Reading the Bible Together – 2 Chronicles

June 2018

– The book we are reading this month is the second book of Chronicles, which is the 14th book of the Old Testament.

This will be the 43rd book of the Bible we will have read, since commencing this initiative over three years ago in October 2015. (We have actually read Matthew and Joshua twice!) . There are a total of 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

We will review this month’s book at  our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Thursday 5th July 2018.

Introduction to the Second Book of Chronicles

Author – Ezra (According to Tradition)

Date – From 4004-536 BC Approximately

Theme – The history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah

Types and Shadows – In Chronicles Jesus is the builder of the house of God

Summary of the Book of 2 Chronicles

Ch.1-9 – The reign of King Solomon (in connection with the book of Kings).

Ch.10-36 – The history of various kings in the kingdom of Judah from the division of the kingdom to the Babylonian captivity (in connection with the second book of Kings).

Outline of the Book of 2 Chronicles

1 – The Reign of Solomon (2 Chronicles 1-9)

This section includes the further preparation, the building and the dedication of the Temple, as well as various other activities of Solomon.

2 – The History of Judah to its Fall (2 Chronicles 10 -36)

  • The revolt of the ten tribes and the reign of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10-12).
  • The reign of Abijah (2 Chronicles 13).
  • The reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16). This was a period of prosperity in Judah as Asa instituted a number of moral and religious reforms, establishing himself as a servant of the Lord.
  • The reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17-20). This king was also diligent in his efforts to serve God. He made considerable efforts to acquaint his people with the Law.
  • The reigns of Jehoram and Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 21:1—22:9).
  • The reign of Athaliah, the only queen of Judah (2 Chronicles 22:10-23:21).
  • The reign of Joash (2 Chronicles 24). Ascending to the throne at the age of seven, Joash, advised by the high priest Jehoida, brought about the restoration of true worship. After Jehoida’s death, however, Joash himself slipped into the worship of idols.
  • Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz (2 Chronicles 25-28).
  • The reign of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32). After beginning his rule with a great religious restoration, Hezekiah helped his nation to regain a measure of power and glory.
  • Manasseh and Amon (2 Chronicles 33).
  • The reign of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34-35). In the eighteenth year of a reign that began when he was only eight years old, Josiah began the most sweeping religious reforms which Judah had ever known. During the renovation of the temple, the “book of the Law” was found, encouraging the people greatly in this time of revival.
  • The last days of Judah (2 Chronicles 36). After a brief reign by Jehoahaz, the throne was taken by Jehoiakim, who reigned for eleven years. During this period he was a vassal alternatively to Egypt and Babylon. In an effort to revolt against the Babylonian rule, he lost his life. He was succeeded by Jehoiachin, who reigned only three months, after which he was carried to Babylon, where he lived a number of years. The last of the Judean kings was Zedekiah. Nebuchadnezzar had already plundered Jerusalem of much of its treasures and a considerable number of its most promising men. This took place in two raids, in 606 and 597 BC. In 586 BC, during the reign of Zedekiah, the Babylonians struck once again, this time leaving none but the poorest class of people to remain in Jerusalem. Five years later, the Babylonians came to collect about 750 more captives, even after a number, including Jeremiah, had fled to Egypt (Jeremiah 43).

The English version of the Bible places the books of Chronicles after Kings, but in the Hebrew text they are placed at the very end of the Old Testament. The books of Chronicles were originally one book, as in the case of Samuel and Kings. The Hebrew title is translated the “words of the days”, yet the word Chronicles is mainly adopted by a theologian named Jerome who thought that they ought to bear the title from the Greek word for time which is “Chronos”. This title created a distraction from the true meaning and purpose of this wonderful book. The main purpose of Chronicles was to form a genealogical description of the 12 tribes of Israel from the earliest recorded time. This was very important considering that there was a mixed multitude that had returned from Babylon, and it was also important to determine the lineage of Judah, and to reestablish the functions and order in which each individual tribe was required to perform.

The author of Chronicles has a fervent desire to make the people of Israel aware of the true glory of their kingdom, realizing that it traces back to David and Solomon. There is nothing that would impress upon them a greater understanding than taking them back through a detailed history of their kingdom, with all of its glory and prosperity and also the horrible sin that led to the captivity and the downfall of the theocracy. The author of Chronicles had a constant focus on the Temple which had been destroyed and the dynasty of King David. There is hardly any mention of the northern kingdom of Israel; it is mainly concerned with Judah and the events in connection with King David, and the building of the Temple. Solomon is not necessarily a huge focus other than his preparations for building the Temple and its dedication. The worship of the Temple is paramount and the functions of the Levites as well. The Kings of Judah are stressed with great importance as well as the idolatry that seduced the people of God.

Hebrew tradition credits Ezra has the author of the books of Chronicles. The beginning of the books, trace the genealogical records all the way back to Adam which took place in approximately 4004 BC. The book concludes with the Jews in Babylon after the captivity.

More information can be found HERE

Short illustrated summary of Chronicles

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