Commentaries on 1 Kings

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on 1 Kings that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.



Top Reviewed Commentaries on 1 Kings



1 and 2 Kings (New American Commentary) by Paul R. House


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on 1 and 2 Kings

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “an excellent and clear exposition”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Insightful literary reading of the biblical narrative.”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on 1 and 2 Kings, “House explores historical, literary, canonical, theological, and applicational concerns thoroughly and competently. Highly recommended.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Iain W. Provan


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “the best available commentary on Kings…the writing is very accessible”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on 1 Kings, “[Provan] explores the theological themes of the book within its larger redemptive-historical context. Very readable and useful for pastors and teachers.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



I Kings (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Mordechai Cogan


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “emphasizes history and ancient Near Eastern background but is also sensitive to literary qualities”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on 1 Kings, “written from a somewhat critical perspective and should be used with care, but the author’s knowledge of the ancient Near Eastern context makes these works very helpful for those interested in more technical commentaries”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”



1 Kings (Focus on the Bible) by Dale Ralph Davis


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on 1 Kings, “outstanding…should be on the shelf of every Bible student and pastor”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their speciality subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.”



1 and 2 Kings (New International Version Application Commentary) by August H. Konkel


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “readable and insightful…appeals particularly to pastors”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Donald J. Wiseman


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on 1 Kings, “accessible to virtually any reader…good introduction to the books of 1 & 2 Kings”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary) by Walter Brueggemann


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Brueggemann is always asking questions that are relevant to church and society today”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written by accomplished scholars with all students of Scripture in mind, this innovative new commentary series is designed to make quality Bible study more accessible. Pastors, professors and students of Scripture are discovering that this commentary is a wonderful new tool for enhancing interpretation. All volumes include these features to support interpretation: insightful sidebars in four categories, a wealth of fine art visuals, and a CD-ROM containing all the text and images of the volume in a searchable format.”



1 and 2 Kings (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Richard Nelson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5, “concentrates on theology and literature…he writes in a vivid and engaging style”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



1 and 2 Kings (Everyman’s Bible Commentary) by Robert L. Hubbard


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “an excellent popular commentary”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.”



1 and 2 Kings (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Peter J. Leithart


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “a fascinating reading of Kings from an ecclesial, christological (evangelical), and theological point of view”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”



1 and 2 Kings (The Old Testament Library) by John Gray


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Reviews and Accolades:

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “An indispensable commentary for its treatment of the Hebrew text, historical background, and annalistic sources of Kings, though his reconstructionist Hebrew history is not always agreeable to evangelicals.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



1 Kings (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Philip Graham Ryken


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



Exalting Jesus in 1 and 2 Kings (Christ-Centered Exposition) by Tony Merida


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”



1 and 2 Kings (The Preacher’s Commentary) by Russell H. Dilday


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



1 and 2 Kings (For Everyone) by John Goldingay


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “John Goldingay, an internationally respected Old Testament scholar, authors this ambitious Old Testament for Everyone series. Covering Scripture from Genesis to Malachi, Goldingay addresses the texts in such a way that even the most challenging passages are explained simply. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school preparation, or brief visits with the Bible, the Old Testament for Everyone series is an excellent resource for the modern reader.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



1 Kings (Word Biblical Commentary) by Simon J. DeVries


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (New Collegeville Bible Commentary) by Alice L. Laffey


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The NCBC aims to elucidate the Hebrew and Christian scriptures for a wide range of intellectually curious individuals…[volumes] do not assume the reader has a great deal of specialized theological knowledge or an impressive command of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or biblical Greek… Utilizing recent gains in rhetorical criticism, social scientific study of the scriptures, narrative criticism and other developing disciplines, this series intends to provide a fresh look at biblical texts, taking advantage of the growing edges in Biblical Studies.”



1 and 2 Kings (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) by Lissa M. Wray Beal


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and it shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. Written by an international team of scholars and edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, these commentaries are intended to serve the needs of those who preach from the Old Testament, as well as scholars and all serious students of the Bible.” See more about the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by Gary Inrig


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”



1 and 2 Kings (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by William Barnes


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



The Message of Kings (The Bible Speaks Today) by John W. Olley


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”



Social, Historical, and Cultural Background Commentaries



1 Kings (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary) by John M. Monson


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It’s like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader! Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You’ll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus.”



Technical and Critical Commentaries



1 and 2 Kings (The Old Testament Library) by Marvin A. Sweeney


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”



1 and 2 Kings (A Continental Commentary) by Volkmar Fritz


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “makes leading critical biblical scholarship from German and French scholars available to the English-speaking world. This series combines scholarly excellence with academic rigor to benefit pastors, students, and scholars of both the Old and New Testament…Each book in the Continental Commentary Series includes comprehensive introductory material, including an explanation of narrative themes, an overview of the historical and cultural context, an analysis of textual traditions, and an evaluation of recent literature. The remainder of each volume is divided according to each pericope of Scripture, with each section containing a summary of secondary literature, a fresh translation of the text, an evaluation of the literary form and the setting in life, and a lengthy commentary. Each volume also contains indexes on Hebrew words, subjects, names and authors, and other material.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



1 and 2 Kings (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”


Also see:

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