1. We need to remember that 1st Kings and 2nd Kings once existed as a single text.
2. The author is known but many believe it may have been Jeremiah around 560 B.C.
3. The text reminds us that the Northern Kingdom never had a righteous king. Idol worship contined even though prophets such as Elisha taught otherwise. As punishment God sends the people into permanent dispersion.
4. The Southern Kingdom was a bit better with rightous events during the reign of Hezekiah and Josiah, however, God also sent the Southern Kingdom into exile.
5. God’s Kingdom plan was never in jeopardy simply because the Israelites were sent into exile. The promise of a kingdom existed in the Davidic line. A temporal kingdom and temple was never the goal.
6. The book centers on the ministry of Elisha in chapters 2-8.
7. Two major sieges of Jerusalem are discussed-----the first by Sennacherib of Assyria (701 B.C.) where God intervened (chapter 19). The second seige was by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon around 586 B.C. (chapter 25) which tells the story about the destruction of the city and Solomon’s temple.
8. There are three main sections of the text…..Elisha’s ministry (chapters 1-8); the later period of the divided monarchy (chapters 9-17); and the period of Judah alone (chapters 18-25).
9. The text can be confusing because details alternative between the Northern and Southern kingdoms.
10. Chapter 17 provides a theological reason for the fall of Israel, but does not tell us any military, political, or economic reasons.
11. The book evaluates people by just one criterion: did they do “right in the Lord’s eyes” or not?
12. Nearly three centuries are covered within 2nd Kings, so it confirms the worldview category of time and place….as history moves forward God’s plan moves forward as well.
13. The story of 2nd Kings is largely one of disloyalty, and God’s “educational program” meant teaching His people that He values faithfulness to Him above all else, even if that means exiling them.
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