This new translation and commentary on 1 Kings by the translator and coauthor of the Anchor Bible Commentary on II Kings recounts the early history of 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. An updated historical appraisal complements the literary analysis of each of the book's 39 literary units, offering a new appreciation of this main source for study of Israel's early monarchy.
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.
The Anchor Yale Bible is a project of international and interfaith scope in which Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from many countries contribute individual volumes. The project is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and is not intended to reflect any particular theological doctrine.
The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.