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Two books in the Old Testament. These books narrate the history of Israel from the rebellion of Adonijah, the fourth son of King David (about 1015 B.C.), to the final captivity of Judah (about 586 B.C.). They include the whole history of the northern kingdom (the ten tribes of Israel) from the separation until the Assyrians took them captive into the north countries. See also Chronology in the appendix.

First Kings

Chapter 1 describes the final days of King David’s life. Chapters 2–11 record Solomon’s life. Chapters 12–16 tell of Solomon’s immediate successors, Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Jeroboam caused the division of the kingdom of Israel. Other kings are also mentioned. Chapters 17–21 record parts of the ministry of Elijah as he admonished Ahab, king of Israel. Chapter 22 records a war against Syria in which Ahab and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, join forces. The prophet Micaiah prophesies against the kings.

Second Kings

Chapters 1:1–2:11 continue the life of Elijah, including Elijah’s rise to heaven in a chariot of fire. Chapters 2–9 relate Elisha’s ministry of faith and great power. Chapter 10 tells of Jehu, the king, and how he destroyed the house of Ahab and the priests of Baal. Chapters 11–13 record the righteous reign of Jehoash and the death of Elisha. Chapters 14–17 tell of various kings who reigned in Israel and Judah, often in wickedness. Chapter 15 records the Assyrian capture of the ten tribes of Israel. Chapters 18–20 record the righteous life of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, and the prophet Isaiah. Chapters 21–23 tell of the kings Manasseh and Josiah. According to tradition, Manasseh was responsible for the martyrdom of Isaiah. Josiah was a righteous king who reestablished the law among the Jews. Chapters 24–25 record the Babylonian captivity.