“The fall of Israel” is a theological (not historical) title. This five covers almost the whole history of the Israelite kingdoms from David to the destruction of Jerusalem. The Deuteronomistic History (Joshua-Kings) from which they all come (cf. remarks on Judges) tell the story with the end in view, one important goal of these books is to explain the fall of Jerusalem and the exile.
So this is a good selection to understand what is going on:
- Even the great king David is human and fails (spectacularly)
- Solomon is seen at his best – asking for and displaying wisdom not wealth or power;
- building the temple and expressing fine theology
not as the king who began to lose an empire, and introduced idols to the temple
- Elijah and the fight on Mt Carmel is an archetypical story of the conflict between belief in gods and in God
- Then the final reading tells the ghastly and traumatic story of the fall of Jerusalem and the end of Israel as a political entity – but worse of the temple and crown promised by God!