1 Kings 12:1-24
After King Solomon past away his son Rehoboam took over as the King of Israel. Upon taking command of the throne, the people of Israel made a request of their new King. They asked him to lighten the harsh workload and the heavy yoke put on them by Rehoboam’s father, King Solomon. After consulting with his elders as well as with his peers Rehoboam decided not to ease up, but to instead tighten his control even further. But his plan backfired and the people of Israel rebelled and Judah was the only city Rehoboam was able to maintain control of. Rehoboam then gathered up 180,000 fighting men and was going to try and regain control of his Kingdom but God told Shemiah to tell Rehoboam to not attack but instead to go home.
1 Kings 17:1-19:21
While under the command of King Ahab, Israel would endure a long drought where neither rain nor dew would fall. Elijah, a Tishbite from Tishbe told King Ahab of this upcoming drought. After informing the King, Elijah was instructed by God to go and hide in the Kerith Ravine. After a couple years had passed the Lord instructed Elijah to present himself to Ahab and he would then bring rain. Elijah then met with Ahab on Mount Carmel. During this encounter Elijah had Ahab summon all the prophets of Baal and Asherah. Elijah then challenged them to prove their God Baal, was real by having him set fire to a bull. When they were unsuccessful Elijah then called upon the lord to set fire upon his bull and then suddenly the bull burst into flames. Elijah then had all the prophets killed. After the killing of the prophets Ahab was not happy so he basically had a death warrant put on Elijah’s head.
2 Kings 2:1-25
Before Elijah died, his servant Elisha had asked for a double portion of his spirit upon his death. After Elijah was taken away by a chariot of fire, Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak and divided the water of the Jordan to the right and to the left. This act proved to onlookers that Elisha did indeed inherit Elijah’s spirit.
2 Kings 4:1-8:6
Throughout this chapter Elisha performs many good deeds. He helped a lady and her two sons out by providing them with enough oil to pay their debts. He also gave a Shunammite woman a son, and when her son died he restored life back into the boy. Elisha also made twenty loaves of bread feed a hundred people.
In the book of Ezra, King Cyrus of Persia made a proclamation to build a great temple for the Lord in Judah. He also had 42,360 exiles returned to their homes. During the construction though the people of Judah and Benjamin encountered some problems with neighboring nations that did not want the temple to be built. The work eventually came to a halt per King Artaxerxes. The work did not resume until Darius became King.
In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes organizes a project to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. During the construction of the wall the people of Jerusalem encountered opposition from a man named Sanballat. They pressed on with the construction though ignoring his threats of war. Nehemiah then had exiles brought back into Jerusalem to become residents.
During the rule of King Xerxes, Queen Vashti disobeyed an order given to her by the King. For punishment he had her relinquish her power and she was to never enter the presence of the King again. The King then crowned a virgin named Esther to take the vacated spot of queen. The King was so pleased with his new Queen that he proclaimed a holiday in her name. Then one of the King’s Nobles named Haman issued an order to have all the Jews destroyed including Mordecai, Queen Esther’s father. But Haman’s plan backfired and the King had him hung.