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Download The Book of Kings I

The libro de Reyes-1in Hebrew מְלָכים א , Melachim Álef; it forms part of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Tanakh. It is also known as the First Book of Kings or Third Book of the Kings in the bible Septuagint (LXX). It is the historical continuation of what is written in Samuel1-2; and describes the period of the monarchy after the death of Samuel. David until the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the exile of the Hebrew people to Babylon. This book narrates the history of Israel in a period of time that spans 400 years.

It is a historical book and the author or authors of this work are not known, but biblical tradition attributes it to Jeremiah. For its writing, it is accepted that the author resorted to various sources, many of which are cited in the text: the chronicles of Solomon, the chronicles of the kings of Israel and the chronicles of the kings of Judah. Other reference sources were also used, such as the Temple Archives and collections of prophetic histories.

The Book of Kings originally it was a single volume or scroll but for practical reasons it was divided into two texts. It is generally accepted that it was the Greek translators of the Bible of the Seventy (LXX) who made this division in the third century BC.

In the Hebrew bible this book is part of the Former Prophets, reflecting in its content the religious rather than historical character and the deuteronomic influence of the author, where it is emphasized that those who remained faithful to the Lord and fulfilled the law of the Lord, and who were faithful to the law of the Lord, were the ones who were the most faithful to the Lord. Moses had peace and prosperity but those who failed to comply received punishment for their sins and exile.

Kings 1 has as its central theme the continuation of the history of the Hebrew nation after the death of the King Daviddescribes Solomon's reign with its successes and failures, its splendor and decadence, the construction of the Temple; culminating with his death and the division of the Davidic kingdom into two states: Israel to the north and Judah to the south. Both kingdoms are considered independent and their history is told in parallel. All the kings of Israel and Judah are mentioned, as well as some significant facts of each one, but the most relevant is how the behavior of each king is judged according to the law of Moses and the covenant of the alliance.

On the other hand, it is important to point out the relevant role of the prophets in this period, who are the ones sent by God to communicate with his people and are the ones who lend their help or act in decisive moments in the history of the Hebrew people, they are also the conscience of God and who reproach the kings for their bad conducts and the consequences of this for them and the kingdom.

The most important prophets named are Elijah and Elisha, but other prophets are also named, such as Nathan, Ahijah of Shiloh and Shemaiah, Isaiah and Huldah.

The book of Kings-1 describes, after Solomon's death, the highlights of the two kingdoms: the northern kingdom, Israel, was politically violent and unstable during its existence, which lasted two centuries until its destruction. After the disappearance of the kingdom of Israel, the history of the kingdom of Judah continues. This kingdom had some devoted and faithful kings that allowed it to exist a century and a half longer than the kingdom of Israel; but they also failed and suffered the moral and political corruption that brought as a consequence the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile to Babylon; but God, always merciful with his people, did not break the promise made to David and through the penultimate king of Judah, Jehoiakim, fulfills the promise and a better future for the Hebrew people is glimpsed.

The general outline of the book kings-1 is as follows:

  1. End of David's reign and enthronement of Solomon (1-2)
  2. Solomon's Reign (3-11)
  3. division of the Davidic reign (12.1-33)
  4. The two kingdoms up to the time of Elijah (13-16)
  5. History of the prophet Elijah in the time of Ahab (17-21)
  6. End of Ahab's reign (22.1-40)
  7. Jehoshaphat of Judah and Ahaziah of Israel (22.41-53)

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Download The Book of Kings II

The Second book of Kings or Kings 2, in Hebrew, מְלָכִים ב, Melachim BetIt is the continuation of Kings 1 and is part of the Old Testament. It narrates the events that took place in the two kingdoms: Israel and Judah; until the disappearance of the first after the fall of Samaria in 722 B.C. and the subsequent destruction of the kingdom of Judah with the capture of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and the exile to Babylon. It also continues the story of the prophets as the spokesmen of God, highlighting the prophet Elijah and his successor Elisha.

Kings 2 was part of a single book together with Kings 1, but was divided for practical reasons by the Greek translators of the Bible of the Seventy (LXX). It is a book of historical character but with special emphasis on the religious sense. In the book of Kings 1 the apogee of Israel is narrated and Kings 2 ends describing the ruin and destruction of the two Hebrew kingdoms. The author wants to highlight, more than the historical facts, the reasons why God abandoned and punished Israel and Judah by allowing the destruction of both kingdoms. The kings and their peoples fell into idolatry and the sin and forgot the covenant and the faithful relationship with the Lord and did not heed the warnings of the prophets who warned them of the consequences of their mistakes and sins.

Kings 2 highlights the life and miracles of the prophets, especially the actions of Elijah and Elisha, who ask the people to turn their gaze to God and perform various miracles to demonstrate the power of the Lord. Other prophets are also mentioned, such as Amos, Hosea, Obadiah and Isaiah, who carried the word of God and condemned the monarchs for their sins.

The book of Kings 2 teaches that God does not protect those who abandon him or are unfaithful to him, which is demonstrated when all the kings of Israel are condemned and their kingdoms destroyed. The kingdom of Judah, which lasted a century and a half longer than Israel, did not learn from what happened to Israel and only eight kings remained faithful to the Lord and fought against the idolatry and paganism of their people but in the end their kingdom also succumbed before the enemies and the Hebrews were exiled to Babylon.

General outline for understanding the book of Kings-2:

  1. The prophet Elijah and King Ahaziah of Israel (1.1-18)
  2. Ascension of Elijah and beginning of the story of Elisha (2.1-25)
  3. The prophet Elisha during the reign of Jehoram (3.1-8.15)
  4. Judah and Israel until the death of Elisha (8.16-13.25)
  5. Judah and Israel until the destruction of Samaria (14.1-17.41)
  6. The kingdom of Judah until the exile to Babylon (18.1-25.26)
  7. Deliverance of King Jehoiachin in Babylon (25.27-30)

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