The two books of Kings, originally one book, trace the history of Israel’s monarchy for the ascension of Solomon to the fall of the Southern Kingdom. Second Kings, the subject of this commentary, traces this history from the reign of Ahaziah over the Northern Kingdom and Jehoshaphat over the Southern Kingdom to the fall of the Southern Kingdom. Chapters 1-17 deals with the history of both kingdoms from Ahaziah and Jehoshaphat to the fall of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) in 722 B.C. Chapters 18-25 deal with the history of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) from the fall of the Northern Kingdom to the fall of the Southern Kingdom in 586 B.C., ending with a brief account of the governorship of Gedaliah and a final note concerning the elevation of King Jehoichin in exile. The book of Second Kings thus covers the history of Israel’s monarchy from the middle of the ninth century B.C. to the early part of the sixth century B.C. The books of the Kings have great contemporary value for they teach us that national sin brings on national ruin, for God yet judges sin.
This commentary is an expanded outline of Second Kings. Mr. Gingrich takes this book, which is commonly looked at as a dry, involved book, and he outlines it, he analyzes it, he exegetes it, and he applies it (its teaching) to our lives. He makes the Old Testament characters come alive, he points out the weaknesses and the strong points of these men, he teaches us the lessons that we should learn from their lives, and he, in general, makes the reading of Second Kings to be an enjoyable task.