Scriptures

2 Chronicles 1

Introduction

In our Bibles today we have 1 and 2 Chronicles as two books but they were originally one book. The Book of 1 Chronicles is a book of narrative history, and genealogies. While the books of 1 and 2 Kings focuses on the northern kingdom, Israel, 1 Chronicles focuses on the southern kingdom, Judah.

Nothing is said about the northern kingdom in 2 Chronicles because Jeroboam led the northern tribes after sins that took them away from worshiping God.

For this reason, 1 Chronicles focuses on the kings and events that relate to the southern kingdom, specifically the tribe of Judah. 2 Chronicles covers the history of both 1 and 2 Kings.

The purpose of the book was to encourage the remnant that had come out of the Babylonian captivity and it covers in some extra detail most of the information already covered by 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings.

Author

No one knows who the author of the book is but Jewish tradition believes that Ezra wrote both 1 and 2 Chronicles, as well as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The reason for this is because the book of Ezra immediately begins where 2 Chronicles concludes, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 / Ezra 1:1-3. Ezra was a priest in the southern kingdom who lived in Jerusalem, Ezra 7:11.

Date

Chronicles tells us about the events in the history of Israel down to the end of their captivity in Babylon and the restoration that was initiated by the Medo-Persian king, Cyrus, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23.

In view of what the author writes in 2 Chronicles 35:25, it appears that the book was written after the time of Jeremiah who wrote Lamentations. Most commentators agree that the book was written between 450 and 425 BC.

The Book

2 Chronicles 1-9 speaks about the history of the reign of Solomon and 2 Chronicles 10-36 speaks about the history of the separate kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from Babylonian Exile.

The author of the book gathers up the threads of the old national life broken by the captivity. The book also mentions public records, registers, and genealogical tables which belonged to the Jews.

These are referred to throughout the book,  1 Chronicles 27:24 / 1 Chronicles 29:29 / 2 Chronicles 9:29 / 2 Chronicles 12:15 / 2 Chronicles 13:22 / 2 Chronicles 20:34 / 2 Chronicles 24:27 / 2 Chronicles 26:22-23 / 2 Chronicles 27:7 / 2 Chronicles 35:25-27.

There are in within the books, and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often verbal, proving that the writer knew and used these records, 1 Chronicles 17:18 / 2 Samuel 7:18-20 / 1 Chronicles 19:1ff / 2 Samuel 10:1ff.

Outline

Solomon. 2 Chronicles 1-9

Commencement of Reign. 2 Chronicles 1

The Temple. 2 Chronicles 2-7

Other Achievements. 2 Chronicles 8-9

Rehoboam to Ahaz. 2 Chronicles 10-28

Rehoboam. 2 Chronicles 10-12

Abijah. 2 Chronicles 13

Asa. 2 Chronicles 14-16

Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 17-20

Jehoram. 2 Chronicles 21

Ahaziah. 2 Chronicles 22

Joash. 2 Chronicles 23-24

Amaziah. 2 Chronicles 25

Uzziah. 2 Chronicles 26

Jotham. 2 Chronicles 27

Ahaz. 2 Chronicles 28

Hezekiah to Judah’s End. 2 Chronicles 29-36

Hezekiah. 2 Chronicles 29-32

Manasseh. 2 Chronicles 33

Josiah. 2 Chronicles 34-35

Judah’s End. 2 Chronicles 36

The Text

‘Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. Then Solomon spoke to all Israel—to the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in Israel, the heads of families—and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the LORD’s servant had made in the wilderness. Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the LORD; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.’ 2 Chronicles 1:1-6

After the death of his father, David, Solomon, is now king of Israel, 1 Chronicles 29:26-28, and thanks to his father, David, and because God was with him, he got off to a great start, 1 Kings 1:1-11:43. After speaking to all Israel, they went to the high place at Gideon because that was where the tabernacle was located.

The tabernacle was made by Moses in the wilderness, the one mentioned here isn’t obviously the original one as Moses made that one 400 years ago, so this tabernacle wouldn’t be the original one. Although the ark of the covenant had been brought to Jerusalem by David, the tabernacle itself remained at Gibeon.

The bronze altar would have been the original, which was made by Bezalel, Exodus 36:1-2, it wouldn’t have worn out like the cloth of the tabernacle over the years.

The wealth of Solomon is seen in the number of offerings he provided and we must note that although Solomon provided the burnt offerings, he didn’t offer them personally, this was the job of the priests.

Solomon Asks For Wisdom

‘That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honour, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honour, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12

1 Kings 3:5 tells us that God appeared to Solomon in a dream. God often appeared to men in dreams, but that didn’t always mean that God approved that person, we see this Pharaoh, Genesis 41:1-8, and Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 2:1-9.

When God tells Solomon to ask for anything, Matthew 7:7 / John 15:7 / 1 John 5:14, we see in Solomon’s answer to God, that he truly appreciated everything God had done for him.

Solomon understands that his greatest need, if he is going to have this huge responsibility to lead God’s people, is wisdom, he knows he needs understanding so that he can lead God’s people with justice. Remember his father, David prayed that Solomon would reign with wisdom and understanding, 1 Chronicles 29:10-20.

Solomon didn’t request anything for himself such as long life or riches, he simply asks for wisdom to rule the people and because of this, God heard his prayer and God was pleased with him, 1 Kings 3:10. God was so pleased with his request, He gives Solomon more than just wisdom, He gives him wealth and honour, 1 Kings 3:5-15.

One of the most famous incidents in the Scriptures where Solomon uses his divine wisdom is seen in the incident between the two mothers who claimed that the baby belonged to them, 1 Kings 3:16-28.

‘Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting. And he reigned over Israel. Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.’ 2 Chronicles 1:13-17

Solomon is reigning over Israel and he accumulated chariots and horses. The famous stables of Solomon show what a vast cavalry he assembled for Israel.

Sadly, it appears that Solomon didn’t use his wisdom at this point, as God directly said that the kings of Israel shouldn’t acquire a vast amount of horses, Deuteronomy 17:16.

Notice also all the silver and gold were as common as stones, 1 Kings 10:26-29 / 2 Chronicles 9:13-28. This is a vivid description that explained the amount of silver and gold that was amassed by both David and Solomon. Sadly, it appears didn’t use his wisdom again here, as this was also forbidden by God, Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

Notice also that Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Kue, that is, Cilicia. This again was total disobedience to God’s commands, Deuteronomy 17:16.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary, says the following.

‘He opened also a trade with Egypt, whence he imported horses and linen-yarn, which he exported again to the kings of Syria, with great advantage no doubt, 2 Chronicles 1:16-17. This we had before, 1 Kings 10:28 / 1 Kings 10:29. It is the wisdom of princes to promote industry and encourage trade in their dominions. Perhaps Solomon took the hint of setting up the linen-manufacture, bringing linen-yarn out of Egypt, working it into cloth, and then sending that to other nations, from what his mother taught when she specified this as one of the characteristics of the virtuous woman, Proverbs. 31:24. In all labour there is profit.’

Go To 2 Chronicles 2

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

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