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2 Kings study guide

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Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read:
2 Kings 2: 1-20 Elijah taken to heaven, Elisha succeeds him
2 Kings 4 contains many of Elisha's miracles
2 Kings 25: 1-26 the fall of Jerusalem
Orientation 2 Kings is book #12 of 39 in the Old Testament. It is considered a book of History. For more information see the Bible Overview page.

Some events from 2 Kings also appear in 2 Chronicles. For a comparison chart, see Harmony of 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Synopsis This is the continuing story of the two Jewish nations, Israel and Judah (which includes Jerusalem). The two nations decline and fall because they fail to heed the word of God's messengers - the prophets. The prophet Elijah is taken to heaven in a whirlwind. His successor, Elisha, performs miracles: including raising a child from the dead (4:32), curing Naaman, a Syrian, of leprosy (5: 8), and making iron float (6:3). He is unable to make the nations return to God. The various kings which rule the two nations are documented. The northern nation, Israel, falls to Assyria. The southern nation, Judah, lasts longer but also collapses. Jerusalem and its temple are destroyed (25).
Major Characters Elijah, prophet who goes directly to heaven without dying
Elisha, successor to Elijah
Jezebel, an evil queen
Major Events Elijah taken to heaven in a whirlwind (2: 1-18)
Elisha raises a child from the dead (4: 8-37)
Jezebel is murdered (9: 30-37)
Solomon's temple renovated (12: 1-21)
Northern nation of Israel falls (17: 1-41)
The lost Book of the Law is found (22:8)
Jerusalem falls (25: 1-26)
Activities 1. Compare the taking of Enoch to heaven (Genesis 4:24) and the taking of Elijah to heaven (2 Kings 2: 1-12).
2. List Elisha's miracles. *
3. Which of Elisha's miracles are similar to ones performed by Jesus, or recorded in the New Testament? **
Connections Elijah is one of two persons in the Bible who never experienced a physical death. The other is Enoch (Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5).
Coming up: 1 and 2 Chronicles cover the same period as 1 and 2 Kings. It is believed that 1 and 2 Chronicles was written later, to the Jews who were wondering if they were still God's people.
Jeremiah 52 contains an eyewitness account of the fall of Jerusalem.
2 Kings 18-20 tells of Hezekiah's reign as king of Judah. Isaiah 36-39 is another telling from another perspective.

For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014

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* 2:13 parts the Jordan River
2:19 heals the water
3:17 fills the valley with water
4:1 extending the oil
4:15 prophesies the old woman to become pregnant
4:32 raises a boy from the dead
4:39 cures the poisonous stew
4:42 feeds 100
5:8 cures Naaman of leprosy
5:27 curses Gehazi, causing leprosy
6:5 makes iron ax head float
6:17 opens the eyes of the enemy
6:18 blinds the eyes of the enemy
6:20 opens the eyes of the enemy again

** extending the oil
feeding the multitudes (Matthew 14:15, 15:32)
raising from the dead (Luke 7:11, John 11:39)
curing of disease
opening eyes of the blind (Matthew 9:27, Mark 8:22, John 9:1)
(there may be others as well)