The book II Kings introduces us to the Prophet Elisha who in the
'still small voice' or 'sound of sheer silence' (I Kings 19.v.12
), was designated Elijah's successor.
II Kings 2.vv.1-18
Many are the tales of Elisha's wonder working but included here are only several narratives which are of interest or religious value:
The book II Kings continues with a remarkable passage describing
[A] the conquest of 'Israel' and their deportation by the Assyrians.
The religious historian asserts that this was an act of judgement
and entirely due to the nation forsaking the Lord their God.
Only 'Judah' was left of the original tribes of Israel.
II Kings 17.vv.1-24
[B] Judah in the south, as we read in II Kings 17.v19,
was similarly guilty, but spared for the time being. Later, however,
in King Hezekiah's day Sennacherib, King of Assyria, captured
all the cities of Judah, except Jerusalem which became a vassal
of Assyria and paid tribute.
II Kings 18.vv.13-16
It was not long before Sennacherib again threatened Jerusalem;
but King Hezekiah fortunately listened to the Prophet Isaiah,
son of Amoz, who showed remarkable faith in God's power and will
to defend the city.
II Kings 19.vv.15-34
The further history of Judah is taken up in the careers and teaching
of the prophets. Before the book closes we have two important
passages to consider; [A] The religious reforms of the young King
Josiah, based upon the 'Book of the Law' (Deuteronomy? or part
II Kings 22.v.1, and 23.v.25
[B] The danger from Assyria had passed; but Babylon had succeeded
Assyria as the enemy from the north, and in the days of Jehoiakim,
Judah was forced to pay tribute to King Nebuchadnezzar. His son
Jehoiakin, however, decided to rebel against Babylon, but was
forced into submission and the final catastrophe was yet to occur.
II Kings 24.v.10 and 25.v.12
' So Judah went into exile out of its land' (II Kings 25.v.21b ). The further history of Israel is bound up in the books of the Old Testament Prophets and Writings.