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Home > The Old Testament > Kings

Subpages: 1 Kings 1-11  •  1 Kings 12-16a  •  1 Kings 16b-2 Kings 1  •  2 Kings 2-13  •  2 Kings 14-17  •  2 Kings 18-25

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Relationship to Old Testament. The relationship of Kings to even larger blocks of text is discussed at Organization and Overview of the Old Testament and First Historical Cycle.

Story. First and Second Kings are two halves of a single lengthy book. The book of Kings consists of five or six major sections (depending on whether the last two sections below are treated separately or together).

  • 1 Kings 1-11: Solomon reigns over united kingdom. The first section of Kings recounts the reign of king Solomon. The central climax of his reign is the dedication of the Temple of Solomon.
  • 2 Kings 2-13: Elisha. The account in Kings of Elisha's ministry is clearly intended to draw comparisons to the ministry of his predecessor Elijah.
  • 2 Kings 14-17: Jeroboam II followed by seven kings. At the conclusion of this section, the Northern Kingdom of Israel is destroyed by the Assyrians.
  • 2 Kings 18-25: Southern Kingdom alone. The last portion of Kings recounts the history of the remaining Southern kingdom until it conquest, and the destruction of Solomon's Temple, by the Babylonians.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Kings include:

  • Kings can be read as the history of the First Jerusalem Temple, or the Temple of Solomon.

Historical setting[edit]

This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →


This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Outline and page map[edit]

This section contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

A. Solomon reigns over united kingdom (1 Kings 1-11)

a. Prophet intervenes in royal succession (1:1-2:12a)
b. Solomon eliminates threats to his security (2:12b-46)
c. Solomon’s early loyalty and promise (3:1-15)
d. Solomon uses his gifts for the people (3:16-4:34)
e. Preparations for building the temple (5:1-18)
f. Solomon builds the temple (6:1-7:51)
f. Solomon dedicates the temple (8:1-9:10)
e. After building the temple (9:11-25)
d. Solomon uses gifts for himself (9:26-10:29)
c. Solomon’s ultimate disloyalty and punishment (11:1-13)
b. The Lord raises up threats to Solomon’s security (11:14-25)
a. Prophet determines royal succession (11:26-43)
B. Rehoboam and Jeroboam I followed by seven kings (1 Kings 12-16a)
Rehoboam and Jeroboam I (Chapters 12-14)
• Judah: Rehoboam (son of Solomon): arrogance causes ten tribes to secede and select Jeroboam, told not to attack Israel (12:1-24)
• Israel: Jeroboam: golden calves, prophet curses Jeroboam's altar, prophet refuses to eat with king but eats with prophet and killed by lion (12:25-13:34)
• Israel: Jeroboam: prophet Ahijah tells Jeroboam's wife that son will die and house will be destroyed (14:1-20)
• Judah: Rehoboam: invaded by Egypt, constant war with Israel, dies (14:21-31)
Seven kings (Chapters 15-16)
• Judah: Abijam (son of Rehoboam): wicked, war with Israel (15:1-8)
• Judah: Asa (son of Abijam): righteous, war with Israel, hires Syria to attack Israel (15:9-24)
• Israel: Nadab (son of Jeroboam): overthrown by Baasha and entire house destroyed (15:25-32)
• Israel: Baasha: wicked, told house will be destroyed like Jeroboam's (15:33-16:7)
• Israel: Elah (son of Baasha): overthrown by Zimri and entire house destroyed (16:8-14)
• Israel: Zimri: reigns seven days and overthrown by Omri (16:15-20)
• Israel: Omri: selected to succeed Zimri, wicked, builds Samaria (16:21-28)
C. Elijah and (mostly) Ahab (1 Kings 16b-2 Kings 1)
● Idolatry and rain/prosperity (Chapters 16b-19)
Elijah in hiding from Ahab (Chapter 16b-17)
• Israel: Ahab (son of Omri): marries foreign princess (Jezebel) and institutes Baal worship (16:29-34)
• Elijah tells Ahab there will be no rain and flees to brook Cherith (17:1-7)
• Elijah sent to widow of Zarephath, her oil and corn do not fail (17:8-16)
• Elijah restores the widow's son to life (17:17-24)
Elijah publicly defeats priests of Baal (Chapter 18)
• Ahab and Obadiah seek grass to feed the animals (18:1-6)
• Elijah appears to Obadiah (18:7-16)
• Elijah has Ahab convene the priests of Baal for a contest (18:17-24)
• the priests of Baal fail to call down fire from heaven (18:25-29)
• Elijah calls down fire and slays the priests of Baal (18:30-40)
• Elijah tells Ahab that rain will return to Israel (18:41-46)
Elijah in hiding from Jezebel (Chapter 19)
• Jezebel threatens Elijah (19:1-3)
• Elijah flees, fed by angel, goes to Mount Horeb (19:4-8)
• Elijah hears the Lord in the still small voice, told to anoint successors (19:9-18)
• Elijah calls Elisha to succeed him (19:19-21)
Justice and defense (Chapters 20-22)
Ahab spares Ben-Hadad, foreign king of Syria (Chapter 20)
• Ben-Hadad (king of Syria) seeks occasion against Israel (20:1-12)
• Ahab defeats Ben-Hadad (20:13-21)
• Ben-Hadad attacks Israel a second time (20:22-27)
• Ahab again defeats Ben-Hadad and spares his life (20:28-34)
• Ahab appointed to die, prophet disobeys and is killed by lion (20:35-43)
Jezebel murders Naboth, Israelite subject (Chapter 21)
• Naboth refuses to sell his inheritance to Ahab (21:1-4)
• Jezebel arranges for Naboth's death (21:5-14)
• Elijah says Ahab's house will be overthrown (21:15-24)
• Ahab mourns, and the overthrow is deferred to his son's generation (21:25-29)
Ahab dies in battle with Syria (Chapter 22a)
Two other kings (1 Kings 22b-2 Kings 1)
Judah: Jehosaphat (son of Asa) (Chapter 22b / 22:41-50)
Israel: Ahaziah (son of Ahab): (Chapter 1)
• Ahaziah promotes Baal, is wounded, Elijah says he will die (22:51-1:8)
• two companies of soldiers sent to arrest Elijah are consumed by fire (1:9-12)
• third company is deferential, Ahaziah dies (1:13-18)
C. Elisha (2 Kings 2-13)
•Elisha refuses to leave Elijah, sees him taken up to heaven in a chariot and receives a double portion of his spirit (2:1-18)
•Elisha heals the waters at Jericho (2:19-22)
•Elisha curses children who are then eaten by bears (2:23-25)
•Jehoram (another son of Ahab) begins to reign (3:1-3)
B. Jeroboam II followed by seven kings, Northern Kingdom falls (2 Kings 14-17)

A. Southern Kingdom alone (2 Kings 18-25)

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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Translations and Lexicons.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on Kings

  • NEED TO ADD a discussion of Kings versus Chronicles.
  • The Joseph Smith Translation made changes to the following verses in Kings. This list is complete:[1]
  • 1 Kgs 3:1-9, 12, 14
  • 1 Kgs 11:4, 6, 33-35, 37-39
  • 1 Kgs 13:18
  • 1 Kgs 14:8
  • 1 Kgs 15:3, 5, 11-12
  • 1 Kgs 18:37
  • 2 Kgs 1:10, 12, 14
  • 2 Kgs 8:10

References cited on this page.

  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 136-41. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630.A2 2009

Other resources.


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 136-41.

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