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1 & 2 Kings

1 & 2 Kings

by Lynn Jost

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Overview

Violence on the streets. Military expansion. Consumerism. Policies exploiting people and natural resources. Harassment and abuse: 1 & 2 Kings could hardly be more relevant. In the thirty-fourth volume of the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, Old Testament scholar Lynn Jost claims 1 & 2 Kings were written to form a community that would embrace the Ten Commandments and the Great Shema and would champion righteousness and compassion. Jost traces the characteristics of royal justice, with its systems of excess and indulgence, as well as the court intrigue, succession politics, interfamily rivalries, and prophetic judgment that mark the books. Through it all, Israel remains in a covenant relationship with a delivering God. Through it all, God calls the leaders and the people to practice justice, protect shalom, and live righteously. In vivid and accessible prose, Jost invites pastors, scholars, and lay readers to read 1 & 2 Kings as books of promise—ones that gesture toward a faithful God who rescues, judges, commands, and provides.

About the Believers Church Bible Commentary series
This readable commentary series is for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today—Sunday school teachers, members of Bible study groups, students, pastors, and other seekers.

From the Series Foreword


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781513802633
Publisher: APG Sales & Distribution
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Series: Believers Church Bible Commentary
Pages: 518
Product dimensions: 8.43(w) x 5.51(h) x 1.57(d)

About the Author

Lynn Jost is a professor and program, director of Old Testament and director of the Anabaptist Center at Fresno Pacific University. He graduated from Tabor College and received his MDiv from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and his PhD in homiletics and Hebrew Bible from Vanderbilt University. Jost has served as president and academic dean of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and has also worked in church planting in Spain and pastoral ministry in Kansas. He and his wife, Donna, have two adult children.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations 8

Transliteration of Hebrew Consonants 9

Series Foreword 21

Introduction to 1-2 Kings 23

Composition 24

Occasion for Writing Kings 24

Objective of Kings 25

Authorship and Date 25

Structure and Purpose 27

Theological Themes 28

Justice 28

Idolatry 29

Covenant 29

Provoking the lord to Anger 29

Kings and History 30

History as Event 30

History as Report 31

History as Evaluation 32

Kings and the New Testament 32

The Relevance of Kings Today 34

Our Approach 35

Parts of the Commentary 36

Part 1 Solomon as King (1 Kings 1:1-11:43) 37

1:1-2:46: The Kingdom Established in the Hands of Solomon 40

Enthronement of Solomon, 1:1-53 42

Consolidation of Solomon's Kingdom, 2:1-46 47

* Joshua and Solomon 54

* Peaceful and Violent Transitions of Leadership 54

+ Impugned Motives 55

+ "Be Strong, Be Courageous" 55

+ Gender Violence 56

3:1-28: Wise Beginnings 57

Foundations of Solomon's Reign, 3:1-15 58

Solomon the Wise Judge, 3:16-28 63

* Solomon and the Garden of Eden 64

* Covenant: Conditional or Unconditional 65

* No One like Him 66

+ Model Prayer Pattern 67

+ Petitionary Prayer Aims 67

+ Political Office and Involvement 68

4:1-34: Solomon's Administration 69

Administrative Lists, 4:1-19 70

Catalog of Provisions, 4:20-28 72

Catalog of Solomon's Wisdom, 4:29-34 73

* Amos Criticizes Solomon 74

* Solomon and Wisdom 75

+ Wisdom of Solomon 76

+ Food justice 76

5:1-18: Solomon's Business with Hiram, King of Tyre 78

Solomon's Proposal to Hiram, 5:1-6 79

Hiram's Response, 5:7-12 80

Solomon's Conscripted Labor, 5:13-18 81

* Forced Labor 82

+ Claiming the Lord's Endorsement 83

+ Human Trafficking 84

6:1-7:51: Solomon's Construction Projects 85

Exterior Temple Structure, 6:1-10 86

Message of the Lord to Solomon, 6:11-13 87

Interior Temple Construction, 6:14-38 88

Palace Complex Construction, 7:1-12 88

Temple Furnishings, 7:13-51 89

* Finished the Work 91

* The Temple in Old Testament Theology 91

+ Discerning the Voice of God 93

8:1-66: Temple Dedication 95

Narrative Introduction, 8:1-13 96

Solomon's Blessing of the Assembly, 8:14-21 98

Solomon's Dedicatory Prayer, 8:22-53 99

Solomon's Blessing of the Assembly, 8:54-61 103

Narrative Conclusion, 8:62-66 103

* Temple in the History of Israel 105

* Covenant Love-Hesed 105

* Blessings and Curses in a Theology of Retribution 106

* Concern for the Foreigner 107

+ Church Facilities 108

+ House of Prayer 109

+ The Church: Holy Temple in the Lord 110

9:1-25: Temple Postscript 111

The Lord's Appearance to Solomon, 9:1-9 111

Narrative Report regarding Temple Building, 9:10-25 113

* The Shadow of Exile 116

+ Sensitivity to Social Marginalization 117

+ Mixed-Up Worship 118

9:26-10:29: Solomon's Commercial Enterprise 119

Maritime Trade, 9:26-28 120

Visit of the Queen of Sheba, 10:1-13 120

Solomon's Accumulation of Wealth, 10:14-29 122

* Unexpected Wisdom 124

* Accumulation and Hedonistic Lifestyles 125

+ For Such a Time as This 126

11:1-43: Solomon's Reign Assessed 128

Judgment of King Solomon, 11:1-13 129

Solomon's Opponents, 11:14-40 132

Concluding Royal Formula for the Reign of Solomon, 11:41-43 137

* Prophets as Kingmakers 137

+ Passion, Love, and Marriage 138

Part 2 The Divided Kingdom (1 Kings 12-2 Kings 17) 141

12:1-14:31: Rehoboam and Jeroboam 144

Israel's Rebellion against Rehoboam, 12:1-24 145

The Kingship of Jeroboam, 12:25-14:20 148

Summary of the Reign of Rehoboam in Judah, 14:21-31 163

* Women on the Threshold 164

* Donkeys and Prophets 165

+ Politics, Polarities, and Bluster 166

+ False Religious Forms 166

+ Idolatry 167

15:1-16:34: Kings in Turmoil 169

Abijam King of Judah, 15:1-8 170

Asa King of Judah, 15:9-24 172

Nadab King of Israel, 15:25-32 176

Baasha King of Israel, 15:33-16:7 178

Elah King of Israel, 16:8-14 179

Zimri King of Israel, 16:15-20 179

Omri King of Israel, 16:21-28 180

Ahab King of Israel, 16:29-34 181

* What's the Real Story about Asa? 183

* Idols or Vanities? 183

+ Old Testament Violence 184

+ Urbanus Rhegius 185

17:1-18:46: Elijah against Baal Worship 186

Elijah in Exile, 17:1-24 187

Elijah Confronts Ahab, 18:1-46 190

* Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus 197

* Foreign Women 197

* Contested Deity 198

* Sin and Punishment 199

* Critique of Elijah's Violence 200

+ Extreme Poverty 200

+ A Troubler of Israel 201

19:1-21: Elijah after Mount Carmel 202

Jezebel's Threat, 19:1-3 203

Elijah at Horeb, 19:4-18 204

Elijah and Elisha, 19:19-21 211

* Fear 212

* Questions 212

+ Effectual Fervent Prayer 213

+ Avoiding Persecution and Martyrdom 214

+ The Sounds of Silence 215

20:1-43: Ben-hadad of Aram against the Lord of Israel 217

Battle of the Mountains, 20:1-21 218

Battle of the Plains, 20:22-34 221

Judgment against the King of Israel, 20:35-43 223

* Prophets, Lions, and Acted-Out Parables 225

* "Know That I Am the LORD" 226

+ Knowing the Lord 226

21:1-29: Naboth's Vineyard 228

Act 1 Possession of the Vineyard, 21:1-16 229

Act 2 Judgment against Ahab, 21:17-29 231

* The Land Is the Lord's 234

* Ahab, Ezra, and Nehemiah 235

* The Sins of the Fathers 235

+ Latifundialization 236

+ Palestinian Christian Reading of 1 Kings 21 237

22:1-53: Ahab's Last Battle 238

Ahab Consults with Jehoshaphat and the Prophets, 22:1-28 239

Battle Narrative, 22:29-38 243

Closing Royal File of Ahab, 22:39-40 244

The Reigns of Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah, 22:41-53 244

* Divine Deception 246

* False Prophets 247

+ Peacemakers and "Manly Men" 247

+ Early Anabaptists and False Prophecy 248

2 Kings 1:1-18: The Prophet Elijah and King Ahaziah 250

Narrative Report: Ahaziah Faces Moab's Rebellion, 1:1 251

Ahaziah Is 111 and Inquires about His Future, 1:2-17a 251

Ahaziah's Closing Royal Formula, 1:17b-18 253

* Whose Kingdom Will Prevail? 255

* Slow to Judge and Quick to Save? 256

+ Cruciform Hermeneutic 257

2:1-25: Elisha Invested with Elijah's Spirit 258

Elijah Ascends in a Whirlwind, 2:1-18 259

Miracle of the Water Supply, 2:19-22 262

Boys and Bears, 2:23-25 262

* Leadership Transition 263

+ Life, Death, New Life 264

+ Mystery and the Numinous 265

3:1-27: War with Moab 266

The File on King Jehoram of Israel, 3:1-3 267

War against Moab, 3:4-27 268

* Sacred Pillars 271

* Fighting Moab 272

+ Environment and War 273

4:1-44: Elisha's Miracles 274

Miracle Story: A Widow Facing Bankruptcy, 4:1-7 275

Short Story about the Woman of Shunem, 4:8-37 276

Miracle Stories: Death in the Pot and Leftover Bread, 4:38-44 278

* Women Characters in Kings 279

* Bread of the Firstfruits 280

+ Powers for Death and Life 281

5:1-27: Naaman the Leper, Elisha, and Gehazi 283

Act 1 The Cure, 5:1-14 284

Act 2 The Conversion, 5:15-19a 287

Act 3 The Contamination, 5:19b-27 288

* Leprosy as Punishment 289

* Healing for the Nations 290

+ Pursue the Lord: 5eek First the Kingdom 291

+ Menno's Example 292

+ Anonymous Christians 293

6:1-7:20: Elisha's Final Three Acts of Deliverance 294

Miracle of the Ax Head, 6:1-7 295

Seeing Horses and Chariots, 6:8-23 296

The Siege of Samaria, 6:24-7:20 299

* Opened Eyes, Seers, and Apocalyptic Visions 302

* Feeding Enemies 303

+ Underdog Churches 303

8:1-29: Interlude 305

Protecting the Shunammite Woman, 8:1-6 305

Anointing Hazael as King of Aram, 8:7-15 307

Royal Transition in Judah, 8:16-29 307

* Divine Agency through the Prophetic Word 309

* Family Feud 310

+ Single Bloodlines and Shadow Selves 310

9:1-12:21: Royal Transitions 312

Coup in Israel, 9:1-10:36 313

Coup in Jerusalem, 11:1-12:21 325

* Comparing Regime Change in Israel and Judah 331

* Jehoash, a Second Solomon 332

+ Shalom with Justice, Not Violence 333

+ Early Anabaptist Commentary 334

13:1-14:29: Kings of Israel and Judah during Jehu's Dynasty 335

Jehoahaz of Israel, 13:1-9 336

Jehoash of Israel, 13:10-13 337

Death of Elisha, 13:14-21 338

Relief from Hazael of Aram, 13:22-25 339

Amaziah of Judah, 14:1-22 340

Jeroboam II of Israel, 14:23-29 341

* Deuteronomic Torah 343

* Prophetic Voices: Hosea, Amos, Isaiah 344

+ Remembering Fallen Heroes 345

+ Mercy Triumphs over Judgment 345

15:1-17:41: The Fall of Samaria 347

Azariah of Judah, 15:1-7 348

Zechariah of Israel, 15:8-12 349

Shallum of Israel, 15:13-16 349

Menahem of Israel, 15:17-22 350

Pekahiah of Israel, 15:23-26 351

Pekah of Israel, 15:27-31 351

Jotham of Judah, 15:32-38 352

Ahaz of Judah, 16:1-20 352

Hoshea of Israel, 17:1-6 356

Summary: Israel's Final Kings 357

Israel Exiled to Assyria, 17:7-23 357

Others Settled in the Land of Israel, 17:24-41 361

* Exile and Return: Deuteronomy 30 and Isaiah 40-55 364

* Lamentations 364

+ Solidarity in Suffering 365

+ Refugees 366

Part 3 The Southern Kingdom to Judah's Exile (2 Kings 18-25) 369

18:1-20:21: The Reign of Hezekiah 372

Opening Royal Formula, 18:1-8 373

Reprise: Report of Israel's Exile, 18:9-12 374

Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah, 18:13-19:37 374

Hezekiah's Prayer for Healing, 20:1-11 382

Envoys from Babylon, 20:12-19 384

Closing Royal Formula, 20:20-21 386

* Parallel Versions of Hezekiah's Reign (Isa 36-39; 2 Chron 29-32) 386

* Isaiah and the Plans of God 387

* Reliance on the Lord 387

* Sennacherib and Solomon under the Vine and Fig Tree 388

+ Model Prayer for the Nation 389

+ Renewal 390

21:1-26: The Reigns of Manasseh and Amon 392

Reign of Manasseh, 21:1-18 393

Reign of Amon, 21:19-26 397

* Remnant 398

* Manasseh in Chronicles 398

+ Innocent Blood 399

22:1-23:30: The Reign of Josiah 401

Opening Royal Formula for Josiah's Reign, 22:1-2 402

Discovery of the Scroll, 22:3-11 403

Inquiry of the Prophetess, 22:12-20 403

Covenant Renewal, 23:1-3 405

Cultic Reforms, 23:4-20 405

Celebration of Passover, Reform, Judgment, 23:21-27 407

Closing Royal Formula for Josiah, 23:28-30 409

* Josiah and Joshua 410

* Jehoash and Josiah 411

* Do Not Trust Deceptive Words (Jer 7; 2 Kings 22:20) 412

* Josiah's Reform and Jeremiah 413

+ Cultic Iconoclasm 414

+ Women in Ministry 414

+ People of the Book 415

23:31-25:30: The Reign of Josiah's Descendants 417

Reign of Jehoahaz, 23:31-34 418

Reign of Jehoiakim, 23:35-24:7 418

Reign of Jehoiachin, 24:8-17 419

Reign of Zedekiah, 24:18-25:7 420

Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, 25:8-21 421

Appointment of Gedaliah and Flight to Egypt, 25:22-26 422

Release of Jehoiachin, 25:27-30 422

* Jeremiah and Kings 423

+ Speaking Prophetically to Powerful Politicians 424

+ Divine Judgment or YHWH War? 424

Acknowledgments 426

Outline of 1-2 Kings 427

Essays 435

All His Heart 435

Archaeology 436

Chronology 439

Covenant in Kings 443

Economics in Ancient Israel 444

Egypt 445

Evil 446

Horses and Chariots 447

House for the Name 449

Idolatry 449

Kings in the Hebrew Canon 453

Law of the King 456

Literary Criticism 457

Mišpat 461

People of the Land 464

Prophets 465

Provoke the Lord to Anger 470

Queen Mother 472

Reading Strategies 473

Send 476

Sins of Jeroboam 476

Temple Theology 477

Theology of Exile 479

Violence in Kings 480

Wisdom in Kings 484

Women in Kings 485

Bibliography 488

Selected Resources 508

Maps 513

Index of Ancient Sources 515

The Author 527

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