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The Message of Kings (The Bible Speaks Today | BST)

ISBN: 9781844745500
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At the beginning of 1 Kings, Solomon’s reign brought peace, prosperity, dynamic international trade, and a magnificent center of worship. At the end of 2 Kings, by contrast, the people faced a complete reversal: they and their king were in exile; Jerusalem and the temple lay in ruins. How can this story of reversal, told by the very people who suffered the defeat, be of value today, and equip us “for every good work?”

John Olley shows how 1 and 2 Kings retell the past as preached history, addressing the exilic situation of the original readers. This in turn helps as we ask how they speak to us today. Within the account of paths leading to short-term success but ultimate failure, there are pointers of hope, of God’s continuing purposes and promises, and of the people’s response in the present.

In rich and often surprising ways, the narrative in 1 and 2 Kings is part of the history that has shaped, and will continue to shape, the faith and life of Christian believers. Everyday life, along with the turmoil of national and global events, is the arena in which God’s people are called to worship, trust, and obey him, and it is on aspects of this life that 1 and 2 Kings can throw light.

Resource Experts
  • Applies the truth of Scripture to everyday life in the contemporary world
  • Engages a variety of readers with accessible, nontechnical language
  • Analyzes the flow of thought in passage-by-passage exposition of Old Testament books
  • Provides insightful treatment of key themes

Top Highlights

“Jeroboam has his plans, with no expectation of Yahweh’s action—he is in the middle of making an offering!” (Page 139)

“Of the three key players in the drama—the king of Aramthe king of Israel and the man of God—only one name is given, Elisha. The story’s focus is that true power belongs not with kings but with the one who is serving God.” (Page 241)

“On three counts Naaman is an ‘outsider’: a foreigner, an enemy general and a ‘leper’.” (Page 234)

“It describes how reforms began from the eighth year, with a major thrust from the twelfth. The two accounts are complementary.9 Neither mention the decline of Assyrian power beginning in the final years of Assurbanipal (died 631 bc, the eighth year of Josiah’s reign).10 In so doing they avoid any suggestion that the reforms had a nationalistic motivation, although the decline did enable Josiah to extend control in the north (23:15–20; 2 Chr. 34:6–7, 33). Focus is on actions exemplifying worship of Yahweh alone, not geopolitical matters.” (Page 348)

“Before Bathsheba appears later in the chapter, we are reminded of the event that brought her to the court. David may be the king chosen by God, he may have had great victories and been ‘a man after the Lord’s heart’ (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), but he was also a person of moral failure and now physical infirmity.” (Page 41)

  • Title: The Message of Kings: God is Present
  • Author: John W. Olley
  • Series: The Bible Speaks Today
  • Publisher: Inter-Varsity
  • Print Publication Date: 2011
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 378
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. 1 Kings › Commentaries; Bible. O.T. 2 Kings › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9781844745500, 1844745503
  • Resource ID: LLS:BST11KI12
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-29T22:22:15Z

John W. Olley is Research Associate, Vose Seminary, Perth, Australia, and formerly concurrently Senior Lecturer in Old Testament Studies, Murdoch University. He has published widely in Septuagintal and other Old Testament areas, including ‘Righteousness’ in the Septuagint of Isaiah.


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    Digital list price: $16.99
    Save $4.00 (23%)