II Chronicles - Obedience and Apostacy

  • I and II Chronicles were once together as one book.
  • It is a history book starting with Adam (I Chronicles 1:1) and ending with Cyrus of Persia (II Chronicles 36:23) in 538 B.C.
  • The word “Chronicles” refers to record books or diaries.
  • The author of I and II Chronicles is not mentioned, but tradition suggests that it was Ezra.
  • II Chronicles records the history of the reign of King Solomon and all of the kings of Judah from Rehoboam through Zedekiah. It focuses only on the kings of Judah and excludes those of Israel.
  • More than half of I and II Chronicles has parallels in I and II Samuel and I and II Kings.
  • Nearly all biblical scholars agree that I and II Chronicles could not have been written later than the end of the fifth century B.C., perhaps around 400. One reason for this is that the last person mentioned in I and II Chronicles is Anani of the eighth generation from Jehoiachin (I Chronicles 3:24). Jehoiachin was taken captive by the Babylonians in 598 B.C. If twenty-five years are allotted for each generation, Anani would have been born between 425 and 400 B.C. This would place the book between 598 and 400 B.C.
  • II Chronicles repeats many stories from the books of Kings. It focuses on kings in David’s family, Solomon, and the kings of Judah. You need to read the books of Kings for stories of the kings of Israel.
  • Solomon enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous reign of forty years. He achieved much in business and government, but most important, he was the man God used to build the temple.
  • Throughout the reigns of twenty kings, the nation of Judah wavered between obedience to God and apostasy. There were a few good kings and many evil ones. Although idolatry and injustice were common, some kings turned to God and led the people in revival. This included the destruction of idols, obedience to the law, and restoration of the priesthood.

This book can be outlined into two major thoughts:

  1. Solomon, David’s son, became the richest and wisest king on earth. He made the nation strong and built a beautiful temple in Jerusalem (chapters 1-9).
  2. The people of Israel were divided into two nations: Israel and Judah. These chapters tell about the kings of Judah (chapters 10-36).