“But just when Rehoboam was at the height of his popularity and power he abandoned the Lord, and the people followed him in this sin.” 2 Chronicles 12:1 TLB
What’s Going On?
2 Chronicles begins with King Solomon asking for wisdom and the first few chapters tell of the building and dedication of the Temple. We will see, again, how the kingdom will divide after Solomon’s reign and become two distinct nations; Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Here’s where we start to notice a difference in the way the story unfolds. When we read about the divided kingdom in 1-2 Kings, we had to bounce back and forth between the two kingdoms and try to follow both of their histories in parallel form. This time around we are only going to get the story of the southern kingdom of Judah. While there are some references to what is going on to the north of them in Israel, the author concentrates solely on what happened in Judah.
Remember that the northern kingdom of Israel split from Judah when Jeroboam rebelled against Rehoboam who followed his father, Solomon, as king. The kings in the northern kingdom of Israel will not carry the family line of David and therefore aren’t important in this retelling of the story since it is the lineage of David that will carry on long after the nation of Israel has fallen. We saw time and time again how the kings in Israel became king mostly by killing the previous king, and often his entire family, and claiming the throne for himself. So here in 2 Chronicles, we are going to be following the Davidic lineage and the dynasty will remain with the southern kingdom of Judah. In other words – no more bouncing back and forth between the two kingdoms. Judah’s history is told here as one continuous story. Well, almost. We’ll actually finish the book of 2 Chronicles next week.
When and Where Are We?
In the first chapter we are at about 1000 BC and by the end of the week’s reading we are at about 700 BC, so we cover almost three hundred years of history in this book. The main location is the southern nation of Judah and its capitol, Jerusalem.
- Rehoboam – Solomon’s son. He abandoned the Law and as a result Jerusalem is invaded by Egypt. The prophet Shemaiah delivers an unsettling message and he returns to the Lord
- Abijah (Abijam) – Good king who leads a revolt against Jeroboam. He is surrounded but calls on the Lord and wins the battle
- Asa – Great king, Judah’s first Godly king who rid the land of false idols and altars and led a movement to return to the ways of the Lord
- Jehoshephat – Good king but he made an alliance with Ahab that will cause problems later
- Jehoram – Terrible king. He kills all of his brothers and marries Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, King and Queen in Israel. He receives a letter from Elijah and is struck ill because of his sin
- Ahaziah – bad king, his mother was Athaliah who was an evil queen in Israel. He is killed by Jehu
- Queen Athaliah – had temporary rule in Judah after the death of her son Ahaziah. She has all potential heirs murdered, only Joash survives because he is hidden away as an infant.
- Joash (Jehoash) – Mostly a Great King, wisely counselled by Jehoida the priest. He was crowned king of Judah at seven years old and ruled for almost forty years. Joash grew up to be a wise king who restored the Temple and the Law, but later blew it when his officials led him astray.
“Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.” 2 Chronicles 24:20 b
Weekly Reading Assignment:
- Monday: 2 Chronicles 1-4
- Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 5-8
- Wednesday: 2 Chronicles 9-12
- Thursday: 2 Chronicles 13-16
- Friday: 2 Chronicles 17-21
- Saturday: 2 Chronicles 22-24