The book of 1 Kings is in the Old Testament and along with 2 Kings is situated in between 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. It was written after the 6 century B.C. and represents the monarchy of Israel during the period of 970-586 B.C.
Though the book does include history and is written in a historical narrative style, it is not really referred to as a biographical sketch of the time period, but rather is given a much more theological or even prophetic label. Some believe the books of 1 and 2 Kings were actually written by Jeremiah the prophet. Others however, believe that due to the language that mirrors language in Deuteronomy, that the books may have been written by Levites, prophets or other wise men of the Jerusalem court.
Because 1 Kings is set against the backdrop of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile, it sets out to answer questions about the nature and power or God. It attempts to show and prove that God (Yahweh) is the only true God and is in control of nature and history. It however, also reminds the reader that God demands exclusive and pure worship of Him, and that though He is always faithful to His promises, He will judge. Through the telling of the stories of the kings, the book shows a correlation of the faithfulness of those kings to the fate of Israel.
The hope of the book is that through the repentance of Israel, God can once again be the center of His chosen people and make Himself great among all people.
Key figures in the book are King Solomon, Rehoboam and Elija the prophet.