Please upgrade to a newer browser.

The Lehrhaus website works best in modern browsers like Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10, Safari 3 and newer. If you are not using one of these, you may encounter visual glitches or other problems.

Back to the Prophets: The Book of II Kings: A Kingdom Lost, A Kingdom Saved

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2019.

This Spring, we forge onward in our study of the two Jewish kingdoms in the Bible.

In the Northern Kingdom of Israel, a succession of foolish and frankly dim-witted kings progressively misplay their hands in dealing with the great and ruthless empire of Assyria in Mesopotamia.

Eventually, with social rot in its core and lethal enemies assaulting its gates, the northern kingdom crumples and is conquered. Its citizenry is exiled, becoming what we now call the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.

The Southern Kingdom of Judah is saved by a dynamic duo, unifying royal and prophetic powers. King Hezekiah prepares Jerusalem for the Assyrian onslaught with success. His hand is largely guided by the great prophet Isaiah, and his mission is miraculously fulfilled by Divine Providence.

So Judah survives the first imperial assault, its population augmented by some of the fleeing northerners, and some common Biblical themes become quite evident as Judah prepares for the future against other coming Mesopotamian threats.

This is not a weekly “torah-study” class, but an in-depth exploration of each chapter and verse, uncovering the religious, historic and cultural messages of the author, and the historical context of the book’s composition and its first audiences.

Our class' methods are eclectic, including text-critical and literary approaches. These are enhanced by archaeological information and contemporary scholarship, and are spiced and profoundly enriched with classic midrash and later Jewish interpretations of Biblical messages.

We will read and study in English with occasional references to the original Hebrew (fully explained for non-Hebrew speakers). Class members will be expected to read a chapter or so each week in preparation for class discussions.

Bring a Jewish Bible (Tanakh) to class. The more translations, the merrier!


# Sessions
Date & time

Thursdays, May 2 - June 27
7:30 - 9:15 pm

$225 (100%)
$180 (80%)
$135 (60%)

As a nonprofit, Lehrhaus relies on tuition to help cover the direct cost of our course offerings. We offer a tiered pricing structure to ensure that cost is not a barrier to participation. Please evaluate your own ability to pay, and select the option that makes it possible for you to participate. To inquire about pricing or scholarships, please email us at info@lehrhaus.org.

Session Time Days Location Instructors
May 02 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
May 09 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
May 16 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
May 23 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
May 30 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
Jun 06 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
Jun 13 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
Jun 20 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen
Jun 27 7:30 PM–9:15 PM Thu CCJDS Ken Cohen


Contra Costa Jewish Day School

955 Risa Road

Lafayette, CA 94549


Class meets in the school Makom/Library


Ken Cohen

Ken Cohen Ken Cohen, MA, former President of Lehrhaus Judaica. He holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union and is an adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University. Ken lectures widely on topics including the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Israelite history.