The narratives of Solomon and Jeroboam, of Elijah and Ahab, have fascinated readers for millennia. Even apart from questions of historical authenticity, they are gripping stories of richly drawn characters caught up in the complex tale of God’s dealings with Israel. This study explores the narrative world created by 1 Kings’ ancient Israelite author: the people who inhabit it, the lives they live, the deeds they do, and the face of God who is revealed in their stories.
An introduction explains the significance of 1 Kings as a historical narrative. Originally intended as a literal history, after centuries of writing and rewriting it is now as much a literary work as a historical one: the views of those who formed it can be discerned and studied. Walsh also explains how the rich traditions of Hebrew prose narrative and the Hebrew language itself affect our reading of 1 Kings.
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The author is able to engage the more sophisticated scholar with fresh and interesting insights into the narrative of 1 Kings. The book is ‘user friendly’ in the sense that it begins with a primer on narrative criticism that sets forth basic terminology and methodology. In the body of the commentary, arguments grounded on the grammar and structure of the Hebrew text are usually explained clearly in non-technical style. . . . The exposition is clear. The conclusions are usually believable and argued convincingly. The author handles his methodology with skill. . . . This is a well-crafted and highly serviceable commentary.
—Richard D. Nelson, associate dean for academic affairs and W. J. A. Power Professor for Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament Introduction, Perkins School of Theology
Jerome T. Walshg was professor of Old Testament at the University of Botswana and the University of Dallas. He has also authored Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative and Old Testament Narrative: A Guide to Interpretation.