Chapters 1-11 of 1 Kings detail the reign of King Solomon,
the son of David. Solomon was made King in Jerusalem before
David died. When God asked Solomon in a dream what gift he would
like from God, Solomon chose "an understanding heart".
He wanted to rule God's people well. God was pleased with his
request and gave him not only wisdom but also added riches and
honour too. He became one of the most famous kings of Israel
and, like David, reigned for 40 years.
The magnificent Temple built by Solomon was similar in design
to the Tabernacle. Built in a time of peace, this temple pointed
forward to a future one, when the Kingdom of God will be restored
in Israel - at a time of peace, with Jesus Christ as King.
When the building was complete, Solomon prayed for God's blessing
on Israel. God promised to guard Israel if they were obedient
and did not worship other gods.
Sadly, Solomon married many foreign wives and turned to idolatry,
despite twice being warned of this by God. God was angry and
said that the kingdom would be divided in two.
After Solomon's death his son Rehoboam became king, but a rebellion
led by Jeroboam resulted in the division of the kingdom. Ten
tribes followed jeroboam whilst two tribes remained loyal to
David's line and were ruled over from Jerusalem by Rehoboam.
The Northern Kingdom (10 tribes) was referred to as Israel and
the Southern Kingdom (2 tribes) as Judah.
The rest of 1 Kings supplies details of the continuing idolatry
of the Israelites. Elijah was a prophet of God sent to the Northern
Kingdom (Israel). He showed who was the true God when, on Mount
Carmel, and in the sight of all the false prophets, he called
on God to send down fire from heaven.