B i b l e--S h o r t  H i s t o r y  O f  E a c h  B o o k
1 s t--a n d--2 n d--K i n g s ,--1 s t--a n d--2 n d--C h r o n i c l e s ,--E z r a
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1 s t-&-2 K i n g s: 1Kings chapters 1-11 written about 1004 B.C.E. and chapters 12-end, about 897 B.C.E. 2Kings written about 590 B.C.E.
    This book starts with stories about Solomon's reign over Israel. After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided into two separate nations, the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah.
    The Hebrew kings did not rule in their own right, nor in name of the people who had chosen them, but partly as servants and partly as representatives of God, the true King of Israel -1Samuel 10:1. The limits of the king's power were prescribed -1Samuel 10:19,2425.
    The officers of his court were, (1) the recorder or remembrancer (one that causes another to remember something) (2Samuel 8:16; 1Kings 4:3); (2) the scribe (2Samuel 8:17; 20:25); (3) the officer over the house, the chief steward (Isaiah 22:15); (4) the king's friend, a confidential companion (1Kings 4:5); (5) the keeper of the wardrobe (2Kings 22:14); (6) captain of the bodyguard (2Samuel 20:23); (7) officers over the king's treasures, etc. (1Chronicles 27:25-31); (8) commander-in-chief of the army (1Chronicles 27:34); (9) the royal counselor -1Chronicles 27:32; 2Samuel 16:20-23. 
    About: The affairs of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
    David's declining age -1Samuel chapters 1-4.
    Adonijah aspires to the throne -1Samuel chapters 5-10. 
    David makes Solomon king -1Samuel chapters 11-31.
    Solomon is anointed king, and Adonijah's usurpation stopped -1Samuel chapters 32-53.
2Kings:-God’s covenant with the Israelites promised great blessings for obedience, but also judgment should the covenant be broken. God kept his promises of blessing and of judgment.  When they forsook God and broke His covenant, Israel was conquered by Assyria, and Judah was defeated by Babylon. (lesson: stay on God's side) 
1 s t-&-2 C h r o n i c l e s: 1Chronicles written 1015 B.C.E. 2Chronicles chapters 1-9 written 1004 B.C.E. and chapters 10 to the end written about 623 B.C.E.
    Means 'the words of the days', (1Kings 14:19; 1Chronicles 27:24), the daily or yearly records of the transactions of the kingdom of Israel; events recorded in the order of time.
    The books of Chronicles are, in a great measure, repetitions of what is in the books of Samuel and of the Kings, yet there are some excellent useful things in them which we find not elsewhere.
    The First Book traces the rise of the Jewish people from Adam and afterward gives an account of the reign of David.
    In the Second Book the narrative is continued and relates the progress and end of the kingdom of Judah; also it notices the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity. Historical facts passed over elsewhere, names, and the connection of passages are to be found here. Many questions concerning the gospel are explained. 
    About: Genealogies are from Adam to Abraham -1Chronicles chapters 1-27, then recounts events from David's reign (the descendants of Abraham chapters) 1Chronicles chapters 28-54.
2Chronicles:-This book covers the same period as 2Kings but the emphasis is on Judah, the southern kingdom and its rulers. 
 
E z r a: means 'help'. Written 457 B.C.E. The scribe who led the second body of exiles (Ezra 8) that returned from Babylon to Jerusalem (mean 'teaching of peace'; in NT -Galatians 4:26) B.C. 459, and author of the book of Scripture which bears his name. The history of this book is the accomplishment of Jeremiah's prophecy concerning the return of the Jews out of Babylon. 
    All we know of Ezra's personal history is contained in the last four chapters of his book and in Nehemiah 8 and 12:26. 
    Artaxerxes manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him all his request and loading him with gifts for the house of God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles probably about 5,000 in all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem. His proceedings at Jerusalem on his arrival there are recorded in his book. 
    He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." "He is," says Professor Binnie, "the first well-defined example of an order of men who have never since ceased in the church; men of sacred erudition, who devote their lives to the study of the Holy Scriptures, in order that they may be in a condition to interpret them for the instruction and edification of the church.
    It is significant that the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of Ezra's ministry -Nehemiah 8:4. He was much more of a teacher than a priest. The tradition of the Jews connects his name with the collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The final completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the work of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much into the shape in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible.
    For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the nation. In that year another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears on the scene. After the ruined wall of the city had been built by Nehemiah, there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day the whole population assembled, and the law was read aloud to them by Ezra and his assistants -Nehemiah 8:3. The remarkable scene is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening. For successive days they held solemn assemblies, confessing their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They kept also the feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm, and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's. Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the walls of the city -Nehemiah 12.
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