Who was the author? Tradition suggests Jeremiah was the Divinely-inspired author of what was originally one book that we now know as 1 and 2 Kings.
What is the book? The original book of Kings presented salvation history from the time of Solomon's rise to the throne through to the beginning of Judah's exile in Bablyon. More specifically, 2 Kings tells of the time of the transition from Elijah's service as prophet to that of Elisha unto both Israel and Judah had gone into exile.
Where was it written? If Jeremiah was the author, the book was most likely written in Judah.
When was it written? At least the concluding details of the book would have to have been added after the exile itself began in 586 B.C.
Why? The book of Kings was most likely originally intended for the people going into exile on account of their unfaithfulness to God, in order show them why they were going into exile and also how God was ruling history for the benefit of His people.
How? Like the "book" of Samuel that it follows in the canon, Kings emphasizes God's covenants with His people, both that made at Sinai and that made with David. The author follows both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah to show God's concern for the whole of His people.
For further reading on the book of 2 Kings:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume III: I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted August 1985. (This volume has 239 pages specifically on 2 Kings.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume I, The Historical Books of the Old Testament: Genesis to Esther. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1923. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 47 pages on 2 Kings.)