Study Guide

1 Kings Politics

Politics

The schemes and machinations of the royalty in 1st Kings rival any political drama on TV today. Assassinations? Check (see 2:24-25 for starters). Shifting alliances? You betcha (see 15:18-20). Rebellion? Oh yeah (check out 12:13-19). Sordid love affairs? Adonijah wishes (see 2:17), but sort of (see 11:1). One thing 1st Kings has that those ol' TV shows probably don't is the added nuance of religion and how it interacts with politics in a quasi-theocratic government.

In fact, it's sometimes hard to separate religion from politics in 1st Kings—no First Amendment here, that's for sure. If you're not practicing the current monarch's religion, you'd better hope for a miracle, because you're liable to get killed (see 18:40) or enslaved (see 9:20-21) before you can say "Free exercise."

Questions About Politics

  1. How does Solomon personify both the benefits and the downsides of an absolute monarchy?
  2. Does politics make the politicians in 1st Kings evil, or do they bring their evil into politics?
  3. Can you find any political white knights in 1st Kings who have a high moral code and never compromise it?
  4. Can you find examples of prophets or men of God getting involved in politics? How does it turn out?

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