Biblical Allusions and Other Textual Sources and Ideas Referenced in The Secret Book of Kings

The linked pages contain detailed references to Biblical allusions in the book, as well as to allusions to other textual sources (such as the interpretive stories of the ancient Rabbis, which are known as midrash). Some of these allusions and the expanded discussions of certain topics in this guide, even on the early pages, constitute major spoilers for the entire book, especially for readers who are not intimately familiar with the Hebrew Bible's books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. As such, some readers may prefer to look at these pages only after finishing the entire book. This guide will be expanded in the weeks ahead. If you find allusions and ideas that we have not discussed in this guide, please email us at so that we can add them in.

Readers who would like to take in the key Biblical stories re-interpreted by this novel, either before or after reading the novel, will most benefit from reading the following chapters:

  • 1 Samuel (chapters 8-31)
  • 2 Samuel (chapters 1-6, 9, 11-21)
  • 1 Kings (chapters 1-4, 10-12)
  • 1 Chronicles (chapters 8-15)
  • 2 Chronicles (chapters 9-11)

Unless otherwise indicated, The Secret Book of Kings and this guide use the New International Version (NIV) translation. The King James Version (KJV) and Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translations are sometimes used, generally in order to retain more colorful language from the original Hebrew that the NIV translation fails to capture.

Part 1

The Soldier

Part 2

The Princess

Part 3

The King