Tag Archives: 1 Kings

1 Kings 12:1-16

Note: It looks from verse 8 that Rehoboam had decided to reject the advice of the old men even before he consulted the young men making verse 8 the centre and key point.

A.(1) And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

B. (2) And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) (3) That they sent and called him.

C. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,(4) Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. (5) And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

Old men consulted

D. (6) And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? (7) And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

Foolish decision

E. (8) But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him,and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 

Young men consulted

D’. (9) And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? (10) And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. (11) And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

C’.(12) So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. (13) And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; (14) And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

B’. (15) Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

A’. 16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

1 and 2 Kings*

I took this from Jerome Walsh’s Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative, Liturgical press, Minnesota, 2001, though it looks as though it was published before by Savran.

A. Solomon and the united Monarchy (1 Kings 1-11)

B. The separation of the the northern kingdom (1 Kings 12)

C. Kings of Israel and Judah (1Kings 13-16:20)

D. Civil war:the Omrid dynasty (1 Kings 16:21-34)

E. Elijah, the prophets, and the Omrids (1 Kings 17-2 Kings 1)

F. Elisha succeeds Elijah (2 Kings 2)

E’. Elisha, the prophets, and the Omrids (2 Kings 3:1-9:13)

D’. Civil war: the Omrid dynasty ends (2 Kings 9:14-11:20)

C’. Kings of Israel and Judah (2 Kings 12-16)

B’. The fall of the northern kingdom (2Kings 17)

A’. The kingdom of Judah alone (2 Kings 18-25)

Note: Walsh notes that the focus of the books is on the prophets and says “Hidden beneath an apparent historical account of kings and kingdoms lies the deeper story, the real story, of which political vicissitudes are merely epiphenomena: the story of the word of God and its bearers, around whom the true history turns”.


1 Kings 3:5-15

Edited version.

A. (5) In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee

B. (6) And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

C.(7) And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. (8) And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.(9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (10) And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.

D’.(11) And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing,

E. and hast not asked for thyself long life;

neither hast asked riches for thyself,

nor hast asked the life of thine enemies;

D’. but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

C’. (12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (13) And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

B’.(14) And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

A’. 15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

1 Kings 11

Richard B suggests a large chiasm for the chapter.

A. 1-8 Solomon’s deeds

B. 9-13 Loss of ten tribes

12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. (13) Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.

C. 14-22 Hadad’s opposition

And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon”

C’. 23-25 Rezon’s opposition

And God stirred him up another adversary

B’. 26-40 Loss of ten tribes

34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: 35But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.

A’.41-43 Summary of Solomon deeds.

1 Kings 11:1-8*

A. 1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh,

B. women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; (2) Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you:

C. for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods:

A’. Solomon clave unto these in love.

B’. 3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines:

C’. and his wives turned away his heart.

A. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods:

B. and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

C.  5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

A’. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD,

B’. and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

C’. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

1 Kings 18:1-16*

Note: I have edited this structure in the light of Walsh (Style and Structure in Biblical hebrew Narrative). His structure of verses 9-14 is given as an  example of  an “unmatched subunit” related to verse 12. He gives an ABCB’A’B”C’A” structure. Below the wider text is included in a ABCDEFE’D’B’C’D”A’. The bounds are Elijah being told and then going to meet Ahab. Moving in we have Obadiah’s faithfulness, then the dismay at being asked to say to Ahab that Elijah is here.

A. (1)  And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.  (2) And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.

B. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. (3) And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly: (4) For it was so, when  Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)(5) And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.(6) So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

C. (7) And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah? (8) And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

D. (9) And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?

E.  (10) As the LORD  thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.

F. (11) And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

E’. (12) And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD  shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee

D’. he shall slay me:

B’. but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. (13) Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD ‘s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

C’.(14) And now thou sayest,  Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here:

D”.and he shall slay me.

A’. (15) And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.(16)  So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.


1 Kings 10:1-13

(Note – The parallel record in 2 Chron 9:1-12 contains minor differences in language, but the overall structure follows the same chiastic pattern shown here.)

A  (1)  And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

B  (2a)  And she came to Jerusalem

C  (2b)  with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones:

D  (2c-3)  and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.

E  (4a)  And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom,

F  (4b-5)  and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

G  (6a)  And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts

H  (6b)  and of thy wisdom.

I  (7a)  Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it:

H’  (7b)  and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom

G’  (7c)  and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

F’  (8a)  Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee,

E’  (8b)  and that hear thy wisdom.

D’  (9)  Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

C’  (10-11)  And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.

B’  (12)  And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.

A’  (13)  And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.

B and B’ can easily be ignored if they’re considered tenuous – B can be incorporated into A and B’ into C’.

D and D’ contain no direct verbal or conceptual links, but D’ is clearly the Queen of Sheba’s response to what she had witnessed in D.

1 Kings 17:17-18:2

A. 17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

B. 18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

C. 19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son.

D. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

E. a. 20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

b. 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times,

a. and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray
thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

E’. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the
child came into him again, and he revived.

D’. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the
chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother:

C’.  and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

B’. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.

A’. (18:1) And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.  2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

1 Kings 17:8-16

A.(8-9a) And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there:

B.(9b) behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

C. (10-11) So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks:

a. and he called to her, and said,

b. Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

b’. And as she was going to fetch it,

a’. he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of
bread in thine hand.

D. (12a)And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake,
but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse:

E. (12b) and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and
dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

F. (13a)And Elijah said unto her, Fear not;

E’. (13b) go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little
cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee
and for thy son.

D’. (14) For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal
shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

C’. (15) And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah:and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

B’. (16a)And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail,

A’.(16b) according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

1 Kings 17:1-7*

A.(1) And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

B.(2-3) And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

C. (4a) And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook;

D. (4b) and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

E. (5a) So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD:

E’. (5b) for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before

D’.(6a) And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening;

C’. (6b) and he drank of the brook.

B’.(7a) And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up,

A’. (7b) because there had been no rain in the land.