The reader who comes to 1 Kings with the tumultuous events of 2 Samuel in mind will be expecting a resolution to them, particularly the narrative concerning the succession (2 Samuel 9 20) and there is considerable literary and theological interaction between the two books. 1 Kings recounts what happens to the kingdom of David over the following two centuries from the death of David to the time of Kings Ahaziah of Israel and Jehoram of Judah. The division of Kings into two books is a later development (not necessarily without rationale), and we must regard the story of 1 Kings as leading into the traumatic Judean exile to Babylon with which 2 Kings concludes. The book of Kings, therefore, finalised some time after the beginning of the exile (though evidently making use of earlier sources), wrestles with the question of how Judah (all that is left of Israel) came to this sorry state, with its glorious temple in ruins and its citizens once more subject to a foreign king. This is no more than the people and their kings deserve, according to the theology outlined in the Pentateuch, particularly the book of Deuteronomy.
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