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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Chronicles

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36

Book Overview - 2 Chronicles

1. Author and Time of Writing

The two books of Chronicles are the very last books of the Hebrew Old Testament. Originally they formed one single book as the books of Samuel and Kings. The division of the books originates from the translation of the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the OT. From then on the division was taken over into the translations of the Holy Scriptures until finally it was taken over into the Hebrew Bible (firstly by Daniel Bomberg in 1517 AC).

1 Chronicles 3:19 ff; 1 Chronicles 9:1-2 and 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 make it clear that the two books were only written or completed after the Babylonian captivity. As the last verses of 2 Chronicles and the first few verses of the book of Ezra are nearly identical and as the book of Ezra is the historical sequence of Chronicles the Jewish scholars who wrote the Talmud named Ezra as author of the Chronicles. The detailed genealogies at the beginning (chap. 1-9) would also endorse Ezra's authorship. The genealogies were of great importance for the Jews after the exile (compare Ezra 2:62).

As in most of the OT writings the name of the author is however not mentioned. The priestly character of these books goes well with Ezra who was a priest as well (Ezra 7:1-5; Ezra 7:11). The time of writing would have been around 450 to 400 BC.

Throughout the books a number of historical accounts is mentioned upon which the writer could base his writings (1 Chronicles 5:17; 1 Chronicles 9:1; 1 Chronicles 23:27; 1 Chronicles 27:24; 1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 13:22; 2 Chronicles 24:27; 2 Chronicles 26:22; 2 Chronicles 27:7; 2 Chronicles 33:19; 2 Chronicles 35:25). For the reader acknowledging the Bible as God's inspired Word these circumstances, however, are not that important. More important is the fact that God Himself had the books written in order to admonish us (1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Corinthians 10:11).

2. Purpose of Writing

The books of Chronicles are not a repetition of the books of Kings. God pursued a special purpose with the writings of the Chronicles. We may see this already in the long genealogies of Israel and especially of the house of David, which commences with Adam, the first man. The books of Chronicles give a divine retrospect over Israel's history and the history of mankind as well as God's ways with men. One would think of comparing the Chronicles with Deuteronomy, which is no repetition of the preceding books either.

The Chronicles describe especially the kingdom of Judah. The books of Kings describe mostly the northern kingdom of the ten tribes (Israel). The Chronicles only mention Israel when it comes into contact with Judah.

The kingdoms of David and Solomon as well as their successors are the main subject of the Chronicles. Both David and Solomon form a joint picture of Christ as rejected, suffering, glorified and reigning king. Therefore David and Solomon's trespasses (David's adultery with Bathsheba and his murdering Uriah and Solomon's idolatry) are not mentioned. The books of Kings give more moral teachings and stress the human responsibility. The Chronicles however contain more typical teachings in connection with the grace of God.

A further main subject is the erection of the temple. The building of the temple takes up much more space in the Chronicles than in the first book of Kings. In 1 Chron. we see David's interest for the temple (God's dwelling-place amidst His people) in chap. 21-29 , and in 2 Chronicles 2; 2 Chronicles 3; 2 Chronicles 4; 2 Chronicles 5; 2 Chronicles 6; 2 Chronicles 7 the building and inauguration of the temple under King Solomon. Later on, the restoration of worship in the temple is mentioned several times (Josiah, Hezekiah). The Chronicles show the spiritual side of life in Judah and therefore bear a priestly character. The books of Kings however bear a prophetic stamp.

As in Kings the soon progressive decline of the people is described. This decline was interrupted in Judah by several revivals of God fearing kings (especially under Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah). The description of the history of the people of God ends with Jehovah's rejection and the deportation of the Jews into Babylonian captivity (around 605 to 586 BC). Babel is a picture of worldly power in a religious cloak (compare Genesis 11 and Revelation 17; Revelation 18).

But at the very end of the two books we find how God awakens the heart of King Cyrus of Persia to induce the Jews to return to Palestine. In this we find again the grace of God!

3. Peculiarities

The Temple

In addition to the differences between Chronicles and Kings mentioned above we find further remarkable differences in the descriptions of the temple. In 1 Kings 6:5-10 the chambers round about are mentioned which are missing in 2 Chronicles. In 2 Chronicles 3:14 we read of the veil and in 2 Chronicles 4:1 of the altar of brass whereas the author of 1 Kings does not mention either. This fact, and other small details, make it plain that 1 Kings describes the habitation of God and the intimate fellowship of God with His people. Second Chronicles however depicts the place where one can come near to God to worship Him.

4. Overview of Contents

III. 2 Chronicles 1-9 : Solomon's Reign

Chapter

1

Solomon's Accession to the Throne

Chapter

2-4

Building of the Temple

Chapter

5-7

Inauguration of the Temple

Chapter

8-9

Solomon's Glory and Death

IV. 2 Chronicles 10-36 : The Kingdom of Judah until the Exile

Chapter

10-12

Division of the Kingdom and Reign of Rehoboam

Chapter

13

Abijah

Chapter

14-16

Asa

Chapter

17

Jehoshaphat

Chapter

18

Jehoshaphat's Alliance with Ahab

Chapter

19

Jehoshaphat's Juridiction

Chapter

20

Salvation of the Moabites

Chapter

21

Jehoram

Chapter

22

Ahaziah

Chapter

23

Athaliah

Chapter

24

Joash's Zeal and Fall

Chapter

25

Amaziah

Chapter

26

Uzziah (Azariah)

Chapter

27

Jotham

Chapter

28

Ahaz

Chapter

29

Hezekiah cleanses the Temple

Chapter

30

Hezekiah's Passover

Chapter

31

Further Reformations of Hezekiah

Chapter

32

Sennacherib's (King of Assyria) Attack

Chapter

33

Manasseh

Chapter

34

Josiah cleanses the Temple and the Law is Found

Chapter

35

Josiah's Passover

Chapter

36

Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah; Jerusalem destroyed


Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
the Third Week of Advent
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