Bible Book Number 14—2 Chronicles
Place Written: Jerusalem (?)
Writing Completed: c. 460 B.C.E.
Time Covered: 1037–537 B.C.E.
1. When did Ezra complete Chronicles, and with what purpose in view?
SINCE First and Second Chronicles evidently were originally one book, the arguments presented in the previous chapter as to background, writership, time of writing, canonicity, and authenticity apply to both books. According to the evidence presented, Ezra completed Second Chronicles about 460 B.C.E., probably in Jerusalem. It was Ezra’s purpose to preserve historical materials that were in danger of being lost. The help of the holy spirit, coupled with his ability as a historian to lay hold of and sort out details, enabled Ezra to make an accurate and permanent record. He saved for the future that which he regarded as historical fact. Ezra’s work was most timely, as now it was also necessary to collect together the entire body of sacred Hebrew writings that had been recorded over the centuries.
2. Why is there no reason to doubt the accuracy of Chronicles?
2 The Jews of Ezra’s day were benefited greatly by Ezra’s inspired chronicle. It was written for their instruction and to encourage endurance. Through the comfort from the Scriptures, they could have hope. They accepted the book of Chronicles as part of the Bible canon. They knew it was trustworthy. They could check it by other inspired writings and by numerous secular histories cited by Ezra. Whereas they allowed the uninspired secular histories to perish, they carefully preserved Chronicles. The Septuagint translators included Chronicles as part of the Hebrew Bible.
3. How do other scriptures indicate that Chronicles is authentic?
3 Jesus Christ and the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures accepted it as authentic and inspired. Jesus no doubt had in mind such incidents as recorded at 2 Chronicles 24:21 when denouncing Jerusalem as a killer and stoner of Jehovah’s prophets and servants. (Matt. 23:35; 5:12; 2 Chron. 36:16) When James referred to Abraham as “Jehovah’s friend,” he perhaps had reference to Ezra’s expression at 2 Chronicles 20:7. (Jas. 2:23) The book also contains prophecies that were unerringly fulfilled.—2 Chron. 20:17, 24; 21:14-19; 34:23-28; 36:17-20.
4. What archaeological find testifies to the authenticity of Second Chronicles?
4 Archaeology also testifies to the authenticity of Second Chronicles. Digging on the site of ancient Babylon has unearthed clay tablets relating to the period of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, one of which names “Yaukin, king of the land of Yahud,” that is, “Jehoiachin, the king of the land of Judah.”* This fits in well with the Bible account of Jehoiachin’s being taken captive to Babylon during the seventh regnal year of Nebuchadnezzar.
5. What time period is covered in Second Chronicles, and why is the history of Judah featured rather than that of the ten-tribe kingdom?
5 The record of Second Chronicles traces events in Judah from the reign of Solomon, commencing in 1037 B.C.E., to Cyrus’ decree of 537 B.C.E. to rebuild the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem. In this 500-year history, the ten-tribe kingdom is referred to only as it becomes involved in the affairs of Judah, and the destruction of that northern kingdom in 740 B.C.E. is not even mentioned. Why is this so? Because the priest Ezra was concerned primarily with Jehovah’s worship at its rightful place, His house in Jerusalem, and with the kingdom of the line of David, with whom Jehovah had made His covenant. Thus, it is on the southern kingdom that Ezra concentrates attention in support of true worship and in expectation of the ruler to come out of Judah.—Gen. 49:10.
6. In what respects is Second Chronicles uplifting and stimulating?
6 Ezra takes an uplifting viewpoint. Of the 36 chapters of Second Chronicles, the first 9 are devoted to Solomon’s reign, and 6 of these wholly to the preparation and dedication of the house of Jehovah. The record omits mention of Solomon’s defection. Of the remaining 27 chapters, 14 deal with the five kings who basically followed David’s example of exclusive devotion to Jehovah’s worship: Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah. Even in the other 13 chapters, Ezra is careful to highlight the good points of the bad kings. He always emphasizes events relating to restoration and preservation of true worship. How stimulating!
CONTENTS OF SECOND CHRONICLES
7. How does Jehovah make Solomon “surpassingly great”?
7 The glory of Solomon’s reign (1:1–9:31). As Second Chronicles opens, we see Solomon the son of David growing in strength in the kingship. Jehovah is with him and keeps “making him surpassingly great.” When Solomon makes sacrifices at Gibeon, Jehovah appears to him at night, saying: “Ask! What shall I give you?” Solomon asks for knowledge and wisdom in order to govern Jehovah’s people properly. Because of this unselfish request, God promises to give Solomon not only wisdom and knowledge but also wealth and riches and honor “such as no kings that were prior to you happened to have, and such as no one after you will come to have.” So great is the wealth flowing into the city that in time Solomon comes “to make the silver and the gold in Jerusalem like the stones.”—1:1, 7, 12, 15.
8. How does the work on the temple proceed, and what are some details of its construction?
8 Solomon conscripts laborers for the work of building the house of Jehovah, and King Hiram of Tyre cooperates by sending timbers and a gifted workman. “In the fourth year of [Solomon’s] reign,” the building gets under way, and it is completed seven and a half years later, in 1027 B.C.E. (3:2) The temple itself is fronted by a large porch that towers 120 cubits (175 ft) [53.4 m] high. Two immense copper pillars, one named Jachin, meaning “May [Jehovah] Firmly Establish,” and the other named Boaz, apparently meaning “In Strength,” stand in front of the porch. (3:17) The house itself is comparatively small, being 60 cubits (87.5 ft) [26.7 m] long, 30 cubits (43.7 ft) [13.4 m] high, and 20 cubits (29.2 ft) [8.9 m] broad, but its walls and ceiling are overlaid with gold; its innermost room, the Most Holy, is itself elaborately decorated with gold. It also contains the two golden cherubs, one on each side of the room, whose wings stretch across and meet in the center.
9. Describe the furnishings and the utensils of the courtyard and the temple.
9 In the inner courtyard, there is a huge copper altar 20 cubits square (29.2 ft) [9 m] and 10 cubits (14.6 ft) [4.5 m] high. Another striking object in the courtyard is the molten sea, an immense copper bowl resting on the backs of 12 copper bulls that look outward, three in each direction. This sea is capable of holding “three thousand bath measures” (17,430 gal., U.S.) [66,000 L] of water, which is used by the priests to wash themselves. (4:5) Also located in the courtyard are ten small copper bowls resting on ornamented copper carriages, and in this water, things having to do with burnt offerings are rinsed. They are filled from the molten sea and wheeled to wherever the water is needed. In addition, there are the ten golden lampstands and many other utensils, some of gold and some of copper, for the temple worship.*
10. What happens when the Ark is brought into the Most Holy?
10 Finally, after seven and a half years of work, the house of Jehovah is completed. (1 Ki. 6:1, 38) The day of its inauguration is the time to bring the symbol of Jehovah’s presence into the innermost room of this gorgeous building. The priests bring “the ark of the covenant of Jehovah into its place, into the innermost room of the house, into the Most Holy, to underneath the wings of the cherubs.” Then what happens? As the Levite singers and musicians praise and thank Jehovah in united song, the house is filled with a cloud, and the priests are not able to stand to minister because “the glory of Jehovah” fills the house of the true God. (2 Chron. 5:7, 13, 14) Thus Jehovah shows his approval of the temple and betokens his presence there.
11. What prayer does Solomon offer, and what does he petition?
11 A copper platform three cubits (4.4 ft) [1.3 m] high has been built for the occasion, and it is set in the inner courtyard near the huge copper altar. In this elevated position, Solomon can be seen by the vast throngs that have assembled for the temple dedication. Following the miraculous manifestation of Jehovah’s presence by the glory cloud, Solomon kneels before the crowd and offers a moving prayer of thanksgiving and praise, which includes a series of humble requests for forgiveness and blessing. In conclusion, he pleads: “Now, O my God, please, let your eyes prove to be opened and your ears attentive to the prayer respecting this place. O Jehovah God, do not turn back the face of your anointed one. O do remember the loving-kindnesses to David your servant.”—6:40, 42.
12. How does Jehovah answer Solomon’s prayer, and on what happy note does the 15-day celebration end?
12 Does Jehovah hear this prayer of Solomon? As soon as Solomon finishes praying, fire comes down from the heavens and consumes the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and “Jehovah’s glory itself” fills the house. This leads all the people to prostrate themselves and thank Jehovah, “for he is good, for his loving-kindness is to time indefinite.” (7:1, 3) A huge sacrifice is then made to Jehovah. A week-long feast of dedication is followed by the week-long Feast of Ingathering and a sabbath of refraining from work. After this happy, spiritually strengthening 15-day celebration, Solomon sends the people away to their homes joyful and feeling good at heart. (7:10) Jehovah too is pleased. He reconfirms the Kingdom covenant to Solomon, warning at the same time of the dire consequences of disobedience.
13. (a) What construction work follows that of the temple? (b) How does the queen of Sheba express herself on seeing Solomon’s kingdom?
13 Solomon now carries on extensive construction work throughout his dominion, building not only a palace for himself but also fortified cities, storage cities, chariot cities, and cities for horsemen, as well as everything he desires to build. It is a period of glorious prosperity and peace because both the king and the people are mindful of Jehovah’s worship. Even the queen of Sheba, from more than 1,200 miles [1,900 km] away, hears of the prosperity and wisdom of Solomon and undertakes the long, arduous journey to see for herself. Is she disappointed? Not at all, for she confesses: “I did not put faith in their words until I had come that my own eyes might see; and, look! there has not been told me the half of the abundance of your wisdom. You have surpassed the report that I have heard. Happy are your men, and happy are these servants of yours.” (9:6, 7) No other kings of the earth surpass Solomon in riches and wisdom. He reigns for 40 years in Jerusalem.
14. Why is Israel so soon stripped of her glory?
14 The reigns of Rehoboam and Abijah (10:1–13:22). The harsh and oppressive rule by Solomon’s son Rehoboam provokes the northern ten tribes under Jeroboam to revolt in 997 B.C.E. However, the priests and Levites of both kingdoms take their stand with Rehoboam, putting loyalty to the Kingdom covenant above nationalism. Rehoboam soon forsakes Jehovah’s law, and Egypt’s King Shishak invades, breaking into Jerusalem and stripping the house of Jehovah of its treasures. How sad that scarcely more than 30 years after their construction, these gorgeously decorated buildings are stripped of their glory! The reason: The nation has “behaved unfaithfully toward Jehovah.” Just in time Rehoboam humbles himself, so that Jehovah does not bring the nation to complete ruin.—12:2.
15. What battles follow Rehoboam’s death, and why does Judah prove superior against Israel?
15 At Rehoboam’s death one of his 28 sons, Abijah, is made king. Abijah’s three-year reign is marked by bloody war with Israel to the north. Judah is outnumbered two to one, 400,000 troops against the 800,000 under Jeroboam. During the tremendous battles that follow, Israel’s warriors are reduced to less than half, and calf worshipers to the number of a half million are destroyed. The sons of Judah prove superior because they lean “upon Jehovah the God of their forefathers.”—13:18.
16. How does Jehovah answer Asa’s urgent prayer?
16 God-fearing King Asa (14:1–16:14). Abijah is succeeded by his son Asa. Asa is a champion of true worship. He campaigns to cleanse the land of image worship. But, look! Judah is threatened by an overwhelming military force of one million Ethiopians. Asa prays: “Help us, O Jehovah our God, for upon you we do lean, and in your name we have come against this crowd.” Jehovah answers by giving him a smashing victory.—14:11.
17. How is Asa encouraged to reform worship in Judah, but for what is he rebuked?
17 The spirit of God comes upon Azariah to tell Asa: “Jehovah is with you as long as you prove to be with him; and if you search for him, he will let himself be found by you.” (15:2) Greatly encouraged, Asa reforms worship in Judah, and the people make a covenant that anyone that will not search for Jehovah should be put to death. However, when Baasha, king of Israel, erects barriers to stop the flow of Israelites into Judah, Asa commits a grave error by hiring Ben-hadad, king of Syria, to fight against Israel, instead of looking to Jehovah for help. For this Jehovah rebukes him. Despite this, Asa’s heart proves “to be complete all his days.” (15:17) He dies in the 41st year of his reign.
18. (a) How does Jehoshaphat campaign for true worship, and with what results? (b) How does his marriage alliance almost lead to disaster?
18 Jehoshaphat’s good reign (17:1–20:37). Asa’s son Jehoshaphat continues the fight against image worship and inaugurates a special educational campaign, with instructors traveling throughout the cities of Judah, teaching the people from the book of Jehovah’s Law. A time of great prosperity and peace follows, and Jehoshaphat continues “advancing and growing great to a superior degree.” (17:12) But then he makes a marriage alliance with wicked King Ahab of Israel and goes down to help him fight against the growing Syrian power, ignoring Jehovah’s prophet Micaiah and barely escaping with his life when Ahab is killed in battle at Ramoth-gilead. Jehovah’s prophet Jehu rebukes Jehoshaphat for making common cause with wicked Ahab. Thereafter Jehoshaphat appoints judges throughout the land, and he instructs them to carry out their duties in the fear of God.
19. At the climax of Jehoshaphat’s reign, how does the battle prove to be God’s?
19 Now comes the climax of Jehoshaphat’s reign. The combined forces of Moab, Ammon, and the mountainous region of Seir move against Judah in overwhelming strength. Up they swarm through the wilderness of En-gedi. Fear strikes the nation. Jehoshaphat and all Judah, with “their little ones, their wives and their sons,” stand before Jehovah and seek him in prayer. Jehovah’s spirit comes upon Jahaziel the Levite, who calls to the assembled throngs: “Pay attention, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Here is what Jehovah has said to you, ‘Do not you be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. . . . Jehovah will be with you.’” Rising early in the morning, Judah marches out with the Levite singers in the lead. Jehoshaphat encourages them: “Put faith in Jehovah . . . Put faith in his prophets and so prove successful.” The singers joyfully extol Jehovah, “for to time indefinite is his loving-kindness.” (20:13, 15-17, 20, 21) Jehovah manifests his loving-kindness in a marvelous way, setting an ambush against the invading armies so that they annihilate one another. Coming to the watchtower in the wilderness, the exultant Judeans see only dead carcasses. Truly, the battle is God’s! To the end of his 25-year reign, Jehoshaphat keeps walking faithfully before Jehovah.
20. What disasters mark Jehoram’s reign?
20 Bad reigns of Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah (21:1–23:21). Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram starts off badly by killing all his brothers. However, Jehovah spares him because of His covenant with David. Edom begins to revolt. From somewhere Elijah sends a letter, warning Jehoram that Jehovah will strike his house a great blow and that he will die horribly. (21:12-15) True to the prophecy, the Philistines and the Arabs invade and loot Jerusalem, and the king dies of a loathsome intestinal disease, after an eight-year reign.
21. What bad things result from Athaliah’s domination in Judah, but how does Jehoiada succeed in restoring the throne of David?
21 Jehoram’s sole surviving son, Ahaziah (Jehoahaz), succeeds him, but he is influenced for bad by his mother Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. His reign is cut short after one year by Jehu’s purge of the house of Ahab. At this, Athaliah murders her grandchildren and usurps the throne. However, one of Ahaziah’s sons survives. He is the one-year-old Jehoash, who is smuggled into the house of Jehovah by his aunt Jehoshabeath. Athaliah reigns for six years, and then Jehoshabeath’s husband, the high priest Jehoiada, courageously takes young Jehoash and has him proclaimed king, as one of “the sons of David.” Coming to the house of Jehovah, Athaliah rips her clothing apart and cries, “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” But to no avail. Jehoiada has her thrown out of the temple and put to death.—23:3, 13-15.
22. How does Jehoash’s reign start well but end badly?
22 Reigns of Jehoash, Amaziah, and Uzziah start well but end badly (24:1–26:23). Jehoash reigns for 40 years, and as long as Jehoiada is alive to exercise a good influence, he does right. He even takes an interest in the house of Jehovah and has it renovated. When Jehoiada dies, however, Jehoash is influenced by the princes of Judah to turn from Jehovah’s worship to serve the sacred poles and idols. When God’s spirit moves Zechariah the son of Jehoiada to rebuke the king, Jehoash has the prophet stoned to death. Soon afterward a small military force of Syrians invades, and the much larger Judean army is unable to turn it back because they have “left Jehovah the God of their forefathers.” (24:24) Now Jehoash’s own servants rise up and assassinate him.
23. What pattern of unfaithfulness does Amaziah follow?
23 Amaziah succeeds his father Jehoash. He begins his 29-year reign well but later falls from Jehovah’s favor because he sets up and worships the idols of the Edomites. “God has resolved to bring you to ruin,” Jehovah’s prophet warns him. (25:16) However, Amaziah becomes boastful and challenges Israel to the north. True to God’s word, he suffers a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Israelites. After that defeat, conspirators rise up and put him to death.
24. How does Uzziah’s strength become his weakness, and with what result?
24 Amaziah’s son Uzziah follows in his father’s footsteps. He reigns well for the greater part of 52 years, gaining fame as a military genius, as a builder of towers, and as “a lover of agriculture.” (26:10) He equips and mechanizes the army. However, his strength becomes his weakness. He becomes haughty and presumes to take over the priestly duty of offering incense in the temple of Jehovah. For this, Jehovah smites him with leprosy. As a result, he has to live apart, away from the house of Jehovah and also from the king’s house, where his son Jotham judges the people in his place.
25. Why does Jotham succeed?
25 Jotham serves Jehovah (27:1-9). Unlike his father, Jotham does not “invade the temple of Jehovah.” Instead ‘he keeps doing what is right in Jehovah’s eyes.’ (27:2) During his 16-year reign, he does much construction work and successfully puts down a revolt of the Ammonites.
26. To what unprecedented depths of wickedness does Ahaz descend?
26 Wicked King Ahaz (28:1-27). Jotham’s son Ahaz proves to be one of the wickedest of the 21 Judean kings. He goes to the extreme in offering his own sons as burnt sacrifices to heathen gods. Consequently Jehovah abandons him, in turn, to the armies of Syria, Israel, Edom, and Philistia. So Jehovah humbles Judah because Ahaz ‘lets unrestraint grow in Judah, and there is an acting with great unfaithfulness toward Jehovah.’ (28:19) Going from bad to worse, Ahaz sacrifices to the gods of Syria because the Syrians prove superior to him in battle. He closes the doors of the house of Jehovah and replaces the worship of Jehovah with the worship of heathen gods. None too soon, Ahaz’ reign ends after 16 years.
27. How does Hezekiah show zeal for Jehovah’s worship?
27 Faithful King Hezekiah (29:1–32:33). Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, reigns for 29 years in Jerusalem. His first act is to reopen and repair the doors of the house of Jehovah. Then he assembles the priests and Levites and gives them instructions to clean the temple and sanctify it for Jehovah’s service. He declares that he wants to conclude a covenant with Jehovah to turn back His burning anger. Jehovah’s worship is resumed in a grand way.
28. What tremendous feast does Hezekiah hold in Jerusalem, and how do the people express their joy?
28 A tremendous Passover is planned, but since there is no time to prepare it in the first month, a provision of the Law is taken advantage of, and it is celebrated in the second month of the first year of Hezekiah’s reign. (2 Chron. 30:2, 3; Num. 9:10, 11) The king invites not only all Judah to attend but Israel as well, and while some in Ephraim, Manasseh, and Zebulun mock the invitation, others humble themselves and come to Jerusalem along with all Judah. Following the Passover, the Festival of Unfermented Cakes is held. What a joyous seven-day feast it is! So upbuilding, indeed, that all the congregation extends the feast another seven days. There is “great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solomon the son of David the king of Israel there was none like this in Jerusalem.” (2 Chron. 30:26) The spiritually restored people follow up with a smashing campaign to rid both Judah and Israel of idolatry, while Hezekiah, on his part, restores the material contributions for the Levites and the temple services.
29. How does Jehovah reward Hezekiah’s implicit trust in Him?
29 Then Sennacherib the king of Assyria invades Judah and threatens Jerusalem. Hezekiah takes courage, repairs the defenses of the city, and defies the taunts of the enemy. Putting complete trust in Jehovah, he keeps praying for aid. Jehovah dramatically answers this prayer of faith. He proceeds “to send an angel and efface every valiant, mighty man and leader and chief in the camp of the king of Assyria.” (32:21) Sennacherib returns home in shame. Even his gods cannot help him save face, for later on he is slain at their altar by his own sons. (2 Ki. 19:7) Jehovah miraculously extends Hezekiah’s life, and he comes to have great riches and glory, all Judah honoring him at his death.
30. (a) To what wickedness does Manasseh revert, but what follows his repentance? (b) What marks Amon’s short reign?
30 Manasseh and Amon reign wickedly (33:1-25). Hezekiah’s son Manasseh reverts to the wicked course of his grandfather Ahaz, undoing all the good accomplished during Hezekiah’s reign. He builds up the high places, sets up the sacred poles, and even sacrifices his sons to false gods. Finally, Jehovah brings the king of Assyria against Judah, and Manasseh is carried away captive to Babylon. There he repents of his wrongdoing. When Jehovah shows mercy by restoring him to his kingship, he endeavors to root out demon worship and restore true religion. However, when Manasseh dies after a long 55-year reign, his son Amon ascends the throne and wickedly champions false worship again. After two years, his own servants put him to death.
31. What are the highlights of Josiah’s courageous reign?
31 Josiah’s courageous reign (34:1–35:27). Youthful Josiah, a son of Amon, makes a courageous attempt to restore true worship. He has the altars of the Baals and the graven images pulled down, and he repairs the house of Jehovah, where “the book of Jehovah’s law by the hand of Moses,” doubtless the original copy, is found. (34:14) Yet, righteous Josiah is told that calamity will come on the land for the unfaithfulness that has already occurred, but not in his day. In the 18th year of his reign, he arranges an outstanding Passover celebration. After a 31-year reign, Josiah meets his death in a vain attempt to prevent the Egyptian hosts from passing through the land on their way to the Euphrates.
32. How do the last four kings lead Judah to its disastrous end?
32 Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah, and Jerusalem’s desolation (36:1-23). The wickedness of the last four Judean kings quickly carries the nation to its disastrous end. Josiah’s son Jehoahaz rules only three months, being removed by Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. He is replaced by his brother Eliakim, whose name is changed to Jehoiakim, and during whose reign Judah is subjugated by the new world power, Babylon. (2 Ki. 24:1) When Jehoiakim rebels, Nebuchadnezzar comes up to Jerusalem to punish him in 618 B.C.E., but Jehoiakim dies this same year, after reigning 11 years. He is replaced by his 18-year-old son Jehoiachin. After a reign of scarcely three months, Jehoiachin surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar and is carried away captive to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar now places a third son of Josiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle Zedekiah, on the throne. Zedekiah reigns badly for 11 years, refusing to “humble himself on account of Jeremiah the prophet at the order of Jehovah.” (2 Chron. 36:12) In large-scale unfaithfulness, priests and people alike defile the house of Jehovah.
33. (a) How does the 70-year desolation begin, “to fulfill Jehovah’s word”? (b) What historic decree is recorded in the last two verses of Second Chronicles?
33 Finally, Zedekiah rebels against Babylon’s yoke, and this time Nebuchadnezzar shows no mercy. Jehovah’s rage is full, and there is no healing. Jerusalem falls, its temple is looted and burned, and the survivors of the 18-month siege are carried as captives to Babylon. Judah is left desolate. Thus, in this very year of 607 B.C.E., begins the desolation “to fulfill Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah . . . to fulfill seventy years.” (36:21) The chronicler then leaps this gap of nearly 70 years to record in the last two verses 36:22, 23 the historic decree of Cyrus in 537 B.C.E. The Jewish captives are to be set free! Jerusalem must rise again!
34. What is emphasized in Ezra’s selection of material, and how was this beneficial to the nation?
34 Second Chronicles adds its powerful testimony to that of other witnesses concerning this eventful period, 1037-537 B.C.E. Moreover, it gives valuable supplementary information not found in other canonical histories, for example, at 2 Chronicles chapters 19, 20, and 2Ch 29 through 31. Ezra’s selection of material emphasized the fundamental and permanent elements in the history of the nation, such as the priesthood and its service, the temple, and the Kingdom covenant. This was beneficial in holding the nation together in hope of the Messiah and his Kingdom.
35. What important points are proved in the closing verses of Second Chronicles?
35 The closing verses of Second Chronicles (36:17-23) give conclusive proof of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 25:12 and, in addition, show that a full 70 years must be counted from the complete desolation of the land to the restoration of Jehovah’s worship at Jerusalem in 537 B.C.E. This desolation therefore begins in 607 B.C.E.*—Jer. 29:10; 2 Ki. 25:1-26; Ezra 3:1-6.
36. (a) What powerful admonition is contained in Second Chronicles? (b) How does it strengthen expectation concerning the Kingdom?
36 Second Chronicles contains powerful admonition for those walking in Christian faith. So many of the kings of Judah started well but then lapsed into wicked ways. How forcefully this historical record illustrates that success depends upon faithfulness to God! We should be warned therefore to be not “the sort that shrink back to destruction, but the sort that have faith to the preserving alive of the soul.” (Heb. 10:39) Even faithful King Hezekiah became haughty on recovering from his sickness, and it was only because he quickly humbled himself that he was able to avoid Jehovah’s indignation. Second Chronicles magnifies Jehovah’s wonderful qualities and extols his name and sovereignty. The entire history is presented from the standpoint of exclusive devotion to Jehovah. As it lays emphasis also upon the royal line of Judah, it strengthens our expectation of seeing pure worship exalted under the everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the loyal “son of David.”—Matt. 1:1; Acts 15:16, 17.
Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pages 750-1; Vol. 2, pages 1076-8.
Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, page 463; Vol. 2, page 326.