In this, and the following book, is described the history of the kings that governed the people of God, from David’s time, unto the Babylonian captivity. Therefore they are called the first and the second Book of the Kings. It begins initially with the account of the sickness, and the death of king David, upon which followed the reign of his son Solomon, after he had received of his father good instruction to order his life aright and wise direction to establish his kingdom. He was honored of God with His oracle, or, His speech. He was also blessed in his person, with wisdom, riches, and honor, and in his land, with peace, trading, and abundance of all things. Having settled his court and house in order, he builds and hallows a temple unto the Lord, and besides he rears certain royal buildings. He grows so famous, that he is stately visited and honored by the Queen of Sheba, and by nations roundabout with offer of friendship and with gifts and presents. Yet afterward being fallen to idolatry by marrying many pagan wives, he provokes God to wrath, Who raises up enemies against him, and denounces by his prophet Ahijah, the rending of his kingdom. This has now happened when his son Rehoboam, by foolish counsel, estranged ten tribes from himself, which have accepted Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, for their king. Rehoboam kept nothing for himself, save only Judah, and a part of Benjamin. He is likewise forbidden by God to bring back to himself the revolted tribes by force of arms, as he intended. For his and his peoples’ sins the temple of Jerusalem is robbed by Shishak the king of Egypt. His son Abijam succeeds him in his kingdom and in his sins, but Asa and Jehoshaphat, being godly, reformed the worship of God. As for the kings, who reigned over Israel after the division of the tribes, of which mention is made in this first book, they were all idolaters, who corrupted the true religion by idolatrous abominations. For, Jeroboam, besides the erection of two golden calves, changed almost the entire worship of God, and ordained priests according to his own fancy, by which he drew aside the ten tribes from true religion, and from true godliness. His successors followed his foot-steps, but especially Ahab. For besides the idolatry, in which he exceeded the previous kings, he exercised great tyranny against the true believers who yet remained in his kingdom. By such causes the scepter of Israel continued not in one family, as it did in Judah, but by terrible commotions and cruel blood-sheds was now and then enraptured to others. Although at this time the admonitions of the prophets Ahijah, Shemaiah, Iddo, Azariah, Jehu, Hanani, Elijah, and Micah, sent by God to call those back-sliding Israelites to repentance, were not wanting, yet amongst the greatest part they were fruitless and unprofitable, even when they were confirmed also by eminent and powerful miracles. In Judah the faith of doctrine and the purity of worship, were stronger rooted and grounded, because there the godly kings joined hand in hand with the prophets, and with singular zeal raised up that which was fallen. Of this we have in this book, as also in the following, a very fair picture, wherein is lively portrayed unto us the changeable condition, which the visible church is subject to in this world, and the unchangeable faithfulness which God never ceased to show toward His chosen remnant, for the most part invisible to the eyes of men. This Book contains the accounts of one hundred and eighteen years, of which forty belong to the reign of Solomon, and seventy-eight to the reign of the following kings of Judah, and Israel, namely, which history is described in this book.