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In Kings and Chronicles, He's Sovereign

Updated on November 25, 2014

Daniel 4:25b

"...the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men..."
"...the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men..."

He [Jesus] is Sovereign

Much of First & Second Kings and First & Second Chronicles mirror each other, with a few events given greater relevance in the history of Israel and Judah; such as, in Second Chronicles tends to tell more heavily of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and only touching on the Northern Kingdom (Israel) slightly, David is given much credit for his help in planning the building of the Temple, Hezekiah's religion reforms are detailed more favorably and Manasseh was given ample opportunity to repent of his sins.

1 Kings 1:30

"I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel:  Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place."
"I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place."

First and Second Kings

The two books of Kings describe the history of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), as well as the reigns of the various kings, from Saul to David to Solomon to the split of the kingdoms starting with Rehoboam and ending with Zedekiah as king of Judah and Hoshea as king of Israel.

When Solomon's throne was established, he also established Israel's splendor among the nations. His great wisdom was known throughout the whole world as men would travel from far away nations to listen to the words Solomon spoke. Solomon is credited for having built the Temple, which he spent seven years erecting (1 Kings 6:38); Solomon spent thirteen years building his own palace.

There was a problem, though, with Solomon; he failed to regard God's law and commands and sinned greatly.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20--"When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, 'Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,' be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great number of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, 'You are not to go back that way again.' He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel."

In fact, Solomon did the opposite of what was commanded and decreed in Deuteronomy. He had a great amount of horses and chariots; 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses, all imported either from Egypt or Cilicia (1 Kings 10:26, 28-29). And, of course, we are all familiar with the 700 wives and 300 concubines accredited to Solomon; all of his wives, in fact, were of royal birth from other nations (1 Kings 11:1-3). And, then, lest we forget, Solomon had amassed a great amount of gold and silver (1 Kings 10:14-21, 27).

Solomon, at some point, did repent, and was forgiven; but, as God is also merciful and full of grace, He must also provide His strong justice. There were consequences to the sins that Solomon purposed to commit. In 1 Kings 11:4 ("As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been."), as a result of his sin, the kingdom was to be taken from Solomon and the kingdom would be split as a result. God reiterated His promise made to David of David's kingdom being established forever, thus King David's line would continue on even after the division of the kingdom (1 Kings 11:9-13). At the time of Solomon's death, his son Rehoboam took the throne and, while the tribes of Benjamin and Judah held together steadfastly, the other ten tribes rejected Rehoboam and seceded their allegiance to the Northern Kingdom and made Samaria their capital and Jeroboam, Solomon's servant, their king. And as the years wore on, each kingdom had its own succession of kings who did evil and did not walk with the Lord as King David had; Israel (the Northern Kingdom) failed more so than Judah (the Southern Kingdom).

Within the books of Kings, there are three major themes; (1.) God's given promise (David's throne would be established forever), (3.) there was the apostasy, or turning away from faith and religious principles, of each new king which led the nation as a whole traveling the road where sin abound, and (3.) God will send judgment is His own time, and each time a warning of judgment was given, it was fulfilled as promised.

2 Chronicles 36:21

"The land enjoyed its Sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah."
"The land enjoyed its Sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah."

First and Second Chronicles

1 CHRONICLES 1-9

These first nine chapters of First Chronicles give another look at the historical genealogical lists of the Israelites tribe by tribe. Though reading through a genealogical list might prove tedious, especially when so many names can be confusing (Arphaxad, Zaavan, Ephlal, etc.), these same lists link families according to tribes and help to keep in our minds the people who come to power and so on.

1 CHRONICLES 8-10

These three chapters give us a second, albeit brief, look into Saul's genealogy through the tribe of Benjamin. Saul's kingdom was torn from him and given to David because Saul was unfaithful to the Lord and did not live by God's commands and decrees, going so far as to even consult with a medium for help (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).

1 CHRONICLES 11-29

The rest of the book of First Chronicles is a more detailed history of the reign of King David. Again we read how David brought the Ark of the Covenant to the city of Jerusalem, also known as the City of David (1 Chronicles 13; 15-16). There is another gander of the victories given to King David, and then, in 1 Chronicles 21, we read again of David's sin in counting the fighting men (a mirror of 2 Samuel 24). Though David prayed that the Lord might grant him the privilege of building the House for God, God denied David's request and assured David that his son (we later know this to be Solomon) would be the one to build the House of God. David proceeded to make preparations and get things at the ready for the time when Solomon would begin construction of the Temple. David provided workmen and building materials, and even had some blueprints drawn up for the Temple, which the Lord had put in his mind (1 Chronicles 28:11-12).

2 CHRONICLES 1-9

These first chapter of 2 Chronicles mirror 2 Samuel 3-11. As discussed earlier, though Solomon had great wisdom, he did not walk in the ways of the Lord as David did, and though he repented, his consequences were great in that the kingdom was split at the time of his death, when his son Rehoboam sat upon the throne. The rise of Rehoboam began a quick decay in moral behavior and Kingdom standards set forth by God for the nation of Israel as a whole.

2 CHORNICLES 10-36

What follows throughout the rest of Second Chronicles concerns mostly the kingdom of Judah (the Southern Kingdom); although, it does not leave out completely the kingdom of Israel (the Northern Kingdom).

When Hezekiah sat on the throne (he inherited the throne when he was 25), he brought about religious reform. He purified the entire Temple, and he had the priests consecrated into the Lord's service, resurrecting the sacrificial practices that were set in place at the time of Aaron. He reinstated the Feast of the Passover, and had all the people throughout Judah utterly destroy all the pagan places of worship. Because of his faithful dedication in restoring Judah as pleasing in the eyes of God, God blessed Hezekiah and he prospered as king in Judah.

It was during the reign of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, that the reform that Hezekiah so diligently and faithfully work to reconstruct in Judah was reversed, and, again, Judah fell prey to idol worship as led by Manasseh. There was a time in Manasseh's reign when he was taken prisoner by the king of Assyria. Manasseh pleaded with the Lord that he might find some favor in God's eyes, and, as a result, God restored Manasseh to his throne again, giving credence to the length of Manasseh's reign, which was 55 years total.

When Josiah, Manasseh's grandson, succeeded Amon, father of Josiah, as king of Judah, Josiah reinstituted the reform practices that Hezekiah had put forth for the kingdom. But, as the cliché sums it up; "too little, too late."

God was ready to humble Judah by giving Judah over to their enemies. The Egyptians came and carried Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, off to captivity in Egypt, and for the first time a king was "set" in Judah, not given to the next heir in line as had always been the case before. Jehoahaz's brother, Eliakim, was appointed by Neco, king of Egypt, at which time the Egyptian king changed his name from Eliakim to Jehoiakim.

It was during Jehoiakim's eleven years as king of Judah that King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king captured Jehoiakim and imprisoned him in Babylon. Again, an outside force "named" a king for Judah, Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's uncle, instead of an heir of the king assuming the throne. The Babylonian king, through the will of God and God's justice, captured Jerusalem and laid siege to the Temple, totally destroying it. When Zedekiah tried to flee the region during the siege of the Babylonian king, Zedekiah was captured, his sons killed before him and then his eyes gouged out; at this occurrence he was bound hand and foot and taken to Babylon (2 Samuel 25:6-7). A large remnant of the people were also exiled to Babylon to fulfill the promised punishment that God continued to warn them of.

THE CLOSE OF SECOND CHRONICLES brings the close of the exile of those who were deported to Babylon. When the Persian king, Cyrus, came to power, destroying the Babylonian Empire, he granted permission for the Lord's people to return to Judah and Jerusalem, as well as the rebuilding of the Temple. 2 Chronicles 36:25--"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: 'The Lord, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you-may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.' "

Stay Tuned...

In Ezra, He's the true and faithful Scribe...

Ezra’s purpose was to accurately record the events of the return from the Babylonian exile, after a seventy-year period, and the events that surround the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

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    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Johnson 

      3 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      I am behind on my schedule for getting these up. I hope to be doing the next 2 or 3 books (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther) before the weekend comes around again. I'm glad you are finding some good stuff in this article. I can only give so much though. For more wisdom on your own, I implore you to study and be in prayer for wisdom from God. He is awesome and greatly to be praised. Again, thank you.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Yes, very interesting and informative. You know the old testament well - far better than I do. I learned a lot from reading this and also enjoyed reading this. Fascinating stuff right in our own Bible. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Johnson 

      3 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      Thank you very much for leaving a comment on my page. I am trying to better myself as a writer, and, in so doing, bettering myself in my Bible studies. Again, thank you very much for the comment.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Interesting read shirley, and really useful for anyone studying these scriptures, voted up and shared! nell

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