Book of the Week 14: II Chronicles

Hebrew Name: Davari Hayamim – Bet

Human Author: Unknown (Possibly Ezra)             

OT or NT: Old Testament

Number of Chapters: 36

Basic Facts

  1. II Chronicles is the fourteenth book of the Bible.
  2. II Chronicles is classified as a book of history.
  3. I Chronicles and II Chronicles were originally one book.
  4. The Hebrew name for II Chronicles is Davari Hayamim – Bet, which means “Word of the Ages – Two.”
  5. The Greek name for II Chronicles is Paraleipomenon Beta, which means “the things omitted, left over – two.”

Story of the Book

The story of the book of II Chronicles, in some ways, parallels the story of I Kings and II Kings. The book begins with the reign of King Solomon including the following stories: Solomon asks for wisdom, Solomon oversees the building of the Temple, Solomon dedicates the temple to God, and God grants Solomon great wisdom and wealth.

After the death of Solomon, II Chronicles continues with the story of the dividing of Israel into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The rest of II Chronicles records details concerning the divided kingdom with various degrees of rebellion against God and some various times of reform. II Chronicles ends with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians and the exile of the people into Mesopotamia. This exile would last from the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. to the first year of Cyrus I the king of Persia. The last paragraph of the book tells the strange tale of how God instructed Cyrus the king of Persia to allow some of the exiles to return to the promised land.

Jesus Foreshadowed in II Chronicles

Jesus is foreshadowed in II Chronicles in a very indirect way, similar to the book of II Kings. At the end of II Chronicles, the line of the kings of Judah is dethroned, and the Jews are brought into exile in Babylon in fulfillment of God’s warning that they would be cut off for disobedience (I Kings 9:6-9). However, in II Samuel 7:16, God promised to establish David’s royal line forever. After the royal line is sent into captivity in Babylon, the surviving remnant of the Jews looked for a day in which the kingship of David’s royal line would be restored. The Hebrew name for the king of Israel is Mashiyach. It is from this term that we get the English term Messiah. Thus, in a way, the return of the kingdom to the royal line of David and the coming of the Messiah are one and the same idea. The coming king of David’s line who re-establishes the kingdom of Israel is Jesus Christ (I Chronicles 3:1-24; Matthew 1:1-17). It is Jesus Christ alone who fulfills II Samuel 7:16. In a way, through the fall of the line of David’s royal line in II Chronicles (like in II Kings) comes the beginning of the long wait for the coming of the Messiah (II Samuel 7:16; I Kings 9:5; Isaiah 9:6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 11:15).