Kings and Chronicles cover the era of Israel’s kings, which spans almost four centuries. Kings picks up with the last days of David, while Chronicles commences with the death of Saul, Israel’s first king. Chronicles follows only the Davidic dynasty; references to Israel’s kings occur only as a necessary part of the narrative. The writers of Kings and Chronicles had different objectives. The writer of Chronicles intended to encourage disheartened Jews returning from Babylon to regain their identity as Jehovah’s covenant people and to rebuild His temple. Kings highlights the ministry of God’s prophets laboring among His idolatrous and wayward people. William Kelly surmises that “Kings is the book of responsibility, Chronicles of God’s providence.” Throughout Israel’s history, God judges the wicked and rewards the faithful, but regardless of what Israel does, He proves His covenantal love to them. Consequently, even His stern judgments are tempered with mercy to ensure all His purposes are accomplished for those He loves.
Israel’s Kings is the ninth of fourteen books in the Old Testament Devotional Commentary Series.