What we are reading this week (beginning Wednesday, March 17, 2020):
• 2 Chronicles 30-36
Week 51. We will actually finish this week! Then we will have a week to lay back before we dive in again. I hope you all will consider going on the journey once again. As I said earlier, I’ve done this five years now. I downloaded all of my notes, and found that I have written over 233,000 words since we began this first time in April of 2016. So after all of that, I will be bringing up notes from the past as we navigate through this year.
You do not have to re-enlist in this group. Your name will remain on the mailing list unless you take it off yourself. I’ll send out some prep information for the next readthrough next week.
Notes on 2 Chronicles “
Hezekiah brings back glory days to Judah. He is a godly reformer, reopens the Temple, reinitiates Passover… “There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem” (30.26). That’s saying something!
Hezekiah was a great leader, and he led by example. Even in giving, “he contributed from his own possessions” (31.3). He re-enlisted the Levites and priests to their worship duties.
He “did throughout Judah…what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God” (31. 20).
Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came knocking. Assyria was the most powerful nation on earth at the time, and were the ones who had overtaken Israel, the northern kingdom, along with a bunch of other nations. Hezekiah and his people were clearly outmatched, but after turning to the Lord, Judah experienced an astonishing victory.
Hezekiah made a mistake at the end of his life, but repented (32.26). However, Judah suffered greatly as Hezekiah’s son Manasseh took the throne for fifty-five years, and led with violence and all manner of ungodliness. The bad king did, however, did repent of his sins at the very end (33.12-14), but Judah was on the way to an inglorious end.
Manasseh’s son, Amon, was another wicked king, but was only on the throne for two years. He was followed by godly king Josiah. Amon died at twenty-four years old, so Josiah was only eight when he became king. Nevertheless, he followed in the footsteps of his great grandfather Hezekiah and tried hard to reform a badly broken system. He smashed a lot of idols and tore down high places.
Still, it was too late for Judah. God would spare Josiah because of his good heart. But Judah was going to be destroyed. Even after this dire prophecy, Josiah kept at his reforms, and led a large Passover celebration in chapter 35.
Josiah was killed in a battle that he should not have even been a part of. But the time had come for Judah’s desolation, and perhaps it was God’s mercy that saw to it that he died a rather quick death.
In the final chapter, the throne is passed all over the place. From Jehoahaz, Josiah’s son, it went to Jehoahaz’ brother Jehoiakim—but this move was orchestrated by the king of Egypt.
Then Nebuchadnezzar stepped into the fray, removed Jehoiakim, taking him away to Babylon, and placing his uncle—Josiah’s brother Zedekiah—on the throne in his place. He would be the very last king, and with his exile to Babylon, Israel and Judah were no more.