About this book
The Second Book of Kings is the second half of a single book that was divided into two parts,1 and 2 Kings, because together they were too long to fit on one scroll. The book of 2 Kings continues the history of the two separate kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
The book of 2 Kings has two main parts. The first part (1—17) is the history of the two kingdoms until 722 bc, when the northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians. Samaria, the capital city of Israel, was destroyed, and the people of that kingdom were taken as prisoners to Assyria. Only Judah, the southern kingdom, was left.
The second part of the book (18—25) is the history of Judah until 586 bc, when it was conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. Jerusalem, the capital city, was completely destroyed, and many of the people of Judah and Jerusalem were led away as prisoners to Babylonia. King Nebuchadnezzar then made Gedaliah ruler of those left in Judah. The book concludes with some hope for Judah's future: King Jehoiachin is released from prison in Babylon and is invited to eat with the Babylonian king every day.
According to the book of 2 Kings, Israel and Judah were destroyed because the people refused to be faithful to the Lord. He had sent prophets over and over again to warn the people and their kings to stop worshipping other gods and to turn back to him. Finally, the people were punished. The two kingdoms were destroyed, and the people were forced to live in foreign nations, far from their own land. The fall of Jerusalem is one of the most important events in Israel's history. The book itself explains why this disaster took place:
The people of Judah and Jerusalem had made the LORD so angry that he finally turned his back on them. That's why these horrible things were happening.
A quick look at this book
1. Elijah the prophet condemns King Ahaziah of Israel (1.1–18)
2. Elisha the prophet (2.1—8.15)
3. Kings of Judah and Israel (8.16—16.20)
4. King Hoshea of Israel and the defeat of the northern kingdom (17.1–41)
5. King Hezekiah of Judah and the Assyrian invasion (18.1—20.21)
6. Two evil kings of Judah: Manasseh and Amon (21.1–26)
7. The rule of King Josiah and The Book of God's Law (22.1—23.30)
8. The last kings of Judah (23.31—24.20)
9. Jerusalem is destroyed and the people are taken to Babylonia (25.1–21)
10. Gedaliah is made ruler and King Jehoiachin is released from prison (25.22–30)