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The two Books of Kings begin with the death of the most significant man in the History of Israel, King David—praised as a “man after God's own Heart.” In spite of all his sins, which were many, David is called a man who did what was right before God. How is that possible? Because it was in the end that he did right. David erred mightily, but unlike his son, Solomon, he never trifled with another god. David, in fact, was the last true monotheistic king in Israel's history. The history of the kings of Israel that follow are checkered with idolatry, and First and Second Kings outline in the sharpest terms what went wrong in Israel and Judah.
People who read the prophets without understanding the history of these years are doomed to at best misunderstand, at worst become totally lost. True, there are prophecies of the distant future to be found, but all of them are rooted firmly in the history of these days.
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