Order of Contents 17+
The Best Commentaries on 1 Kings
Practical & Devotional
De Graaf, S.G. – ‘Solomon’, ‘Ephraim Against Judah’ & ‘Judah with Ephraim’ in Promise & Deliverance, vol. 2: The Failure of Israel’s Theocracy (Ontario: Paideia Press, 1977), 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.
Cooper, Derek & Martin Lohrmann – Reformation Commentary on Scripture: 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles Buy
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 & the Kings from Daily Bible Illustrations: being Original Readings for a Year, on subjects relating to Sacred History, Biography, Geography, Antiquities & 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
Keil & 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
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
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 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 & 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
‘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
Burney, Charles Fox – Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Kings, with an Introduction & Appendix (1902) 440 pp.
The Early Church on 1 Kings
Conti, Marco – ‘1 Kings’ in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (IVP, 2008), pp. 1-137
O’Kane, Martin – 1 & 2 Kings Through the Centuries (Blackwell, 2022) 230 pp.
Origen – ‘Homliy on 1 Kings 28’ in Homilies on Jeremiah & 1 Kings 28 trans. John C. Smith in Fathers of the Church, vol. 97 Pre (Catholic University of America Press, 1998), pp. 319-36
Origen (c. 185 – c. 253)
Ambrosiaster – Question on 1 Kings 3:11 at Patristic Bible Commentary
Ambrosiaster (c. 366-384)
Jerome – Preface on Kings at Patristic Bible Commentary
Jerome (c. 342–347 – 420)
Augustine – Question on Elijah’s’ Complaint to the Lord on the Death of the Widow’s Son at Patristic Bible Commentary
Harmonies of the Kings
Geneste, Maximillian – The Parallel Histories of Judah & 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 & Israel: A Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings & 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
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
On Bible Characters in 1 Kings
Guthrie, Thomas – Solomon the Wise Man, in 2 Parts in Studies of Character from the Old Testament (1872) Free Church of Scotland
“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
Farrar, F.W. – Solomon: his Life & 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
Queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10
Whyte, Alexander – The Queen of Sheba in Bible Characters, vol. 1 (d. 1921)
Jeroboam 1 Kings 11-16
Whyte, Alexander – Jeroboam in Bible Characters, vol. 1 (d. 1921)
The Disobedient Prophet 1 Kings 13
Whyte, Alexander – The Disobedient Prophet in Bible Characters, vol. 1 (d. 1921)
Rehoboam 1 Kings 12, 14
Guthrie, Thomas – Rehoboam, the Foolish Man in Studies of Character from the Old Testament (1872) Free Church of Scotland
Whyte, Alexander – Rehoboam in Bible Characters, vol. 1 (d. 1921)
Guthrie, Thomas – Jehu the Zealot in Studies of Character from the Old Testament (1872) Free Church of Scotland