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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS\\

This, and the following book, properly are but one book, divided into
two parts, and went with the Jews under the common name of Kings. This,
in the Syriac version, is called the Book of Kings; and in the Arabic
version, the Book of Solomon, the Son of David the Prophet, because it
begins with his reign upon the death of his father; and, in the Vulgate
Latin version, the Third Book of Kings, the two preceding books of
Samuel being sometimes called the First and Second Books of Kings, they
containing the reigns of Saul and David; and in the Septuagint version
both this and the following book are called Kingdoms, because they
treat of the kingdom of Israel and Judah, after the division in the
times of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and of the several kings of them; as
of Solomon before the division, so afterwards of the kings of Judah;
Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Jehoash, Amaziah,
Uzziah or Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah,
Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah; and of the kings of
Israel, Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah,
Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam the son of Joash, Zachariah, Shallum,
Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea; so that these books may, with
great propriety, be called the books or histories of the kings in the
two kingdoms of Judah and Israel: who they were written by, is not easy
to say; some think they were written by piecemeal by the prophets that
lived in the several reigns successively, as Nathan, Ahijah the
Shilonite, Iddo, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and afterwards put together by
an inspired writer. The Jews commonly say {a}, that Jeremiah wrote the
book of the Kings, by which they mean this, and the following book;
though very probably they were written by Ezra, since the history in
them is carried down to the liberty granted to Jehoiachin in Babylon;
but that Ezra was the writer of all the preceding historical books, and
even of the Pentateuch, cannot be admitted, which is the conceit of
Spinosa {b}; part of whose tract is just now republished by somebody,
word for word, under a title as in the margin {c}; but that Ezra was
not the writer of the Pentateuch is clear, since he refers to it as
written by Moses, and as the rule of religion and worship in his times,
\\#Ezr 3:2-4 6:18\\; and it is certain these writings were in being in
the times of Josiah, Amaziah, Joash, yea, of David, and even of Joshua,
\\#2Ch 34:14 25:4 23:18 1Ki 2:3 Jos 8:34\\; and as for the book of Joshua,
that also was written long before Ezra's time; it must be written long
before the times of David, before the Jebusites were expelled from
Jerusalem, since the writer of it says, that they dwelt there in his
days, \\#Jos 15:63\\; the book of Judges must be written before the times
of Samuel and David, since the former refers to the annals of it,
\\#1Sa 12:9,10\\; and the latter alludes to some passages in it,
\\#Ps 68:7,8\\; see \\#Jud 5:4,5\\; and a speech of Joab's,
\\#2Sa 11:21\\, shows it to be an history then extant: to which may be
added, that in it Jerusalem is called Jebus, \\#Jud 19:10,11\\; which
it never was, after it was taken by David out of the hands of the
Jebusites, \\#2Sa 5:6\\; the book of Ruth very probably was written by
Samuel; had it been of a later date, or written by Ezra, the genealogy
with which it concludes, would doubtless have been carried further
than to David: the Book of Samuel, and particularly the song of Hannah
in it, were written in all probability before the penning of the
hundred thirteenth psalm, \\#Ps 113:1-9\\, in which some expressions
seem to be taken from it wherefore, though the two books of Kings may
be allowed to be written or compiled by Ezra, the ten preceding ones
cannot be assigned to him: however, there is no room to doubt of the
divine authority of these two books, when the honour our Lord has done
them is observed, by quoting or referring to several histories in
them; as to the account of the queen of Sheba coming to hear the
wisdom of Solomon; of the famine in the times of Elijah; and of that
prophet being sent to the widow of Sarepta, and of the cleansing of
Naaman the Syrian in the times of Elisha, \\#Mt 12:42 Lu 4:25-28\\ from
\\#1Ki 17:1-10\\ \\#2Ki 5:10-14\\; to which may be added, the quotations
and references made by the apostles to passages in them, as by the
Apostle Paul in \\#Ro 11:2-4\\ from \\#1Ki 19:14,18\\; where this book
is expressly called the Scripture; and by the Apostle James,
\\#Jas 5:17,18\\; who manifestly refers to \\#1Ki 17:1-24\\; and there
are various things in this part of Scripture, which are confirmed by
the testimonies of Heathen writers, as will be observed in the
exposition of it. The use of these books is to carry on the history of
the Jewish nation, to show the state of the church of God in those
times, and his providential care of it amidst all the changes and
vicissitudes in the state; and, above all, to transmit to us the true
genealogy of the Messiah, which serves to confirm the Evangelist
Matthew's account of it.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1.
{b} Tractat. Theolog. Politic. c. 8. & 9. p. 150
{c} Tractatus de Primis 12. Vet. Test. Lib. &c. Londini 1763.

\\INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS 1\\

This chapter gives an account of the infirmities of David in his old
age, and the method used to relieve him under them, \\#1Ki 1:1-4\\; of the
preparation his son Adonijah made to usurp the throne, \\#1Ki 1:5-10\\; of
Bathsheba's address to the king upon it, in favour of her son Solomon,
on which she was put by, Nathan the prophet, and seconded in it by him,
\\#1Ki 1:11-27\\; when the king with an oath confirmed the succession
of Solomon in the kingdom, and ordered Nathan the prophet, and Zadok
the priest, to anoint him, which was accordingly done with great
ceremony, to the satisfaction of the king and his servants,
\\#1Ki 1:28-40\\; the news of which being brought to Adonijah and his
friends, struck them with terror, and on which they dispersed,
\\#1Ki 1:41-50\\; and upon the promise of Adonijah, that he would behave
well to Solomon, he was pardoned and dismissed, having fled and lain
hold on the horns of the altar, \\#1Ki 1:51-53\\.