Top Commentaries on 1 Kings

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of 1 Kings are listed below. 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 Bible, 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.)



Best Reviewed Bible 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.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



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 specialty subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.” See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.



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.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.



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.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



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.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



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.



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 (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 (Revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary) by Richard D. Patterson and Hermann J. Austel


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



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.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Technical 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.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



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.” See more about the Continental Commentary series.



1 and 2 Kings (Abingdon Bible Commentary) by Gina Hens-Piazza


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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 Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”



1 and 2 Kings (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by Karen Strand Winslow


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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 New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Each volume features: Contemporary Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Convenient introductory material for each book of the Bible, which includes information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and more.”



1 Kings (Concordia Commentary) by Walter Maier III


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Classic Christian Commentaries



1 and 2 Kings (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Marco Conti


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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 ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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