Author: Unknown; as 1 and 2 Kings continue the account started in 1 and 2 Samuel, it is possible that these books were produced by contemporary prophets.
Period: c.970-586 B.C.
Title: In the original Hebrew text 1 and 2 Kings are accounted as one book called “Kings.” The book was divided into two in the Greek version of the Old Testament. In the Greek Septuagint version, the books of Samuel and Kings are called the First, Second, Third and Fourth Books of Kingdoms. In the Latin Vulgate, these same books are referred to as First, Second, Third and Fourth Kings.
Summary: 1 and 2 Kings contain the history of the Jewish monarchy from the death of David (around 970 B.C.) to the Babylonian exile (587/6 B.C.). They trace the division of the Israelite nation into the Kingdom of Judah in the south and the Kingdom of Israel in the north. 1 and 2 Kings record Israel’s history from a religious, rather than a civil, viewpoint. As such, it records the religious progress of the nation and sets forth the various steps in the moral growth and decay of the Kingdom. 1 Kings opens with Israel in its glory and 2 Kings closes with Israel in ruins. The purpose of the Books of Kings is to record the lives and characters of the nation’s leaders as a warning and exhortation to all subsequent generations of covenant bearers.
The united kingdom from Solomon to Rehoboam: 1 Kings 1:1 – 11:43
- Solomon’s ascension to the throne: 1:1 – 2:46
- The wisdom and wealth of Solomon: 3:1 – 4:34
- Solomon’s building activity: 5:1 – 9:28
- Solomon’s golden age: 10:1-29
- Solomon’s apostasy, decline and death: 11:1-43
THE DIVIDED KINGDOM: From Rehoboam to the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel: 1 Kings 12:1 – 2 Kings 17:41
- Antagonism between Israel and Judah, Jeroboam to Omri: 12:1 – 16:28
- From Ahab to the ascension of Jehu: 1 Kings 16:29 – 2 Kings 9:10
- From Jehu to the destruction of Israel: 9:11 – 17:41
The kingdom in Judah to the final destruction of the southern kingdom of Judah: 2 Kings 18:1 – 25:30
- The kingdom under Hezekiah: 18:1 – 20:21
- The reigns of Manasseh and Amon: 21:1-26
- Reform in Judah and Israel under Josiah: 22:1-23:30
- The last days of Judah: 23:31 – 25:26
- Epilogue–the release of Jehoiachin: 25:27-30