First Kings

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First Kings:

After reigning for forty years, king David died. Solomon became king. God gave Solomon a choice of anything he wanted: Solomon chose wisdom (1 Kings 3:9).

Solomon's Baby Decision (1 Kings 3:16-27):
King Soloman had to decide between two women as to which was the mother of a baby. Solomon said (1 Kings 3:25) to cut the living child into two halves and to give one half to each mother. When one woman said she would rather give up her claim than have the child killed, Solomon knew that she was the real mother.

Solomon authored 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. Solomon built the "Temple of the Lord" in Jerusalem (90 feet long, 30 feet wide, 45 feet high) -- decorated with cypress and cedar wood as well as gold, taking 7 years to build. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, who brought in their "gods" (1 Kings 11:5-7) such as Ashtoreth (of the Sidonians), Milcom (of the Ammonites), Chemosh (of Moab), and Molech (of the Ammonites). Solomon ruled for 40 years before his death.

The Divided Kingdom: After Solomon's death, around 922 B.C., the Hebrews were divided into two groups:

The Southern Kingdom (which included Jerusalem and involved the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin)

The Northern Kingdom (which included the other ten tribes of the Hebrews and was actually called "Israel").

The Southern Kingdom was under the "family of David."

The kings of both Southern and Northern Kingdoms had the worship of the "gods" other than the "Lord God of Israel," leading to many problems. One king, Ahab of "Israel" (the Northern Kingdom), had a wife, Jezebel, who worshipped the "gods" Baal (1 Kings 16:29-33) or Baalzebub and Asherah. Jezebel tried to kill the Lord's prophets and encouraged Ahab to do evil.

Elijah was a prophet of the "Lord God of Israel" during this time. Elijah returned a child to life after his death (1 Kings 17:17-23). On Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18), Elijah and prophets of Baal had a showdown to see who would send fire to light their alters: God lit the fire for Elijah, and the prophets of Baal were killed. Elijah told King Ahab that the dogs would devour Queen Jezebel's body. (1 Kings 21:23).


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