From triumph to disaster: 1 & 2 Kings

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

As with the books of Samuel, there are rather more excerpts from Kings in the continuous ecumenical lectionary, than there are in the related set of Old Testament readings. This additional set brings a semi-continuous reading of the stories of Elijah and Elisha, two prophets fabled for their interventions in politics and the miracles they worked as proofs that God favoured them.1

The books of Kings take the story of Israel’s monarchy from the death of David to the deportations to Babylon that marked the end of the kingdom of Judah, and the beginning of the Exile.2 A significant amount of time is devoted to David’s son, Solomon, and particularly his building of the temple. The writer enjoys offering lavish and detailed descriptions of its construction, and he will end his story with its dismantling and the despoiling of its sanctuary.

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