I and II Kings were appropriately named as they are a record of the reigns of all the kings of Judah and Israel except Saul. They begin with David’s last days and the events of placing Solomon on the throne through the fall of the Jewish monarchy and the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. These two books were originally one volume, but later became two.
The setting for this book is that the chosen people had been conquered and were in exile; Babylon was in control of the Promised Land; Jerusalem lay in ruins; the temple had been destroyed; and Jehoiachin, David’s descendant, was a captive. In this time of disruption, the exiles wondered what had happened to God’s promises to His people.
The human authorship of I and II Kings is not known. It could have been Ezra, a priest who had strong feelings for the history of the people, or it could have been the prophet Ezekiel or the prophet Jeremiah. The Jewish Talmud states that Jeremiah wrote Kings.
More important is the fact that these books were not only written to record history, but also to teach the lessons of history. They reveal: