Notes on 1Kings

Version Date: May 3, 2022. (Date of First Version: November 20, 2021.)

1Ki 4:26 (5:6) This verse uses the word ארות "stalls" which also appears in 2Ch 32:28. It states that Solomon had 40,000 stalls for the horses of his chariots. Now 2Ch 9:25 uses a word with a similar but different spelling, namely, אריות "lions". It states that Solomon had 4,000 "lions of horses" and chariots. The phrase אריות סוסים "lions of horses" seems to be used figuratively. Since "lions of horses" and chariots were counted together, it would seem that the "lions of horses" referred to some kind of war chariots that were very powerful in battles. For example, note the figurative use of אריאל "mighty lion" in 1Ch 11:22 and 2Sa 23:20. Considering also 1Ki 10:26, this verse states that Solomon had 1,400 chariots. In view of 2Ch 9:25, this implies 4,000 - 1,400 = 2,600 "lions of horses."

1Ki 5:11 (5:25) This verse describes what Solomon gave to the house of Hiram per year. He also provided for the workers of Hiram, and what he gave to them is listed in 2Ch 2:10 (9).

1Ki 7:21 When combining the names of the two pillars, the result is יכין בעז "He establishes Boaz". It is likely that Solomon was thinking about his forefather Boaz when he assigned these names.

1Ki 8:9 Since the jar of manna and the rod of Aaron were supposed to be in the ark, it is clear that by the time of the temple of Solomon they were lost (see the note on Heb 9:4.) Two instances involving unauthorized access to the ark were when the Philistines captured it and when the men of Beth Shemesh looked into it. A possibility would be that the men of Beth Shemesh took out the content of the ark when they looked inside. However, it would seem quite unlikely that the jar of manna and the rod were lost at that time. A more likely possibility would be that the Philistines looked inside the ark and did not keep the manna and the rod of Aaron. The Philistines were ignorant of the meaning of the rod and of the manna, and it may have seemed strange to them to find these items inside of the ark. Since the jar was of gold, it was probably placed into a Philistine treasury.

1Ki 12:21 Following the text as written (see the Kethiv), the beginning of the verse is, "And the delegates of Judah went with Rehoboam to Jerusalem." The subject of the verb is inferred from the previous verse which states that the tribe of Judah followed Rehoboam.

1Ki 12:33 "And on the altar that he made in Bethel he offered sacrifices on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. Not only did he choose this month, but he also invented the festival for the sons of Israel. And he went up to the altar to make offerings." This translation is based on the form in which the text was written (see the Kethiv). Note that בחדש אשר בדא מלבד ויעש חג "in a month that he chose, besides that he also made a festival" was rendered "Not only did he choose this month, but he also invented the festival."

1Ki 13:5 Even to one who did not hear the words of the prophet, the fact that the altar was supernaturally torn down was a sign that God was not pleased with the worship taking place there.

1Ki 13:10 The command of the Lord was testifying to the fact that those coming for worship in Bethel were not getting any spiritual food or drink in that place. The man of God came by one way to Bethel and had to return by another way. To an observer in Bethel, this would have appeared as if he were not returning to the place from which he came. This was an indication that in a certain sense those going for worship to Bethel were not going to return to their land. Indeed, only the righteous, after their bodily resurrection, will return and inherit the land (Ps 37:9-11, 22, 29, 34, Mt 5:5).

1Ki 13:22 The man of God, being deceived by the prophet from Bethel, disobeyed the command of the Lord. Consequently, he was not buried in the tomb of his fathers. Likewise, those who were deceived so as to worship at Bethel were separated from godly ancestors (cf. Lk 13:28).

1Ki 13:28 This miracle drew further attention to the fact that God was reaching out to the people. They were to take seriously the message of the man of God and consider the events of that day. If the man of God died because he was deceived so as to disobey God's word, so much more the people were going to perish if they continued in their false ways. Though the man of God was deceived on some points, he remained God's man, for he sought to serve the Lord. The fact that his body remained intact and was not destroyed (cf. 1Pt 5:8) resembles the fact that God keeps safe the soul of the believer in spite of sins, failures, and troubles of this life (Lk 21:18).

1Ki 19:4-5 A possible explanation of the fact that the word רתם is used with both the masculine gender and the feminine gender is as follows. (Note thatרתם אחד in 1Ki 19:5 implies a masculine gender for רתם, while רתם אחת in 1Ki 19:4, which appears in the Kethiv, implies a feminine gender for רתם.) It is known that for some kinds of shrubs, a shrub produces either only flowers with male functionality or only flowers with female functionality. In this sense, such a shrub can be male or female. Thus, it would appear that Elijah was under a female shrub in 1Ki 19:4, but under a male shrub in 1Ki 19:5. Such plants that can be male or female are known as dioecious. Among dioecious plants in Israel we could note the juniper of the species Juniperus oxycedrus. The Juniperus phoenicia, which is also found in Israel, is said to have some dioecious plants. Note that the NASB has translated רתם with "juniper". There are also other Hebrew words that may have either the feminine or the masculine gender. For example, the word דב denotes female bears in 2Ki 2:24 and Is 11:7, but a bear of any gender in Pr 28:15.

1Ki 19:11 "And he said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD.' And behold, the LORD was coming, and before the LORD were a great wind, a mighty split of mountains, and a breaking of rocks. However, the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake. However, the LORD was not in the earthquake." As written, the text does not state that the wind was tearing mountains and breaking rocks, but that it blew at the time when the mountains were torn and the rocks were broken. Indeed, when taking in account that the feminine gender appears in רוח גדולה "great wind," it is clear that the masculine forms חזק "mighty," מפרק, and משבר do not refer to רוח "wind." Note that the forms מפרק and משבר, translated here "split" and "breaking," respectively, can be derived from the verbs פרק "to break off" and שבר "to break" in the same manner that מספד "lamentation" is derived from ספד "to lament," or מועד "appointment" from יעד "to make an appointment," or מבצר "fortification" from בצר "to fortify," and so on.

1Ki 19:12-13 "And after the earthquake there was a fire. However, the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a sound; the silence was broken, and when Elijah heard, he wrapped his face in the mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, `What are you doing here, Elijah?`" In this translation, ואחר האש קול was rendered "And after the fire there was a sound," which follows the pattern of ואחר הרוח רעש "And after the wind there was an earthquake" and of ואחר הרעש אש "And after the earthquake there was a fire." The form דקה was parsed as the qal perfect 3fs of דקק "to crush." Since דקה has no object, it was taken with a passive meaning. In this interpretation, the sound that Elijah heard before going out of the cave did not have to be a voice. The common interpretation of קול דממה דכה as "the voice of a soft whisper" has several drawbacks. First, the text does not state that the Lord spoke something before Elijah went out of the cave. Moreover, a soft whisper is not consistent with the other appearances of the Lord that are recorded in the Old Testament (for example, see Ex 20:19, Eze 10:5.) Furthermore, though the verb דמם is used rather often, it is not associated with the meaning "to whisper" in any other passage. The translation proposed above does not assume that דממה can mean "whisper", but translates it with "silence", as suggested by the meaning of the verb דמם "to be silent, still".