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Books of Kings

The two Books of Kings (1 Kings and 2 Kings) were originally a single book, but as with the Books of Samuel they were split apart during the years. The two books of Kings present a 400-year history (c. 960 – c. 560 BCE) of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon.

The major themes of Kings are God’s promise, the constant disobedience religiously of the kings, and the judgment this brings on Israel.

Promise: In return for Israel’s promise to worship HaShem alone, HaShem makes promises to David and to Israel – to David, the promise that his line will rule Israel forever, to Israel, the promise of the land they will possess.

Disobedience: the great tragedy of Israel’s history, meaning the destruction of the kingdom and the Temple, is due to the failure of the people, but more especially the kings, to worship HaShem alone.

Judgment: Disobedience leads to judgment. Judgment is not punishment, but simply the natural consequence of Israel’s failure to worship HaShem alone.