The Book of Second Kings

Introduction

In the book of Second Kings we find that Israel had the witness and power of Elijah, the nation turned from God and was exiled to Assyria. Assyria filled the northern kingdom with people from other lands. There has been no return from this captivity – it was permanent. Such is the end of all who shut God out of their lives.

The northern kingdom was destroyed, and prophets were predicting the same fate for Judah. What more could cause the nation to repent? Hezekiah and Josiah were able to stem the tide of evil. They both repaired the temple and gathered the people for the Passover. Josiah eradicated idolatry from the land, but as soon as these goods kings were gone, the people returned again to living their own way instead of God’s way. Each individual must believe and live for God in his or her family, church, and nation.

Second Kings continues the history of Israel, halfway between the death of David and the death of the nation. Israel had been divided (1 Kings 12), and the two kingdoms had begun to slide into idolatry and corruption toward collapse and captivity. Second Kings relates all the sordid stories of the 12 kings of the northern kingdom (called Israel) and the 16 kings of the southern kingdom (called Judah). For 130 years, Israel endures the succession of evil rulers until they were conquered by Shalmaneser of Assyria and led into captivity in 722 B.C. (17:6). Of all the kings on both the north and south, only two – Hezekiah and Josiah – were called good. Because of their obedience to God and the spiritual revivals during their reigns, Judah stood for an additional 136 years until falling to Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

Writer:

Unknown. Possibly Jeremiah or a group of prophets.

Purpose:

To demonstrate the fate that awaits all who refuse to make God their true leader.

Setting:

The once-united nation of Israel has been divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, for over a century.

Complete Outline:

To download a PDF outline of the book of Second Kings click here.


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