The Inspiration of the Scriptures: 2 Chronicles

2Ch  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Divine Design 14. 2 Chronicles
The continuation begins with Solomon in the same aspect as David. It is the figure of the kingdom. How blessed when the Great King reigns, with Whom is no failure, but blessing to the full! Solomon's faults, like David's, it was not the point to name, save where otherwise it was required. “Jehovah his God was with him and magnified him exceedingly.” But the brazen altar was before him as before the people, rather than the ark, David's delight. He asked wisdom of God, and received also riches and honor beyond all (chap. 1). But the house of Jehovah engaged him rightly, and the king of Tire helped him, and all the strangers in the land served (chap. 2). This is described in 3, 4 and the assembly on its completion, with their hallelujahs when the glory of Jehovah filled God's house (chap. 5), for indeed He only is God: so little have diverse documents to do with the terms. And Solomon's prayer goes up with blessing in chap. 6, and the fire came down from the heavens as answer in chap. 7. It was the feast of Tabernacles, as well as of the altar's dedication, kept with joy and gladness; and Jehovah appeared to Solomon, but not without solemn warning. The Gentile gives gifts (chap. 8), and Pharaoh's daughter has her separate house; and his fame spreads far and wide, so that Sheba's queen comes with her precious things and proving his wisdom (chap. 9), as indeed all the kings of the earth owned it.
Next Rehoboam fools away all but Judah and Benjamin, and Israel rebelled against David's house (chap. 10); but here the contrast with the preceding books is striking, for we have no account save of what adhered loyally and in faith. Even Rehoboam bowed to the man of God sent to prohibit his avenging Israel's defection (chap. 11); yet afterward (12) forsaking the law he was chastened by the hand of Shishak. Abijah who succeeded and had more faith inflicted a severe blow on Jeroboam and Israel. So with Asa in chap. 14, before whom Ethiopia's myriads fell, and who was blessed in hearing Oded the prophet, chap. 15. But relying on Syria against Israel (chap. 16), he was smitten of God by a lingering death. The bright reign of faithful Jehoshaphat follows in 17-20, yet with the blot of joining himself with the idolatrous kings of Israel for state purposes to his shame more than once.
Of Jehoram and Ahaziah there is only evil to say in 21, 22; and the wicked Athaliah seemed to have extinguished the lamp of David's house; but not so. Jehoiada, the priest, conceals the heir in the house of God six years. In chap. 23 we read how the young king got his own again, and the murderous usurper came to her death. But Joash too forgot his debt to Jehoiada when his son Zechariah was slain by the people at the king's command; and he too publicly and personally came to grief. Amaziah had a mixed career according to his behavior and ended ill, chap. 25; and Uzziah reigned well and long, but he also transgressing in pride became a leper judicially till his death, chap. 26.
Jotham did better, as we read in 27, but Ahaz (“that is that King Ahaz”) walked in the ways of Israel's kings, and spite of calls of grace, sank lower and lower. His son Hezekiah was simple and strong in faith, as we see in chaps. 29-32 and honored in the overthrow of the Assyrian. Yet he got lifted up at last; though here again the Spirit omits the details of his sickness, and his vain display before the ambassadors from Babylon, both only touched on in the Chronicles. The horrors of Manasseh's reign are shortly given, and also his repentance and restoration after captivity; Amon's evil follows in the same chap. 33, but punished by his own servants who were themselves punished.
In the midst of Judah more and more corrupt, how marked is the tender conscience of Josiah with boldness for Jehovah's honor and hatred of idolatry and heed to the word of God! so that the passover was kept as not before since Samuel's days. But fighting without divine direction he fell before the then king of Egypt; and the evil under Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and the profane Zedekiah brought on the destruction of the kingdom, of Jerusalem and the temple, with the captivity of the remnant in Babylon. “There was no remedy.” After seventy years Cyrus the Persian according to the word of Jehovah proclaimed the return and the rebuilding of His house at Jerusalem.