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Articles Bible Study Facts 1 Kings

1 Kings

Ahab’s ivory palace

Ahab’s ivory palace. Archaeologists have discovered remains of Ahab’s palace (22:39) in Samaria. Beautifully carved ivory fragments with Egyptian and Phoenician designs were found where its main floors and courtyard would have been.

Confiscation of land

Confiscation of land. Israelite law did not allow the king to confiscate the land of an executed criminal. This was, however, a common practice outside of Israel. Perhaps Jezebel, who came from Tyre, based her plan to seize Naboth’s vineyard… Read More »Confiscation of land


The word bazaar (20:34) meant “place of prices” in Persian. Bazaars were permanent places designated for merchants and traders to buy and sell goods. Either a part of one street or a whole district of a city would be used… Read More »Bazaar

Broom trees

Broom trees (19:5) are a type of desert shrub common in Palestine, Arabia, and Egypt. Its long branches form a bush that grows to about 12 feet (3.7 m) high. Wood from broom trees makes excellent charcoal.

Life for a widow

Life for a widow was not easy in the ancient Near East. Widows had difficulty protecting themselves and their children economically, legally, or physically. If the widow was childless, it was even more difficult, since she would have no one… Read More »Life for a widow

King Omri

Though the story of King Omri is told in just eight verses (16:21–28), politically speaking he was one of Israel’s most important kings. He built the capital city of Samaria in a place that gave Israel a strategic advantage over… Read More »King Omri

Queen mother

The role of the queen mother was an important one in the royal court. She might serve as an adviser to the king and also as a teacher for his children.

What were high places?

What were high places? High places (14:23) were worship sites for local pagan gods. Before the temple was built in Jerusalem, Israelites often offered sacrifices in such places. After the temple was built, however, people were required to sacrifice there… Read More »What were high places?

“Man of God,”

“Man of God,” meaning “prophet,” is used 37 times in 1–2 Kings. Though God judged the Judean prophet’s disobedience (13:1–32), his prophecy against the temple in Bethel was fulfilled, and King Josiah preserved his burial place (2 Kings 23:15–20).


Lions (13:24) were once plentiful in the ancient Near East. The last recorded sighting of a lion in this area was in the thirteenth century a.d.


From ancient times, Damascus has been a strategic location. It was a primary stopping point along the main caravan route that ran from Africa to Mesopotamia. When it became the capital of the Aramean kingdom (modern Syria), it served as… Read More »Damascus

666 talents

666 talents of gold (10:14) was a lot of gold—nearly 25 tons! Solomon accumulated lots of gold and other valuable resources through his extensive trading with nations all over the known world.


The city of Megiddo was located on one of the most important trade routes of the ancient Near East. In fact, it was so important that when Egypt’s Pharaoh Thutmose III conquered the city in 1482 b.c. he said that… Read More »Megiddo


The building and dedication of the temple was perhaps the most significant event of King Solomon’s reign. The temple replaced the Tent of Meeting and became the place of worship for Israel. It was a grand monument to God’s glory… Read More »Temple

Dressed stones

Dressed stones (5:17) are stones that have been cut and polished so that they have smooth faces and edges. This type of masonry was time-consuming and expensive, so it was used primarily for palaces and temples.

No witnesses

No witnesses. Under normal circumstances, priests and judges would have presided over the case between the two prostitutes (3:16–28). However, because there were no witnesses to the case, the law required them to go before Solomon. The king was considered… Read More »No witnesses

Horns of the altar

Horns of the altar. Many ancient Near Eastern cultures regarded shrines and temples as places where a person could seek safety and refuge. In Hebrew culture, a person accused of a crime might grasp the horns of the altar (1:50)… Read More »Horns of the altar


God promised to establish David’s kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:1–17). Although Adonijah was David’s eldest living son, Nathan and Bathsheba’s actions ensured that Solomon’s claim to the throne was stronger (ch. 1). Solomon became king at David’s death.