Commentaries on 1 Kings

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Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel  ⇐ ⇒  2 Kings

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For more great commentaries on 1 Kings, be sure to check:
Commentaries on the Whole Old Testament
& Whole Bible Commentaries

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Order of Contents  17+

The Best Commentaries  5
Commentaries  8+
The Early Church  2
Harmonies of the Kings  2
Christ in 1 Kings  1
Bible Characters:

Solomon
Queen of Sheba
Jeroboam
The Disobedient Prophet
Rehoboam

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The Best Commentaries on 1 Kings

Practical & Devotional

De Graaf, S.G. – ‘Solomon’, ‘Ephraim Against Judah’ & ‘Judah with Ephraim’  1977  95 pp. in Promise and Deliverance, vol. 2: The Failure of Israel’s Theocracy, pp. 193-288  

De Graff is a Dutch Reformed author who focuses on the unfolding of the Covenant through history.  He writes in an easy to read, but insightful style.

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Intermediate

The Reformation

Cooper, Derek & Martin Lohrmann – Reformation Commentary on Scripture: 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles  Buy 

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1800’s

Bahr, Karl – Kings  1872  590 pp.  This is the same work that is in Lange’s Commentary

*** – ‘It must have cost great effort to make the homiletical part of this volume as good as it is.  It is a treasury to the preacher, and is all the more precious because we have next to nothing upon the books of the Kings.’ – Spurgeon

Kitto, John – Solomon and the Kings from Daily Bible Illustrations: being Original Readings for a Year, on subjects relating to Sacred History, Biography, Geography, Antiquities and Theology, vol. 4

***  – ‘Full of deeply interesting matter.’  ‘They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there!  You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology.  The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study those eight volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest.’ – Spurgeon

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Advanced

Keil and Delitzsch – 1 Kings   1800’s

** ‘Distinguished by careful investigation of the meaning of the text.  This is a most important help to the expositor.  The student will not, however, find much in the way of reflections and doctrines.’ – Spurgeon

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Commentaries on 1 Kings

Introductory & Practical

Whitcomb, John C. – Solomon to the Exile: Studies in Kings & Chronicles  Buy  1971

‘An ideal book for discussion groups.  Recreates the OT setting, graphically depicts the cause of decline in Israel and Judah, and draws valid lessons from these incidents which are applied to the needs of the present.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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Intermediate

1800’s

Allen, John – A Spiritual Exposition of the Old Testament: from Joshua to the end of the Psalms  1816

‘Spiritual reflections after the high Calvinistic school.  Some preachers cannot see Christ where He is, but Allen finds Him where He is not.  There is in these reflections much godly savor, but very little exposition.’ – Spurgeon  

This Allen was not the one that translated Calvin’s Institutes.  James Darling said that Allen was an Antinomian (one who believes that Christians are not bound by moral injunctions).  Antinomians, not believing that moral injunctions should be derived from God’s Word, often replaced this large aspect of Scripture’s teaching with finding Christ everywhere in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. 

Bush, George – Scripture Questions Designed Principally for Adult Bible Classes: Deut.-Esther

Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.

Farrar, F.W. – The First Book of Kings  in The Expositor’s Bible  1893  520 pp.  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

Farrar was a liberal.

‘Valuable expository studies by a great preacher, a profound scholar, and a man of unparalleled literary activity, who exercised considerable influence as a theologian and lecturer.  Manifests a marked [liberal] tendency [not recommended] to accept the text of the LXX [Septuagint, the Greek translation of the O.T.] over the MT [Masoretic Text, the Hebrew].’ – Cyril J. Barber

Fleming, John D. – Israel’s Golden Age: The Story of the United Kingdom  1907  160 pp.  in Handbooks for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte

Fleming has liberal tendencies and his exposition is not spiritual.

Jukes, Andrew – The Mystery of the Kingdom, traced through the Books of Kings, part 1  1858  125 pp.

**  “This author is more mystical than we could wish, but never writes without being instructive.” – Spurgeon

Rawlinson, George – The Kings of Israel and Judah  1889  260 pp.  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

Rawlinson was a Bible-believing conservative.

‘Still valuable for its correlation of sacred and profane history.’ –  – Cyril J. Barber

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1900’s

Davis, John – The Birth of a Kingdom: Studies in 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings  Buy  1970

‘Illuminates the historical record of the Books of Samuel and Kings, draws information from the comparative literature of the Ancient Near East on social and political conditions prevailing at the time, and highlights the Biblical text with material from archaeological investigations.  A valuable book.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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Advanced

Burney, Charles Fox – Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Kings, with an Introduction and Appendix  1902  440 pp.

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The Early Church on 1 Kings 28

Compilation

Conti, Marco – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther  Buy

Individual Father

Origen – Homilies on Jeremiah and 1 Kings 28  Buy

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Harmonies of the Kings

Geneste, Maximillian – The Parallel Histories of Judah and Israel, with Copious Explanatory Notes, vol. 1, 2  1843  A commentary is given on the relevant scripture texts, which are arranged in a harmony.  Relevant sections from the books of the prophets are included in the harmony also.

**  “The explanatory notes are mostly from other authors.  The work has a very noble appearance, and may be useful as showing the run of Biblical history; but Barth’s Bible Manual [under Whole Bible Commentaries] would answer every purpose.” – Spurgeon

Crockett, William Day – The Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel: A Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles  1897  350 pp.

‘An attempt to reconcile and correlate the history of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into chronological sequence.’ – Cyril J. Barber

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Christ in 1 Kings

Browne, Robert – Christ in the Prophets: Kings  1873

*  “Of the High Church order, and praised by the Saturday Review.  What worse need be said?  Yet will we add that the savor of Christ in these books saves them from unqualified condemnation.” – Spurgeon

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Solomon

Evangelical

Kirk, Thomas – Solomon: his Life and Works  Buy  1915

“Stimulating, as are all Kirk’s writings.  Exhibits an understanding of human nature and the needs of the spirit as well as the provisions of God.  Contains a happy combination of helpful historical material and edifying application.” – Cyril J. Barber

Whyte, Alexander – Solomon & Solomon, and a Greater than Solomon  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921 

Liberal

Farrar, F.W. – Solomon: his Life and Times  n.d.  240 pp.

“Leans too heavily upon the LXX [Septuagint] to be of outstanding worth but presents some helpful historic observations.” – Cyril J. Barber

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Queen of Sheba  1 Kings 10

Whyte, Alexander – The Queen of Sheba  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Jeroboam  1 Kings 11-16

Whyte, Alexander – Jeroboam  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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The Disobedient Prophet  1 Kings 13

Whyte, Alexander – The Disobedient Prophet  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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Rehoboam  1 Kings 12, 14

Whyte, Alexander – Rehoboam  in Bible Characters, vol. 1  d. 1921

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