The Second Book of Kings continues the history of the two Israelite kingdoms where 1 Kings leaves off. The book may be divided into two parts: (1) The story of the two kingdoms from the middle of the ninth century bc down to the fall of Samaria and the end of the northern kingdom in 722 bc; (2) The story of the kingdom of Judah from the fall of the kingdom of Israel down to the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 586 bc. The book ends with an account of Gedaliah as governor of Judah under the Babylonians, and a report of the release of King Jehoiachin of Judah from prison in Babylon.
These national disasters took place because of the unfaithfulness of the kings and people of Israel and Judah. The destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of many of the people of Judah was one of the great turning points of Israelite history.
The prophet who stands out in 2 Kings is Elijah's successor Elisha.
Outline of Contents
The divided kingdom 1.1—17.41
a. The prophet Elisha 1.1—8.15
b. The kings of Judah and of Israel 8.16—17.4
c. The fall of Samaria 17.5–41
The kingdom of Judah 18.1—25.30
a. From Hezekiah to Josiah 18.1—21.26
b. Josiah's reign 22.1—23.30
c. The last kings of Judah 23.31—24.20
d. The fall of Jerusalem 25.1–30