CONTENT: 2 Kings depicts the downfall of the divided kingdom. Prophets continue to warn the people that the judgment of God is at hand, but they will not repent. The kingdom of Israel is repeatedly ruled by wicked kings, and even though a few of Judah’s kings are good, the majority are bad. These few good rulers, along with Elisha and other prophets cannot stop the nation’s decline. The northern kingdom of Israel is eventually destroyed by the Assyrians (chapter 17), and about 136 years later the southern kingdom of Judah is destroyed by the Babylonians (chapter 25). Though the people of God are in captivity, God stays true to his covenant, preserving a remnant for himself.
BACKGROUND: 2 Kings is a sequel to the book of 1 Kings. The 2 books form one book in the Hebrew Bible. 2 Kings continues the story of kings over the divided kingdom, leading to the final overthrow and deportation of both Israel and Judah’s people.
DATE WRITTEN: Between 640 and 550 B.C. (compiled from earlier sources).
AUTHOR: Unknown, possibly Jeremiah. (However, it has been suggested that chapter 25 was written by an exile after the Babylonian captivity.)