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Bible Commentaries

James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary

2 Chronicles 21

 

 

Verses 1-33

JEHORAM TO HEZEHIAH

JEHORAM (2 Chronicles 21)

Jehoshaphat followed Rehoboam’s example in arranging for his sons (2 Chronicles 21:3), but without the hoped-for result (2 Chronicles 21:4). Such a brother as Jehoram proved might be expected to act in his kingly capacity as verses five to seven testify. Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12) may be mistaken of the transcribers for Elisha, as the former died earlier (2 Kings 2); unless we take the view in the margin that this was a “writing” he left behind him. For the fulfillment of this “writing” read the rest of the chapter. We had a much fuller account of this reign in 2 Kings.

AHAZIAH (2 Chronicles 22)

This king is called Jehoahaz in the preceding chapter (2 Chronicles 21:17). The peculiarity in the figures (2 Chronicles 22:2) was noticed in 2 Kings 8:26, and the fact that his mother was the grand-daughter of Omri (2 Chronicles 22:2). Note her influence (2 Chronicles 22:3) like that of the mother of what other king recently considered?

In the story of 2 Chronicles 22:5-9, it is of interest to know that archaeological research has found the names of Hazael and Jehu on Assyrian sculptures.

Athaliah’s motive (v. 10) may have been inspired partly by anger at the destruction of her own house of Ahab, partly by the necessity of self- defense against Jehu, and partly by pride and ambition, since if any of the young princes became king his mother would supersede her in power and dignity.

Verse 12 means that the priests and their families, some of them at least, were privileged to dwell in the buildings in the outer wall of the temple.

JOASH (2 Chronicles 23-24)

“Chief of the fathers of Israel” (2 Chronicles 23:2), means Judah and Benjamin only, the name usually employed in this book for all that remained of Israel. 1 Chronicles 24:15-22 has no parallel in Kings. It mentions the honor shown Jehoiada. Burial in cities, except Jerusalem, was prohibited, and in that case only allowed to kings. What request did the princes make to the king after the death of the faithful priest (2 Chronicles 24:17)? Does the next verse indicate its character? And was the king himself guilty (2 Chronicles 24:21)? Compare Matthew 23:29-35. In this last passage Christ speaks of the slain prophet as the son of Barachias instead of Jehoiada, but possibly he was the latter’s grandson. In his death the prophet said, “The Lord shall see and require” (2 Chronicles 24:22), and for the fulfillment of the warning read the chapter to the end.

AMAZIAH (2 Chronicles 25)

This history is divided into three parts: (1) the general account of the reign, and its spirit, especially at the beginning (2 Chronicles 25:1-4); (2) the conquest of the Edomites (2 Chronicles 25:5-13); and (3) the idolatry of the king and its punishment at the hands of Israel (2 Chronicles 25:14-28). The second of these events is given with detail not found in the earlier record, and is valuable for the reply of God’s servant to the king (2 Chronicles 25:9), the lesson of which should not be disregarded. The third event also contains new matter (2 Chronicles 25:14-16), explaining why the calamity of the following verses was permitted.

UZZIAH (2 Chronicles 26)

Two periods suggest themselves in this case: early obedience and prosperity (2 Chronicles 26:1-15), then pride and punishment (2 Chronicles 26:16-23). A comparison of the record of the first period with 2 Kings 14-15 shows new matter illustrating Uzziah’s prosperity, who is there called “Azariah.” This latter name is that of the Assyrian inscriptions also. Do not let verse five escape. “He sought God in the days of the Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God.” How valuable the prophets in the history of God’s people, and especially those who understand the visions of God! There is a difference in prophets. Some understand what others do not. How necessary, therefore, that the Scripture interpreter should fear the Lord that he may possess his secrets.

Uzziah desired to exercise regal and sacerdotal functions at the same time, as in the case of pagan kings and emperors, but which was contrary to the divine law (Exodus 30, Numbers 18). For the sin, compare 1 Samuel 13, and the punishment, Numbers 12, 2 Kings 5.

JOTHAM AND AHAZ (2 Chronicles 27-28)

Of Jotham’s reign little need be said except to call attention to the lesson in verse six. The story of Ahaz is divided into four parts: (1) his general character and reign (2 Chronicles 27:1-5); (2) the invasions by Syria and Israel (2 Chronicles 27:6-9); (3) the alliance with Assyria (2 Chron. 27:16-21); and (4) the summary (2 Chron. 27:22-27).

There is much that is new as compared with Kings, but the prophetic intercession for Judah with their brethren of Israel is particularly interesting (2 Chronicles 28:9-15). Was it their power, or God’s judicial sentence that caused Israel to be victorious (2 Chronicles 28:9)? How had they abused their opportunity? What should make them cautious and merciful (2 Chronicles 28:10)? 2 Chronicles 28:12-15 accord with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), and Christ may have drawn upon this episode.

Ahaz’s alliance with Assyria is attested by the Assyrian monuments. In the summary of the close of his reign, what language (2 Chronicles 28:24) indicates the suspension of the worship of God in his time?

HEZEKIAH (2 Chronicles 29-32)

After the beginning of Hezekiah’s history, in chapter 29 we have the cleansing and consecration of the temple. In 30, the great passover. In 31, the religious reforms following. In 32, we have Sennacherib’s expedition, Hezekiah’s sickness, and the close of the reign. In Kings the military and political side of the reign is given more fully, but not the inner religious and theocratic side, as we see by comparing chapters 29-31 with the introductory verses of 2 Kings 18.

Noting a few outstanding points, “all the uncleanness” (2 Chronicles 29:16) means probably the sacrificial vessels formerly employed in idolatry, and possibly the remains of idolatrous offerings. “Ye have filled your hand unto the Lord” (2 Chronicles 29:31 margin), means they had consecrated themselves to God (Exodus 28:41) after offering the expiatory sacrifices which preceded such consecration. Keep in mind that God accepts nothing from us as either gift or service until He accepts us. And we can be accepted only on the ground of the expiatory sacrifice of Christ. Note the last word of this chapter in the light of its context. That is the way a revival comes. O, that God would now surprise us with one!

Why could they not keep the passover in the appointed first month (2 Chronicles 30:2-4)? Was change ever permissible (Numbers 9:6-13)? Note the breadth of the invitation (2 Chronicles 30:5-9), and the reception it met from Israel (2 Chronicles 30:10-11). See the difficulty in the case of Judah and the cause of it (2 Chronicles 30:12). “Healed the people” (2 Chronicles 30:20) means forgave their guilt. “That they might be encouraged (steadfast) in the law of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 31:4), means that they might live carefree while performing their official duties.

Note that Hezekiah was a man of prayer and faith, who did not neglect means (2 Chronicles 32:1-8). To understand “he repaid not” (2 Chronicles 32:25), compare 1 Kings 20:12. How disappointing this is in so good a man. What a lesson it teaches as to the need of prayer and watchfulness to the end of our lives (2 Chronicles 32:31).

QUESTIONS

1. Count the fulfillments of prophecy in this lesson.

2. What warning for mothers is found in it?

3. How is it corroborated by archaeology?

4. How may Athaliah’s conduct be explained?

5. Recite the story of the reign of Joash.

6. Name the divisions of chapter 25.

7. What was Uzziah’s sin?

8. Where is the parable of the Good Samaritan suggested here?

9. What comes first in the divine order, salvation or consecration?

10. What lesson is taught by the latter part of Hezekiah’s life?

 


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Bibliography Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21:4". The James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jgc/2-chronicles-21.html. 1897-1910.

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