2 Kings Introduction
The six books from Joshua to 2 Kings make up the history of Israel. The books of Kings record history from the death of David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, spanning a 400-year history, 960 B.C. to 560 B.C.
1 Kings opens with the final days of David, the succession of Solomon, and then watches the kingdom divide into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The book was likely divided into 1 and 2 Kings to fit more comfortably on two scrolls.
The author and editors of the two books are particularly interested in tracing Israel’s and Judah's faith, particularly as it related to their king. It is obvious that they went to lengths to show Yahweh as the ultimate Controller of the universe. They show Yahweh not as the flashy God of immediate power but as the God Who plants His will in the universe like seed in the form of His Word, letting it grow to fulfillment. His Word did not always grasp immediate control but it always possessed ultimate control; once His word was spoken, no force of nature could stop it.
In the books of Kings you will notice each king is evaluated by their relationship to Yahweh's covenant. Usually it was a prophet who would challenge the king in both the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah. To claim Yahweh as the true King and their earthly rule as servants of Yahweh was the character of a godly king. The litmus test was whether or not they "did evil or what was right in the eyes of the Lord" or did they live before the Lord as a king in covenant with Yahweh to allow Him to ultimately rule through them.
The sad conclusion of 2 Kings is watching the nations' demise. First, the Israelite nation ends (chapter 17) and then Judah is taken into captivity (chapters 23-25). All the way through the book of 2 Kings, we see the remnant of Israel being saved by Yahweh (Romans 9:27). Yahweh's power to save a remnant of people, all who claim they are His, has ever been and still is one of His great acts of faith (Romans 11:5).
1. The Death of Ahaziah (1:1–18)
2. Elisha and Israel (2:1–10:36)
3. Joash (11:1–12:21)
4. Jehoahaz and Jehoash (13:1–25)
5. Amaziah, Jeroboam II, and Azariah (14:1–15:7)
6. Israel’s Last Days (15:8–31)
7. Jotham and Ahaz (15:32–16:20)
8. The End of Israel (17:1–41)
9. Hezekiah (18:1–20:21)
10. Manasseh and Amon (21:1–26)
11. Josiah (22:1–23:30)
12. The End of Judah (23:31–25:30)