Books of Kings

The Book of Kings (Hebrew: סֵפֶר מְלָכִים, Sēfer Məlāḵīm) is a book in the Hebrew Bible, found as two books (1–2 Kings) in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It concludes the Deuteronomistic history, a history of ancient Israel also including the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. Biblical commentators believe the Books of Kings mixes legends, folktales, miracle stories and "fictional constructions" in with the annals for the purpose of provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon in c. 586 BC and to provide a foundation for a return from Babylonian exile. The two books of Kings present a history of ancient Israel and Judah, from the death of King David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon—a period of some 400 years (c. 960 – c. 560 BC). Scholars tend to treat the books as consisting of a first edition from the late 7th century BC and of a second and final edition from the mid-6th century BC.

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