Click to Change

Return to Top

Return to Top

Printer Icon


Prior Book Prior Section Back to Commentaries Author Bio & Contents Next Section Next Book
The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Overview for 1 & 2 Kings

toggle collapse
Choose a new font size and typeface

1 & 2 KINGS

The second in the series of three double books. Originally one book, they were divided by the Septuagint translators.

WRITER: Although the writer is unknown, it was written while the first temple was still standing (1 Kings 8:8). Jeremiah is the traditional writer. Modern scholarship assigns the authorship to “the prophets.”

THEME: Standard of the kingdom: “as David his father” (repeated nine times in 1 Kings). It was a human standard, but man failed to attain even to it.

KEY VERSES: 2 Kings 17:22, 23 and 25:21


1. Practically all the rulers were evil.
2. God’s patience in dealing with them.
3. Names of the mothers are given of both good and bad kings.
4. God’s grace in sending revival when the king, with the people, turned to Him.
5. Prominence of the prophet and insignificance of the priest.
6. God’s long delay before the captivity of both Israel and Judah.
7. Man’s total inability to rule for God.
8. Wicked kings who had godly sons, also good kings who had wicked sons.

KINGDOM: First Kings records the division of the kingdom; Second Kings records the collapse of the kingdom. Considered together, they open with King David and close with the king of Babylon. They are the book of man’s rule of God’s kingdom. The throne on earth must be in tune with the throne in heaven if blessings come and benefits accrue to the people. Yet man’s plan cannot overthrow God’s purposes.

PURPOSE: It is a continuation of the narrative begun in 1 & 2 Samuel. Actually, 1 & 2 Samuel with 1 & 2 Kings can be viewed as one book. In these four books the history of the nation is traced from the time of its greatest extent, influence, and prosperity under David and Solomon to the division and finally the captivity and exile of both kingdoms.
The moral teaching is to show man his inability to rule himself and the world. In these four historical books we have the rise and fall of the kingdom of Israel.


I. Death of David, 1 Kings 1, 2

II. Glory of Solomon’s reign, 1 Kings 311

A. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom, Chapters 3, 4

B. Building of the Temple, Chapters 58

C. Fame of Solomon, Chapters 9, 10

D. Shame and death of Solomon, Chapter 11

III. Division of the kingdom, 1 Kings 122 Kings 16

(See table [on next page] below)

IV. Captivity of Israel by Assyria, 2 Kings 17

V. Decline and captivity of Judah by Babylon, 2 Kings 1825

Chronological Table of the Kings of the Divided Kingdom
Outline for 2 Samuel ← Prior Section
Comments for 1 Kings Next Section →
Comments for 2 Samuel ← Prior Book
Comments for 2 Kings Next Book →
BLB Searches
Search the Bible

Advanced Options

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.