The Book of 2nd Chronicles

J. Sidlow Baxter, in EXPLORE THE BOOK, states about Second Chronicles: “As to the
unifying idea or emphasis, all who have studied and written on these two book of the Chronicles
are unanimous in observing the prominence given to the temple and matters connected with it.”
Quoting one of his sources, Baxter writes: “While much contained in the Books of Kings is
repeated or restated in the Chronicles, much is omitted because foreign to the author’s purpose.
But whatever bears on the temple, its preservation and restoration, the purity of its worship, the
regularity and orderliness of its services; whatever makes idolatrous rites or relics hateful, or lifts
God to His true throne in the hearts of the people, is here emphasized.”
The Pulpit Commentary introduces Second Chronicles with the following: “The Second
Book of Chronicles is occupied with the reign, works, and career of Solomon, and with the
history of the separate kingdom of Judah, omitting altogether the connected history of that of
Israel. It goes down to the memorable proclamation of Cyrus, which authorized the return of the
captives and sanctioned the rebuilding of the temple. This book embraces the third and fourth
divisions of the whole work, once entitled in its unity Chronicles, according to the very obvious
fourfold arrangement of it, observed by so many expositors of this historical portion of the Old
Testament. The third division, occupied with the reign of Solomon, fills 2 Chronicles 1-9. And
the fourth division, occupied with the history of the successive reigns of the separate kingdom of
Judah, fills 2 Chronicles 10- 36:21.”
Finally, the more modern Contemporary English Version states, by way of introduction:
“Second Chronicles continues the history of Israel that was begun in 1 Chronicles. This book
repeats information and many stories that are in 1 and 2 Kings, but from a slightly different
viewpoint.
The book of 2 Chronicles begins with the rule of King Solomon, then tells the history of
the two separate kingdoms of Judah and Israel down to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
King Solomon is honored as the ideal king of Israel. The first part of 2 Chronicles (1-9)
includes events from his rule, especially the building and dedication of the temple in Jerusalem
and the beginning of worship there.
The second part of the book (10-36) begins with the rebellion of the northern tribes of
Israel and the division of the country into two separate kingdoms, Judah in the south and Israel in
the north. This part of 2 Chronicles is the history of Judah down to the time of Jerusalem’s fall
and destruction. Unlike 2 Kings, the book of 2 Chronicles includes very little information about
the northern kingdom. According to 2 Chronicles, the people of Israel were sinful and turned
their backs on the LORD, and so their history did not deserve to be told.
Second Chronicles, like 1 Chronicles, is very concerned that the LORD be worshiped in the
proper way. Hezekiah and Josiah are two of the most respected kings in Judah, because they
were always faithful to the LORD and did many things to see that he was properly worshiped and
that his Law was obeyed.

This book tells how Jerusalem was destroyed and the people of Judah were led away as
prisoners to Babylonia. But the book concludes with hope for the Jews. King Cyrus of Persia lets
them return to Judah, and he promises: The LORD God will watch over any of his people who
want to go back to Judah. (36:23b).”

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