historical book recounting the kings of Judah after David through to
unknown. Hebrew tradition
suggests Ezra but may be a compilation of a number of writers.
written : unknown but
possibly about 450BC.
The second part of a book that was originally
written as one.
Presents the rise and fall of Solomon
and the division that followed his reign.
Relates the reigns of the kings of Judah
only through to the Exile.
The Reign of Solomon
The Gift of Wisdom
Building the Temple
Dedication of the Temple
Solomon's Other Activities
Solomon's Wisdom, Splendour and Death
The Schism, and the History of the Kings of Judah
Jehoram and Ahaziah
Manasseh & Amon
Josiah's Successors & Exile and Restoration
We have starred ( *
the five kings who stood out in their dealings with the Lord. The chapters
given to each presents a clue as to their significance)
please note, we include an extensive range of verses going through this
book, to help you the reader catch a picture of what took place. Do
1: The Reign of King Solomon (Ch.1-9)
is what he is because of the Lord
son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the LORD
his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.
said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have
not asked for wealth, riches or honor, 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, riches
and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after
you will have."
all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished…..
The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place
in the inner sanctuary of the temple…. Then the temple of the LORD was
filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service
because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of
blessing is recognised outside of Israel
king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon….."Praise be to the LORD,
the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David
a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build
a temple for the LORD and a palace for himself”.
the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem to
test him with hard questions. ….. Solomon answered all her questions;
nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba
saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food
on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in
their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he
made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed…… “Praise be to
the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne
as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God
for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king
over them, to maintain justice and righteousness."
Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of
the earth. All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to
hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone
who came brought a gift--articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons
and spices, and horses and mules.
reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Then he rested with
his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam
his son succeeded him as king
2: The Remaining Kings of Judah through to the Exile (Ch.10-36)
Different Perspective on Rehoboam
Rehoboam's position as king was established and he
had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the
LORD. Because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of
Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam.
the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders
of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he
said to them, "This is what the LORD says, `You have abandoned
me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.' " The leaders of
Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, "The LORD is just."
When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the LORD
came to Shemaiah: "Since they have humbled themselves, I will not
destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not
be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. They will, however, become
subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving
me and serving the kings of other lands."
Rehoboam ….. did evil because he had not set his heart
on seeking the LORD.….
Rehoboam rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.
And Abijah his son succeeded him as king
one claim to glory
stood on Mount Zemaraim , in the hill country of Ephraim, and said,
"Jeroboam and all Israel , listen to me! Don't you know that the
LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and
his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?...... And now you plan
to resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David's
descendants…..As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken
him. ….. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But
you have forsaken him. God is with us; he is our leader. …. Men of Israel
, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will
has 35 years of good reign
Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David.
Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days
the country was at peace for ten years. Asa did what
was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He removed the foreign
altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the
Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their
fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places
and incense altars in every town in Judah , and the kingdom was at peace
under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land
was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the
LORD gave him rest.
his 36 th year he does not respond well to difficulty
the thirty-sixth year of Asa's reign Baasha king of
Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from
leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. Asa
then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the
LORD's temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of
Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. "Let there be a treaty between
me and you," he said, "as there was between my father and
your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty
with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me." ……… At
that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah
and said to him: "Because you relied on the king of Aram and not
on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from
your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great
numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he
delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout
the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war."
Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was
so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally
oppressed some of the people…… In
the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted
with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his
illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.
Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died
and rested with his fathers .
early good years
his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel
. He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons
in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in
the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals
but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than
the practices of Israel . The LORD established the kingdom under his
control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had
great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD;
furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah
allies himself to Ahab
Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied
himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to visit
Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and
the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king
of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, "Will you go with me
against Ramoth Gilead?"
Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace
in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him
and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those
who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you.
There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the
Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God."
he acts wisely before the Lord and is given success
this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make
war on Jehoshaphat . …… Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved
to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah . The
people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they
came from every town in Judah to seek him…... Then
the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah….He said:
"Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem!
This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged
because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow
march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz,
and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel
. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand
firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow,
and the LORD will be with you.' " Jehoshaphat bowed with his face
to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in
worship before the LORD.
fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard
how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom
of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given
him rest on every side. …… He was thirty-five years old when he became
king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years…..He walked
in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what
was right in the eyes of the LORD. The high places, however, were not
removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of
failures and judgment
Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and ….. Jehoram
his son succeeded him as king….. When Jehoram established himself firmly
over his father's kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along
with some of the princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old
when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He walked
in the ways of the kings of Israel , as the house of Ahab had done,
for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David,
the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised
to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.
received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: "This is
what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: (assessment
of guilt) `You have not walked in the ways
of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. But you have walked
in the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people
of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did.
You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your father's house,
men who were better than you. (judgment)
So now the LORD is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives
and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. You yourself will be
very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes
your bowels to come out.' " (Fulfillment)
The LORD aroused against Jehoram the hostility of the Philistines and
of the Arabs who lived near the Cushites. They attacked Judah, invaded
it and carried off all the goods found in the king's palace, together
with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah,
the youngest. After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable
disease of the bowels. In the course of time, at the end of the second
year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great
folly of aligning himself with Ahab
people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah , Jehoram's youngest
son, king in his place….. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became
king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother's name was Athaliah,
a granddaughter of Omri. He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab,
for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did evil in the eyes
of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father's death
they became his advisers, to his undoing. ……Then Ahaziah …. went down
to Jezreel to see Joram son of Ahab because he had been wounded. …While
Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he …. then went in
search of Ahaziah, and his men captured him while he was hiding in Samaria
. He was brought to Jehu and put to death.
started well, finishes badly
was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
forty years….. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all
the years of Jehoiada the priest.
the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to
the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the
LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols.
Because of their guilt, God's anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem. Although
the LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and
though they testified against them, they would not listen
the turn of the year, the army of Aram marched against Joash;
it invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the people.
They sent all the plunder to their king in Damascus. Although the Aramean
army had come with only a few men, the LORD delivered into their hands
a much larger army. Because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of
their fathers, judgment was executed on Joash. When the Arameans withdrew,
they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him
for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in
starts well, finishes not so good
was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
twenty-nine years. …. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD,
but not wholeheartedly
the time that Amaziah turned away from following the
LORD, they conspired against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish,
but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there.
started well, finished badly
all the people of Judah took Uzziah , who was sixteen
years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah…. and he
reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. He did what was right in the eyes
of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during
the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long
as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.
after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his
downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple
of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense…. King Uzziah had
leprosy until the day he died.
all right but doesn't lead the people well
was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
sixteen years. His mother's name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. He did
what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Uzziah had
done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the LORD. The people,
however, continued their corrupt practices…… Jotham grew powerful because
he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God….. Jotham rested with
his fathers and was buried in the City of David . And Ahaz
his son succeeded him as king.
folly of Ahaz
was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right
in the eyes of the LORD. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel
and also made cast idols for worshiping the Baals. He burned sacrifices
in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, following
the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the
Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places,
on the hilltops and under every spreading tree. Therefore the LORD his
God handed him over to the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and
took many of his people as prisoners and brought them to Damascus .
LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel
, for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful
to the LORD. Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to him, but he gave
him trouble instead of help. Ahaz took some of the things from the temple
of the LORD and from the royal palace and from the princes and presented
them to the king of Assyria , but that did not help him. In his time
of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD. He offered
sacrifices to the gods of Damascus , who had defeated him; for he thought,
"Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice
to them so they will help me." But they were his downfall and the
downfall of all Israel. Ahaz
gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them
away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple and set up altars at every
street corner in Jerusalem. In every town in Judah he built high places
to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his
fathers, to anger. Ahaz rested with his fathers and … Hezekiah
his son succeeded him as king
Achievements of Hezekiah
at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so
the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters
from the king and from his officials, which read: "People of Israel,
return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel , that he may
return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings
of Assyria . Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful
to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object
of horror, as you see. Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were;
submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated
forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn
away from you. If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your
children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back
to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He
will not turn his face from you if you return to him."
entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites
and all who had assembled from Israel, including the aliens who had
come from Israel and those who lived in Judah. There was great joy in
Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel
there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. The priests and the Levites
stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached
heaven, his holy dwelling place
all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns
of Judah , smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.
They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin
and in Ephraim and Manasseh.
is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah , doing what
was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything
that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to
the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.
And so he prospered
all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib
king of Assyria came and invaded Judah …… He (Hezekiah)
appointed military officers over the people
and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged
them with these words: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid
or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with
him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is
only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and
to fight our battles." And the people gained confidence from what
Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried
out in prayer to heaven about this. And the LORD sent an angel, who
annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the
camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace.
And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him
down with the sword. So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem
from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all
others. He took care of them on every side. Many brought offerings to
Jerusalem for the LORD and valuable gifts for Hezekiah king of Judah
. From then on he was highly regarded by all the nations.
rested with his fathers and was buried on the hill where the tombs of
David's descendants are. All Judah and the people of Jerusalem honored
him when he died. And Manasseh his son succeeded him
Failures, Disciplining & Correction of Manasseh
was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following
the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before
the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished;
he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed
down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in
the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "My Name will
remain in Jerusalem forever." In both courts of the temple of the
LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his sons
in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom , practiced sorcery, divination
and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil
in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. He took the carved
image he had made and put it in God's temple, of which God had said
to David and to his son Solomon, "In this temple and in Jerusalem,
which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name
forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the
land I assigned to your forefathers, if only they will be careful to
do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and
ordinances given through Moses." But Manasseh led Judah and the
people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations
the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites. The LORD spoke to Manasseh
and his people, but they paid no attention.
So the LORD brought against them the army
commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a
hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled
himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to
him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so
he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew
that the LORD is God….. He
got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of
the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill
and in Jerusalem ; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored
the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank
offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.
The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but
only to the LORD their God….. Manasseh rested with his fathers and was
buried in his palace. And Amon his son succeeded him
was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
two years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh
had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the idols Manasseh
had made. But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself
before the LORD; Amon increased his guilt. Amon's officials conspired
against him and assassinated him in his palace. Then the people of the
land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah
his son king in his place
was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and
walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right
or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still
young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth
year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles,
carved idols and cast images. Under his direction the altars of the
Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were
above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and the images.
the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem . He
went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people
of Jerusalem , the priests and the Levites--all the people from the
least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the
Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD.
The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence
of the LORD--to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and
decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of
the covenant written in this book.
shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, "Take me away; I am
badly wounded." So they took him out of his chariot, put him in
the other chariot he had and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died.
changes of the final kings
the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah
and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. Jehoahaz was
twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
three months. The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem…..The king
of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem
and changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim . But Neco
took Eliakim's brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt .
was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD his God. Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon attacked him and bound him with bronze shackles to take
him to Babylon ….. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded
him as king. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king,
and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in
the eyes of the LORD. 1 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for
him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from
the temple of the LORD, and he made Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah
, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD his God and did not
humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the
LORD. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him
take an oath in God's name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his
heart and would not turn to the LORD, the God of Israel. Furthermore,
all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful,
following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the
temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem .
& its Causes
LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers
again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling
place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed
at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his
people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king
of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the
sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or
aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon
all the articles from the temple of God , both large and small, and
the treasures of the LORD's temple and the treasures of the king and
his officials. They set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall
of Jerusalem ; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything
of value there. He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped
from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the
kingdom of Persia came to power.
May we consider a) Solomon and then b) the
other kings until the exile
Solomon: The writer of Chronicles deals with Solomon similarly
Solomon is specifically named in a divine
oracle as David's successor (1 Chron 22:7-10; 28:6).
His accession to the throne is announced
publicly by David and is greeted with the unanimous support of all
Israel (1 Chron 28-29).
No mention is made of the bedridden
David, who must overturn the attempted coup by Adonijah at the last
moment to secure the throne for Solomon.
Nor is there mention that the military
commander Joab and the high priest Abiathar supported Adonijah's attempt
Solomon's execution of those who had
wronged David (1Kings 2) is also omitted.
The accession of Solomon is without
competition or detracting incident.
The account of his reign is devoted
almost wholly to the building of the temple (2Chron 2-8), and no reference
to his failures is included.
No mention is made of his idolatry,
his foreign wives or of the rebellions against his rule (1Kings 11).
Even the blame for the schism is removed
from Solomon (1Kings 11:26-40; 12:1-4) and placed on the scheming
Solomon's image in Chronicles is such
that he can be paired with David in the most favorable light (2Chron
The other kings until the Exile:
similarly the writer often paints a more positive picture than is found
in Kings. Note especially Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah. While
not portrayed as flawless, they are given a much more positive write-up
than that found in Kings.
Nevertheless, as we noted in Kings, the
failings of these kings ARE shown and there is hardly one of them who
comes through with a clean sheet.
The lesson/warning that comes over a number
of times is that you can have a good beginning but be careless when
prosperity or old age comes. It provokes a call to faithfulness.
Where some of these kings did work for
restoration, their challenges to their people are heart warming in the
clarity of the call to faithfulness that comes through.
The fact that some kings – despite the
examples they had of their fathers and of the Law and Testimony which
was always there in the background – purposefully rejected God and went
into superstitious worship of idols, shows the folly of Sin and the
spiritual blindness it causes.
Each of these kings presents a challenge
to us in different ways and deserves our attention.
Above all that, observe the grace of God
that is constantly there in the background that seeks to call the nation
back into a living and blessed relationship with Him. Especially in
the last days of this period, observe the many, many times God speaks
to His people to try to stave off the destruction of Jerusalem and the
Exile. The stubbornness of sin, it seems, refuses that grace and takes
the nation over the cliff of destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar
– yet there is still hope in the future, the rest of the Bible reveals!
Bible Studies found on this site:
Story" (2 Chron 1-13) and "The
Kings of Judah" (2 Chron 14-36)