The Books of Kings in Easton's Bible Dictionary
The two books of Kings formed originally but one book in the
Hebrew Scriptures. The present division into two
books was first
made by the LXX., which now, with the Vulgate,
numbers them as
the third and fourth books of Kings, the two books
being the first and second books of Kings.
They contain the annals of the Jewish commonwealth
accession of Solomon till the subjugation of the
Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (apparently a
period of about
four hundred and fifty-three years). The books of
(q.v.) are more comprehensive in their contents than
Kings. The latter synchronize with 1 Chr. 28-2 Chr.
in the Chronicles greater prominence is given to the
Levitical office, in the Kings greater prominence is
The authorship of these books is uncertain. There
portions of them and of Jeremiah that are almost
e.g., 2 Kings 24:18-25 and Jer. 52; 39:1-10; 40:7-
are also many undesigned coincidences between
Jeremiah and Kings
(2 Kings 21-23 and Jer. 7:15; 15:4; 19:3, etc.), and
recorded in Kings of which Jeremiah had personal
These facts countenance in some degree the tradition
Jeremiah was the author of the books of Kings. But
probable supposition is that Ezra, after the
them from documents written perhaps by David,
Gad, and Iddo, and that he arranged them in the
order in which
they now exist.
In the threefold division of the Scriptures by the
books are ranked among the "Prophets." They are
quoted or alluded to by our Lord and his apostles
12:42; Luke 4:25, 26; 10:4; comp. 2 Kings 4:29; Mark
2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4, etc.).
The sources of the narrative are referred to (1)
"the book of
the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41); (2) the "book
chronicles of the kings of Judah" (14:29; 15:7, 23,
the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel"
15:31; 16:14, 20, 27, etc.).
The date of its composition was some time between
the date of the last chapter (2 Kings 25), when
released from captivity by Evil-merodach, and B.C.
538, the date
of the decree of deliverance by Cyrus.