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Week 22 Chonological Bible Reading – 2014

begins Monday June 2nd

Week 22 – 2014 June
Monday 02 1 Kings 2:13-3:28; 2 Chron. 1:1-13
Tuesday 03 1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chron. 2-3
Wednesday 04 1 Kings 7; 2 Chron. 4
Thursday 05 1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 5:1-7:10
Friday 06 1 Kings 9:1-10:13; 2 Chron. 7:11-9:12
Saturday 07 1 Kings 4; 10:14-29; 2 Chron. 1:14-17; 9:13-28; Psalm 72
Sunday 08 Proverbs 1-3

 

Kings and Chronicles

Author:  1 and 2 Kings were written by Jeremiah

Date:  1 and 2 Kings were written circa 550 B.C.

Originally one book, 1 and 2 Kings were written not only to record the history of the kings of Israel, but to show that the success of any king (and of the nation as a whole) depended on the measure of his allegiance to God’s law. Failure to follow God resulted in decline and captivity.

We now begin the portions of Kings and Chronicles that describe the transition from David to Solomon. After the building of the temple and Solomon’s magnificent prayer of dedication, Yahweh reiterates the covenant He made with David, promising to bless Solomon richly for obedience but to curse the nation for his disobedience—a familiar concept.

At first Solomon responds magnificently. His wealth and wisdom become so legendary that kings and queens travel thousands of miles to seek his favor. Yahweh’s will for His people is somewhat fulfilled as their borders extend to the land promised in Numbers and Joshua.  /they enjoy prosperity and peace. Israel is the center of the world, a kingdom on earth displaying the kingdom of heaven. It is during that era that Solomon collects and composes the “three thousand proverbs” and “thousand and five songs” he is credited with in 1 Kings 4:32.

Note that Chronicles does not parallel 1 Kings 11, which tells of the beginning of the end of Solomon’s glory. For every princess that Solomon adds to his harem—which was one of the ways royalty made treaties and agreements—he also adds a competitive god to Yahweh. Eventually his wives lead him astray. Similar to the period of the judges, when Solomon forsakes devotion to Yahweh, Yahweh raises adversaries against him.

With the passing of Solomon comes the passing of Israel’s united kingdom. The books of 1 and 2 Kings interweave the history of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. It finds favor and fault in the kings of both regions.  Chronicles all but ignores the north, finding great good in most of the kings of Judah but saying nothing good about Israel. Because of these perspectives, we will read parallel accounts of all the kings of Judah, but only the books of 1 and 2 Kings will elaborate on Israel and, because of the location of their ministries, on Elijah and Elisha. In that connection, note the climactic confrontation between Yahweh and Baal on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18.

Later in Israel’s history (835 B.C.) when Joash takes the throne, it is Chronicles that brings out the wickedness of the latter part of Joash’s reign. Most likely that is because Joash’s great sins were abandoning the temple and murdering Zechariah, a priest, and Chronicles was probably recorded by priests. The only noteworthy king of the northern kingdom (again noted only in Kings) in the final century of Israel’s existence was Jeroboam.   His forty year reign (793 to 753 B.C.) brought unparalleled peace and prosperity but also unparalleled greed and idolatry among the upper class. The self-centeredness of that generation spawned the strong prophecies of Hosea, Amos, and Jonah.

In Judah, the good kings Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, and even Hezekiah and Josiah could not measure up to the standard set by David. And wicked kings such as Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon pushed Judah over the edge, which led them into Babylonian exile in 586 B.C. following Israel’s exile to Assyria in 722 B.C.

 

 

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