Beginning with the death of David and the rise of Solomon, I Kings charts the history of Israel through the divided monarchy, when Ahab reigned in the north and Jehoshaphat reigned in the south. Mordechai Cogan’s translation brings new immediacy to well-known passages, such as Solomon’s famously wise judgment when asked by two prostitutes to decide their dispute regarding motherhood of a child: “Cut the live son in two! And give half to one and half to the other.” With a bibliography that runs to almost 1,000 articles and books, Cogan’s commentary demonstrates his mastery of the political history described by I Kings, as well as the themes of moral and religious failure that eventually led to Israel’s defeat and exile.
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