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Getting to Know the Bible: 2 Chronicles Overview




Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on 2 Chronicles. But before we get to 2 Chronicles 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of 2 Chronicles. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of 2 Chronicles, as we prepare to behold and discern 2 Chronicles, beginning with 2 Chronicles 1 in our next installment of this series.


Book Type: Book of History; the fourteenth book of the Old Testament; Writings (Hebrew); Historical (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)


Authors: A post-exilic (after the exile) Jewish scholar compiled material from many historical resources to chronicle the history of his people. This person is not named and remains unknown, though Ezra has been cited as the author.


Date of Writing: : The Book of 2 Chronicles was likely written between 450 and 425 B.C.


Audience: First and Second Chronicles were originally completed as one book, written to the Jewish people of Jerusalem and the surrounding region following the return from Babylonian exile.


Theme: The law and the prophets, like the temple, are more crucial to Israel's continuing relationship with the Lord than the presence or absence of a king; the reigns of the Davidic kings themselves being testimony.


Original Language: Hebrew


Genre: Narrative


Timeline: Second Chronicles covers the period from the beginning of Solomon's reign (970 BC) to the Babylonian exile (586 BC), presenting an idealized history of the southern kingdom of Judah.


Purpose of Writing: The Books of 1 & 2 Chronicles focus more on the priestly aspect of the time period. The Book of 2 Chronicles is essentially an evaluation of the nation's religious history.


Summary:

The book opens with Solomon establishing his throne over a unified nation, solidifying his authority and squashing early rebellions (1 Kings 2). He then built the magnificent temple of God, using the plans God gave to his father, David. Six of the nine chapters devoted to King Solomon focus on the temple construction, a task reserved for him since before his birth (2 Chronicles 2–7).


When the kingdom split under the rule of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, the Levites from all over Israel sided with Rehoboam and flocked to Jerusalem to continue their priestly duties (10:1–19). But a cycle of righteousness and corruption characterized the throne. Some kings were completely evil, disregarding God’s Law and leading the people into sinful behaviors. A few kings, such as Solomon, started off as righteous but fell away. Others strayed but repented, such as Manassah (33:1–25). A few kings, such as Hezekiah and Josiah, were honored with the epitaph “he did right in the sight of the LORD” (29:2; 34:2). Throughout 2 Chronicles, faithfulness was rewarded; betrayal was judged.


Overview:

This book consists of 36 chapters and includes three main sections. The first section discusses the reign of King Solomon (2 Chronicles1-9). After he is crowned king (2 Chronicles 1), chapters 2-7 provide the Bible's most detailed accounts of the building of the Jewish temple. Solomon's wealth and accomplishments receive ample attention as well, concluding with brief words regarding his death (2 Chronicles 8-9).


The second main section includes the list of the kings of Judah between Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and the exile to Babylon under Zedekiah (2 Chronicles 10-36). Twenty separate kings of Judah are mentioned. The reigns of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10-12) and Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:1-21:3) receive long accounts, while the reigns of some receive only brief attention, such as Jehoahaz (2 Chronicles 36:1-4) and Jehoiachin (2 Chronicles 36:9-10).


The third main section is not really an account, but more of a statement, and consists of only the final two verses of the book (2 Chronicles 36:22–23). This is the proclamation of King Cyrus for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. These final words offer significant hope, confirming Old Testament prophecies regarding a return to the land after seventy years of exile.


Foreshadowing:

As with all references to kings and temples in the Old Testament, we see in them a reflection of the true King of Kings—Jesus Christ—and of the temple of the Holy Spirit—His people. Even the best of the kings of Israel had the faults of all sinful men and led the people imperfectly. But when the King of Kings comes to live and reign on the earth in the millennium, He will establish Himself on the throne of all the earth as the rightful heir of David. Only then will we have a perfect King who will reign in righteousness and holiness, something the best of Israel’s kings could only dream of.


Similarly, the great temple built by Solomon was not designed to last forever. Just 150 years later, it was in need of repair from decay and defacing by future generations who turned back to idolatry (2 Kings 12). But the temple of the Holy Spirit—those who belong to Christ—will live forever. We who belong to Jesus are that temple, made not by hands but by the will of God (John 1:12-13). The Spirit who lives within us will never depart from us and will deliver us safely into the hands of God one day (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). No earthly temple contains that promise.


Application:

The reader of the Chronicles is invited to evaluate each generation from the past and discern why each was blessed for their obedience or punished for their wickedness. But we are also to compare the plight of these generations to our own, both corporately and individually. If we or our nation or our church is experiencing hardships, it is to our benefit to compare our beliefs and how we act upon those beliefs with the experiences of the Israelites under the various kings. God hates sin and will not tolerate it. But if the Chronicles teach us anything, it is that God desires to forgive and heal those who will humbly pray and repent (1 John 1:9).


Key Verses (ESV):

2 Chronicles 2:1: "Now Solomon purposed to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal palace for himself."


2 Chronicles 29:1–3: "Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them."


2 Chronicles 36:14: "All the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. And they polluted the house of the Lord that he had made holy in Jerusalem."


2 Chronicles 36:23: "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.'"


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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