2 Kings
Willmington's Bible at a Glance

2 Kings at a Glance

This book records the supernatural departure of Elijah, the subsequent ministry of Elisha, the brief but bloody reign of northern Queen Athaliah, the capture of the northern ten tribes by the Assyrians, the deliverance of Jerusalem by the death angel, and the eventual captivity of the southern two tribes (Benjamin and Judah) by the Babylonians.

Bottom Line Introduction


The book of Second Kings records both these events, the first resulting in the capture of the Northern Kingdom (chapter 17), and the second in Judah’s destruction (chapter 25).

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Jeremiah. He was known as the weeping prophet (Jer. 4:19; 9:1, 2, 10; 13:17; 14:17) and authored the longest book in the Bible (apart from the Psalms), the book of Jeremiah.

2. What? The books of 1 and 2 Kings, Lamentations, Jeremiah.

3. When and where?

a. 1 Kings: 600 B.C., from Jerusalem

b. 2 Kings: 600 B.C., from Jerusalem

c. Lamentations: 586 B.C., from Jerusalem

d. Jeremiah: 580 B.C., from Egypt

4. Why?

a. 1 Kings: A record of Israel’s kings from Solomon to Ahaziah, son of Ahab

b. 2 Kings: A record of Israel’s kings from Ahaziah to Zedekiah

c. Lamentations: A funeral chant over the doomed city of Jerusalem

d. Jeremiah: Events just prior to and following the destruction of Jerusalem

5. To whom?

a. 1 & 2 Kings written to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel

b. Lamentations and Jeremiah written to the southern kingdom

Key Events

1. The translation of Elijah

2. Elisha raises a dead boy

3. Elisha cleanses a leper

4. Elisha saves the starving city of Samaria

5. The bloody reign of Athaliah

6. Elisha's bones raise a dead man

7. Assyria captures the ten northern tribes of Israel

8. The death angel saves Jerusalem from its enemies

9. Babylon captures the two southern tribes

Key Individuals

1. Elijah: fearless prophet who called down fire from heaven and was eventually himself carried into heaven by a fiery chariot

2. Elisha: successor of Elijah who began his ministry by parting the Jordan River

3. Widow of a prophet: poverty-strickened woman who was delivered from her creditors by appearing to Elisha who supernaturally increased her one meager vessel of oil

4. A woman of Shunem: a financial supporter of Elisha whose kindness was rewarded when the prophet raised her dead son

5. Naaman: Syrian military commander who was healed of his leprosy by Elisha

6. Jezebel: wicked wife of King Ahab who was thrown from a window to her death by order of King Jehu

7. Athaliah: seventh ruler of Judah, who began her evil reign by wiping out all but one of David's royal seed except Joash who was hidden from her

8. Jehoiada: godly high priest who hid Joash from Athaliah until the wicked queen was executed

9. Joash (also called Jehoash): eighth ruler of Judah, saved from Athaliah's bloody purge, but who later sanctioned the stoning of the high priest Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada (see 2 Chron. 24:21)

10. Ahaz: twelfth King of Judah, and one of the most wicked, who sacrificed his own children to devil gods

11. Shalmaneser V: Assyrian king who destroyed Samaria and imprisoned Hoshea, final king of the north

12. Hoshea: nineteenth and last king of the north

13. Hezekiah: thirteenth king of Judah, godly ruler who saw Jerusalem's enemies supernaturally slain by God and was himself healed of a fatal disease by the Lord

14. Isaiah: Israel's greatest prophet who predicted the deliverance of Jerusalem and the healing of Hezekiah

15. Sennacherib: Assyrian king whose troops that had surrounded Jerusalem were killed by God and whom himself was later murdered by his own sons

16. Manasseh: fourteenth king of Judah, one of its most wicked, and son of Hezekiah

17. Josiah: sixteenth king of Judah, perhaps the most godly one, during whose reign a copy of the Pentateuch was discovered in the temple

18. Hilkiah: high priest who found the Pentateuch

19. Huldah: prophetess who counseled King Josiah in regards to the discovery of the Pentateuch

20. Jehoiakim: eighteenth king of Judah, and one of the worst

21. Nebuchadnezzar: Babylonian king who burned both Jerusalem and the temple

22. Zedekiah: twentieth and final king of Judah, captured and imprisoned by Nebuchadnezzar

Key Places

1. East bank of the Jordan River: where Elijah was taken to heaven

2. Jordan River: body of water separating Israel from Moab, parted twice by both Elijah and Elisha. Also where Naaman the leper was cleansed.

3. Jericho: where Elisha purified some bad water

4. Bethel: where Elisha punished some young rebels

5. Samaria: capital city of the northern kingdom, saved from starvation by Elisha

6. Shunem: city of a godly woman whose son Elisha raised from the dead

7. Gilgal: where Elisha fed the sons of the prophets by performing two miracles

8. Dothan: home of Elisha the prophet

9. Jezreel: where Jezebel was thrown to her death by order of northern King Jehu

10. Nineveh: capital city of the Assyrian Empire where King Sennacherib was murdered by his own two sons

11. Megiddo: place where godly King Josiah was killed in battle by the Egyptians

12. Babylon: pagan empire that carried off into captivity the southern kingdom

Unique Features

In essence, this book includes the following:

1. The second occasion when God:

Rained down fire from heaven to destroy His enemies (1:10-12). For the first, see Gen. 19:24, 25

Temporarily blinded His enemies (6:18-20)

2. The only instance when God promised to extend the life of an individual (20:6).

3. The second of two occasions when God created olive oil for a desperate widow (4:1-7). For the first instance, see 1 Kings 17:14:16.

4. The only Old Testament man ever to be healed of leprosy (Naaman, chapter 5).

5. The salvation of Samaria by four lepers, and of Jerusalem by the death angel (chapters 6, 19).

6. The beginning of the Samaritan race (chapter 17).

7. The second and third of three occasions when God rolled back the waters of the Jordan River (chapter 2). For the first occasion, see Joshua 3.

8. The sight of an ax head floating on water (chapter 6).

9. The last of two men who left this earth without dying (chapter 2). For the first, see Gen. 5.

10. The only time in the Old Testament where men are allowed to see God’s mounted army of angels (chapter 6).

11. The first mention of the word Jew in the Bible (16:6).

12. The second of two biblical fables (14:9). For the first, see Judges 9:7-15.

13. The deaths of two of the Old Testament’s most wicked women (Jezebel, 9:33; Athaliah, 11:16).

14. The second Old Testament miracle dealing with the sun (20:8-11). For the first see Joshua 10:12-14.

15. The final two of three Old Testament bodily resurrections from the dead (4:34; 13:21).

16. The discovery in the days of Josiah of the Word of God (chapter 22).

17. The destruction in the days of Zedekiah of the Temple of God (chapter 25).

Comparison with Other Bible Books


Both record the attack of Sennacherib and Hezekiah’s illness (18:13-20:21; Isa. 36-39).


Both record the southern kingdom’s final days, its fall, and Jehoiachin’s fate in Babylon (24:18-25:30; Jer. 52).

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. The God in Israel (1:3)

2. Angel of the Lord (1:3)

3. The Lord God of Elijah (2:14)

4. The Lord of Hosts (3:14)

5. The Lord God of Israel (9:6)

6. The God of the Cherubim (19:15)

7. The Holy One of Israel (19:22)

8. The God of David (20:5)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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