Ezra has been named, as he is most likely the writer in view of its date (post-captivity) and its contents.
To the remnant who had returned from Babylon, these warnings would have special meaning and significance (see 12:5; 15:1-7; 28:9-13; 33:10-13; 16:7-10; 24:19-22; 25:15-16; 26:16-21).
The World of Ezra’s Day
Ezra is writing for a returning remnant. The importance of their history, the events which led up to their captivity, their failure and sin, and God’s faithfulness are all interwoven into this second book of Chronicles. He is seeking to give a preventative ministry but also to encourage them by examples of occasions of blessing when men turned to God with all their hearts. The best-known verse of 2 Chronicles is likely 7:14, which contains both the truth of the importance of self-humbling and the truth of prayer, themes which are prominent in the book.
Four major deliverances are also detailed to encourage the remnant; these occurred during the reigns of Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah.
Notice that during the description of the reign of Solomon, no attention is drawn to his failure and his many wives. He is presented in an almost idealized form.
Attention should be drawn to how 2 Chronicles ends and the next book, Ezra, begins. Chronicles ends with the edict of Cyrus, and the last word is “up.” Ezra begins by repeating the edict and that God stirred “up” the spirit of Cyrus to issue the edict, and the repetition of the charge to “go up” and build the house. All of this would reinforce in the hearts of the people the sense of “mission” and divine “sovereignty” that was at work.
There are many references to other works, which have been referenced in the compilation of this book of Chronicles (note 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27; 26:22; 27:7; 29:29; 32:32; 33:19). This does not detract from inspiration but indicates a careful historian who culled from available references, under the control of the Spirit of God, to provide us this account. It is similar to the Gospel of Luke in this regard.
- Notice all the mentions of humbling in 2 Chronicles. This again would be very valuable, considering the history of the remnant (7:14; 12:6,7,12; 30:11; 33:12,19,23; 34:27; 36:12).
- The importance of prayer (13:14; 14:11; 18:31; 20:9; 30:18,27; 32:20,24; 33:13).
- Notice how often we are told, “Because.” It is a distinctive word in Chronicles, God explaining the reasons for His actions to the nation in carrying it away into captivity. It is found 28 times in 1 Chronicles and 45 times in 2 Chronicles.
- “Because” and judgment (12:2,14; 16:7; 20:37; 21:10,12; 24:20,24; 25:20; 28:6,9,19).
- “Because” in a positive sense (1:11; 2:11; 9:8; 13:18; 14:6,7; 16:8; 17:3; 24:16; 27:6; 34:27).
- Notice the frequent mention of how men prospered and why they prospered (13:12; 14:7; 18:11,14; 20:20; 24:20; 26:5; 31:21; 32:30).
- The “heart” is mentioned 37 times, and note the times in which it is a prepared heart or a perfect heart.
- While Chronicles is Temple oriented, there is still a significant number of mentions of the seer, prophet, and man of God (11:2; 12:5,7,8; 15:1-7; 16:7-9; 17:14-21; 19:2,3; 20:14-17; 21:12; 24:19,20-22; 25:7,15; 28:9; 34:23; 36:12,15).
We sometimes don’t appreciate just how many important principles are revealed in 2 Chronicles. Note these examples:
- The Principle Governing Recovery (7:14)
- The Principle Governing Security (14:11-12)
- The Principle of the Certainty of Divine Help (16:9)
- The Principle Governing Activity (19:2)
- The Principle Governing Probity (19:7)
- The Principle Controlling Mentality (20:15)
- The Principle Assuring Prosperity (20:20)
- The Principle Governing Fidelity (30:9)
- The Principle Governing Stability (32:7-8)
- The Principle of Discovery (32:31)
The High Watermark of Judah (chs.1-9)
- Solomon and the Throne (ch.1)
- Solomon and the Temple (chs.2-7)
- Solomon and his Testimony (chs.8-9)
The History to the Captivity (chs.10-36)
- The Kingdom Divided (ch.10)
- The Kings Detailed (chs.11-36)
- The Kingdom Deported (ch.36:15-23)