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Kings was originally constructed as a single book but over time was divided into Book I and Book 2, continuing the history of Israel and their kings, and telling of the sins and retribution of the people of Israel. There is considered to be two editions of Kings:
- The first transcribed between 621 B.C. and 597 B.C.
- The second around 561 B.C. after the release of Jehoiachin from prison in Babylon.
Kings continues where the previous books of the bible left off in the telling of the history of Israel from the end of David's rule to Ahaziah, the son of Ahab. The prophet Elijah cycle, describing Israel's struggle with the religion of Canaan is told in 1 Kings, and the prophet Elisha cycle is chronicled in 2 Kings. Kings is centers around the reign of Solomon, from the time of Judah and Israel to the time of Ahab, the stories of the prophets, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah in 2 kings and the kingdom of Judah after 721 B.C.
Rather than presenting the civil history of Israel, Kings presents its history from a religious perspective, recording its religious progression and the twists and turns in its moral growth and the subsequent decay under its kings. In I Kings, Israel is presented in all its power and glory but by the end of 2 Kings Israel is in ruin. It meets its purpose of laying out a warning to all future generations of the faithful in how destruction can occur when morality is not followed. This is accomplished by detailing the lives and morality of the leaders of Israel.