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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Books of Kings

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text

The center of concentric structure is "Elisha secceeds Elijah" (no. 41, 2 Kings 2:1-25). This central pericope also becomes the divisional fulcrum of the whole text. Those parts that precede it (pericopes nos. 1 to 41) and follow it (pericopes nos. 41 to 81) constitute concentric structures composed of pericopes. Ascension of Elijah is the climax of whole text.


1-1

1 The struggle for the succession (1K1:1-21)
  2 The accession of Solomon (1K1:22-40)
    3 Fear of Adonijah (1K1:41-53)
      4 Death of David (1K2:1-46)
        5 Solomon's wisdom (1K3:1-28)
          6 Magnificense of Solomon's rule (1K4:1-1K5:14)
            7 Preparation for the Temple (1K5:15-32)
              8 Solomon builds the Temple (1K6:1-38)
                9 Solomon's palace and other buildings (1K7:1-12)
                  10 Products of Hiram the bronzeworker (1K7:13-51)
                    11 Dedication of the Temple (1K8:1-53)
                      12 Solomon blesses the assembly (1K8:54-66)
                        13 God appears again to Solomon (1K9:1-9)
                          14 Other acts of Solomon (1K9:10-28)
                            15 Visits of the queen of Sheba (1K10:1-13)
                              16 Wealth of Solomon (1K10:14-29)
                                17 Solomon's erros (1K11:1-43)
                                  18 The northern tribes secede (1K12:1-19)
                                    19 A man of God from Judah (1K12:20-1K13:34)
                                      20 Judgment on the house of Jeroboam (1K14:1-20)
                                        21 Rehoboam reigns over Judah (1K14:21-31)
                                          22 Abijam reigns over Judah (1K15:1-8)
                                            23 Asa reigns over Judah (1K15:9-24)
                                              24 Nadab reigns over Israel (1K15:25-32)
                                                25 Bassha reigns over Israel (1K15:33-1K16:7)
                                                  26 Elah reigns over Israel (1K16:8-14)
                                                    27 Zimri reigns over Israel (1K16:15-22)
                                                      28 Omri reigns over israel (1K16:23-28)
                                                        29 Ahab reigns over Israel (1K16:29-34)
                                                          30 Elijah predicts a drought (1K17:1-24)
                                                            31 Elijah's message to Ahab (1K18:1-15)
                                                              32 Elijah's triumph over the priests of Baal (1K18:16-40)
                                                                33 The drought ends (1K18:41-46)
                                                                  34 Elijah flees from Jezebel (1K19:1-21)
                                                                    35 Ahab's woars with the Arameans (1K20:1-43)
                                                                      36 Naboth's vineyard (1K21:1-29)
                                                                        37 Defeat and death of Ahab (1K22:1-40)
                                                                          38 Jehoshaphat reigns over Judah (1K22:41-51)
                                                                            39 Ahaziah reigns over Israel (1K22:52-54)
                                                                              40 Elijah denounces Ahaziah (2K1:1-18)
                                                                                41 Elisha secceeds Elijah (2K2:1-25)
                                                                              42 Jehoram reigns over Israel (2K3:1-27)
                                                                            43 Elisha performs miracles (2K4:1-2K6:7)
                                                                          44 The Aramean attack is thwarted (2K6:8-2K7:20)
                                                                        45 Elisha performs miracles (2K8:1-15)
                                                                      46 Jehoram reigns over Judah (2K8:16-24)
                                                                    47 Ahaziah reigns over Judah (2K8:25-29)
                                                                  48 Rebellion of Jefu (2K9:1-37)
                                                                49 Slaughter of worshipers of Baal (2K10:1-36)
                                                              50 Athaliah and Jehoiada (2K11:1-20_2K12:1)
                                                            51 Joash reigns over Judah (2K12:2-22)
                                                          52 Jehoahaz reigns over Israel (2K13:1-9)
                                                        53 Jehoash reigns over Israel (2K13:10-13)
                                                      54 Death of Elisha (2K13:14-21)
                                                    55 Israel recaptures cities from Aram (2K13:22-25)
                                                  56 Amaziah reigns over Judah (2K14:1-22)
                                                57 Jeroboam II reigns over Israel (2K14:23-29)
                                              58 Azariah reigns over Judah (2K15:1-7)
                                            59 Zechariah reigns over Israel (2K15:8-12)
                                          60 Shallum reigns over Israel (2K15:13-16)
                                        61 Menahem reigns over Israel (2K15:17-22)
                                      62 Pekahiah reigns over Israel (2K15:23-26)
                                    63 Pekah reigns over Israel (2K15:27-31)
                                  64 Jotham reigns over Judah (2K15:32-38)
                                65 Ahaz reigns over Judah (2K16:1-20)
                              66 Hoshea reigns over Israel (2K17:1-6)
                            67 Israel carried captive to Assyria (2K17:7-41)
                          68 Hezekiah's reign over Judah (2K18:1-16)
                        69 Sennacherib invades Judah (2K18:17-2K19:37)
                      70 Hezekiah's illness (2K20:1-21)
                    71 Manasseh reigns over Judah (2K21:1-18)
                  72 Amon reigns over Judah (2K21:19-26)
                73 Josiah reigns over Judah (2K22:1-20)
              74 Josiah's reformation (2K23:1-30)
            75 Reign and capitivity of Jehoahaz (2K23:31-35)
          76 Jehoiakim reigns over Judah (2K23:36-2K24:7)
        77 Reign and capitivity of Jehoiachin (2K24:8-17)
      78 Zedekiah reigns over Judah (2K24:18-2K25:7)
    79 The fall and captivity of Judah (2K25:8-21)
  80 Gedaliah made governor of Judah (2K25:22-26)
81 Jehoiachin released from prison (2K25:27-30)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 The struggle for the succession (1K1:1-21)
1K1:1 When King David was old and advanced in years, though they spread covers over him he could not keep warm.
King's cloth81 Jehoiachin released from prison (2K25:27-30)
2K25:29 Jehoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king's table as long as he lived.
2 The accession of Solomon (1K1:22-40)
1K1:34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king of Israel,
King selects a ruler80 Gedaliah made governor of Judah (2K25:22-26)
2K25:22 As for the people whom he had allowed to remain in the land of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, appointed as their governor Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan.
3 Fear of Adonijah (1K1:41-53)
1K1:52"If he proves himself worthy, not a hair shall fall from his head. But if he is found guilty of crime, he shall die."
King's judgment79 The fall and captivity of Judah (2K25:8-21)
2K25:11 Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans
4 Death of David (1K2:1-46)
1K2:4If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.
Blessing and curse for royal family78 Zedekiah reigns over Judah (2K24:18-2K25:7)
2K24:19 He also did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. 24:20 The LORDS anger befell Jerusalem and Judah till he cast them out from his presence.
5 Solomon's wisdom (1K3:1-28)
With the royal power firmly in his grasp, Solomon allied himself by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. The daughter of Pharaoh, whom he married, he brought to the City of David, until he should finish building his palace, and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem. (1K3:1)
Objects that was made by Solomon77 Reign and capitivity of Jehoiachin (2K24:8-17)
He carried off all the treasures of the temple of the LORD and those of the palace, and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel, had provided in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had foretold. (2K24:13)
6 Magnificense of Solomon's rule (1K4:1-1K5:14)
1K5:9 Moreover, God gave Solomon wisdom and exceptional understanding and knowledge, as vast as the sand on the seashore.
Good / evil in the sight of the Lord76 Jehoiakim reigns over Judah (2K23:36-2K24:7)
2K23:37 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his forebears had done.
7 Preparation for the Temple (1K5:15-32)
1K5:24 So Hiram continued to provide Solomon with all the cedars and fir trees he wished; 5:25 while Solomon every year gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat to provide for his household, and twenty thousand measures of pure oil.
Relationship with foreign country75 Reign and capitivity of Jehoahaz (2K23:31-35)
2K23:33 Pharaoh Neco took him prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath, thus ending his reign in Jerusalem. He imposed a fine upon the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
8 Solomon builds the Temple (1K6:1-38)
1K6:12 "As to this temple you are building--if you observe my statutes, carry out my ordinances, keep and obey all my commands, I will fulfill toward you the promise I made to your father David.
Obeying all commands of the Lord74 Josiah's reformation (2K23:1-30)
2K23:3 Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees with their whole hearts and souls, thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book.
8 Solomon builds the Temple (1K6:1-38)
1K6:38and it was completed in all particulars, exactly according to plan, in the month of Bul, the eighth month, in the eleventh year.
The temple74 Josiah's reformation (2K23:1-30)
2K23:4 Then the king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, his vicar, and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the objects that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole host of heaven.
9 Solomon's palace and other buildings (1K7:1-12)
1K7:12 The great court was enclosed by three courses of hewn stones and a bonding course of cedar beams. So also were the inner court of the temple of the LORD and the temple porch.
Stones and wood for building73 Josiah reigns over Judah (2K22:1-20)
2K22:6 and for the purchase of wood and hewn stone for the temple repairs.
10 Products of Hiram the bronzeworker (1K7:13-51)
1K7:51 When all the work undertaken by King Solomon in the temple of the LORD was completed, he brought in the dedicated offerings of his father David, putting the silver, gold, and other articles in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD.
Following exactly the path of own father72 Amon reigns over Judah (2K21:19-26)
2K21:21 He followed exactly the path his father had trod, serving and worshiping the idols his father had served.
11 Dedication of the Temple (1K8:1-53)
1K8:9 the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites at their departure from the land of Egypt
From the day their fathers came forth from Egypt71 Manasseh reigns over Judah (2K21:1-18)
2K21:15 because they have done evil in my sight and provoked me from the day their fathers came forth from Egypt until today.'"
12 Solomon blesses the assembly (1K8:54-66)
1K8:59 May this prayer I have offered to the LORD, our God, be present to him day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and of his people Israel as each day requires,
Kings prayer for the Lord70 Hezekiah's illness (2K20:1-21)
2K20:2 He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD: 20:3 "O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was pleasing to you!"
13 God appears again to Solomon (1K9:1-9)
1K9:4 As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, sincerely and uprightly, doing just as I have commanded you, keeping my statutes and decrees, 9:5 I will establish your throne of sovereignty over Israel forever, as I promised your father David when I said, 'You shall always have someone from your line on the throne of Israel.'
The Lord promises to save for the sake of David69 Sennacherib invades Judah (2K18:17-2K19:37)
2K19:34 I will shield and save this city for my own sake, and for the sake of my servant David.'"
14 Other acts of Solomon (1K9:10-28)
1K9:20 All the non-Israelite people who remained in the land, descendants of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites 9:21 whose doom the Israelites had been unable to accomplish, Solomon conscripted as forced laborers, as they are to this day.
Captivity68 Hezekiah's reign over Judah (2K18:1-16)
2K18:11 The king of Assyria then deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
14 Other acts of Solomon (1K9:10-28)
1K9:16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had come up and taken Gezer and, after destroying it by fire and slaying all the Canaanites living in the city, had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife;
Occupation by foreign country68 Hezekiah's reign over Judah (2K18:1-16)
2K18:9Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, attacked Samaria, laid siege to it, 18:10 and after three years captured it.
15 Visits of the queen of Sheba (1K10:1-13)
1K10:9In his enduring love for Israel, the LORD has made you king to carry out judgment and justice."
Love / denial of Israel67 Israel carried captive to Assyria (2K17:7-41)
2K17:23 Finally, the LORD put Israel away out of his sight as he had foretold through all his servants, the prophets;
15 Visits of the queen of Sheba (1K10:1-13)
1K10:9 Blessed be the LORD, your God, whom it has pleased to place you on the throne of Israel.
Foreign people fears the Lord67 Israel carried captive to Assyria (2K17:7-41)
2K17:41 Thus these nations venerated the LORD, but also served their idols.
16 Wealth of Solomon (1K10:14-29)
1K10:25 Each one brought his yearly tribute: silver or gold articles, garments, weapons, spices, horses and mules.
Tribute66 Hoshea reigns over Israel (2K17:1-6)
2K17:3 Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, advanced against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute.
17 Solomon's erros (1K11:1-43)
1K11:7 Solomon then built a high place to Chemosh, the idol of Moab, and to Molech, the idol of the Ammonites, on the hill opposite Jerusalem. 11:8 He did the same for all his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
Foreign altar65 Ahaz reigns over Judah (2K16:1-20)
2K16:11 Uriah the priest built an altar according to the plans which King Ahaz sent him from Damascus,
18 The northern tribes secede (1K12:1-19)
1K12:16 To your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, David.
The Lord makes king against Judah64 Jotham reigns over Judah (2K15:32-38)
2K15:37 It was at that time that the LORD first loosed Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, against Judah.
19 A man of God from Judah (1K12:20-1K13:34)
1K13:34 This was a sin on the part of the house of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the earth.
Ruin of royal family63 Pekah reigns over Israel (2K15:27-31)
2K15:30 Hoshea, son of Elah, conspired against Pekah, son of Remaliah; he attacked and killed him, and reigned in his place (in the twentieth year of Jotham, son of Uzziah).
20 Judgment on the house of Jeroboam (1K14:1-20)
1K14:14 the LORD will raise up for himself a king of Israel who will destroy the house of Jeroboam.
Ruin of royal family62 Pekahiah reigns over Israel (2K15:23-26)
2K15:25 His adjutant Pekah, son of Remaliah, who had with him fifty men from Gilead, conspired against him, killed him within the palace stronghold in Samaria, and reigned in his place.
21 Rehoboam reigns over Judah (1K14:21-31)
1K14:25Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. 14:26 He took everything, including the treasures of the temple of the LORD and those of the royal palace,
Robbed treasures61 Menahem reigns over Israel (2K15:17-22)
2K15:19 Pul, king of Assyria, invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to have his assistance in strengthening his hold on the kingdom.
22 Abijam reigns over Judah (1K15:1-8)
1K15:4 Yet for David's sake the LORD, his God, gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and permitting Jerusalem to endure;
Ruin of Israel, succession of Judah60 Shallum reigns over Israel (2K15:13-16)
2K15:14 Menahem, son of Gadi, came up from Tirzah to Samaria, where he attacked and killed Shallum, son of Jabesh, and reigned in his place.
23 Asa reigns over Judah (1K15:9-24)
1K15:14 The high places did not disappear; yet Asas heart was entirely with the LORD as long as he lived.
Ruin of Israel, succession of Judah59 Zechariah reigns over Israel (2K15:8-12)
2K15:10 Shallum, son of Jabesh, conspired against Zechariah, attacked and killed him at Ibleam, and reigned in his place.
24 Nadab reigns over Israel (1K15:25-32)
1K15:29 Once he was king, he killed off the entire house of Jeroboam, not leaving a single soul to Jeroboam but destroying him utterly, according to the warning which the LORD had pronounced through his servant, Ahijah the Shilonite, 15:30 because of the sins Jeroboam committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger.
King is punished by the Lord58 Azariah reigns over Judah (2K15:1-7)
2K15:5 The LORD afflicted the king, and he was a leper to the day of his death. He lived in a house apart,
25 Bassha reigns over Israel (1K15:33-1K16:7)
1K16:1 The LORD spoke against Baasha to Jehu, son of Hanani,
The words of prophet57 Jeroboam II reigns over Israel (2K14:23-29)
2K14:25just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had prophesied through his servant, the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai, from Gath-hepher.
26 Elah reigns over Israel (1K16:8-14)
1K16:9 His servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, plotted against him.
Rebellion56 Amaziah reigns over Judah (2K14:1-22)
2K14:19 When a conspiracy was formed against him in Jerusalem, he fled to Lachish. But he was pursued to Lachish and killed there.
27 Zimri reigns over Israel (1K16:15-22)
Omri marched up from Gibbethon, accompanied by all Israel, and laid siege to Tirzah. (1K16:17)
Taking back a city55 Israel recaptures cities from Aram (2K13:22-25)
Joash, son of Jehoahaz, took back from Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, the cities which Hazael had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Joash defeated Ben-hadad three times, and thus recovered the cities of Israel. (2K13:25)
28 Omri reigns over israel (1K16:23-28)
He closely imitated the sinful conduct of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, causing Israel to sin and to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. (1K16:26)
Provoking anger54 Death of Elisha (2K13:14-21)
Angry with him, the man of God said: "You should have struck five or six times; you would have defeated Aram completely. Now, you will defeat Aram only three times." (2K13:19)
29 Ahab reigns over Israel (1K16:29-34)
It was not enough for him to imitate the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat. He even married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and went over to the veneration and worship of Baal. (1K16:31)
Sins of Jeroboam53 Jehoash reigns over Israel (2K13:10-13)
he did not desist from any of the sins which Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had caused Israel to commit, but persisted in them. (2K13:11)
30 Elijah predicts a drought (1K17:1-24)
"Now indeed I know that you you are a man of God," the woman replied to Elijah. "The word of the LORD comes truly from your mouth." (1K17:24)
Man of God52 Jehoahaz reigns over Israel (2K13:1-9)
So the LORD gave Israel a savior, and the Israelites, freed from the power of Aram, dwelt in their own homes as formerly. (2K13:5)
31 Elijah's message to Ahab (1K18:1-15)
1K18:4 Jezebel was murdering the prophets of the LORD (1K18:4)
Murder51 Joash reigns over Judah (2K12:2-22)
2K12:21 Certain of his officials entered into a plot against him and killed him at Beth-millo. (2K12:21)
32 Elijah's triumph over the priests of Baal (1K18:16-40)
1K18:40 They were seized, and Elijah had them brought down to the brook Kishon and there he slit their throats. (1K18:40)
To kill pagan prophets50 Athaliah and Jehoiada (2K11:1-20_2K12:1)
2K11:18 Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. (2K11:18)
33 The drought ends (1K18:41-46)
1K18:45 Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel. (1K18:45)
Ahab at Jezreel49 Slaughter of worshipers of Baal (2K10:1-36)
2K10:11 Thereupon Jehu slew all who were left of the family of Ahab in Jezreel, as well as all his powerful supporters, intimates, and priests, leaving him no survivor. (2K10:11)
34 Elijah flees from Jezebel (1K19:1-21)
1K19:16 Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel, (1K19:16)
Rebellion of Jehu48 Rebellion of Jefu (2K9:1-37)
Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the young man poured the oil on his head and said, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. (2K9:6)
35 Ahab's woars with the Arameans (1K20:1-43)
1K20:20 each of them struck down his man. The Arameans fled with Israel pursuing them (1K20:20)
Wars against Aram47 Ahaziah reigns over Judah (2K8:25-29)
2K8:28 He joined Joram, son of Ahab, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. (2K8:28)
36 Naboth's vineyard (1K21:1-29)
1K21:21 I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you and will cut off every male in Ahab's line, whether slave or freeman, in Israel.
The Lord's promise for royal family46 Jehoram reigns over Judah (2K8:16-24)
2K8:19 Even so, the LORD was unwilling to destroy Judah, because of his servant David. For he had promised David that he would leave him a lamp in the LORD'S presence for all time.
37 Defeat and death of Ahab (1K22:1-40)
1K22:15 "Go up," he answered, "you shall succeed! The LORD will deliver it over to the king."
False prophecy about death of king45 Elisha performs miracles (2K8:1-15)
2K8:10 "Go and tell him," Elisha answered, "that he will surely recover. However, the LORD has showed me that he will in fact die."
38 Jehoshaphat reigns over Judah (1K22:41-51)
1K22:45 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
Relationship with foreign country44 The Aramean attack is thwarted (2K6:8-2K7:20)
2K6:8 When the king of Aram was waging war on Israel,
39 Ahaziah reigns over Israel (1K22:52-54)
1K22:54 He served and worshiped Baal, thus provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.
The Lord rage about kneeling to idol43 Elisha performs miracles (2K4:1-2K6:7)
2K5:18when my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship there, then I, too, as his adjutant, must bow down in the temple of Rimmon. May the LORD forgive your servant this."
40 Elijah denounces Ahaziah (2K1:1-18)
2K1:3 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron?'
Inquiring to idol42 Jehoram reigns over Israel (2K3:1-27)
2K3:13 "What do you want with me?" Elisha asked the king of Israel. "Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother."

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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