OVERVIEW OF 2 CHRONICLES
Author: Good evidence for Ezra the priest, who was part of the remnant who returned to Jerusalem after Cyrus king of Persia’s decree, which is referenced in 2 Chr. 36:22-23 and at the beginning of Ezra’s book.
Date: Probably 450-425 B.C. Jerusalem fell in 586 B.C. to the Babylonians. Cyrus the king of Persia issued a declaration in 536 B.C., allowing the Israelite remnant to return to Jerusalem.
Audience: “All Israel” who had been exiled but returned to Jerusalem.
Chapters 1-9 - Solomon’s Building of the Temple and other Accomplishments
1:1-17 - Solomon asks for and receives God’s wisdom and additional blessings
2:1-18 - Solomon prepares to build the Temple by recruiting large numbers of workers and solicited Hiram king of Tyre who gladly sent him wood and Huram-Abi, a skilled engraver
3:1-5:1 - Solomon built and furnished the Temple at the site David set aside and according to God’s plans
5:2-6:11 - The ark of the covenant put in the Most Holy Place of the Temple with great worship and glory
6:12-7:10 - Solomon’s magnificent dedication prayer, God’s powerful response, people’s joyful celebration
7:11-22 - The Lord appeared to remind Solomon of blessing for faithfulness, cursing for unfaithfulness
8:1-9:31 - Solomon’s ongoing success until his death (no mention of sin or spiritual decline
Chapters 10:1-36:14 - Southern Judah’s kings through Zedekiah until the fall to Babylon
10:1-12:16 - Kingdom divides between Jeroboam over northern Israel and Rehoboam over southern Judah, Rehoboam strengthened Judah, but went astray and the Lord allowed to be attacked by Egypt, but Rehoboam humbled himself and Judah was rescued from destruction
13:1-22 - Abijah succeeded Rehoboam, fought with Israel, but gained victory through trust in the Lord
14:1-16:14 - Asa succeeded Abijah, sought the Lord, gained victory in battle, established tremendous reforms in the land, until he turned to Aram for help against Cushite army instead of God and died proud
17:1-20:37 - Jehoshaphat succeeded Asa, mostly faithful to the Lord resulting in kingdom being firmly reestablished, but made two unwise alliances with two evil kings in Ahab and Ahaziah
21:1-20 - Jehoram succeeded Jehoshaphat, did evil in God’s eyes as the kings of Israel
22:1-9 - Ahaziah succeeded Jehoram, also doing evil and was killed by Jehu
22:10-24:27 - Joash succeeded Ahaziah after being rescued from Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah, renewed covenant and restored the Temple, but became proud, led people astray, killed by his own men
25:1-28 - Amaziah succeeded Joash, half hearted to God, defeated by Israel and killed by his own
26:1-23 - Uzziah succeeded Amaziah, successful at beginning but became proud and God gave him leprosy
27:1-9 - Jotham succeeded Uzziah, faithful to the Lord, defeating Ammonites
28:1-27 - Ahaz succeeded Jotham, did evil as kings of Israel, was defeated by Arameans, Israel, Assyria
29:1-32:33 - Hezekiah succeeded Ahaz, restored Temple and worship, led largest observance of Passover since David and Solomon, prayed and believed God for miraculous defeat of Assyria, became ill, then healed, then proud, but repented, success restored
33:1-25 - Mannaseh succeeded Hezekiah, did much evil, defeated by Assyria, humbled himself and repented and died naturally, then Amon succeeded him, did evil, conspired against and killed
34:1-35:27 - Josiah succeeded Amon, did right, sought the Lord, led revival and restored covenant with people and God, observed Passover like none since Samuel, but killed in battle against Egypt
36:1-21 - Jehoahaz succeeded Josiah, overthrown by Egypt who made brother, Eliakim, king and changed name to Jehoiakim, overthrown by Babylon, put son Jehoiachin in charge, but removed him, made his uncle Zedekiah king, who led Judah further astray, resulting in destruction of Jerusalem and exile
36:22-23 - 70 years later Cyrus king of Persia proclaimed Israel to go back and rebuild Temple in Jerusalem
Purpose of 2 Chronicles: By revisiting the history of the Temple built by Solomon as central to the life of the Jewish nation, and how the Lord exiled them to Babylon for their unfaithfulness, but then preserved them in Babylon and brought them back to Jerusalem, the hope was to inspire the remnant to rebuild the Temple and restore its worship and be faithful to God as His people and witness of His glory to the nations.
Contemporary Connections and Applications
The focus was the importance of the Temple as God’s dwelling place among His people and the worship that took place there to be restored and purified as a witness to the nations. God’s focus of the Gospel of Christ is still to establish a dwelling place for Himself among His redeemed people filled with His Spirit.
God blessed and favored the kings and people when they were faithful, but opposed them when they were unfaithful. Christ was perfectly faithful and righteous on our behalf, and we now enjoy the benefits of His obedience. Through Him, we’ve been promised spiritual and eternal blessings for faithfulness to Him. He absorbed God’s wrath for our unfaithfulness so that now we experience God’s loving discipline and not wrath for our unfaithfulness in order to bring us back to Himself.
God restored the unfaithful kings and persons who humbled themselves and repented. God still opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Godly sorrow always leads to repentance that brings life.
God exiled the Jewish remnant to Babylon but honored His promise to David by preserving them and bringing them back to the land of promise. No matter how distant we feel from God, He never leaves or forsakes His own, and ultimately, He will bring His faithful people to Himself in the city of God in heaven.