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Old Testament Survey: Book of 2 Kings. Downfall and Captivity. Background. The book’s author and the date of the writing are unknown. Chapters 1-17 — In Israel, from Ahaziah to Hoshea, a period of 176 years (897—721 BC)

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Old Testament Survey: Book of 2 Kings Downfall and Captivity

Background • The book’s author and the date of the writing are unknown. • Chapters 1-17—In Israel, from Ahaziah to Hoshea, a period of 176 years (897—721 BC) • Largely, the last days of Elijah’s ministry and his ascension(1:1—2:12);Elisha(Chapters 2-13) • Chapters 18-25—in Judah, from Hezekiah to Judah’s fall to Babylon, a period of 155 years.

Background • Historical Events: • 2 Kings gives Israel’shistory, from the wicked king Ahab’s death to its destruction in 722 BC. • Judah’s history, from the good king Hezekiah to its fall to Babylon in 586 BC.

Background Relation to other books of history: • A sequel to 1 Kings. • Takes up where the former leaves off–in the middle of the brief reign of Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, continuing through Israel’s fall to Assyria and Judah’s fall to Babylon. • Parallel passageis2 Chronicles 21-36. • 1 & 2 Kings first divided by the Septuagint.

Background Period covered by both books: • Approximately430 years–from David’s death to Judah’s fall • After division in 975 BC, Judah had 19 kings—Rehoboam to Zedekiah–all descended from David. • Israel had 19 kings—Jeroboam to Hoshea–seven dynasties, or families. • Israel’s kings were all bad. • Leading prophets: Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Jeremiah

Background Historical scope of the period: • Begins with King David and ends with the King of Babylon. • Opens with the temple being built and ends with the temple being burnt. • Begins with David’s successor on the throne of his kingdom and ends with David’s last successor, Jehoiachin, being released from the house of captivity.

Background Historical scope of the period: • First half of 2 Kings(1-13) a record of Elijah’s 66-year ministry. • Following Elijah’s last days and ascension(1:1—2:12). • Second half of the book is an account of the events leading to the fall to Samaria, Israel’s captivity (14-17). • Judah alone for 135 years, the nation’s decline, Jerusalem’s fall, captivity in Babylon(18-25).

Keys to 2 Kings • Key words—downfall and captivity • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Key verses: • 12:2,3 “Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. But the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key words—downfall and captivity • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Key verses: • 17:22,23 “For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key words—downfall and captivity • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Key verses: • 21:13-15 “So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key words—downfall and captivity • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Key verses: • 23:25-27 “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. Nevertheless the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah…”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key words—downfall and captivity • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Key verses: • 24:1-3 “In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And the LORD sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians…”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key phrase—”According to the word of the Lord.” • Expression or equivalent 24 times! • 1:17 • 24:2 “So Ahaziah died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. Because he had no son, Jehoram became king in his place, in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key phrase—”Because they have done that which is evil in my sight.” • Expression or equivalent21times! • 21:15 “Because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key phrase—”the man of God.” • Expression or equivalent36times! • 1:13 “Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: ‘Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight.’”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key chapter—25 • Utter destruction of the temple and Jerusalem • Nebuchadnezzar places Zedekiah on the throne • 24:13,14 “And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key chapter—25 • Babylon’s king besieged Jerusalem till Zedekiah’s 11th year. • 25:2,3 “So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key chapter—25 • All men of war fled • Zedekiah’s sons put to death before him • His eyes were put out • 25:6,7 “Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key chapter—25 • Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, destroys Jerusalem • Took the priests to king of Babylon; he slew them • 25:9-12 “He burned the house of the LORD and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire.”

Keys to 2 Kings • Key chapter—25 • Remnant of the people fled to Egypt • Prophets gave hope—release in 70 years • 25:27-30 “Now it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison.”

Theme of 2 Kings • Tragic continuation of Jewish history in 1 Kings • Period of corruption, disruption, decline, destruction, and desolation • 25:21 “Then the king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive from its own land.”

Appeal of 2 Kings • For faithful obedience to God • Teach morality lessons for the lives of the nation and its leaders • Warning of the consequences of disobedience • Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Principal Events • Elijah taken up into heaven • Elisha receives a double portion of Elijah’s spirit • 2:9-12 “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’

Principal Events • Elisha rewards the Shunammite woman’s hospitality(4:8-37) • Naaman’s leprosy healed • 5:1-15 “And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, Wash, and be clean?’”

Principal Events • Jezebel’s gruesome death(9:30-37) • Jehu’s execution of divine justice on Joram, Ahaziah, 70 sons of Ahab, and the Baal worshippers • Chapters 9,10 “Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the LORD which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the LORD has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah.”

Principal Events • Israel’s fall; conquered by Assyria(17) • Hezekiah’s good reign • Deliverance from Assyria; 185,000 slain • Chapters 18-20 “And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses-all dead.”

Principal Events • Manasseh’s wickedness and the evil ways of his son Amon • Built altars to pagan gods • Sons passed through the fire • 21:1-15 “For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.”

Principal Events • Josiah’s reforms following the discovery of the Book of Law • Chapters 22,23 “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.”

Principal Events • Judah begins its servitude to Babylon during Jehoiakim’s reign • 24:1 “In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him.”

Spiritual Lessons • Powerful influence of rulers upon nations • God’s anger kindled against unfaithful people • Punishment according to His word • 17:23 “Until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.”

Elisha’s Miracles • The book records 16 miracles byElisha;Elijah performed eight miracles • 4:1-7 • 4:18-37 • 5:5-15 • 6:1-7 “So the man of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.”

More Information About the Divided Kingdom and Judah’s Fall Under “Special Studies”

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