The history of the kings of Israel and Judah, which began in the previous book, is now finished in this book. And as for the kings of Israel, they with their subjects continued obstinately in their idolatry, although the one more abominable than the other. Therefore the LORD steadfastly called them to repentance, not only by the ministry of his prophets, but also by His grievous judgments, yea for a forecast of their utter ruin if they would not repent. He permitted the tribe of Naphtali to be carried away captive into Assyria by Tiglath-pileser. It availed not at all. God indeed at all times reserved to Himself a chosen remnant of true believers, for which the schools and colleges of the prophets have done much good, but since the back-sliders made no end of sinning, therefore, as last, the Lord did in His judgment cast them away from His presence. For, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, having invaded the land of Israel with a great army, after a three years’ siege, took the city of Samaria, and carried the Israelites away captive into his own land, namely, into Assyria, whereby this kingdom has ended, having continued, according to the account of some, from the division of the tribes, about the space of 262 years. A similar punishment did finally happen to the kingdom of Judah. For, although the true and lawful worship of God did for a long time take place with the Jews, especially when godly kings and zealous high priests, used all diligence to have idolatry banished and the decay in religion and worship of God faithfully repaired, yet the people did intermingle the lawful worship with many idolatrous superstition, or at least did not mean well. Now although the earnest and zealous exhortations of the prophets and the actual chastisements of the Lord, by which they were called to repentance ceased not, yet notwithstanding the abominations in religion and the transgressions in public life, did still so increase and multiply that God at length delivered this people into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babel, who destroyed the land, took the city of Jerusalem, burnt the temple, and carried the Jews away captive to Babel. This came to pass when this kingdom of Judah, after the ten tribes were torn from it, had continued for the space of above 395 years, according to the opinion of some. However God did so moderate His anger, that He continued faithful in His word and promises, seeing He has always by His fatherly care kept and reserved a chosen people, and the family of David, out of which the MESSIAH was to come according to the flesh, until the very time of His coming. The history of this book contains the time of about 320 years.