Jehovah is the sovereign ruler of Israel blessing the obedient, punishing the disobedient, and forgiving the penitent. God's Word is certain of fulfillment to saint and sinner.
Originally Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were regarded as one series, and called the Books of Kings. Each of these books was divided into two parts; and what we term First Kings was called the Third Book of Kings.
It is impossible to fix accurately either the date when this book was compiled, or the name of the writer. From the fact that the last chapter of II Kings records the release of Jehoiachin from captivity, which took place b.c. 562, but makes no mention of the decree of Cyrus, b.c. 538, with which the return of the Jews from captivity began, it is concluded that the book was compiled sometime between these dates.
The sources from which the compiler drew were three: the Book of the Acts of Solomon, I Kings 11:41; the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, I Kings 14:29, etc.; and the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, I Kings 14:19. The Chronicles here referred to are not the books called Chronicles in the Bible, but separate works which are now lost.
The history of the nation is recorded from the close of the reign of David to the middle of the reign of Ahaziah. In its highest glory under Solomon, the kingdom foreshadows the millennial kingdom of our Lord. The prosperity of the nation rises or falls according to the character of the ruler and his people, illustrating for us the important truth that obedience is the condition of blessing.
National Development under the Monarchy
I. The United Kingdom, I Kings 1-11
1. The Rebellion of Adonijah and the Coronation of Solomon, I Kings 1
2. Solomon’s Establishment in Power Wealth and Wisdom, I Kings 2-4
3. The Building and Dedication of the Temple, I Kings 5:1-9:25
4. Solomon’s Commerce; Visit of the Queen of Sheba, I Kings 9:26-10:20
5. Solomon’s Polygamy, Apostasy and Death, I Kings 11:1-43
II. The Divided Kingdom, I Kings 12-22
1. Rehoboam Alienates the Ten Tribes, Who Choose Jeroboam, I Kings 12:1-24
2. The Reign of Jeroboam, I Kings 12:25-14:20
3. The Reign of Rehoboam, I Kings 14:21-31
4. The Reigns of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri and Omri in Israel; and the Reigns of Abijam and Asa in Judah, I Kings 15:1-16:28
5. The Reigns of Ahab and Jehoshaphat and the Work of Elijah, I Kings 16:29-22:50
(1) The Season of Drought, I Kings 17:1-18:16
(2) The Contest on Mount Carmel, I Kings 18:17-46
(3) The Revelation to Mount Sinai, I Kings 19:1-18
(4) The Call of Elisha, I Kings 19:19-21
(5) The Doom of Ahab, I Kings 20:1-22:40
(6) Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign, I Kings 22:41-50
The Second Book of Kings is a continuation of the First. It records the reigns of fifteen kings in Judah and of eleven kings in Israel. In Judah the dynasty of David continued to the end, while in Israel there were nine changes of dynasty.
The northern kingdom maintained an unbroken course of idolatry, until the nation was ripe for destruction. The end came in 722 b.c., when Samaria was taken by the Assyrians. Judah continued her course for nearly 150 years longer. But in spite of the efforts of prophets and good kings, the tide of idolatry could not be stayed, and Jerusalem fell before the Babylonians, 586 b.c. Nothing but the Exile could avail to purify the nation and restore the spirit of true worship.
The Decline and Fall of Israel and Judah
I. From the Reign of Ahaziah to the Fall of Samaria, I Kings 22:51 - II Kings 17; 18:9-12
1. The Reign of Ahaziah, I Kings 22:51 - II Kings 1:18
2. The Translation of Elijah, II Kings 2
3. The Work of Elisha, II Kings 3:1 - 9:11
(1) Victory of Israel and Judah over Moab, II Kings 3
(2) The Widow’s Oil Multiplied, II Kings 4:1-7
(3) The Son of the Shunammite Restored to Life, II Kings 4:8-37
(4) The Healing of Naaman, II Kings 5
(5) The Discomfiture of the Syrians, II Kings 6:8-23
(6) The Siege of Samaria, II Kings 6:24 - 7:20
(7) The Property of the Shunammite Restored, II Kings 8:1-6
(8) Elisha and Hazael, I Kings 8:7-15
(Reigns of Jehoram and Ahaziah in Judah, and Jehoram in Israel), II Kings 8:16-29
(9) Elisha and the Anointing of Jehu, II Kings 9:1-10
4. The Reign of Jehu, II Kings 9:11 - 10:36
5. The Reign of Joash in Judah, II Kings 11-12
6. The Reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoash in Israel and Amaziah in Judah, II Kings 13:1 - 14:20
7. The Reign of Jeroboam II, II Kings 14:23-29
8. The Reign of Azariah in Judah, and the Reigns of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah and Pekah in Israel, II Kings 14:21-22; 15:1-29
9. The Reign of Hoshea in Israel, and the Reigns of Jotham and Ahaz in Judah, II Kings 15:30 - 16:20
10. The Fall of Samaria, II Kings 17; 18:9-12
II. From the Fall of Samaria to the Fall of Jerusalem, II Kings 18-25
1. The Reign of Hezekiah, II Kings 18:1-8, 13-37; 19-20
2. The Reign of Manasseh, II Kings 21
3. The Reign of Josiah, II Kings 22:1 - 23:30
4. Egypt Surrenders Judah to Babylon, II Kings 23:31 - 24:9
5. The Fall of Jerusalem, II Kings 24:10 - 25:30