In Ezra 1:1 – 4, we read of King Cyrus’ edict to the Jews in his realm, giving them permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. The 2 Books of Chronicles are written to these returning Jews who are encouraged to carry out Cyrus’ decree. Under the Mosaic Covenant, it was Aaron’s descendants who were given the high priesthood and the other Levites who were to serve at the Jerusalem Temple. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the Chronicler spends much ink giving the genealogies of the Levite families. He is establishing the legitimacy of their God-given ministry.
It shouldn’t also surprise us that the Chronicler spends so much time writing about the reigns of David and Solomon. Even though the Jewish remnant that has retuned to the Promised Land has no Jewish king over them, they still have the promises that a descendant of David will reign over them. Christians believe that Jesus Christ ultimately fulfills those expectations. It is interesting to note that in the Chronicler’s account of the reigns of David and Solomon that he includes none of the their negative behaviors that we read about in 2Samuel and 1Kings. The Chronicler paints an idealistic portrait of their kingships in order to establish the importance of David’s descendants for the accomplishment of God’s purposes for Israel and for the world.
The 1st 7 chapters of 2Chronicles covers Solomon’s reign and his building of the Jerusalem Temple. It is interesting to note that Solomon began with a pure heart of devotion toward the LORD. When God tells Solomon to ask Him for anything, Solomon asks for wisdom to rule God’s people well (2Chronicles 1). The LORD gloriously answers this prayer as Solomon becomes one of the wisest men on earth. Please read 2Chronicles 9:1-8 for the testimony of Queen Sheba. How sad to read in 1Kings 11:1-6 of the end of Solomon’s reign. He married many foreign women who worshiped other gods and turned his heart away from the LORD. It is ironic how such a wise king ended up making such foolish decisions.
I am reminded of the words that are addressed to Christians in 1Corinthians 10:12: ” So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” He who has ears let him hear what God’s word says. In Christ’s love and service, Pastor John.