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Bible Commentary
2 Chronicles

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OVERVIEW: 1 CHRONICLES / 2 CHRONICLES

Author: Ezra

Time: 1050 – 536 BC

Summary: Like the Book of Kings, 1Ch and 2Ch were originally one book according to Jewish tradition. However, the Chronicles are not simply a repeat of the history already recorded in the books of Samuel and Kings. The Book of Chronicles was written to remind the nation of their entire history, and of their position among other nations, emphasizing the history of priestly worship from the death of Saul to the end of the Babylonian captivity. The Chronicles contain more of the relationship of the kings to the worship of God, than does the Book of Kings. The history of the Northern Kingdom is omitted from the Chronicles because the Northern Kingdom had no bearing on the development of the true worship of God in Jerusalem.

Key verses:

"David... said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you' " (1Ch 28:20).

"But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" (2Ch 6:18).

Outline

1. Genealogies: 1Ch 1:1 – 9:44

a) Patriarchs: 1Ch 1:1–54
b) Judah: 1Ch 2:1 – 4:23
c) Simeon: 1Ch 4:24 –43
d) Tribes east of the Jordan River: 1Ch 5:1–26
e) Levi: 1Ch 6:1–81
f) Six other tribes: 1Ch 7:1 – 9:44

2. The reign of David: 1Ch 10:1 – 29:30

a) The death of Saul: 1Ch 10:1–14
b) David's rise: 1Ch 11:1 – 20:8
c) David's latter days: 1Ch 21:1 – 29:30

3. The reign of Solomon: 2Ch 1:1 – 9:31

a) Solomon's inauguration: 2Ch 1:1–17
b) Solomon's Temple: 2Ch 2:1 – 7:22
c) Solomon's Kingdom: 2Ch 8:1 – 9:31

4. The kingdom of Judah: 2Ch 10:1 – 36:23

a) The division of the kingdom: 2Ch 10:1 – 11:23
b) Rehoboam: 2Ch 12:1–16
c) Abijah: 2Ch 13:1–22
d) Asa: 2Ch 14:1–16:14
e) Jehoshaphat: 2Ch 17:1–20:37
f) Jehoram and Ahaziah: 2Ch 21:1–22:9
g) Joash: 2Ch 22:10–24:27
h) Amaziah: 2Ch 25:1–28
i) Uzziah: 2Ch 26:1–23
j) Jotham: 2Ch 27:1–9
k) Ahaz: 2Ch 28:1–27
l) Hezekiah: 2Ch 29:1–32:33
m) Manasseh: 2Ch 33:1–20
n) Amon: 2Ch 33:21–25
o) Josiah: 2Ch 34:1–36:1
p) Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah: 2Ch 36:2–14
q) Exile: 2Ch 36:15–23

SAMUEL / KINGS / CHRONICLES DIFFERENCE

"Samuel-Kings was written just after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. The author, whether it was Jeremiah or someone else from the 'school of the prophets,' had access to the royal records of both the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah, as well as records that antedated the Divided Kingdom period. It is truly a story about the history of the kings of Israel, beginning with the desire to have a king because of the wickedness of first Eli's sons and then Samuel's, down to the wickedness of the last kings of Judah before it became time to 'overturn, overturn, overturn... until he come whose right it is' (Ezek 21:27). Samuel-Kings then documents much of the reasons for judgment.

"Chronicles, on the other hand, was written more to encourage the returning exiles. From the opening words citing Cyrus' decree, down through the selection of material showing God's continuing grace even during times of judgment, the writer of Chronicles (Ezra?) concentrates on God's plan to return the exiles back to the land, living righteously under God's rulership. The Chronicles record differs from that of Samuel-Kings with regard to Abijah's reign and also Manasseh's... the differing treatments of David's reign are also instructive. If one only reads Chronicles, one would never know about the seven-and-a-half years of Ishbosheth's reign, about David's sin regarding Bathsheba and Uriah, or about any of the fallout from that sin -- namely what happened with Amnon and Tamar, and about all that involved Absalom's rebellion.

"In short, Samuel-Kings serves to document why God was right to judge both Israel and Judah, while Chronicles was focusing more on God's mercy" (DB).

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