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Understanding the Old Testament - Lesson 32

Chronicles

Explore the Book of Chronicles with Dr. Van Pelt. The book provides insights into the culmination of the Hebrew Bible, emphasizing themes of kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. Through selective genealogies and historical accounts, it portrays God's faithfulness and His plan for restoration, with a focus on the roles of David and Solomon in preparing for the temple. The narrative underscores the importance of fidelity to God and the temple, presenting a theological perspective that anticipates the ultimate restoration and redemption promised beforehand, ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the true priest-king.

Miles Van Pelt
Understanding the Old Testament
Lesson 32
Watching Now
Chronicles

I. Overview of the Book of Chronicles

A. Canonical Placement and Significance

B. Historical Context and Canonical Order

C. Themes and Message

D. Authorship and Date of Composition

E. Literary Resources and Sources

F. Structure and Contents

II. Genealogies and Selective History

A. Adam to Saul

B. Emphasis on Judah and Levi

C. Concentric Arrangement and Degrees of Holiness

D. Theological Significance and Jesus' Genealogy

III. Reign of David

A. Termination of Saul's Dynasty

B. Davidic Covenant and Temple Preparation

C. Emphasis on Kingdom Building and Worship

IV. Solomon's Kingship and Temple Building

A. Solomon's Request for Wisdom

B. Construction and Dedication of the Temple

C. Focus on Kingdom Consolidation and Worship

V. Kings of Judah and Restoration

A. Division of the Kingdom and Kings of Judah

B. Faithlessness and Idolatry

C. Recitation of the Decree of Cyrus and Hope of Restoration

VI. Conclusion: Jesus as the Priest-King and Gospel Fulfillment


Lessons
Resources
Transcript
  • Engage with the Old Testament to grasp its Gospel-centered nature. From Genesis to Ecclesiastes and Psalms, discover foundational truths, wisdom, and insights on suffering. Strengthen your faith and find enduring hope in God's Word.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament's theological core, centering on Jesus Christ. Explore its diverse genres, languages, and authors, unified by Jesus as its focal point. Understand how biblical evidence supports Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, shaping interpretation.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides the thematic framework for the Old Testament. The Old Testament's thematic core is the Kingdom of God. Through this lesson, you'll understand its covenantal nature, from pre-temporal arrangements to various administrations like redemption, works, and grace, unveiling God's salvation plan in Christ.
  • Discover the intricate covenantal structure of the Bible, revealing its theological depth and unity, from the division of the Hebrew Bible to its mirroring in the New Testament, all centered around Jesus Christ.
  • Gain insight into the Pentateuch's covenantal structure, Moses' authorship debate, and evidence supporting it. Understand its significance as the foundation of Israel's relationship with God and its relevance for biblical theology.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the theological, structural, and thematic intricacies of the book of Genesis. You'll grasp its role as a foundational text in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring themes of covenant, creation, fall, redemption, and the fulfillment of promises. You'll gain insights into the genealogical structure of Genesis, its portrayal of key biblical figures like Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and its connection to the overarching narrative of the gospel.
  • Exodus reveals Yahweh's promise—"I will be with you"—unfolding divine presence and covenant. It anticipates Jesus as fulfillment—a better Moses and Tabernacle—ushering in God's eternal presence among humanity.
  • Studying Leviticus unveils the intricate system of laws and rituals at Mount Sinai. It explains sacrificial atonement, priestly consecration, purity laws, and the theme of holiness, prefiguring Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness.
  • Discover the Book of Numbers' insights on Israel's journey, God's faithfulness, consequences of disobedience, and parallels to Christ, cautioning against questioning God's holiness and emphasizing His desire to dwell among His people through the Holy Spirit.
  • Gain insight into Deuteronomy's covenant renewal for Israel entering Canaan, emphasizing obedience, typology, and its relevance for Christian living.
  • Gain deep insight into the former prophets, exploring themes of Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's unfaithfulness, and the typological significance of the Mosaic covenant. Understand its relation to the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant under Jesus, revealing God's plan for restoration.
  • Joshua unveils Joshua's leadership, divine promise fulfillment in Canaan, obedience's significance, and Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of God's promises.
  • Discover the Book of Judges, detailing Israel's history and faith journey. Learn about judges as deliverers from oppression and idolatry, portraying parallels with Christ's ministry. Uncover a pattern of uncreation due to idolatry, emphasizing the need for an eternal judge—Jesus Christ—to save from corruption.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides insights into the book of Samuel, exploring its characters, themes, and the transition from judgeship to kingship in Israel. Learn of the significance of the Davidic covenant, culminating in Jesus as the ultimate King of Kings.
  • Gain insights into the Book of Kings, revealing its historical and theological significance. Discover the fulfillment of Davidic covenant, reasons for Israel's exile, and anticipation of the new covenant. Recognize Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of its promises.
  • This lesson reviews latter prophets' insights into Israel's exile for breaking the Mosaic Covenant, the prophetic office's nature, diverse prophecy genres, and the execution of covenant lawsuits, all pointing to God's judgment and hope for restoration.
  • Explore Isaiah's profound prophetic themes, from redemption to impending judgment. Unravel his life and ministry's context, review the debate around authorship, and learn essential tools for study.
  • Enjoy this lesson on Jeremiah, a second Moses figure, and his prophetic message of repentance, redemption, and a new covenant. Explore the book's chiastic structure, historical context, and theological significance, offering hope amidst Judah's fall.
  • Studying Ezekiel reveals its focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. You learn of Ezekiel's exile, his visions, and themes like covenant theology, creation, and apocalyptic elements, offering profound insights into hope amidst crisis.
  • Discover insights into the minor prophets' diverse genres and themes, from covenant infidelity to divine restoration. Witness Jonah's repentance narrative and prophetic visions culminating in Christ's fulfillment. Embrace Yahweh's justice and compassion, urging Israel's return, leading to Jesus as the ultimate authority.
  • Understand the structure and themes of the Hebrew Bible's writings section. Explore diverse literary forms, intentional divisions mirroring prophets, and the overarching theme of exile and return, illuminating Israel's covenant journey.
  • Discover the depth of the Book of Psalms: 150 songs divided into 5 books, expressing diverse emotions and worship forms. Explore themes, structure, and practical applications for personal devotion and prayer.
  • Gain insights into human suffering and theodicy through Job's trials. Explore themes of faith, resilience, and God's sovereignty amidst adversity. Discover hope in God's incomprehensible sovereignty amid life's trials.
  • Proverbs is a book of timeless wisdom from Solomon, who was gifted by God. By studying this book, you can learn to navigate life with righteousness and discernment, rooted in the fear of the Lord.
  • Journey through Ruth, where redemption, loyalty, and divine providence intertwine. Ruth, a symbol of strength, aligns with Boaz, embodying ancient customs. Their union shapes history, reflecting the enduring legacy of faith amidst life's complexities.
  • Explore the Song of Songs for insights into marriage and intimacy. It navigates the tension between true love and temptation, advocating for unwavering commitment and passionate intimacy, reflecting God's desired relationship. Discover timeless wisdom for modern-day love and marriage.
  • Ecclesiastes reveals life's futility without God, emphasizing the necessity of fearing Him. Through Solomon's wisdom, it prompts reflection on divine purpose amid existential questions.
  • In Lamentations, mourn the fall of Jerusalem and exile, finding hope in God's sovereignty.
  • The book of Esthers contains themes of providence, hiddenness of God, and faithfulness in exile. You will uncover the intricacies of Esther and Mordecai's roles in the deliverance of the Jewish people, as well as the establishment of the festival of Purim. This study will equip you with insights into how God's providence operates amidst human events, even when His presence may seem concealed, and how faithfulness in exile can lead to unexpected outcomes of deliverance and restoration.
  • Through this lesson on the book of Daniel, you'll gain insights into its structure, themes of faithfulness in exile, comparisons with Joseph, and its significance for understanding apocalyptic literature, providing a comprehensive understanding of God's sovereignty and care for His people.
  • Explore Ezra and Nehemiah for insights into post-exilic restoration, intertwining faith, governance, and cultural renewal. These books point towards a deeper longing for true and lasting restoration and echo themes found in apocalyptic literature such as the book of Revelation.
  • The Book of Chronicles traces Israel's history, emphasizing kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. It anticipates restoration, pointing to Jesus as the ultimate priest-king who fulfills God's promises.

Understanding the Old Testament 
Dr. Miles Van Pelt
ot102-32 
Chronicles 
Lesson Transcript
 

Welcome to the lecture for the Book of Chronicles. If you've made it this far, congratulations. This is the last book in the Hebrew Bible. In the Hebrew Bible, Chronicles is indeed the last book of the canon, and the New Testament also appears to recognize this order. Recall from one of our introductory lectures that we quoted Matthew 23-35, which says, "And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar." We stated that what Jesus is saying here is that the blood of every martyr in the Old Testament will be accounted to this generation, from the blood of Abel, who was martyred in Genesis chapter 4, to the blood of Zechariah, who was martyred in 2 Chronicles 24. 

So in some sense, we're thinking from A to Z, Abel to Zechariah, but that's not the case because of how the Hebrew language works, the letters. What we're thinking of is that the first martyr in Genesis to the last martyr in Chronicles represents the beginning and the end of Jesus' Bible, so all the martyrs the middle. Most canon scholars recognize this as substantiating the fact that the Bible Jesus used began with Genesis and ended with Chronicles. And of course, from Luke 24, we know that the Bible had three parts, the law, the prophets, and the psalms or writings. 

So we're here at the end, and the book of Chronicles, I think you'll discover, is a fitting end to the Hebrew Bible. According to Paul House, "This book has a canonical awareness that makes it important for grasping the whole message of Old Testament theology." Selman states, "Chronicles stands apart in its attempt to interpret the Old Testament from beginning to end because it begins with Adam and it ends with the return from exile in 538 BC." 

Historically speaking, the book of Chronicles covers the largest historical period of any other book of the Bible, from creation in 1 Chronicles 1 to the decree of Cyrus in 538 BC. This is the first history of the world written in the ancient world. So Chronicles serves as a fitting literary and theological ending to the Hebrew Bible in several ways. One, both Genesis and Chronicles, the bookends of the Hebrew Bible, begin with Adam. Two, both Genesis and Chronicles contain important theologically shaped genealogies. Genesis and Chronicles in the Old Testament are two of the books that contain the largest genealogies and those genealogies shape the book. The only two books that begin with a genealogy are Chronicles, the last book of the Old Testament, and Matthew, the first book of the Greek New Testament. And so you have them hinged as well. So Chronicles connects back to Genesis, but it also connects intimately with Matthew as well. 

Both Genesis and Chronicles end with the prospect of redemption and hope of a return to the land. This includes the repetition of two verbs occurring together only here in the whole Hebrew Bible. So we lose this in translation a bit because one of the verbs has a very broad semantic domain and could be translated several different ways, but I'll read the verses and let you, then I'll identify those verbs for you. In Genesis 50:24 to 25, we have Joseph saying this to his brothers, "I am about to die, but God will surely come to your aid or visit you and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, God will surely come to your aid or visit you. And then you must carry up my bones from this place." So coming to your aid twice, going up twice. In 2 Chronicles 36:23, this is what Cyrus the king says, "The Lord, the God of heavens has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me." That's the same verb as come to your aid in the previous one, but you miss it because it has two different functions in the text. "God has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem and Judah. Any one of his people among you, may the Lord, his God be with him and let him go up." So you've got these going up verbs and these coming to your aid or appointing you. Nowhere else do these verbs occur together in the entire Hebrew Bible. What scholars have come to appreciate, especially those sensitive to the canonical arrangement of the Old Testament is that the author of the book of Chronicles is intentionally ending his book in the same way that the author of the Book of Genesis ended his book to form this capstone series of beginning and end. It's almost like an inclusio with the Hebrew Bible. You begin and end in the same way. And it's one of the ways in which you say it is finished. 

In terms of authorship and the date of composition, the author is anonymous and there is no internal evidence used to identify the author. We just don't know. It's like the book of Ruth trying to find the author is a futile experiment. However, Jewish tradition does suggest Ezra. And of course, from a human perspective, in terms of what we know about Ezra in his life, he's a great candidate to do it. 

The Hebrew title for the book is not Chronicles, but is translated the words of the days, the words of the days, or you think of the days of our lives, something like that. This is how we understand the matters of our times right now. It's how we know where we are in history and where we're going. These are the things or the matters of the day, the words of the day, the days of our lives.

A key reference for dating is located in First Chronicles 3:17 to 24, which takes the Davidic dynasty down to about 400 BC. And so the major opinion for dating is therefore that the book of Chronicles was written about 400 BC or just before. And that's right around the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. So it makes perfect sense. In my mind, Ezra is the last author of the Hebrew Bible, and he's the one who shaped it into its final form. The literary resource is available to the author. Now, this is interesting. The author of the book of Chronicles states over and over again where he's getting his source material. And we know that Nehemiah built a library and collected all this source material and that Ezra was around. So this is the perfect contextual environment for this to occur. 

Here we have the genealogies of clans and kings in First Chronicles 4 and 5, letters from foreign rulers in Second Chronicles 32, and songs of praise and lament in Second Chronicles 29 and 35. We have 11 different prophetic writings referenced too. We have the book of the kings of Israel and Judah quoted. We have quotations from Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, Samuel, King, Jeremiah, and Psalms. So whoever wrote this book had all of the resources available to him and the knowledge to do something like this. He must have had access to the prophets, the law, and the writings. All of these things are in the archives and documents. And again, when we have it stated in Nehemiah that he created a library and collected all these things, it makes perfect sense that that's where it happened.

In terms of contents or outline, take a look at your screens and you'll see that the book of Chronicles, both First and Second Chronicles, like Samuel and Kings, Chronicles is just one book, but it's just got so long that it's now two books, but it's one book. We have four main sections. There are 29 chapters in First Chronicles and 36 chapters in Second Chronicles with 943 verses in the first one and 822 verses in the second. So about, you know, 1800 verses. It's a very large composition, but there are just four basic sections and they're easy to understand. 

In the first section, we have a series of genealogies. All of First Chronicles 1 to 9 is Adam through King Saul based on genealogy. Now the Davidic line is in there, but Saul is the last one. Number two, the God who chooses David. As soon as the chronicler finishes with Saul's genealogy, he just starts with David's kingship. And that covers First Chronicles 10 through 29, the God who chooses David. We'll talk about more context later. The next section, Second Chronicles 1 through 9 is Solomon's kingship and his building of the temple. And then the fourth section is about the kingdom, exile, and the hope of a return, 2 Chronicles 10 through 36. So four big sections, easy to see and understand. Let's review some of that content together in those four sections, and then we'll finish up this lecture. 

The first section in Chronicles consists of a genealogy that begins with Adam and ends with the sons of Azel, A-Z-E-L, from the line of King Saul. The first thing we notice is that the genealogies are not complete, but rather they illustrate how God has been faithful to his promises and his people, and to direct the events of history. That is, they're selective. 

The second item worth noting is that a disproportionate amount of space is devoted to Judah and Levi. For example, the tribe of Judah receives 101 verses of genealogy. The tribe of Levi receives 81 verses of genealogy. The houses of the kings and the priests. There are 407 verses in First Chronicles 1 to 9, and almost 50% of those verses are devoted to the two tribes. So the genealogies in Chronicles are looking for the right king and the right priest. Compare this, for example, to Ephraim, who receives nine total verses. The tribe of Naphtali, one verse. The tribes of Dan and Zebulun are not even mentioned in these chapters. The focus on kingship and priesthood would have been significant issues related to a community rebuilding itself after an extended period. So the genealogies are not just historical, they're theological. 

And what they're doing is they're steering your mind to think about the right king and the right priest. The right king and the right priest. 

The presentation of the genealogies is concentric, and they represent degrees of holiness. Think about this. The temple has three basic areas, and the closer you get to the holy of holies, the more consecrated that is. So you've got the holy of holies, the holy place, and the outer court. So three different concentric degrees of holiness. The genealogies are written in the same way. So in 1 Chronicles 1:1 to 2:2, you have a genealogy from Adam to Israel. This suggests that Israel was the goal of God's purpose in creation when it came to the production of the Messiah. 

The genealogies enumerate the nations of the world according to the pattern of Genesis 10, the table of nations, in a counterclockwise direction from the perspective of Judah and Jerusalem at the center. So you have the table of nations, and they're going counterclockwise, and then you get to Judah and Jerusalem right in the middle. Then 1 Chronicles 2:3 through the end of chapter 9 follows the order of this. From the world to Israel, to Jerusalem in the temple. World, Israel, Jerusalem, temple. The world of the nations forms the first or external unit with Israel at its center. 

The tribes of Israel form the second circle in which Judah, Benjamin, and Levi occupy the center stage, with Levi in the very center of the circle. The third circle is Jerusalem and its inhabitants, the temple, the dwelling of Yahweh, and its personnel stand at the center. So not only are the genealogies selective in terms of helping you to focus on the tribes of Judah and Levi, the tribes of kings and priests, but they're also arranged concentrically in terms of circles of holiness telling you what God is trying to get you to do. He's trying to get you back into his presence in the holy place. Again, the structures of the genealogies highlight Judah, David, Solomon, and the Levites.

A couple of other items are worth mentioning in the genealogies. The first is associated with King Saul. Two times in the genealogies, King Saul is associated with the city of Gibeon rather than the city of Gibeah, as in 1st Samuel 10:10 and 26. So in 1st Samuel, it is Saul of Gibeah, because he was from Benjamin of Gibeah. But in 1st Chronicles, it is Saul of Gibeon. Now, what's the difference? Is it just a spelling error? Well, recall from Joshua chapter 10 and 2nd Samuel 21:2 that the Gibeonites were the descendants of the Amorites, Canaanites. They were the ones who came in the book of Joshua and deceived the Israelites to enter into a covenant with them. They dressed up with old clothes and moldy bread and empty wineskins and marched around kind of sad and said, oh, we're from out of town. Don't destroy us. And they entered into a covenant with them. And they didn't inquire of the Lord and they got in trouble for it. So these Canaanites entered into a covenant with Israel and Israel therefore was not allowed to put them to the because the Lord honored that covenant. Well, this is interesting because now Saul is tacitly being called a Canaanite by his designation as a Gibeonite rather than a Gibeonite from Gibeah. So according to Victor Hamilton, he says, it does not appear that the change represents an unintentional error, but rather a theological marginalization of Saul, a specious and intrusive individual. So the chronicler kind of kicks Saul to the curb right before he calls and presents David. 

Also, the genealogical record in first Chronicles nine is the only chapter in either book, first or second Chronicles to mention the actual return of the exiles to Judah. Thus, the chronicler ends the genealogy with an account of the return from exile. But second Chronicles itself concludes only with the decree of Cyrus that people can go home and come out of exile. What is accomplished by such a dischronological perspective? We've talked about this before, that the return from exile accounted in the book, just like Ezra and Nehemiah is not the final one anticipated by the prophets. We've got to understand that if we're going to have a good biblical theological understanding of history and eschatology. 

Finally, the genealogies in Chronicles link David to Adam, and the genealogy in Luke chapter three links Jesus with Adam, the son of God. So we have this very kingship line kind of thing. So watch these genealogies in Matthew one and Luke three as they interact with the genealogies in first Chronicles one, one to nine. If you're always at these genealogies in Christmas, in Matthew and Luke, well remember when you think about these genealogies, you've got to go back to first Chronicles one to nine to figure out the significance of those things. So for example, in first Chronicles one to nine, the genealogy is looking for the right priest-king. And we all understand that Jesus is the true priest-king. So he shows up in Matthew chapter one. So when Chronicles ends with the line, who will go up or let him go up, and Jesus comes along, he's the guy who's going up. He's leading the people out of exile.

Having considered the genealogies in first Chronicles one to nine, let's now take a look at the life of David and what is happening there in first Chronicles 10 to 29. This section begins with the account or the recounting of Saul's death and the termination of his dynasty. There's no long protracted transfer of power. It's just Saul dies. Note that 40% of the material covered in first and second Chronicles covers a relatively brief period. The reigns of David and Solomon, so 80 years. 29 out of our 65 total chapters in the book. Once again, that's telling you the emphasis in this book is on that kingship issue and later then the temple. 

The Chronicle has telescoped the account of David given in the book of Samuel to highlight two important events. The first event is the establishment of the Davidic covenant by Yahweh in first Chronicles 17, which also corresponds to second Samuel seven that we covered earlier. The second event in the life of David highlighted by the Chronicler is David's preparation for the building of the temple, providing the plans and the material for the temple, setting the duty of the Levites, the priests the gatekeepers, and the musicians. 

The role of Solomon is somewhat less significant in the account of Chronicles than it is in Kings. The relationship between David and Solomon is viewed as similar to the relationship between Moses and Joshua. And this goes back to something I like to call the MVP rule of two. Throughout the Bible, you'll see that the Lord likes to work in pairs. There's the first creation, the second creation, or there's a first account of creation in Genesis one and the second account of creation in Genesis two. There's Moses, then Joshua, there's Elijah, then Elijah, there's David, there's Solomon, there's Jesus first coming and second coming. So there's this pattern that happens over and over in the Bible that the Lord likes to do things in two stages or two sets. And here we get that exemplified again with David and Solomon as those who prepare for and execute the plans of the temple. It's also interesting to note that the presentation of the lives of Solomon and David lacks most of the negative material that is found in Samuel and Kings.

In Chronicles, the account of Solomon is scrubbed clean. And as for David, only his taking of the census is mentioned in terms of his many foibles. We may note that this event is mentioned because of the Chronicler's keen interest in the temple and that the event of the census resulted in David buying the land for the temple location. So the only reason that that thing is mentioned is because that's how he got the land for the temple. Interesting. Remember, kind of what is the issue of the temple is connected to two of the greatest tragedies of David's life? His adultery with Bathsheba and then his census that got 70,000 people killed. And here the Lord uses both of those things to accomplish his plans in his kingdom. 

Two major events are highlighted by the Chronicler for the reign of David. Both events are followed by an act of worship. The first, he brings the ark to Jerusalem, followed by a song of praise. The second, he prepares for the building of the temple, followed by prayer. Note that in this section, the Chronicler is determined to emphasize two things, David's building of the kingdom and his building of the cult for worship. And I don't mean cult in a negative way, that cult is just a word for worship. That’s the second section. 

The third section is 2 Chronicles 1 to 9. Here Solomon succeeds David and he builds the temple. The beginning of the rule of Solomon and his request for wisdom is located in 2 Chronicles 1. The entire life of Solomon is bracketed by reference to his wisdom. So in 2 Chronicles 1:10, he says, give me wisdom that I may lead this people for who can govern this great people of yours. Then at the very end, the very, very end in 2 Chronicles 9, all the kings of the earth sought an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. So wisdom here in terms of Chronicles is skill and the life of Solomon is the skill to build a temple. Just like God gave certain individuals wisdom or skill in the days of Moses so they could build a Tabernacle. 

Details about the temple's construction, dedication, and divine blessing take up the rest of 2 Chronicles 2 to 7. Note that in 1 Chronicles 28 and 29, before this formal treatment of Solomon, the chronicler, the author notes three times that Yahweh had chosen Solomon to succeed David. Yahweh had chosen Solomon to succeed David and build the temple. The importance of this triple notation about being chosen by Yahweh is the fact that the only other time in which this verb is applied to a king is David. So only David and Solomon, theologically speaking, are chosen by God to achieve this particular reality.

The Chronicles highlights Solomon's temple-building role by dividing his 40-year career into two unevenly treated periods. So in 2 Chronicles 1 to 7, we have his first 20 years, 152 verses which constitute his building of the temple and Yahweh reigning in that temple by his glory presence. And in the last two chapters 8 and 9, just 49 verses talk about his post-temple projects. So the consolidation of the kingdom, faithful worship, prosperity, and the recognition of his greatness by the Queen of Sheba and his wisdom. So really it's kingship and temple, kingship and temple, kingdom and cult, kingdom and cult, over and over again. And that's the third section.

Finally, in the fourth section, 2 Chronicles 10 to 36, we have the kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Zedekiah. The God who punishes is also the God who will restore Israel. The final section of Chronicles covers the division of the kingdom of Israel into the northern and southern parts. Just like 1 Kings 12 to 25, these chapters cover that same amount of material. It covers down to the decree of Cyrus. The kings that follow David and Solomon are measured by the reigns of David and Solomon. They're faithless to God in the affairs of the kingdom, especially as they relate to the temple and proper worship. Why? In the book of Kings, the failure of the kings was, engaging in idolatry and in promoting idolatry, just like in Judges. And the good kings in that time promoted fidelity to Yahweh and the bad engaged in idolatry. Notice also that in this particular text here, the kings of the north are just brushed over and it's just focusing on the kings of the south because of the tribe of Judah. 

Finally, the last words of the author in this book once again recite the decree of Cyrus that he may go up or return in exile. Again, it's important to note that the people of God had already returned from exile when this book was written. In other words, to quote Victor Hamilton again, "The last words of the author to an audience that has already gone up to Zion is that they may yet go up again to Zion." 

The book of Chronicles focuses on the right king and the right priest who can take us home from exile. And of course, we know from the New Testament that Jesus is that priest-king who, when transfigured, spoke about his exodus and his bringing people home.

The book of Chronicles is the gospel promised beforehand.