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1 Kings - Reformed Expository Commentary (Ryken)

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Dynasties, fractured kingdoms, prophecies of coming hardships – the book of 1 Kings is a grand, sweeping narrative of the beginning of the downfall of God's people. Its size and scope may seem intimidating, but Phil Ryken shows us in this biblical, doctrinal, practical, and Christological commentary how this imposing book can be divided into three key sections.

First, the stories of Solomon focus on the themes of money, sex, and power, inviting us to learn from Solomon's example. Will we use these things wisely for kingdom purposes, or foolishly abuse them for selfish gain? Then the middle of the story, on the divided kingdom, shows the destructive consequences of sin among the people of God – especially the sin of idolatry.

The final section demonstrates the power of prayer to the true and living God, as exemplified in the life and ministry of God's prophet Elijah. Phil Ryken brings out the key themes of these three sections and illustrates how they come together in their focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially his kingly and prophetic offices. This is an excellent resource for those who want a devotional aid and will help Bible expositors reliably teach a redemptive-historical view of this important Old Testament book.

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Table of Contents:

Part 1: King Solomon: Money, Sex, and Power

Part 2: Divided Kingdom: The Wages of Sin

Part 3: Prophet Elijah: The Power of Prayer 



"Sadly for many North American Christians the Old Testament is a dead book, often treated merely as a foil against which to interpret the New Testament. Phil Ryken’s work goes much work goes much farther. The author, an accomplished expositor and preacher, wrestles seriously with the form and message of 1 Kings for its original audience, its place in redemptive history, and its significance for today. This volume is a model of exposition, combining thorough and responsible exegesis with a passion to communicate the life-giving power of Old Testament Scriptures for the church."

-Daniel I. Block, D.Phil., Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"Philip Graham Ryken finds himself on the short list of highly-gifted expositors in this generation. In this volume, you will find biblical preaching at its best—text-driven, doctrinally-sound, Christ-centered, and practically-relevant. Dr. Ryken has done the church an enormous service by providing this excellent resource for pastors and teachers to aid in their sermon and lesson preparation. This book is also an invaluable tool to hel p believers in their devotional lives. Consider how few volumes contain solid, expository preaching through this often neglected book of 1 Kings. Yet this is surely one of those works—clear, compelling, scholarly, pastoral, challenging, heart-searching, and life-changing. I, myself, cannot imagine preaching through 1 Kings without first consulting this important work."

-Dr. Steven J. Lawson, Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama