Outline of the Old Testament (3): Historical Books–Kingship

In 2 Samuel we get kingship according to God – King David. The name David means “the beloved.”

This eighth son depicts a new beginning. David the shepherd boy pictures the Lord Who cares for His own. David the Psalmist, speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Leader of the praise of the people of God. David the king looks forward to God’s rightful King, the Lord Jesus Christ Who, like no other king, will reign from shore to shore as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Chapter 1 gives the report of the death of Saul and Jonathan during the battle with the Philistines, and David’s lamentation. In chapters 2-4 the kingdom is divided and there is conflict between the house of David and the house of Saul. Chapter 4 records the murder of Ishbosheth, the king of Israel, David’s residing in Jerusalem, and David’s defeat of the Philistines on two occasions. In chapters 6-7 we have the bringing up of the ark of God to Jerusalem and David’s desire to build a house for God.

Chapters 8-10 show the kindness of David to the house of Saul in Mephibosheth, and his punishment of the Ammonites because of the way they treated his ambassadors sent to them. Chapters 11-12 record David’s sin with Bathsheba and the birth of Solomon. Chapters 13-14 deal with the sin of David’s son, Amnon, Absalom’s revenge, his flight, and his return to David. Chapters 15-19 deal with the rebellion of Absalom.

In chapters 15-17 we have David’s flight, with chapters 16-17 recording the entrance of Absalom into Jerusalem. Chapters 18-19 deal with the overthrow of Absalom, his death, and David’s lament. In chapters 20-24 we have the throne of David restored. Chapter 23 gives us the last words of David, a list of his worthy men and their deeds. The closing chapter deals with David’s sin in numbering the people, his choice of punishment, and his burnt and peace offerings that stayed the plague.

1 & 2 Kings: These books cover a period of about 450 years, from the end of King David’s reign in Jerusalem to the beginning of Evilmerodach’s short reign in Babylon. They do not refer to the commencement of the kingdom under Saul nor do they give the history of King David apart from the closing years of his reign. They continue the record of the kings of Israel and here they are viewed morally, i.e., the moral character of the kings of Israel and Judah are set before us. We have kings like Ahab who were bad and wicked. Indeed, when Israel was divided into two kingdoms all the kings of the ten tribes (Israel) were bad. However, there were some good kings among the kings of Judah, such as Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah. In these books, God traces all the moral features of the kings, teaching us striking lessons. There seems to be a correspondence between the record of the kings and the record of the churches in Revelation 2-3. We learn the lesson that God takes note of moral characteristics.

The kingdom was strong in Solomon’s reign, however, because of Solomon’s sins (cf. 1Kings 11), God declared that the kingdom would be divided (1Kings 11:35-43). The first book of Kings covers a period of 120 years from the close of King David’s reign to the death of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. In this book we have the dealings of God with Israel from Solomon’s reign to the times of Elijah the prophet recorded from 1 Kings 17 to 2 Kings 2. In the first 12 chapters of 1 Kings, there is a united kingdom. In chapters 1-2 Adonijah sought, but failed, to become king. King David, near death, appointed Solomon his son, who was chosen of God, to be king. Solomon’s reign commenced and the kingdom was established.

In chapters 3-11 we have the glory of the kingdom. Chapter 3 records Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in judging the people and his wise judgment regarding two women. In chapters 6-8 we have the building of the Temple and its dedication, while chapter 10 records the Queen of Sheba’s visit. Chapter 11 reveals Solomon’s love for many women. In chapter 12, during Rehoboam’s reign, we have disruption among the people when he refused to hearken to them; this resulted in their rebellion against the house of David, thus dividing the kingdom into two – The Kingdom of Israel and The Kingdom of Judah. Thus from 1 Kings 12 to 2 Kings 25 there is a divided kingdom. The closing chapters (17-22), deal with King Ahab’s reign.

The second book of Kings commences with Moab’s rebellion against Israel and the translation of Elijah (chapters 1-2). The ministry of Elisha covers chapters 2-13. The book covers the reigns of six kings of Israel: Ahaziah who only reigned for two years (1Kings 22:51); Jehu reigned for 28 years (2Kings 10:36); Jehoahaz reigned for 12 years (2Kings 3:1); Jeroboam II reigned 41 years (2Kings 14:23); Zachariah was only on the throne for six months (2Kings 15:8); and Hoshea reigned for nine years (2Kings 17:1). It also covers the reigns of six kings of Judah: Jehoshaphat for 25 years; Jehoram for eight years; Amaziah 29 years; Uzziah for 52 years; Jotham 16 years; and Hezekiah for 29 years.