The Books of the Kings
What is the Book of Kings all about?
Fittingly enough, the books of Kings talks about kings: what they did, how they ruled, and how they died. First Kings recounts the passing of the baton from David to Solomon. We then follow the career of Solomon, who was Israel's most powerful King. After he was succeeded by his son Rehoboam, the nation fractured into Israel and Judah.
Books of Kings are two books in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible. They tell the story of the Hebrews from the death of King David, about 960 B.C. until the Babylonians destroyed the Kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. The books describe King Solomon's reign and the division of the nation into two kingdoms after his death. They give an account of the lives of the rulers of both kingdom and the main events of their reigns. They also contain traditional stories about the great prophet Elijah and his successor Elisha.
The Books of Kings are similar to the other historical books of the Old Testament. They interpret the history of the Hebrew nation from the point of view of the prophets, who emphasized the obedience to God. Many scholars believe that the books were compiled during the Babylonian exile to help the people preserve the memory of their national history.
The focus of Kings then alternates between the kings of Israel and Judah. They temporarily shift focus to the actions of Elijah the prophet, and Elisha, his successor. Elisha gradually fades to the background, and the alternating stories about Kings resume.
First and Second Kings were originally one book because they have the same Hebrew scroll contained booth. Hebrew having no vowels, is a very compact language , and when the book of Kings was translated into the wonder Greek and Latin, more space was needed. Translators arbitrarily split Kings. The two books however should be read as one.
Eventually, Israel fell to the Assyrians, and Judah was defeated by the Babylonians. Kings end on a very sad note, with the Temple of Solomon destroyed and the Judeans exiled to Babylon.
Important Key Persons int the book of Kings
Readers and viewers must read this carefully because there are several key persons who are involved in the Book of Kings.
The important key persons in these book are: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Elijah, Ahab, Jezebel, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah, Elisha, Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, Jehoiakim, Isaiah, Manasseh, Naaman
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
Who wrote the books of the Kings?
Traditional Jerusalem considers the prophet Jeremiah as the author of Kings or a group of prophets. He lived through the final years of the Southern Kingdom which fell in 586 B.C. and lived through the history himself.
Modern scholarship agrees that the author of King was alive when Jerusalem fell, although did not live to see the exile end. The writer of Kings compiled information from various sources- he even invited readers to read them, if they wished to know more about a particular king’s exploits.
The author of this book is quite religious, since he judged kings that is based on piety to God. The book also explains to the dispirited Judeans why God allowed the Temple to fall and they were unfaithful to him.
Based on this and stylistic similarities of Kings to the book of Jeremiah, many scholars believe the priestly source, the Deuteronomist, is none other than Jeremiah! That is totally funny and that is how that works.
Strong politically although weak spiritually
King Omri gets a grand total of eight verses in 1 Kings, even though secular historians regard him as one of Israel's most powerful Kings. After his firm rule, Israel was called Omriland in Assyrian records. He built the capital city of Samaria in a location that guarded all routes from North to South.
Yet, he also started a religious heresies that led to his nation's extinction.
Politically shrewd, he married off his son to a neighboring King's daughter named Jezebel.
The book of Kings, however is concerned with the rulers spiritual health, and Omri scored very poorly.
The Prophet and the Politics
Elisha's longer career spanned the reigns of six kings and included some dramatic ups and downs with them. On occasion, Elisha, outright insulted a king which is found in 2 Kings 3:14. Although, as this chapter shows, he could also be an invaluable military resource, serving as a virtual spy. At Elisha's deathbed, the reigning King of Israel knelt beside him, weeping in which the verse is found in 2 Kings 13:14.
Personal Background of Elisha
Elisha is a prophet who succeeded Elijah.
His strengths and accomplishments will be based on my biblical research and findings which is already proven and confirmed.
First, he was Elijah's successor as a prophet of God, Second, he had a ministry that lasted over 50 years; Third, he had a major impact on four nations and these are Israel, Judah, Moab, and Aram. Fourth, he was a man of integrity who did not try to enrich himself at others expense. Fifth, he did many miracles to help those who are in need.
Importance of Elisha
Elisha's mighty oracles showed that God controls not only great armies although events in everyday life. When we listen to and obey God, he shows us his power to transform any situation. God's care is for all who are willing to follow him. He can perform miracles in their lives.