Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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3 KINGS - Introduction

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THE THIRD BOOK OF KINGS.

INTRODUCTION.

This and the following Book are called by the holy Fathers, The Third and Fourth Book of Kings; but by the Hebrews, the First and Second. They contain the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Juda, from the beginning of the reign of Solomon to the captivity. As to the writer of these books, it seems most probable they were not written by one man, nor at one time; but as there was all along a succession of prophets in Israel, who recorded, by divine inspiration, the most remarkable things that happened in their days, these books seem to have been written by these prophets. See 2 Paralipomenon, alias 2 Chronicles ix. 29., xii. 15., xiii. 22., xx. 34., xxvi. 22., and xxxii. 23. (Challoner) --- This book informs us of the death of David, chap. ii. 11, where some Greek copies concluded the second book "of the reigns or kingdoms," as they style all the four books. Theodoret and Diodorus follow this division. The point is of no consequence; and the Hebrew editions have often varied. Origen observes, that the Jews denoted these two books from the first words, "Ouammelech David." (Eusebius, Hist. vi. 25.) (Haydock) --- In St. Jerome's time, the four books made only two. The present book details the actions of Solomon, (Calmet) till the end of the 12th chapter. Then we behold the division of the kingdom: Roboam, Abias, Asa, and Josaphat, reign over Juda; Jeroboam, &c., over Israel; while the prophets Abias, Elias, Eliseus, appear in the remaining eleven chapters. (Worthington) --- Though the memoirs seem to have been left by contemporary authors, (Haydock) one, and most probably Esdras, made the compilation, after the captivity, inserting frequently the very words of his authors, yet so as to make some additional reflections. (Calmet) --- The Rabbins generally attribute the work to Jeremias. (Haydock) --- He is more attentive to the house of David, and to display the rewards of piety, and the punishment of vice, as well as the glory of the temple and of religion, than to describe the military exploits, which occupy so much of the profane history. (Calmet)