2nd Chronicles: The Kingdom of Judah

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2nd Chronicles
The Kingdom of Judah

Continuation of David's Kingdom and Temple Worship

Background: Written after the Exile and Return, around 400 BC
Theme: Continuance of Davidic Kingship and Temple Worship
Outline: Solomon's Reign and Judah's Kings
Key Verse: "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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2nd Chron 7:1, 4 NIV)

Lesson IndexChapter Index
1-9 Solomon and the TempleObservationsSummaryQuestions
10-22 Divided Kingdom to AthaliahObservationsSummaryQuestions
23 -36 Joash to ExileObservationsSummaryQuestions

Interactive Quiz on 2nd Chronicles

313233343536Chart of Kings

The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol I, Old Testament) is an excellent resource and is referred to as the BKC.

This book (originally a combined 1st and 2nd Chronicles) is written to instruct the people returning from exile, possibly written by Ezra. First Chronicles listed the genealogies from Adam to the return from exile and covered the reign of King David. Second Chronicles covers the reign of Solomon (emphasizing the establishment of the Temple) and the Kings of Judah up to the exile.

LESSON 1, Ch 1-9, Solomon and the Temple
As you read the first nine chapters, note the special emphasis on three areas. They are, the extent of Solomon's wisdom, wealth and military power; the establishment of the temple including the lavish furnishings; and the appearance of the Glory of the LORD and His presence at the temple.

I. Solomon's Reign (1-9)

A: Solomon's Wisdom and Prosperity (1)

1:1 The LORD is acknowledged as the root cause of Solomon's success. Although Solomon was given wealth and knowledge by the LORD, he was not totally obedient as evidenced in the next verses by the accumulation of chariots (which was forbidden to the Kings of Israel).

1:14-17 Solomon rapidly drifted into sin, for although wise he ignored Deut 17:16 "The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." Solomon gathered great numbers of horses, and imported both horses and chariots from Egypt.

B. Building the Temple (2:1-5:1)

2:1-7:22 The Temple is of such central importance to the writer of Chronicles that he devotes six chapters to its construction and dedication. In Solomon's time, perhaps his wealth was most impressive. To us moderns, the wisdom as recorded in Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes is most important. But to the exiles returning from captivity to Jerusalem, the establishment of the Temple was Solomon's greatest achievement.

2:1-6 Unique among the temples of that time, the Jerusalem temple would not contain either an actual manmade god or an image of the god being worshipped! This would be explained to Hiram.

3:1 This threshing floor was the place where David saw the Angel of the LORD and where the plague resulting from the forbidden census stopped.

3:9 Possibly the fifty shekels, a little over one pound, only measured the gold for gilding of the nails. A pound of nails, if the weight of the whole nail, is just a few handfuls.

C. Dedication of the Temple (5:2-7:10)

6:16 Solomon recites the LORD's words concerning the conditional nature of the promise to David, that "You shall never fail to have a man sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.' Solomon is without excuse for his later life of idolatry, and the same is true of the whole line of David.

6:32 Note the allowance for non-Jews, who may still come and pray towards the temple, symbolically praying towards the LORD. Solomon says that the LORD answering a gentile's prayer directed to the temple is a testimony to all the peoples of the earth.

D. God's Blessings and Curses (7:11-22)

7:13-14 These are great verses for national prayer, directed to the LORD's people. The days of discipline following sin would come; the verse says 'when' not 'if'. The question is, "How would the LORD's people respond in those days?" How do we respond to the Lord's discipline today? We should humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our sins. This verse is directed at the LORD's people who have sinned, not at the world in general.

E. Solomon's Successes (8-9)

9:1 The glory of Solomon is emphasized by a visit from the rich ruler of Sheba, from the far south, which traded in gold and spices.

LESSON 1, Ch 1-9, Solomon and the Temple

In a vision, God allows Solomon to make any request. He requests wisdom and knowledge to lead the people. God grants this request, and also gives Solomon wealth, riches and honor. Solomon conscripts labor and obtains cedars from Hiram of Tyre to begin construction of the temple. The magnificent temple is built on Mount Moriah.

At the dedication of the temple, the glory of the LORD filled the temple as a cloud. After Solomon's prayer, fire comes from heaven and consumes the sacrifices and the glory of the LORD fills the temple and is seen above it, preventing the priests from even entering the temple. At night, the LORD appears to Solomon and states that he has 'chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.' He promises to answer the prayers of his people, but also to uproot Israel from the land if they serve other gods.

The queen of Sheba hears of Solomon and visits. She is greatly impressed by the wisdom and wealth that the LORD has given Solomon. 'All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon.' A description of his wealth and military might follows.

Memory Verse: 2 Chron 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (NIV)

LESSON 1, Ch 1-9, Solomon and the Temple

1. Was Solomon's wisdom and knowledge of God enough to ensure that he led his kingdom in righteousness?

2. What were Solomon's strengths and weaknesses?

3. Do you think it was a waste to use so much gold? For instance, the Holiest of Holies is only entered by the high priest once a year.

4. How did God show his acceptance of the Temple and it's special significance?

5. Was Solomon a testimony to the world? Why or why not?

6. Was the Temple a testimony to the world? Why or why not?

7. Why did the writer of Chronicles devote so many chapters to the temple?

8. How is the Temple like our church buildings, and how is it different?

9. Does 2 Chron 7:14 apply to our nation? Why or why not?

LESSON 2, Ch 10-22, Divided Kingdom to Athaliah

As you read these chapters, observe which kings follow the Lord. The relationship of trusting God to the prosperity of the Nation was clear under the national covenant of the Old Testament.

II. Continuing Davidic Dynasty (10-36)

A. Rehoboam (10-12) 931-914 BC

10:13-17 Many Levites and other godly Israelites migrated from the northern kingdom to the southern kingdom for about three years. This meant leaving their ancestral lands, given to each tribe under Joshua approximately 400 years earlier.

11:18 Rehoboam's wife Maacah was Absolom's (David's rebellious son) granddaughter. Another wife, Mahalath, was Rehoboam's second cousin, granddaughter of David's brother, Eliab. Rehoboam had eighteen wives, a clear disregard for Deuteronomy 17:17.

12:2 925 BC Shishak was Pharaoh Sheshonk I who founded the 22nd dynasty of Egypt. This conquest is listed (several Palestinian cities) on the wall of the Temple of Amon at Karnak, Thebes.

B. Abijah (13) 913-910 BC

13:7 Rehoboam was actually 41 at the time being discussed in this verse.

13:17 The men of Israel were warned, yet fought against Judah. Perhaps they trusted in their numeric advantage, an army twice the size of Judah's. Yet, the LORD fought for Judah and 500,000 casualties resulted for the apostate Israel.

C. Asa (14-16) 909-868 BC (co-regent after 872)

14:9 A further migration of the godly few from the Northern Kingdom come to the Southern Kingdom as they see that the LORD is with Asa.

16:10 It is often dangerous to be the messenger with ill tidings. Hanani only spoke what the LORD said - Asa's anger was really against the LORD but was directed at Hanani. This may be the case with us as we apply discipline and counsel to believers. Asa was devoted to the Lord earlier in his life, but his actions showed his trust had turned away from the Lord to political alliances. The Lord sent Hanani, giving Asa an opportunity to repent. However, Asa turned from the Lord and jailed Hanani. Even in his later illness Asa refused to seek the Lord.

D. Jehoshaphat (17-20) 872-847 BC (co-regent before 868 and after 852)

17:7-9 What an institution of education! Serving the Lord requires understanding of his word, not merely conforming to outward practices such as feast days. One result of this teaching was peace for the land as the other nations became fearful.

18:12-13 One question confronting every Christian at some time or another is whether to go with the consensus or speak what the Lord has put on our heart. The ultimate test of truth for us is not how many people agree but what the Bible says. On matters not clear in Scripture, a consensus may properly determine a course of action. Here, the consensus was clearly opposed to God's word through Micaiah. No number of religious officials can make what is opposed to God's word right!

18:27 None of the lying prophets was willing to match Micaiah's statement. For instance, they could have said, "If you do not return victorious, the LORD has not spoken through me and you may punish me accordingly." The punishment for false prophets was stoning.

19:1-4 The proper response to the pronounced guilt of Jehoshaphat would be repentance. It may be assumed by his actions that Jehoshaphat did repent, for he served the Lord again.

20:16 Beracah in Hebrew means 'praise'.

20:37 Although Jehoshaphat was a good king, and followed the Lord most of the time, the Lord could not bless those actions Jehoshaphat took in contradiction to His word. We may be servants of the Lord, but those aspects of our lives that we refuse to submit to God may be futile. A man may try to live as a Christian at home and church, but forget Him at work. Jehoshaphat 'forgot' about the Lord when it came to political alliances and paid the price. With the Lord's help, let us strive to bring all parts of our life under His control.

E. Jehoram (21) 852-841 BC (co-regent before 847)

21:6 This is a negative example of the importance of a godly spouse. Often a young person will say, "He/she will change after we are married; I can be a good influence." However, one reason for Jehoram's sinful life is clear: "for he married a daughter of Ahab."

F. Ahaziah (22:1-9) 841 BC

G. Athaliah (22:10-23:21) 841-835 BC

LESSON 2, Ch 10-22, Divided Kingdom to Athaliah

Rehoboam did not follow the advice of the older advisors, but tried to be more of a tyrant than Solomon. Jeroboam, previously promised ten tribes by a prophet, was first the spokesman for the ten tribes and then the ruler. Unfortunately he instituted the calf idols, and the godly Levites and others went to Judah.

Abijah was not godly, but did trust in the Lord to fight for Judah in a battle with Israel. His son Asa was a noted Godly king, reforming Judah in his younger days. But, like Solomon, he turned from the Lord in his old age. His son Jehoshaphat sent priests and Levites through the land to teach the Book of the Law. Although he followed the Lord in some ways, he did not follow him in political alliances. His son married a daughter of Jezebel. Jehoram was influenced for the worst by his wife Athaliah. After Jehoram's death, and short life of Ahaziah, Athaliah killed her own grandchildren to take a firm hold of the throne for herself. This is a low point in the history of Judah.

LESSON 2, Ch 10-22, Divided Kingdom to Athaliah

1. Was it proper for the Levites to leave the land given to them in Israel and migrate to Israel? What about the godly people from the other northern tribes?

2. Was Rehoboam wrong to listen to advice from different groups?

3. Consider the story of Asa and Hanani. What do you think about being persecuted or jailed for doing exactly what God tells you to do? Are we to pay a price for speaking God's word?

4. Describe the basic areas where Jehoshaphat followed the Lord and where he didn't. Do Christians ever do this? (Follow only in some areas)

5. We see what happened to Ahaziah and his brothers. Is this at all Jehoram's fault, or only Athaliah's?

LESSON 3, Ch 23-36 Joash to Exile

The relationship of the priests to the kings was important. Notice the effect of the finding of the Law in the time of Josiah, and the working out of the penalties contained in it.

H. Joash (24) 835-796 BC

I. Amaziah (25) 796-767 BC (co-regent after 791)

25:16 The King did not want to hear the Lord's word. This is similar to those today who say that the Bible should be kept out of politics. Yes, we have freedom of religion in the United States, but what God says is wrong is still wrong, and we are to proclaim it whether our political leaders want to hear it or not.

J. Uzziah (Azariah) (26) 791-739 (co-regent before 767 and after 752)

The early godly life of Uzziah was followed by tragic rebellion ending in years of leprosy and death. This is the setting for one of the most famous visionary calls of a prophet, found in Isaiah Chapter 6, which happened in 739.

K. Jotham (27) 752-736 (co-regent before 739 and for part of 736)

L. Ahaz (28) 736-720 (co-regent for part of 736 and after 729)

M. Hezekiah (29-32) 729-699 (co-regent before 720)

31:14-21 cf. Numbers 18:21-24, Do we adequately support our pastors so that they do not need to supplement their income?

32:15 The messenger was correct in pointing out the worthlessness of false gods and false religion. But he made a major mistake in assuming the LORD was just another 'god'. Many to day have given up a religion they have grown up with, perhaps only an outward collection of teachings and ceremonial observances. Empty religion should not be confused with a relationship with the living Lord. Today, as in Hezekiah's time, the LORD is ready to listen to those who seek him.

N. Manasseh (33:1-20) 698-643

33:10-13 Manasseh repented and was reinstated even after great sin. Today, no criminal or sinner is so far gone that he cannot repent and be saved by grace through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9c).

O. Amon (33:21-25) 642-640 BC

P. Josiah (34-35) 640-609 BC

Q. Jehoahaz (36:1-4) 609 BC

R. Jehoiakim (36:5-8) 609-598 BC

S. Jehoiachin (36:9-10) 598 BC

T. Zedekiah (36:11-16) 597-586 BC

U. Babylonian Conquest and Exile (36:17-21)

V. Decree of Cyrus (36:22-23)

LESSON 3, Ch 23 -36 Joash to Exile

A rebellion led by the High Priest replaces Athaliah with the rightful young king Joash, who follows the LORD as long as that priest lives to guide him. Amaziah becomes king, but does not want to hear the Lord. Uzziah is a godly king as a youth, but in later years is filled with pride and tries to act as a priest in the temple. He is stricken with leprosy for this sin, and lives a secluded life afterwards.

Hezekiah is a notable king, who sends teachers of the Law throughout the land. He does not follow the Lord in political alliances, and suffers for it. Manasseh is evil, but repents. Josiah is a godly king, and the Book of the Law is found in the temple during his reigh. Upon hearing of the anger of God, he and his people repent, but the judgement are only delayed. Josiah dies in a battle against Pharoah Neco. The Babylonians defeat Egypt and Assyria at the Battle of Carchemesh, and eventually take Jerusalem three different times (they keep rebelling). The last time, the temple and Jerusalem are destroyed and all of the people taken into captivity. Eventually, the Lord raises up Cyrus, a pagan Persian, who allows Jews to return to Jerusalem.

LESSON 3, Ch 23 -36 Joash to Exile

1. Will a godly king always have a godly son?

2. Considering the repentance of Josiah, are the consequences of sin eliminated when we confess and are forgiven?

3. What incidents show that the LORD is also master of the pagan nations?

4. What were the effects of the reading of the Book of the Law?

Chronology of the Divided Kingdoms
(Barton Payne dates)

Northern Kingdom

Southern Kingdom

Jeroboam I931-910Rehoboam931-914
Jehoahaz814-798Joash 835-796
Jeroboam II*793-753Azariah*791-739*

Please send comments or suggestions to ron@iStudyBible.com
Updated March 2012

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