Book of the Week 12: II Kings

Hebrew Name: Malachim Bet

Human Author: Unknown (Possibly Jeremiah)                  

OT or NT: Old Testament

Number of Chapters: 25

Basic Facts

  1. II Kings is the twelfth book of the Bible.
  2. II Kings is classified as a book of history.
  3. I Kings and II Kings were originally one book.
  4. The Hebrew name for II Kings is Malachim – Bet, which means “Kings – two.”
  5. II Kings is named Basileion Delta in old Greek copies, which means “Kingdoms – four.”

Story of the Book

II Kings begins with the death of Ahab king of Israel. II Kings also tells of the ministry of the prophet Elijah. The book continues with the continued decline of the divided kingdoms of Israel/Samaria and Judah. II Kings contains the stores of the later kings of Israel/Samaria, including Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Joash/Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, Hoshea, and the story of Israel/Samaria being taken to captivity in Assyria. Interwoven into the stories of the later kings of Israel/Samaria are the stories of the later kings of Judah, including Jehoram, Ahaziah, Queen Athaliah, Joash/Jehoash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. II Kings ends with the last remnant of Judah being carried into exile in Babylon. At the end of II Kings, all of Israel and Judah are in exile, and no part of the entire kingdom of Israel is left free.

Jesus Foreshadowed in II Kings

Jesus is foreshadowed in II Kings in a very indirect way. At the end of II Kings, the reign of the line of the kings of Judah is put down, and the people are in exile in Babylon in fulfillment of God’s warning that they would be cut off for disobedience (I Kings 9:6-9). However, in II Samuel 7:16, God promised to establish David’s royal line forever. The only way for this promise to be fulfilled, and for God to fulfill His warning to punish Israel/Judah for disobedience, is to send the nation and kings into exile. Then, at a future date, God would establish the eternal reign of the line of kings. After the royal line was sent into captivity in Babylon, the surviving remnant of the Jews looked for a day in which the kingship of David’s royal line would be restored.

The Hebrew name for the king of Israel is Mashiyach. It is from this term that we get the English term Messiah. Thus, in a way, the return of the kingdom to the royal line of David and the coming of the Messiah are one and the same concept. The coming king of David’s line who re-establishes the kingdom of Israel is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ alone who fulfills II Samuel 7:16. In a way, the beginning of the long wait for the Messiah comes through the fall of David’s royal line in II Kings (II Samuel 7:16; I Kings 9:5; Isaiah 9:6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 11:15).