Bible Commentary Bible History General Theology

2 Chronicles guide and info on the kings

“And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” -2 Chronicles 20:29

List of Kings mentioned

  • Rehoboam – He was made king, and a relaxation was requested for him. He also refused counsel from the old men, but in the end, raised an army to subdue Israel.
  • Abijah – He was the son of Rehoboam and inherited his throne. He warred against Jeroboam and overcame him by trusting in God.
  • (Jeroboam – a King of Israel, who was shown warring with several kings of Judah.)
  • Asa was king after Abijah, to which, he was most known for destroying idolatry, promoting peace, and putting his faith in God.
  • Jehoshaphat was made king after him, to which, he sent Levites with the princes to teach Judah, was feared by the nations, and joined up with Ahab to be against Ramoth-gilead.
  • Jehoram is made king after him, and ruled wickedly – to which, a prophecy was made against him by Elijah, the Philistines and Arabians oppress him, and he had an incurable disease that brought death.
  • Ahaziah, another wicked king, takes the throne, to which he made confederacy with Joram the son of Ahab, and was then slain by Jehu.
  • Athaliah came in and usurped the kingdom, destroying the entire seed royal, and saving Joash.
  • Joash was made king, and soon after, Athaliah is slain. He reigned well, fell into idolatry, and slayed Zechariah.
  • Amaziah succeeded him on the throne. He began by slaying his father’s murderers, hired an army of Israelites against the Edomites, and successfully overthrew the Edomites.
  • Uzziah is then made king, and reigned well. He invaded the priest’s office and was smitten with leprosy.
  • Jotham succeeded Uzziah, to which, he was a prosperous king, but with little Scriptural record.
  • Ahaz was the next king, in which, he reigned in a bad way. He asked for help from the king of Assyria against the Philistines and Edomites, but to no avail. He was heavily involved in idolatry.
  • Hezekiah then took the throne after him. He restored religion, offered solemn sacrifices, and sung with praise. Also, he destroyed the altars of idolatry.
  • Manasseh would succeed him, and was wicked. Even so, he believed in God, and prayed – still dealing with idolatry.
  • Amon would reign shortly. He was slain by his servants (Amon was usually found guilty of trespassing), which ended his kingship quickly.

About Josiah: Josiah was best known for having a good reign starting at eight years old and being right in the eyes of the Lord. He walked in the ways of David, his father. He chose to destroy idolatry, which involved purging Judah and Jerusalem of all high places, carved images, and other molten images and groves. He also takes order of the repair of the Temple. Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law, and therefore, the king asked that people do after all that is written in the book. Finally, he makes a covenant with the Lord to walk after Him, keep His commandments, His testimonies, His statutes with all of his heart and soul. He desired to keep the words of the covenant, which are in the book. He led others to believe in God and never to depart from Him!

The Temple: The Temple was made as sacred as possible, with all the decorative furniture and “heavenly” things added to make it appear more holy. Since it was wonderfully made, and now that God has established his Temple within us instead of a building, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Queen of Sheba: Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, and therefore, visited him. She admired his wisdom, and blessed him with her words. She saw that God blessed him, and that he was working for the glory of God, for God had loved Israel. She gave him 120 talents of gold, spices in great abundance, precious stones, and other gifts were brought as well. Therefore, King Solomon gave to the queen all that she desired or asked, and then she left. (Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen. He made silver and gold at Jerusalem that was as much as stones (which probably means quite a bit), and cedar trees he had. A chariot out of Egypt brought 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150 (horses were brought for all the kings of the Hittites and the Kings of Syria).)

1:11-12 says, “And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.”

Synopsis

The Book of Second Chronicles, a book written by Ezra (most presume, or some other chronicler), was done around 450-420 BC. Much as First Chronicles was, Second Chronicles continues where it left off – which was the detail of the redemptive history of Israel. While the genealogy was detailed as well as David’s reign as king in First Chronicles, then in Second Chronicles, Solomon’s reign was detailed as well as the listing of Judah’s kings. The chronicler details the reigns of certain kings in Judah, especially those responsible for revival and reformation. Some of it focuses on the evil kings that caused problems, including the corruption and collapse of the kingdom.

The writer here is very focused on the dynasty continuance through Solomon from David. Solomon was another very important figure as he was to build the temple and create a lasting way for people to be able to worship God and bring sacrifices unto Him. Solomon’s devotion to God was great at the beginning of his reign, in that he arranged a ceremony at the tabernacle in Gibeon and had been offered a gift from God – to which he chose wisdom to be able to reign in Israel. So, Solomon’s wisdom would be at work in the everyday affairs of people’s lives, especially in how he managed his kingdom. Solomon also would write words of wisdom and songs – some people would record the wisdom he would speak. His wisdom was so widely known. But, more importantly, the plans for building the temple were to be done. The writer shows the enjoyment Israel had under King Solomon. They trusted that he would carry out the temple project successfully.

Solomon had help from King Hiram of Tyre in preparing the materials and arranging a workforce to build the temple. Construction lasted for seven years – to which the temple and all its furnishings were completely done and prepared ceremonially. After that, the temple was dedicated to God. Solomon wanted to preserve the holiness of his throne, so he had a palace built for his Egyptian wife. The writer emphasized that the Davidic line of kings wanted to stay faithful to God. Anyway, temple services were organized according to the plans laid out by David and him.          After noting a bit more about the wisdom of Solomon, his ability in business, and his fame and wealth – the writer closes with talking about the death of Solomon. Rehoboam, his son, took the helm after his death.

Next, the writer deals with an outlined explanation of all of the important reigns of Judah’s kings. He starts with Rehoboam, who took the kingly throne after the death of Solomon. Rehoboam began his reign well, which was influenced by priests and Levites who came to Judah from Israel. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, took Judah’s throne, which caused the Davidic line to be under “Judah” rather than “Israel.” During the kingdom division, Israel was divided, and two of the tribes went into their own kingdom called Judah. Jeroboam ruled in Israel, and Rehoboam ruled in Judah.

Next, the writer details the reformation under Asa, and then talked about the end of his reign before Ahab came to power in the north. Under the influence of his wife, Jezebel, Baalism became a norm in Israel. This “Baalism” was very evil and powerful than others had practiced, and this concerned the other kingdom. After the reign of Asa and Ahab was outlined, then the writer talks about the reign of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat carried on the reformation of Asa, and destroyed all of the Baal shrines that remained in Judah. Jehoshaphat also reformed and reorganized the judicial system in Judah, because of the need to eliminate injustice and to be sure, that people are treated fair.

The Baalism of Ahab and Jezebel had remained to be strong in the northern kingdom during the reigns of Ahaziah and Joram. It had spread to Judah in the reign of Jehoram. When Judah had died, Athaliah seized the throne herself and she ruled for six years – doing all she could to establish the northern Baalism for her parents in Judah. However, the death of Athaliah was also the end of Jezebel’s Baalism in Judah.

Another proponent of David was Joash, whom encouraged better worship among his people. However, Joash was reported to have turned away from God and encouraged Canaanite worship – and in this, he came under God’s judgment. His death was a punishment, because he murdered a priest who had rebuked him. The writer, then, moves forward in other kings he details, such as Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz. On Hezekiah’s work, great detail was added, because he began a very thorough reformation of Judah’s religion, which was prompted by the prophet Micah.

Hezekiah’s work affected the temple, priests, and Levites – as they neglected the temple because of God’s anger with Judah. The temple was to be cleansed and prepared for a renewal of services. Services were held, offerings were made, and the temple was successfully rededicated. A Passover feast was held after, and all of the traces of false religions were removed from Jerusalem. His reformations helped Judah to be more prosperous, but pride led him on to becoming friends with Babylon, which was the current rising power in that area. Later, this brought disaster upon Judah.

With Manasseh ruling next, he destroyed all the good work of his father, and drug the nation down to a very low condition spiritually. However, when his life was ending, he tried to quickly reform it and undo the damage, but it was impossible to do with so many years of damage. Amon followed and removed the reform that was beginning from Manasseh. However, once Josiah stepped in, a big reform came, and a Passover feast followed – just like during the reform of Hezekiah.

The Ark was returned to the temple where it belonged, and many good things happened during his reign – until he was killed in battle. Hezekiah and Josiah were two great kings who had successfully reformed in Judah. However, once Josiah died, Judah returned to its wicked ways, and the successors for the throne kept following disastrous policies that only hurt Judah so much more. God, then, allowed one final judgment upon the nation by allowing Babylon to conquer Judah, destroy Jerusalem, and take the people captive to another land. Many of the reasons for the destruction included the unfaithfulness of the priests and people, their refusal to heed the warnings of the messengers of God, and kept on with their sinful acts.

God, however, was not through with His People just yet, as a new king was raised up named Cyrus of Persia, who conquered Babylon – as well as freeing the Jews to be able to return and rebuild their homeland. The nation then centered its life on the temple in Jerusalem. King Cyrus desired that the Lord be with them once again.

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