Summary of 2 Kings
Second Kings continues the story where 1 Kings left off. Chapters 1-2 complete the presentation of Elijah’s prophetic ministry. Chapters 3-9 depict the ministry of Elijah’s successor, ElishaMiracle working prophet who succeeded Elijah. More. Chapters 9-10 relate the defeat of Baal that occurred in Jehu’s purge and the end of the Omride dynasty. Athaliah’s seizure of the Judean throne and the restoration of Davidic rule under Joash are recounted in chapters 11-12. The rest of 2 Kings details the fallThe fall refers specifically to the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they listened to Satan rather than adhering to God’s command not to eat the fruit from the tree. When people act contrary to God’s will, they are said to fall from from grace… More of the northern kingdomThe Northern Kingdom consisted of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and lasted for 200 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 721 B.C.E. In the northern kingdom the kings were evil. Prophets like Elijah and Amos railed against them and their evildoing. More of Israel to Assyria in chapters 13-17, followed by the fall of the southern kingdomThe Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes of Israel, Judah and Benjamin. Jerusalem was its capital, and the kingdom lasted from 931-586 B.C.E. As with the Northern Kingdom many of the kings were wicked, and prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel spoke their often judgmental… More of JudahJudah was the name of Jacob’s fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More to Babylon in chapters 18-25 despite the righteousA righteous person is one who is ethical and faithful to God’s covenant. Righteousness in the Old Testament is an attitude of God; in the New Testament it is a gift of God through grace. In the New Testament righteousness is a relationship with God… More reigns of HezekiahJudean king noted for his reforms in time of Isaiah More (chapters 18-20) and JosiahJudean king noted for his reforms of Israel’s worship in the time of Jeremiah More (chapters 22-23).
Second Kings uses the history of the kings of Judah and Israel to explain the destruction of Jerusalem to those experiencing exile in Babylon in the hopes that they might gain a new self-understanding. It is a story of the monarchy’s failure and deserved judgment. But it is also a story of God’s unrelenting commitment to his people through divine words of hope, judgment, summons, and warning, as God seeks to maintain God’s covenantal relationship with the people. We, too, need to hear that a patient and merciful God awaits our response and listens to our prayers.
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
Second Kings is the twelfth book in the Old Testament, immediately after 1 Kings and before 1 Chronicles.
WHO WROTE IT?
Ancient tradition identifies JeremiahProphet who condemned Judah’s infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant More as the author of 1 and 2 Kings. Today, many scholars believe that 1 and 2 Kings are the concluding part of the Deuteronomistic HistoryDeuteronomistic history refers to the narrative contained in the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings. This narrative, probably written in the age of Israel’s exile (mid-6th century B.C.E.), recounts Israel’s history prior to the exile. More and that various older traditions have been gathered together and edited by a nameless exilic editor or editors.
WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN?
The final event recorded in 2 Kings occurred in 561 B.C.E. Since the return from Babylon (538 B.C.E.) is not recorded, one assumes that–as part of the Deuteronomistic History–2 Kings reached its final form sometime between these dates during the Babylonian exile.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Second Kings is a continuation of 1 Kings that seeks to answer the questions of God’s people living in Babylonian exile by presenting an interpretation of the history of Israel and Judah through the lens of the theological tenets of the book of Deuteronomy. It suggests that their plight was not due to the failure of God’s promise to DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More. Rather, their own failure regarding such matters as worship outside the central sanctuaryA sanctuary is the consecrated area around the altar of a church or temple. It also means a place of safety where one can flee for protection. In the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, God is referred to as a sanctuary, a refuge from… More, idolatry, and other covenantA covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God’s people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. More violations brought about their destruction at the hands of Assyria and Babylon.
HOW DO I READ IT?
Second Kings looks like a history of Judah, the southern kingdom, and Israel, the northern kingdom. While important historical information is presented, some of it is at odds with the presentation found in 1 and 2 Chronicles. Both Chronicles and Kings should be read as theological, rather than historical, presentations of the years of the monarchy. Kings is designed to demonstrate the reasons for the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722/721 B.C.E. and Judah’s exile to Babylon in 587/586 B.C.E.