5. The two parts of the book are: I. The History of the standing and flourishing Kingdom of Judah from the continued history of Jehoshaphat to Hezekiah, and of Israel from Ahaziah to its destruction (2 Kings 1-16). II. The History of the Kingdom of Israel and of Judah, shaken and falling (2 Kings 17-25). A Synoptic Table, and the Interpreters of the book, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Hebrew.
But, since in this book is unfolded, first, the history of both Kingdom, for the most part flourishing and standing, from Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to Hezekiah, and also from Ahaziah, King of Israel, to Hoshea, the last King of Israel (2 Kings 1-16); second, shaken and falling, from Hezekiah to the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 17-25): it appears to us that the book is not incommodiously divided into two parts.
I. The history of the standing and flourishing Kingdom of Judah from the continued history of Jehoshaphat to Hezekiah, and of Israel from Ahaziah unto its destruction, Chapters 1-16. To this pertain the history of eight King of Judah, and the matters conducted under them. See:
1. The continuation of the history of Jehoshaphat, and of the matters conducted under him in Judah and Israel: chapter 1:1-8:15. See:
a. The defection of the Moabites from the Israelites (verse 1); and the impiety of Ahaziah, King of Israel, being sick, and consulting the idol Baal-zebub in Ekron concerning his illness (verse 2). Whence Elijah warns him of his death: and those sent by Ahaziah to seize Elijah are consumed with fire from heaven. Ahaziah, dying, has Jehoram for his successor (verses 3-18): chapter 1.
b. The rapture of Elijah, leaving behind Elisha as his successor (verses 1-12), who, returning through the divided Jordan, is honored by the Prophets (verses 13-18), heals the waters of Jericho, and curses the youths of Bethel that were mocking him, in such a way that forty-two of them were rent by two she-bears (verses 19-25): chapter 2.
c. The war of Jehoram and Jehoshaphat, with the King of the Edomites as an associate, against the Moabites (verses 1-8), with Elisha giving thirsty Jehoram drink in the way, and promising victory, and decreeing the severe judgment of anathema against the Moabites (verses 9-20), which they as victors executed the next day, until the Moabites, with dissension incited, returned home (verses 21-27): chapter 3.
d. The miracles of Elisha, namely, of the increase of the oil in the home of the widow of the Prophet (verses 1-7); of the son of the Shunammite raised from the dead (verses 8-37); of the porridge made sweet from bitterness; of the twenty loaves furnished for the nourishment of many (verses 38-44): chapter 4.
e. The conversion unto God of Naaman the Syrian, having been healed from leprosy by Elisha (verses 1-19): and the punishment of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, secretly taking a reward from Naaman, and for that reason stricken with leprosy (verses 20-27): chapter 5.
f. Three miracles of Elisha, of the ax floating in Jordan, and thence recalled (verses 1-7): of the ambushes that the Syrian were laying revealed (verses 8-10): of the army of the Syrians, which had been sent to arrest him, blinded and captured by him (verses 11-23). Samaria’s siege by the Syrians and famine is also narrated, with Elisha foretelling unexpected abundance (verses 24-33): chapter 6.
g. The flight of the Syrians from the siege of Samaria because of the unexpected din raised by divine power. Whence at the testimony of the lepers the camps of the Syrians are delivered to the Israelites, and they are relieved from famine in accordance with the prediction of Elisha (verses 1-16), with the tribune, previously speaking against Elisha’s prediction, trampled in the gate (verses 17-20): chapter 7.
h. A famine of seven years: with which increasing, Elisha urges the migration of the Shunammite, who, obeying, and having returned at the end of the famine, recovers her house and lands from the King, having been informed by Gehazi of the resurrection of her son. Where also the death of Ben-hadad, and the succession of Hazael unto the Kingdom of Syria, are foretold to him by Elisha (verses 1-15): chapter 8:1-15.
2. The history of Jehoram, the successor of Jehoshaphat: with whom reigning, the inhabitants of Edom and Libnah rebel: chapter 8:6-24.
3. The history of Ahaziah, and of the matters conducted under him: chapters 8:25-10:36. See:
a. The impiety of Ahaziah, son-in-law of the house of Ahab, joining himself with Joram, son of Ahab, in war against the Syrian, in which Joram, having been wounded, is visited by Ahaziah in Jezreel (verses 25-29): chapter 8:25-29.
b. The judgment of God against Joram, through a disciple of Elisha, a Prophet sent to anoint Jehu, the Successor of Joram and future King of Israel, on this condition, that he would cut off the house of Ahab, and shown to the same Jehu (verses 1-10), who, immediately executing that, kills Joram, Ahaziah, and Jezebel, of whom only Ahaziah is buried: chapter 9.
c. The advance of Jehu against the sons of Ahab, whom he massacres: and also against the kinsmen of Ahaziah, whom he likewise slays (verses 1-14); his Zeal in cutting off the worship and Priests of Baal (verses 15-28): finally, his punishment through Hazael, King of Syria, because he continued in the sins of Jeroboam (verses 29-36): chapter 10.
4. The history of Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, who, with the seed of King Ahaziah destroyed, and with Joash alone preserved and hidden in the house of God, takes possession of the kingdom (verses 1-3): but after the sixth year of the Kingdom she is killed by Jehoiada outside of the Temple, with Joash having been previously anointed as King, to this point having been hidden in the Temple (verses 4-16), and with the worship of God restored afterwards (verses 17-21): chapter 11.
5. The history of Joash, and of the matters conducted under him: chapters 12; 13. See:
a. The character of Joash, who, conducting himself rightly while Jehoiada lived, reforms the Temple and worship of God (verses 1-16): but, after the death of Jehoiada, he degenerates, and is then vexed by Hazael, King of Syria, and is killed by conspiring servants (verses 17-21): chapter 12.
b. War with Syria, in which the Israelites, with Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, reigning, are miserably reduced (verses 1-3): until Joash his son, chosen by him for the Kingdom, and confirmed by God through dying Elisha (verses 4-21), defeating the Syrians three time, recovered the things lost (verses 22-25): chapter 13.
6. The history of Amaziah, who, initially embracing the worship of God, brings back a signal victory against the Edomites: but soon, lifted up by his successes, he declares war against Jehoash, King of the Israelites, by whom overcome and captured, he is afflicted with grievous punishment, indeed is afterwards driven out by rebellious subjects, with his son Azariah or Uzziah put in his place, and is killed at Lachish (verses 1-22). The matter conducted under Jeroboam the second, King of Israel, are also narrated, and the succession of Zachariah (verses 23-29): chapter 14.
7. The history of Azariah or Uzziah, who, invading the Priesthood, is smitten with leprosy, and is confined from the society of men, with his son Jotham administrating the Kingdom, where also is set forth the destruction of the line of Jehu in Zachariah, and the succession of Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea: chapter 15:1-31.
8. The history of Jotham, who, although not abolishing the high places, is commended in other matters: chapter 15:32-38.
9. The history of Ahaz, conducting himself impiously, being pressed by Pekah, King of Israel, and Rezin, King of Syria (verses 1-6), has recourse to Tiglath-pileser, the Assyrian: with Syria occupied and its King killed by him (verses 7-9), Ahaz begins to worship the Gods of the Gentiles, in which sin of his nefarious mind he dies (verses 10-20): chapter 16.
II. The history of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, shaken and falling, Chapters 17-25. See:
1. The history of the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel, after Hoshea, King of Israel, made tributary to Shalmaneser, King of the Assyrians, conspiring with So, King of Egypt, refused tribute to Assyria. Whence, with God provoked on account of the great depravity of Israel, many specimens of which are related, Assyria invades the Kingdom of Israel, occupies it, captures the King, and deports the people (verses 1-23), and sends in new colonists, who, vexed by lions (verses 24-26), with an Israelite Priest sent by the King unto the citizens of Samaria, who might teach them the true worship of Jehovah, worship both Jehovah and the Gods of their Nations (verses 27-41): chapter 17.
2. The history of the Kingdom of Judah, shaken and falling. See:
a. The history of the Kingdom of Judah shaken, from Hezekiah unto Jehoiakim: chapters 18:1-23:34. See:
α. The history of Hezekiah and of the matters conducted under him in Judah: chapters 18-20. See:
א. The piety of Hezekiah in restoring the worship of God, and his defection from the Assyrians (verses 1-12), on account of which the King of Assyria invades Judah. Whence Hezekiah negotiates a price with the Assyrians, and is notwithstanding afflicted with insults by the legates, and the people is solicited by blasphemy to defection by Rabshakeh (verses 13-37): chapter 18.
ב. With the city besieged by the Assyrian, the piety of Hezekiah in consulting Isaiah, by whom, even with the Assyrian threatening and blaspheming, he is confirmed again and again by Divine promises and a sign (verses 1-34), which things are soon fulfilled, in that the Assyrians suffer a vast slaughter in their camp at night by the hand of an Angel, and Sennacherib is smitten with the sword by his own sons at Nineveh, while he was bowing himself in the Temple of Nisroch his god (verses 35-37): chapter 19.
ג. The deadly disease of Hezekiah, and, with death denounced against him by Isaiah, his anxiety and prayers, moved by which, God prolongs to him life and the Kingdom for fifteen years (verses 1-11). Afterward he is saluted by the Babylonian legates; when he had ostentatiously shown his treasures to them, he is severely reproved by Isaiah; he is forewarned concerning the plundering of his wealth and the future captivity of his own (verses 12-21): chapter 20.
β. The history of Manasseh, the worst of all, and a miserable idolater, against whose house and Kingdom God by the Prophets threatens destruction: chapter 21:1-17.
γ. The history of Amon, heir of his father’s impiety, who, enclosed in the ambush of his servants, died: chapter 21:18-26.
δ. The history of Josiah, a very religious man and a most pious Reformer: chapter 22:1-23:30. See:
א. The beginning of the reformation of the Church by Josiah (verses 1-7), with Hilkiah the Priest finding the authentic book of the law, which when he had sent to Josiah, the King, smitten with its reading, consults God (verses 8-14), and receives from Huldah the Prophetess the sentence of the Kingdom’s destruction: yet he, by his pious prayers and weeping, averts from himself, the threatened ruin (verses 15-20): chapter 22.
ב. The advancement of the Reformation by Josiah, who together with the whole people renews the covenant with God, purges the Temple and Kingdom of idolatry, punishes the supporters of idolatry, and restores the worship of God: until he is killed in a war rashly undertaken against Egypt (verses 1-30): chapter 23:1-30.
ε. The history of impious Jehoahaz, who, bound by Pharaoh Nechoh, is led away into Egypt (verses 31-33): chapter 23:31-33.
b. The history of the Kingdom of Judah falling under Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah: chapters 23:34-25:30. See:
α. The succession of Jehoiakim, whom Pharaoh makes a tributary in the place of Jehoahaz: chapter 23:34-37.
β. The impiety of Jehoiakim, on account of which delivered by God into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, he is first made a tributary, and then is destroyed as a rebel: chapter 24:1-6.
γ. The succession of his son, Jehoiachin, equally evil, who, compelled by the Assyrians to surrender, is led away captive into Babylon, with most precious spoil and a great number of captives: with Zedekiah appointed in his place: chapter 24:7-20.
δ. The siege of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the entire Kingdom, with Nebuchadnezzar provoked by the rebellion of Zedekiah, who occupies Jerusalem, intercepts the King, butchers his sons, and lead him away bound into Babylon (verses 1-7), burns the Temple, Palace, and all the magnificent buildings, casts down the bulwarks of the city, leads away a part of the population, but commits a lesser part to Gedaliah to cultivate the land, carries away the treasures, kills the nobles, with the rest making for Egypt upon the slaying of Gedaliah (verses 8-26). Finally, Jehoiachin, in the thirty-seventh year of his captivity, is raised up by Evil-merodach unto Royal dignity in his court (verses 27-30): chapter 25.