Lesson 2 of5
In Progress

Outline of 2 Kings

1. Elisha Continues Elijah’s Ministry (2 Kings 1:1–8:29)

The Elisha cycle of narratives continues the battle against Baal begun in the Elijah cycle (1 Kings 17-19).

A. Conclusion of Ahaziah’s Reign (2 Kings 1:1-18)

The end of the account of Ahaziah’s reign begun in 1 Kings 22:51-53 relates his illness and attempts to consult the god of Ekron.

B. Elisha Succeeds Elijah (2 Kings 2:1–2:25)

Elisha succeeds Elijah and carries on the battle against Baal.

C. Jehoram of Israel Consults Elisha (2 Kings 3:1-27)

Jehoram seeks Elisha’s counsel in the war against Moab.

D. Elisha’s Miracles (2 Kings 4:1–6:7)

A collection of six episodes present Elisha as a worker of miracles.

E. Elisha’s Political Involvement (2 Kings 6:8–8:15)

Elisha functions as political advisor in battles with Syria (Aram) and encourages Hazael’s overthrow of the Syrian king Ben-hadad.

F. Jehoram and Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kings 8:16-29)

Jehoram of Judah is strongly censured for his alliance with Ahab of Israel, cemented with his marriage to one of Ahab’s daughters. The reign of Ahaziah, his son, is similarly condemned for these foreign alliances with the Omrides.

2. Jehu Purges Israel (2 Kings 9:1–10:36)

Jehu’s bloody story is essentially the account of the end of the Omride Dynasty announced by the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:17; 21:21-24).

A. Jehu Anointed King (2 Kings 9:1-13)

Elisha the prophet sends one of the prophets to anoint Jehu king of Israel in fulfillment of God’s final charge to Elijah (1 Kings 19:16).

B. Jehu’s Violent Purge (2 Kings 9:14–10:36)

Immediately following his acclamation as king, Jehu began the systematic extermination of the House of Ahab, the current representatives of the Omride dynasty. His less violent reforms and policies conclude the account.

3. Athaliah and Joash (2 Kings 11:1–12:21)

Jehu’s purge of the House of Ahab and the worship of Baal resulted in the usurpation of the throne of Judah by the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, Athaliah.

A. “King”Athaliah (2 Kings 11:1-20)

Athaliah, the only female to sit on the throne of either Israel or Judah, attempts to bring the Davidic line to an end.

B. Joash of Judah (2 Kings 11:21–12:21)

The death of Athaliah and the extensive restoration of the temple are stressed in the account of Joash, a relatively good king of Judah.

4. The Collapse of the Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 13:1–17:41)

The good kings of Judah experience difficulties while the wicked kings of Israel experience unparalleled prosperity due to God’s mercy. Nevertheless, the looming might of Assyria threatens and ultimately destroys the North.

A. Jehoahaz and Jehoash of Israel, Amaziah of Judah, and Jeroboam II of Israel (2 Kings 13:1–14:29)

Amaziah’s successful war with Edom is contrasted with his disastrous war with Israel. His reign is framed by the reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoash, and Jeroboam II of Israel, kings of Israel who experienced God’s mercy despite their apostasy.

B. Azariah of Judah; Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah of Israel; and Jotham of Judah (2 Kings 15:1-38)

This complex chapter depicts the turbulent political situation of Israel in the reigns of five of its kings, framed by the relatively stable reigns of Azariah and Jotham in the south.

C. Ahaz of Judah (2 Kings 16:1-20)

Ahaz is portrayed as a weak and indecisive king in the face of external political pressures to align with the anti-Assyrian coalition.

D. Hoshea and the Fall of Israel (2 Kings 17:1-41)

The reign of Hoshea brings an end to the northern kingdom. The chapter concludes with a theological interpretation of the fall of Israel that demonstrates Israel’s thoroughgoing apostasy and intimates a similar fate for Judah.

5. The Collapse of the Southern Kingdom (2 Kings 18:1–25:30)

The last century and a half of the political life of Judah is presented as a time when the best kings of Judah (Hezekiah and Josiah) alternated with the worst kings of Judah (Ahaz and Manasseh). The appearance of Babylon on the world stage at the end of this period was more than the nation could withstand.

A. Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1–20:21)

Hezekiah is one of the best kings of Judah. His religious reforms and courage during the Assyrian campaigns of 701 B.C.E. are given special attention.

B. Manasseh and Amon (2 Kings 21:1-26)

Manasseh is the worst of the worst in the judgment of the Deuteronomistic editors. He revoked the religious reforms of his pious father, Hezekiah; rebuilt the high places (thus, decentralizing the cult); introduced foreign worship practices; sacrificed his son; and consulted mediums. His son Amon followed the practices of his father in his two-year reign.

C. Josiah (2 Kings 22:1–23:30)

Josiah is the best king of Judah in the judgment of the Deuteronomistic editors. His reforms were carried out in full accordance with the book of the law (an early form of Deuteronomy) discovered in the temple during his reign.

D. The Final Days of Judah (2 Kings 23:31–25:30)

The chaos of Judah’s final days is depicted in the hapless reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, helpless before the might of Egypt and Babylon. Jerusalem falls to Nebuchadnezzar who destroys the temple and deports the population to Babylon.

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