Author: Not stated and unknown; one early tradition claimed Jeremiah wrote 1 and 2 Kings.
Date: Covering about three hundred years from the 800s BC on, 2 Kings was probably written sometime after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
In Ten Words or Less: Both Jewish nations are destroyed for their disobedience to God.
Details: The story of 1 Kings continues, with more bad rulers, a handful of good ones, some familiar prophets, and the ultimate loss of the two Jewish nations. Early in 2 Kings, Elijah becomes the second man (after Enoch in Genesis 5:24) to go straight to heaven without dying. His successor, Elisha, performs many miracles and shares God’s word with the “average people” of Israel. The northern kingdom’s rulers are entirely wicked, and Israel, under its last king, Hoshea, is “carried…away into Assyria” (17:6) in 722 BC. Judah, with occasional good kings such as Hezekiah and Josiah, lasts a few years longer - but in 586 BC the southern kingdom’s capital of Jerusalem “was broken up” (25:4) by Babylonian armies under King Nebuchadnezzar. Besides taking everything valuable from the temple and the Jewish king’s palace, the Babylonians also “carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths” (24:14). Ending on a slight up note, 2 Kings describes a new king of Babylon, Evil-merodach, showing kindness to Jehoiachin, the last real king of Judah, by giving him a place of honor in the Babylonian court.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.