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.

1 Chronicles: A retelling

“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.” -1 Chronicles 19:13

The warriors that came to David in Ziklag

The chief was Ahiezer. Then, Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, Jeziel, Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, Berachah, Jehu the Antothite, Ismaiah the Gibeonite, Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad the Gederathite, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite, Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Korhites, Joelah, Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor, Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbanai.

These men appeared and acted as David’s friends/warriors, which was upon the death of Saul, in order to bring about the revolution. All of the forces were around 600 men. They claim to be ones helping God. Gradually, David was preparing to take the throne. These are the men who helped David become King of Judah. This gathering was about him getting ready to take the throne.

The first priests to return from Babylon were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, and Jachin. It goes on… Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, and the son of Immer. More were noted in large numbers but not listed here.

The first Levites to return from Babylon were Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari, Bakbakkar, Heresh, Galal, Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph, Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, Berechia the son of Asa, and the son of Elkanah.

Saul asked the armor-bearer plainly to kill him by drawing his sword and thrusting it into him, but the armor-bearer refused, therefore, Saul took the sword and fell upon it instead. His armor-bearer was likely so dedicated to him that he didn’t want to kill Saul, but when Saul killed himself, the armor-bearer did it the same way unto himself. It says after that, that Saul and his three sons died (all his house overall) together. The Philistines had already slew Jonathan and the sons of Saul, so Saul probably became hopeless because all those that were close to him had died, therefore, Saul didn’t want to live on, it seems.

Three of David’s mighty men broke through the battle line of the Philistines in order to bring David a drink of water from the well at Bethlehem. However, David doesn’t drink the water, because of the danger that the men had gone through just to give it to him, so David poured the water out to the Lord.

Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, such as slaying two lionlike men of Moab and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day, as well as many other acts of slaying. He was among the three mighties as well.

David is made king, by which the government was happy about. Care is taken about religion in chapter 13, where David consults with the representatives of the people about bring the ark out of obscurity and into a public place. When the ark finally arrives after the trouble that was caused, guardians were appointed over the ark to watch it. David appointed various officials to lead worship.

David proposed to build a house for God, however, God disapproved it, for David was not the right man to build it. This is all in preparation of the Davidic Covenant, to which, the house of David shall be established for ever, and he was blessed. The Davidic line shall be eternal, and I believe Jesus is at the forefront.

David seemed to end his good kingship with glory, so to speak, because he had a praise and prayer speech, people offered gifts and sacrifices to God, and then his own son, Solomon is sworn in as new King. That would be a fitting ceremony, and an excellent way to end a kingly reign.

Synopsis

The Book of First Chronicles, most guess that Ezra (or an unknown chronicler) wrote it around 450-420 BC. It talks richly about Israel’s redemptive history, especially along the lines of the genealogies of Adam to the post-exilic restoration, and then about David’s reign as king. The idea behind the Chronicles being written was for the Jews, so they would have a record of their ancestry and redemptive history. A “chronicle” is defined simply as “a record of events.” The Books of the Chronicles were written many years after Israel and Judah had been taken into captivity.

The book begins with the genealogies of the tribes of Israel, which includes a long list of names – which is basically a detailed ancestry overall. So, the ones listed for example were from Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Jacob, from Jacob to David, from David to the Babylonian Exile, then of the Twelve Tribes, of the Remnant (tribes, priests, and Levites that returned), and Saul. Saul is mentioned, but nothing much is said about him, as it appears the writer is more concerned with the reign of David – especially since judgment came upon Saul for his unfaithfulness and disobedience.

The reign of David was strongly detailed in First Chronicles, as David was able to endure significantly in his reign, and that God had made a covenant with David that his family line would endure for generations, even unto eternity (as Jesus was a descendant of the line of David). This showed the importance of David, and his huge role that was played in the history of redemption, particularly for Israel. The writer must first, though, count the death of Saul – because that was how the ushering in of David became, was resulting from the fallout and death of Saul.

It seems like many of the events are not recorded, so it appears the writer is telling of the major events in David’s reign. The writer targets talking about the beginning of the reign of David over Jerusalem, and that the mighty men group that David created played a big role in establishing the kingdom. Many people who fought alongside David are also mentioned, including the Benjaminites who joined him at Ziklag while he fled from Saul, the fearless soldiers from Gad, and Benjamin and Judah who joined him in Adullum. The writer also notes how all of the tribes in Israel had sent a representative force of troops to Hebron to present themselves to David.

The next part that’s detailed is that the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem, a setback occurred because of a lack of reverence for it, but then it was brought with success – in which the people celebrated over it. Feasting and sacrifices were done at the arrival of the Ark, as people were glad it was finally in a proper place.

After that, the writer details the psalm of thanksgiving that was sung in the celebration of the Ark in Jerusalem. In this, we read about the Abrahamic Covenant being remembered, and that God’s faithfulness has lasted for so long in that covenant. God miraculously preserved the descendants – which he could’ve easily removed. Therefore, in all of this, it brought praise and glory unto the Lord. His unfailing mercy brought the Israelites an assurance that they could always depend on this mighty and just God.

When the Ark was brought, David had it placed in a temporary tent, while he could make plans and execute them for a temple to be built. However, God wanted David to build up his house first, because God wanted to build an eternal dynasty of David, and that one of his descendants would build the temple. After that, the listing of a number of David’s victories was done, and how he had great success/fame in war. Then, he speaks to Solomon about the temple plans, and that it should be built soon. He then encouraged Solomon to seek wisdom from God and obey his commands, so he could govern the nation according to God’s Law.

David was also interested in preparing the Levites for temple ministry among other administrative organizing – for he wanted the temple to be successful in being built. But more than that, he wanted his successor to be successful also in ruling Israel. So, in preparing to promote Solomon to the throne (since Solomon was the next heir, after all), his other son, Adonijah, was attempting to seize the throne for himself – therefore, David hurriedly promoted Solomon.

The anointing was quick and rather unceremonious – as the writer details – and that a second anointing had followed with a big ceremony (appropriate for new kings). David presented Solomon as king and the one who would build the temple of God. So then, God gave Solomon the plans that he had prepared for the temple and its service. In addition to the provisions that David gave for the temple project, David also gave a big offering from his savings – which prompted people to give their own generous offerings. This brought great joy to David and made him glad for his successor.