Main Themes of the Books of 1 and 2 Kings

1 & 2 Kings Overview

Who wrote the Books of 1 and 2 Kings and who did they write it for?

Traditionally, the prophet Jeremiah has been named the author of 1 and 2 Kings, but it is uncertain. 1 and 2 Kings were written for the Israelites to record some of the history of the Hebrew monarchy and the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.


When did the events of Books of 1 and 2 Kings happen?

1 and 2 Kings cover Israel’s history, from the reign of King David to the Babylonian capture of Judah. The events of 1 Kings happened between around 1003-865 BC, and 2 Kings through around 586 BC.


What was the setting of the Books of 1 and 2 Kings?

1 and 2 Kings provide important examples of good and bad kings, true and false prophets, and disobedience and faithfulness to God. These many years of history are a vital part of the Israelite’s journey emphasizing the difficulties they faced in remaining faithful to the Lord, and the Lord’s constant faithfulness to His people.


What is the purpose of the Books of 1 and 2 Kings?

1 Kings

  1. End of David’s life and exaltation of Solomon as King (1 Kings 1-2)
  2. Wisdom of King Solomon (1 Kings 3-4)
  3. Building King Solomon’s Kingdom (1 Kings 5-8)
  4. The reign and death of King Solomon (1 Kings 9-11)
  5. The division of the kingdom (1 Kings 12-16)
  6. Ministry of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17-22)

2 Kings

  1. The end of Elijah’s ministry (2 Kings 1-2)
  2. Ministry of the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 3-8)
  3. The purge of Jehu (2 Kings 9-10)
  4. Prosperity in Judah and Israel (2 Kings 11-14)
  5. Wickedness in Judah and Israel (2 Kings 15-16)
  6. Domination of Assyria (2 Kings 17-21)
  7. Renewal and judgement of Judah (2 Kings 22-23)
  8. Babylonian capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24-25)

How does the Books of 1 and 2 Kings apply to my life?


Summary

The books of 1 and 2 Kings were originally one book, as were the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. The 4 books were combined into one book and then split into 4 parts of the Hebrew history to become 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. All 4 of these books cover the history of the Hebrew monarchy and include many important examples of God’s chosen people in their pattern of disobedience, which led to the inevitable results that God promised would happen if they failed to repent and obey Him.

Throughout 1 and 2 Kings we see examples of good and evil kings, teaching us much about godly leadership. We also learn about true and false prophets, highlighting the ministry of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Throughout these stories are intertwined examples of God’s chosen people fluctuating in their allegiance to Him, and ultimately failing to repent and be faithful to the Lord resulting in the capture of Jerusalem.

These books of the Bible are important historical texts filled with examples we can learn much from today. We get to see God’s promises at work and His faithfulness to His Word. We receive both warning and comfort, as well as encouragement because of the love and power of God and His faithfulness in keeping His promises.


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