Reflections of 1 Kings

1 Kings was not what I expected, after all the others. It had a way of contributing to the progression of the story without actually being a part of the story. Except that this is where Solomon has the first temple built. Most of the rest of it is a succession of the kings without a lot about their deeds.


Notable Women

  • Abishag, whose entire presence is mentioned to warm David at night.
  • Bathsheba, who we should remember from the last book as David’s wife and Solomon’s mother
  • The Queen of Sheba who seeks Solomon’s wisdom
  • the unnamed widow who hid Elijah
  • Jezebel who is just awful and in no redeemable way.

Yeah, this one is pretty sparse. There are other named and unnamed women but none that actually do anything. There are Solomon’s foreign wives, the daughters that he marries off to his officials, and the mothers of the succeeding kings. They are mentioned, but that’s about it.


Major Themes

This entire book is about how everything went down hill after David. There were a few “not so bad” times when Solomon was still behaving and basking in his wisdom and when a few others were following God but not in a leadership type fashion, but it’s pretty much a decline. This is the book where Elijah and Elisha come on the scene, which are familiar names, but I’m sure they have more great deeds than just what’s mentioned here.


Strictly Feminist

Due to the lack of women doing stuff in this book, I don’t have a whole lot to say about feminism here. I wish there were more women. For those who were mentioned, they were doing different things that do give a bigger picture as to the wisdom and activities of the women of the time. There were several queens who were known for differing reasons, a poor widow who few a prophet in hiding, and a young girl whose sole job was to keep the king warm. This is not the “wife in kitchen” narrative that some want us to believe was the only thing women of the time did.


Chapter links go to the ESV translations at Biblehub.com but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.

 

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