. Then Jehoshapat died and was succeeded by his son Jehoram. 1 Kings 22:41-50.853-852
20. Ahaziah (853-852) became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. He reigned for two years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. He served and worshipped Baal and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done. 1 Kings 22:51-53.

A Chronological Table of the kings of Judah and of Israel is given at the end of The Second Book of Kings.