YMMV / Books of Kings

  • One-Scene Wonder: Josiah, king of Judah. His destruction of idols and sanctuaries of other gods in Judah is epic, he even destroys altars and statues that previous reformers had left in place, and which had been standing since the time of Solomon. He also recovers the Mosaic law and celebrates the first Passover in centuries. The chapters discussing his reign are like the muster of Patroclus in The Iliad, where he succeeds so well that he verges on changing fate; but God has already made up his mind. God informs him that he's very impressed with what he accomplished, but Israel will still be destroyed; but God will wait until after Josiah is dead for it to happen.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A canon example. Many of the kings in the book were reportedly not nearly as bad in Real Life as they are described, the most egregious cases being King Ahab of Israel and King Manasseh of Juda. Both are described as evil heretics hated by every single one of their subjects. The fact alone that Ahab could rule for 22 years and Manasseh for 55 years indicates that they must've had at least some support among the population. In fact, both of them are indicated by several non-biblical sources to have been very successful rulers whose only "fault" was not to piss off their much stronger neighbors who could effortlessly overrun them. Though this would mean tolerating the worship of other gods and routinely melting gold from the temple in Jerusalem to be able to pay tribute, it at least saved their land from complete obliteration. The priesthood in Jerusalem naturally would condemn them for not daring to start a hopeless war against the hegemonial empires that surrounded them on all sides, because with God's help one was invincible, no matter how improbable the odds were. They eventually learned the hard way what happens when you insist on getting belligerent with a neighboring superpower. Though some of the descriptions of said kings could be justified by way of the Old Testament not being a historical, but a theological piece of work, some of the things written are just simply out of malice (such as attributing the construction of the Arc of Samaria to King Solomon instead of Ahab, who built it).

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BooksOfKings