Unlike some of the other books of the Bible, the books of 1st and 2nd Kings do not name its author. Accounts such as Kings and Chronicles cover many centuries of history and are typically thought to have been recorded during the lifetime of each of the kings. Jewish tradition credits Jeremiah as the primary writer and editor, but we cannot be definitive about this.
The books of Kings are a continuation of the history of the nation of Israel under their kings. The story of the first king, Saul, is told in 1st and 2nd Samuel. The early parts of King David’s reign are found in 2nd Samuel. 1st Kings records the end of David’s reign and the inauguration of Solomon as king of Israel. Initially, Solomon was faithful to the Lord God and was blessed with wisdom and riches. However, Solomon strayed from the worship of the true God and worshipped the idols of his many wives. After Solomon, the ten northern tribes of Israel ceded from Judah under the rule of Jeroboam. Only two southern cities of Judah were ruled by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam – “for David, my servant’s sake,” (1 Kings 11:13). The second book of Kings covers the rise and fall of these two nations until ultimately, they both are taken captive by foreign powers. These historical books are very different from the histories of other nations. Typically, emperors only desire their victories and glories be recorded. In contrast, the God of Israel and our God is a god who “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), and He required truth from his prophets and historians.
Another purpose of Kings is to provide a chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah. This helps Christians to know the times and seasons of God and to be able to point to the presence of our dear Lord Jesus. Additionally, these books show the contrast of the lives of those who obeyed and disobeyed God. The records teach us how God judges and blesses. Our Christian judgment and thinking are informed by the Bible stories. Jesus himself said in John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me”. How much more should we as his followers seek only to do the Father’s will to the best of our ability, because if we do, Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”