Synopses & Reviews
This new translation and commentary of I Kings by the translator and coauthor of the Anchor Bible Commentary II Kings recounts the early history of the Israelite monarchy.
The book begins with the death of David, and describes the reign of his successor, Solomon, the building of the first Temple, and the division of the monarchy into the two separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The prophetic activity of Elijah, who led the struggle against the worship of foreign Gods in Israel and reminded the Israelites and their king that their loyalty to God would determine their fate, forms a second thread throughout the text. Mordechai Cogan examines these dual themes of history and prophecy in a refreshingly clear and eloquent style, providing authoritative commentary on the major aspects of this epic book of the Hebrew Bible.
Beginning with the death of David and the rise of Solomon, 1 Kings charts the history of Israel through the divided monarchy, when Ahab reigned in the north and Jehoshaphat reigned in the south. This new translation, with introduction and commentary by biblical scholar Mordechai Cogan, is part of the Anchor Bible Commentary series, viewed by many as the definitive commentaries for use in both Christian and Jewish scholarship and worship. 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 a thousand articles and books, Cogan's commentary demonstrates his mastery of the political history described by 1 Kings, as well as the themes of moral and religious failure that eventually led to Israel's defeat and exile.