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1 Kings

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.

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