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.
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;
About: The affairs
of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
age -1Samuel chapters 1-4.
to the throne -1Samuel chapters 5-10.
Solomon king -1Samuel chapters 11-31.
Solomon is anointed
king, and Adonijah's usurpation stopped -1Samuel chapters
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)
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 from Adam to Abraham -1Chronicles chapters 1-27, then recounts events
from David's reign (the descendants of Abraham chapters) 1Chronicles chapters
book covers the same period as 2Kings but the emphasis is on Judah, the
southern kingdom and its rulers.
z r a: means 'help'. Written 457
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
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
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.