14: Second Chronicles: The Book of Reforms

Second Chronicles continues the editorial on the spiritual aspects of the Davidic dynasty. Ezra writes to encourage the exiles who are returning to Jerusalem. Although this book often parallels accounts in First and Second Kings, there is one obvious distinction: references to the northern kingdom of Israel are minimized. Because only a few Judean kings remain faithful to the covenant, Second Chronicles particularly focuses on those who are zealous reformers. Beginning with Solomon and the Temple (Ch. 1-9), the book traces the exploits of the succeeding kings of Judah (Ch. 10-36). These highly selective accounts begin with Rehoboam and continue to the time of the exile.

Ezra records the division of the kingdom, the destruction of the Temple, and the captivity that is delayed, but not prevented, by spiritual reforms. The book concludes with the decree of King Cyrus of Persia who allows the Jews to return and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Temple worship is the unifying theme throughout the book, serving as the catalyst between the nation’s past and future.

Essay Questions

1. Summarize Solomon’s inauguration, his vision, and his prayer for wisdom (Ch. 1).

2. Describe the dedication of the Temple, including the installation of the ark, God’s glory, Solomon’s sermon, his prayer, and the sacrifices (Ch. 5-7).

3. How are Solomon’s territories enlarged? Which enemies are subjugated (Ch. 8)?

4. Describe the visit of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon’s wealth (Ch. 9).

5. Summarize the division of the kingdom by comparing and contrasting the record of this event in II Chronicles 10 and I Kings 12.

Develop a portfolio on the following kings:

6. Rehoboam (Ch. 10-12)

7. Abijah (Ch. 13)

8. Ahaz (Ch. 28)

9. Amon (Ch. 33)

10. Jehoiakim (Ch. 36)

11. Jehoiachin (Ch. 36)

List the specific reforms made by the following kings:

12. Asa (Ch. 14-16)

12. Jehoshaphat (Ch. 17-20)

13. Jotham (Ch. 27)

14. Hezekiah (Ch. 29-32)

15. Josiah (Ch. 34-35)

16. Summarize the Babylonian captivity of Judah by comparing and contrasting the record of this event in II Chronicles 26 and II Kings 25.

17. Consult Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias in order to develop a portfolio on King Cyrus of Persia. How long did he reign? List his accomplishments and victories. What motivated him to allow the Jews to return (Ch. 36)? 


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