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Book of 2 Chronicles

Book of 2 Chronicles
by Timothy Kenney, PhD

The second book of Chronicles focuses on King Solomon's achievements, especially the Temple, and what brought about the Babylonian exile.

A stated in the previous article, the historical part of Chronicles covers the same period as the last three chapters in the Books of Kings. Therefore, much of the matter is the same in both. In fact, the two narratives not only agree in the facts they relate, but describe them almost in the same words.

A chapter outline appears in the following manner:

  1. The Reign of Solomon - 2 Chronicles 1-9
  2. The Davidic Monarchy until the Babylonian Exile - 2 Chronicles 10-36

A narrative summary of the the Book of 1 Chronicles follows.

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I. The Reign of Solomon - 2 Chronicles 1-9.

In Chapters 1-9, Solomon builds the house of God and brings the Ark of the Covenant into it. It was built sparing little expense out of dedication to his father and God. When it was finished, the children of Israel assembled and the cloud of God entered it. Solomon addressed them and reminded them of their covenant with God. They feasted and God appeared to Solomon and told him to watch over his people. Solomon regained all the lost lands and his people kept the commandments.

The Queen of Sheba addressed him and gave him many riches. Solomon increased the splendor of his house and the house of God. His son became king and Israel rebelled against his puritan rule. He retained only Judah for the house of David to rule. He transgressed against God and Egypt came against them. They humbled themselves before God and lost only their gold. Asa, the next king, upheld the word of God and defeated the Ethiopians. Azariah, the king of the rest of Israel, came to Asa and told him that Israel had been too long without God. Asa deposed his own mother for worshiping an idol. He made an alliance with Syria and fell out of favor with God for putting a seer in jail. His son, Jehosophat, ruled after him and there was peace. The Philistines paid tribute to them. He made a treaty with Ahab, the ruler of Israel, and they fought against Syria until Ahab died, disguised in battle.

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II. The Davidic Monarchy until the Babylonian Exile - 2 Chronicles 10-36.

Chapters 10-36 recounts the monarchy until the Exile. God blesses righteous kings with many children, victories, and prosperity. God also punishes wicked kings with defeats and disease. Unfaithfulness finally leads to the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile. The book ends on a hopeful note with Cyrus' decree that the exiles can return and rebuild the Temple.

We now turn our attention to the Book of 1 Esdras.

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