2 Chronicles

Introduction to the Book of 2 Chronicles

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Zavada, Jack. "2 Chronicles." ThoughtCo, Feb. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/book-of-2-chronicles-701127. Zavada, Jack. (2017, February 12). 2 Chronicles. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/book-of-2-chronicles-701127 Zavada, Jack. "2 Chronicles." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/book-of-2-chronicles-701127 (accessed September 22, 2017).
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Bill Fairchild

Second Chronicles, the companion book to 1 Chronicles, continues the history of the Hebrew people, from the reign of King Solomon to the captivity in Babylon.

Although 1 and 2 Chronicles repeat much of the material in 1 Kings and 2 Kings, they approach it from a different perspective.  Chronicles, written after the exile, record the high moments of Judah's history, leaving out many of the negatives.

  For the benefit of the returning captives, these two books stress obedience to God, detailing the successes of obedient kings and the failures of disobedient kings.  Idolatry and unfaithfulness are strongly condemned.

First Chronicles and 2 Chronicles were originally one book but were separated into two accounts, the second beginning with the rule of Solomon.  Second Chronicles deals primarily with Judah, the southern kingdom, virtually ignoring the rebellious northern kingdom of Israel.

Shortly after their escape from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites built a tabernacle, under the direction of God.  This portable tent served as a place of sacrifice and worship for hundreds of years.  As Israel's second king, David planned a magnificent permanent temple to honor God, but it was his son Solomon who carried out the construction.

The wisest and richest man on Earth, Solomon married many foreign wives, who led him into idolatry, squandering his inheritance.

  Second Chronicles records the reigns of the kings who followed him, some of whom destroyed the idols and high places, and others who tolerated worship of false gods.

For today's Christian, 2 Chronicles serves as a reminder that idolatry still exists, though in more subtle forms.  Its message is still relevant:  Put God first in your life and allow nothing to come between yourself and your relationship with him.

  

Author of 2 Chronicles

Jewish tradition credits Ezra the scribe as the author.

Date Written

About 430 B.C.

Written To:

The ancient Jewish people and all later readers of the Bible.

Landscape of 2 Chronicles

Jerusalem, Judah, Israel.

Themes in 2 Chronicles

Three themes permeate the book of 2 Chronicles:  God's promise to David of an eternal throne, God's desire to abide in his holy temple, and God's ongoing offer of forgiveness.

God honored his covenant with David to establish David's house, or reign, forever.  Earthly kings could not do that, but one of David's descendants was Jesus Christ, who now reigns in heaven for all eternity.  Jesus, the "Son of David" and King of Kings, also served as Messiah, the perfect sacrifice who died for the salvation of humanity.

Through David and Solomon, God established his temple, where people could come to worship.  Solomon's temple was destroyed by the invading Babylonians, but through Christ, God's temple was re-established forever as his Church.  Now, through baptism, the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer, whose body is a temple (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Finally, the theme of sin, loss, coming back to God, and restoration runs throughout the second half of 2 Chronicles.

  Clearly God is a God of love and forgiveness, always welcoming his repentant children back to him. 

Key Characters in 2 Chronicles

Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Ahab, Jehoram, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah.

Key Verses

2 Chronicles 1:11-12
God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”  (NIV)

2 Chronicles 7:14
...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

(NIV)

2 Chronicles 36:15-17
The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. (NIV)

Outline of the Book of 2 Chronicles

  • Solomon prepares, builds and dedicates the temple - 2 Chronicles 1:1-7:22.
  • Solomon's achievements and fame - 2 Chronicles 8:1-9:31.
  • Reign of Rehoboam, Solomon's son - 2 Chronicles 10:1-12:16.
  • Reigns of good and wicked kings - 2 Chronicles 13:1-36:16.
  • Exile into Babylon - 2 Chronicles 36:17-21.
  • Restoration of God's people to Israel - 2 Chronicles 36:22-23.