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       Week 25

Mon  Is. 7-13

Tue  Is. 14-22

Wed  Is. 23-28

Thu  Is. 29-35

Fri  Is. 36-39

 

 

Look for:

·   Here am I, send me

·   Call him Immanuel

·   I lay a stone in Zion

·   The Holy One of Israel

·   What have they seen in your house?

 

 

Short Readings:

Is. 6

Is. 7

Is. 11

Is. 36-37

Is. 38-39

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Mt. 1

Mt. 2

Mt. 3

Mt. 4

Mt. 5

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Isaiah – A Reader’s Guide

The ministry of the prophet Isaiah extends for half a century through the reign of four kings of Judah:  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  This is a critical time in the nation’s history.  Isaiah witnesses the fall of Israel (721 B.C.) and warns Judah that the same fate could befall her.  He challenges Judah’s sin, and looks past this troubled time to the coming, suffering and reign of the Messiah.

Organization

In a long book like Isaiah, it is important to note the structure for help in putting the material together as it is read.  Isaiah may be organized as follows:

  • Chapters 1-6 serve as an introduction and background and probably come from Isaiah’s earliest time (the first years after 740 B.C.).
  • Chapters 7-12 take place during the reign of Ahaz and offer hope under Assyrian oppression through a connected series of promises centering on sons to be born.
  • Chapters 13-23 are pronouncements against other nations:  Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Cush (Egypt), Edom, Arabia, Tyre.
  • Chapters 24-27 speak of judgment of the world and last things.
  • Chapters 28-39 come from the time of King Hezekiah and offer words of hope and judgment in prophesying the deportation to Babylon.
  • Chapters 40-66 look to the future deliverance from Babylon, and the ultimate deliverance of Israel and the nations by the Messiah.

Author and Date

Isaiah is called to the prophetic ministry the year that King Uzziah dies, 740 B.C.  The latest historical event Isaiah writes about is the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 B.C., however it is unknown when Isaiah wrote his prophecies.  Jewish tradition holds that Isaiah was sawn asunder by wicked King Manasseh around 685 B.C.  Isaiah foretells the Babylonian captivity even before Babylon rises to dominance.  Even more remarkable, Isaiah calls Cyrus, the Persian king who later releases the Jews from captivity, by name at least 150 years before Cyrus issues the decree (44:28; 45:1).  Some claim these passages were written later by a different author, however the New Testament attributes the entire book to the pen of Isaiah (Mt. 3:3; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14; 15:7; Lk. 4:17; Jn. 12:38-41).

Key Passage

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not be dismayed” (Is. 28:16).

Pointing To Christ

Isaiah’s picture of the coming Messiah is the clearest of all the prophets.  Isaiah prophesies the full range of the Messiah’s life, work and kingdom.

His birth (7:14; 9:6)

His family, anointing and character (11:1-4)

His gentleness (42:1-2)

His preaching (61:1-11)

His suffering and death (53)

His resurrection (53:10; 25:8)

His glorious kingdom (2:1-4; 65:17-28)

 

       Week 24

Mon  Jonah 1-4; Hosea 1-4

Tue  Hosea 5-14

Wed  Amos 1-9

Thu  Micah 1-7

Fri  Is. 6, 1-5

 

 

Look for:

·   Yet forty days

·   Reap the whirlwind

·   A plumb line among my people

·   You will have compassion on us

·   In the last days

 

 

Short Readings:

Jonah 1-4

Hosea 1-3

Amos 3

Micah 6-7

Is. 1-2

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Philemon 1

Phil. 1

Phil. 2

Phil. 3

Phil. 4

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Joel – A Reader’s Guide

It is difficult to tie Joel’s prophecy to any specific historical period, but the prophecy is usually given an early date.  It is likely that Joel prophesies during the early years of King Josiah.

Organization

The book of Joel is considered to be a masterpiece of prophetic literature.  The purpose of Joel’s prophecy is to explain a recent locust plague as a divine judgment upon Judah.  A deeper purpose is to proclaim the ultimate blessings upon God’s people, and the ultimate disasters upon God’s enemies.  Joel may be organized as follows:

1.  God’s judgment (1:1-2:17)

·       Devastation of the locust plague upon Judah (1:1-20)

·       God’s judgment upon the nation (2:1-11)

·       Plea for repentance (2:12-17)

2.  God’s salvation (2:18-3:21)

·       God’s restoration of blessings (2:18-27)

·       Outpouring of the Spirit (2:28-32)

·       Prophetic description of the resulting blessings (3:1-21)

Author and Date

Little is known about the prophet Joel.  He is apparently from Judah and prophesies to his own countrymen (3:1, 2:15, 23, 32).  Some scholars place Joel’s prophecies early in the reign of King Josiah around 830 B.C.

Key Passage

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)

Pointing To Christ

Joel anticipates the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (2:28) and Peter declares the prophecy’s fulfillment (Acts 2:16).  He speaks of a glorious new Jerusalem where God will dwell with his people forever (3:18-21).

Jonah – A Reader’s Guide

Jonah prophesies in Israel the Northern Kingdom in the days of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23-29).  His optimistic prophecy foretells Jeroboam’s military success in recovering lost Israelite territory.  However, in the book of Jonah, he is sent to prophesy destruction to the city of Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian Empire.  It is Assyria which eventually destroys Israel in 721 B.C.  Jonah rebels against his mission from God; repents and completes his mission; and eventually shows himself to be quite intolerant of God’s mercy to others.

Pointing To Christ

There are no direct prophecies of the Christ in Jonah.  However, Christ refers three times to his own death and burial as “the sign of Jonah,” (Mt. 12:39; 16:4; Lk. 11:29) saying that this is the only sign to the wicked generation that seeks a miracle to prove that Jesus is from God (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32).

 

       Week 23

Mon  Joel 1-3; 2 Kings 8:16-29; 2 Chron. 21:1-20

Tue  2 Kings 9-11; 2 Chron. 22-23

Wed  2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chron. 24

Thu  2 Kings 14-17

Fri  2 Chron. 25-28

 

 

Look for:

·   The day of the Lord

·   I will pour out my spirit

·   They stoned him to death

·   Lord rejected all the people of Israel

·   Leprosy on his forehead

 

 

Short Readings:

Joel 2

2 Kings 9

2 Chron. 24

2 Kings 17

2 Chron. 26

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Eph. 5

Col. 1

Col. 2

Col. 3

Col. 4

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

2 Kings – A Reader’s Guide

2 Kings is the continuation of 1 Kings.  The two were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible, and were separated in the Septuagint Greek translation.  The Kingdom of Israel is ruled by Saul (40 years), David (40 years), and Solomon (40 years) continuing as a united kingdom for 120 years.  When the Kingdom divides, Israel, the Northern Kingdom, remains for 210 years.  Israel ends when it is conquered by Assyria in 721 B.C.  Judah, the Southern Kingdom, continues for an additional 136 years until it falls to Babylon in 597 B.C. and languishes 70 years in captivity.

Organization

2 Kings begins with the reign of Ahaziah, and much of chapters 2-13 detail the prophet Elisha’s work as it tells of the kings of Israel and Judah.  Each king’s reign is evaluated according to his spiritual leadership of the God’s people.  Each king is described in a consistent pattern:  (1) the king is introduced, (2) events of his reign, (3) spiritual evaluation of his reign, (4) the king’s death.  The writer’s purpose is not to give a complete history, but to present God’s view of his people’s history.  2 Kings may be organized as follows:

1.  The Divided Kingdom (2 Kings 1-17)

·       Ahaziah’s wicked reign (1)

·       Elisha succeeds Elijah as God’s prophet (2)

·       Kings of Israel and Judah (3-16)

·       End of Israel the Northern Kingdom (17)

2.  Judah the Southern Kingdom (2 Kings 18-25)

·       Reign of Hezekiah (18-19)

·       Isaiah’s prophecy to Hezekiah (20)

·       Reign of Manasseh (21:1-18)

·       Reign of Amon (21:19-26)

·       Josiah’s reign and spiritual revival (22:1-30)

·       Nebuchadnezzar gains control of Jerusalem in 606 B.C. (22:31-24:7)

·       Babylon captures Jerusalem and takes King Jehoiachin captive to Babylon (24:8-16)

·       Jerusalem is left under the rule of Zedekiah (24:17-20)

·       Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed, 586 B.C. (25:1-26)

·       Jehoiachin is released from prison in Babylon, 562 B.C. (25:27-30)

Author and Date

No author is given for the books of Kings.  It is likely that prophets wrote Kings, and Jeremiah is the final writer and compiler.  The books are completed shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.  The two books cover about 400 years.

Key Passage

“So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God.  They followed the practices Israel had introduced.” (2 Kings 17:18-19)

Pointing To Christ

There are no prophecies of the Christ in 2 Kings.  The book traces the lineage of David through the destruction of the monarchy.

 

       Week 22

Mon  1 Kings 14:21-15:24; 2 Chron. 11:5-16:14

Tue  1 Kings 15:25-19:21

Wed  1 Kings 20:1-22:40

Thu  2 Chron. 17-20; 1 Kings 22:41-53; 2 Kings 1

Fri  2 Kings 2:1-8:15

 

 

Look for:

·   He walked in all the sins of his father

·   I know that you are a man of God

·   Thus says the Lord

·   The Lord will destroy what you have made

·   Oh, my head, my head!

 

 

Short Readings:

1 Kings 14:21-15:24

1 Kings 16:29-17:24

1 Kings 21-22

2 Chron. 19-20

2 Kings 4-5

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

 

3 Jn. 1

Eph. 1

Eph. 2

Eph. 3

Eph. 4

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

2 Chronicles – A Reader’s Guide

2 Chronicles continues 1 Chronicles, and together the books cover much of the same historical material as the books of Samuel and Kings.  Chronicles begins with creation ends with the decree of Cyrus in 536 B.C., permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem.  Like Samuel and Kings, Chronicles was originally one book in the Hebrew Bible.  The Greek translators of the Septuagint divided Chronicles into two books at the transition between David’s and Solomon’s reign.

Organization

Chronicles is intended to demonstrate to the Jews returning from Babylonian captivity their spiritual heritage, so that they will consider themselves as the continuation of the Kingdom of David.  Second Chronicles covers the reign of Solomon to the return from captivity.  The book may be organized as follows:

1.  Solomon’s Reign (1-9)

·       Solomon becomes king (1)

·       Solomon builds the temple (2-5)

·       Solomon dedicates the temple to the Lord (6-7)

·       Solomon’s might and fame (8-9)

2.  Kings of Judah (10-36:21)

·       Rehoboam’s reign (10-12)

·       Abijam’s reign (13)

·       Asa’s reign (14-16)

·       Jehoshaphat’s reign (17-20)

·       Jehoram’s reign (21)

·       Ahaziah’s reign (22:1-9)

·       Athaliah seizes the throne (22:10-12)

·       Joash’s reign (23-24)

·       Amaziah’s reign (25)

·       Azariah’s reign (26)

·       Jotham’s reign (27)

·       Ahaz’s reign (28)

·       Hezekiah’s reign (29-32)

·       Manasseh’s reign (33:1-20)

·       Amon’s reign (33:21-25

·       Josiah’s reign (34-35)

·       Jehoahaz’s reign (36:1-4)

·       Jehoiakim’s reign (36:5-8)

·       Jehoiachin’s reign (36:9-10

·       Zedekiah’s reign (36:11-21)

3.  Return from Captivity (36:22-23)

Author and Date

No author is given; however, Ezra is usually considered the writer and compiler of 1 & 2 Chronicles.  Tracing God’s people from the creation to the proclamation of Cyrus in 536 B.C., the books promote religious revival among the returning exiles.  1 & 2 Chronicles were likely completed around 425-420 B.C.

Key Passage

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)

 

       Week 21

Mon  Prov. 22-26

Tue  Prov. 27-31

Wed  Eccl. 1-6

Thu  Eccl. 7-12

Fri  1 Kings 12:1-14:20; 2 Chron. 10:1-11:4

 

 

Look for:

·   Where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases

·   A fool utters all his mind

·   Two are better than one

·   The whole duty of man

·   I will chastise you with scorpions

 

 

Short Readings:

Prov. 25-26

Prov. 28-29

Eccl. 1-5

Eccl. 12

1 Kings 12-13

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

1 Jn. 2

1 Jn. 3

1 Jn. 4

1 Jn. 5

2 Jn. 1

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Proverbs – A Reader’s Guide

A proverb is generally understood to be a “short pithy saying of general application.”  However, Hebrew proverbs (mashal) have a broader meaning and can include a likeness, comparison, symbolic statement or parable.  The book of Proverbs does not contain specific laws or rules, nor does it appeal to the Law of Moses or the institutions of the Old Covenant; but instead Proverbs appeals to good judgment and wisdom.  The book gives teachings of general application.  The book’s purpose is spelled out in Prov. 1:2-6, and is designed to give Israel a handbook on wisdom.

Organization

The book of Proverbs is arranged into several collections of wise sayings that may be organized as follows:

1.  Proverbs of Solomon – Exhortations to the young on the virtues of wisdom (1-9)

2.  Proverbs of Solomon – Wisdom in the various pursuits of life (10:1-22:16)

3.  Words of the wise – Wise sayings from many wise men; things to avoid (22:17-24:34)

4.  Proverbs of Solomon collected by Hezekiah’s men (25:1-29:27)

5.  Words of Agur the Son of Jekeh (30)

6.  Words of King Lemuel (31:1-9)

7.  Praise of a virtuous woman; an acrostic poem in which each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (31:10-31)

Author and Date

Solomon is the primary author of Proverbs (1:1).  Since the title of one section indicates “the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied” (25:1), the book obviously did not receive its current form until the reign of Hezekiah around 700 B.C.  There are around 375 proverbs in the book, which is clearly not all the proverbs of Solomon, since Scripture states that Solomon wrote 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32).  It is not known who wrote the proverbs found in Chapters 22:17-24:34, however it is likely that Solomon also compiled these proverbs.  Chapters 30-31 are attributed to Agur and King Lemuel, of whom we have no further information.

Key Passage

Wisdom for living in response to the fear (reverence) of the Lord is the key principle of the book.  Key passages are “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7), “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (9:10), and “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (31:30).

Pointing To Christ

There are no prophecies or references to the Christ in Proverbs.  However, the wisdom advocated by the book is embodied in Christ who is “who became to us wisdom from God” (1 Cor. 1:30), and “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

It is apparent that Jesus was very familiar with Proverbs, for his teaching echoes its words:  Those who seek the chief seats (Mt. 23:6; see Prov. 25:6-7); The houses of the wise and the foolish (Mt. 7:24-27; see Prov. 14:11); The rich fool (Lk. 12:16-21; see Prov. 27:1); he reveals the answer of who ascended and descended from heaven (Jn. 3:13; see Prov. 30:4).

Ecclesiastes – A Reader’s Guide

Called “The Preacher” by the Hebrews, Ecclesiastes is one of the most unusual books in the Old Testament.  Its apparent pessimism and fatalism seem out of step with the rest of the teaching of the Bible.

However it may be best to approach Ecclesiastes as an apologetic work.  Solomon addresses the world, meeting those without God on their own ground, and convincing them of the inherent vanity (meaninglessness) in everything.  The book is, therefore, a criticism of worldliness and humanized religion, of a materialism that reduces all of life to worldly pursuits.

Though the book’s tone is negative, the author is not as a skeptic.  His statement that all is vanity is not a comment on life in general, but upon the point of view that treats the world as an end in itself.  Ultimately, Solomon concludes that there is a positive value.  But this is kept in the background because his immediate aim is to dispel all false and imagined hopes of the man without God.  His point is that when the world becomes an end in itself and the accomplishments of this life are the entire meaning of life, then everything turns to vanity, or emptiness.

Organization

Ecclesiastes is the most deeply philosophical book in Scripture, and portrays a life full of experimentation and experience.  It is the story of a frustrated man who wanders far from the divine wisdom in search of happiness.  However, it clearly suggests that Solomon returns to the Lord in his reflective years late in life.  Ecclesiastes may be organized as follows:

1.  Introduction and theme:  “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (1:1-2)

2.  Vanity of the endless cycles of life, work, and death (1:3-11)

3.  Seeking contentment in wisdom (1:12-18)

4.  Seeking contentment in accomplishment and wealth (2:1-26)

5.  Seeking contentment in prominence, power and prestige (3:1-5:20)

6.  Seeking contentment in pleasure (6:1-8:17)

7.  Discovery that genuine happiness is not in wisdom, wealth, prominence, or pleasure, but through devotion to duty, and preparation for the life to come (9:1-12:7)

8.  Conclusion:  reverence and obey God (12:8-14)

Author and Date

The author calls himself “the preacher” throughout the book.  He states that he is the son of David, and king in Jerusalem (1:1).  The book further shows that the writer is wise and wealthy, has many wives, and engages in numerous public works.  This fits the profile of Solomon in Scripture.

It is often thought that Solomon composed the Song of Songs early in his life; penned Proverbs in the middle of his life; and wrote Ecclesiastes late in life.  This would place the book around 935 B.C.

Key Passage

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).

Key terms in the book are:  under the sun (29 times); God (42 times); vanity (33 times); wisdom (28 times); evil (21 times); vexation of the spirit (9 times); Solomon communed with his own heart (7 times).

Pointing To Christ

Ecclesiastes is nowhere quoted in the Old Testament or the New Testament.  There are no prophesies or specific foreshadowing of the Christ.  The strategy of Ecclesiastes is to place in contrast two very different views of life.  Life is viewed as the natural man who lives without reference to divine revelation – and is shown to be empty and vain.  This is contrasted with life viewed from the perspective of a believer – shown to be life of meaning and purpose.

 

       Week 20

Mon  Song of Solomon 1-8

Tue  Ps. 127; Prov. 1-5

Wed  Prov. 6-10

Thu  Prov. 11-15

Fri  Prov. 16-21

 

 

Look for:

·   I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys

·   Fools despise wisdom and instruction

·   Whoever finds me finds life

·   The fear of the Lord

·   The victory belongs to the Lord

 

 

Short Readings:

Song of Solomon 1-2

Prov. 1-3

Prov. 8-9

Prov. 13-14

Prov. 20-21

 

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Jn. 17

Jn. 18

Jn. 19

Jn. 20

1 Jn. 1

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

Song of Solomon – A Reader’s Guide

The Hebrew title “Song of Songs” from the book’s opening words (1:1), indicates the “best of songs.”  Similar phrases are used in Scripture to refer to the superlative, such as “Holy of Holies,” “King of Kings,” “Lord of Lords.”

The Song this is one of the most unusual books in Scripture.  Its emphasis on love and physical beauty has perplexed and embarrassed interpreters over the years.  As a result, both Jewish and Christian writers have suggested an allegorical meaning to the book:  picturing love between God and Israel (Jewish interpretations), or picturing love between Christ and the church (Christian interpretations).  However the words of the Song do not suggest an allegory and such views lead to very subjective interpretations.  The Song may best be understood as a Biblical view of marital devotion.

Organization

The book is a series of love poems that praise the devotion between a maiden and her beloved.  The greater purpose of the Song is to describe and put God’s approval on fidelity and romantic love between a man and woman.  It encourages exclusive, absorbing and unquenchable love, and endorses physical love as being a part of a legitimate relationship between a husband and wife.

The Song of Solomon is not easily outlined.  The Song consists entirely of poetic dialogue and the writer seldom identifies the speakers, so it can be difficult to determine exactly who is speaking in a passage.  The book may be organized as follows:

  1. The maiden longs for and praises her beloved (1:1-2:7)
  2. The bride praises her husband (2:8-3:5)
  3. The husband praises his bride (3:6-5:1)
  4. The husband and bride are separated, and she longs for his return (5:2-6:9)
  5. The two are reunited, and the beauty of the bride is extolled (6:10-8:4)
  6. Affirmation of the strength of true love (8:5-14)

Author and Date

According to the first verse, the book is written by Solomon.  The Song of Solomon, Psalms 72, and 127 are the only remaining of the 1,005 songs written by Solomon (1 Kings 4:32).  This Song is probably written in the golden age of Solomon’s reign, around 965 B.C.

Key Passage

A key passage is “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (6:3), and is also mirrored in “My beloved is mine, and I am his” (2:16).  Key terms are “beloved” (30 times), “love” (26 times), “fair” (11 times), “daughters of Jerusalem” (10 times).  Characteristic of its rural setting, the Song refers to 21 different kinds of plants, and 15 different kinds of animals.  The Song of Solomon (like the book of Esther) does not mention God.

Pointing To Christ

There are no prophecies in the Song or explicit foreshadowing of the Christ.  The New Testament indicates that the love between a husband and wife pictures the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:28-33).  “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys” (2:1) are two terms which are used in gospel songs to refer to Christ.

 

       Week 19

Mon  1 Kings 2:13-4:34; 2 Chron. 1:1-13; Ps. 72, 45

Tue  1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chron. 2:1-5:1

Wed  1 Kings 7:13-8:66

Thu  1 Kings 7:1-12; 2 Chron. 5:2-8:18; Ps. 135-136

Fri  2 Chron. 1:14-17; 9:1-31; 1 Kings 9-11

 

Look for:

·   I am but a little child

·   He was seven years in building it

·   The Lord has fulfilled his promise

·   If you turn aside and forsake my statutes

·   But I did not believe the reports

 

Short Readings:

1 Kings 3

1 Kings 6

1 Kings 8:1-21

2 Chron. 7

2 Chron. 9

 

New Testament –
1 Chapter a Day:

Jn. 12

Jn. 13

Jn. 14

Jn. 15

Jn. 16

 

 

Click on verse references to read online at www.biblegateway.com

 

 

Read With Me – A Chronological Bible Reading Program

 

For more information and additional resources go to Read With Me online blog at

www.gvayers.wordpress.com

1 Kings – A Reader’s Guide

First and Second Kings are the sequel to the books of Samuel.  Kings tells the history of the kingdom of Israel from the last days of David until the kingdom collapses into the Babylonian exile.  Like the books of Samuel, Kings was originally one book in the Hebrew Bible, and was named Kings because of the first word of the book in Hebrew.

Organization

First Kings begins with the account of David’s last days and ends shortly after the death of King Ahab.  First kings may be organized as follows:

1.  The kingdom under Solomon (1 Kings 1-11)

  • Adonija attempts to take the throne (1:1-10)
  • Solomon is anointed king (1:11-53)
  • Death of David (2:1-12)
  • Solomon secures the throne and takes vengeance upon Joab and Shimei (2:13-46)
  • God grants Solomon wisdom (3)
  • Solomon skillfully administers the Kingdom (4)
  • Builds the temple of God (5-7)
  • Pledges the nation to faithfulness to God (8)
  • Solomon’s wealth, wisdom and glory (9-10)
  • Solomon’s falling away and rejection by God (11:1-40)
  • Solomon’s death (11:41-43)

2.  The divided kingdom (12-19)

  • Rehoboam foolishly causes the 10 Northern tribes to rebel (12:1-24)
  • Jeroboam becomes king over Israel, the Northern Kingdom, and leads Israel into deep and permanent apostasy (12:25-14:20)
  • Rehoboam leads Judah, the Southern Kingdom, away from God (14:21-31)
  • Wars between Israel and Judah, and a succession of kings (15-16:28)
  • Reign of Ahab in Israel (16:29-22:53)

Author and Date

No author is given for the books of Kings.  It is likely that prophets wrote Kings, and Jeremiah is the final writer and compiler.  The books were completed shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.  The events in the two books span about 400 years.

Key Passage

“Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 9:4-5).

Pointing To Christ

There are no prophecies of the Messiah in 1 Kings.  However, Jesus compares himself with Solomon, stating “one greater than Solomon is here” (Mt. 12:42).  The book is important in tracing the history of God’s people and the descendants of David, the ancestor of the Christ.