Finished reading the second book of Kings today.
After King Solomon, the wise king who then makes the mistake of worshiping other gods in the first book of Kings, God breaks the Isrealites up into two kingdoms: Isreal and Judah. Basically everyone except King Josiah, right near the end of the second book, "does evil in the sight of the Lord" and "kindles his anger."
"And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose any like him." (II Kings 23:25)
Unfortunately, Josiah's good deeds (destroying false idols, etc.) are not enough to make up for his ancestors' mistakes. God finally destroys the kingdoms altogether, allowing the Bablyonians to defeat them in 586 BCE. The temple is destroyed and the priests, prophets, royals and other notable people are taken into captivity. That's the two books in a nutshell.
According to Wikipedia, the books span some 400 years in ancient Isreal and Judah (960-560 BCE).
I thought the history of ancient Isreal was interesting, but considering all the constant failure on the part of the Jews throughout this period, I have to say I'm looking forward to the New Testament already, and the coming of Jesus. I guess I wouldn't make a very good Jew.
**NEXT: I & II Chronicles