Bible Study: 2 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 2 Chronicles

Originally the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were a single book. Like the books of Kings, this is a historical book. The Kings focused on the northern kingdom, Israel, and this book (1 and 2 Chronicles) focuses on the southern kingdom, Judah.

The second of the two books of Chronicles cover the same time period as the two books of Kings. This is a time period of about 424 years, from the time of Solomon’s reign until Cyrus’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Approximately from 960 to 536 BC.

Author of 2 Chronicles

The author of 2 Chronicles is the same as 1 Chronicles:

The book does not claim an author, but tradition says that the author was Ezra. Ezra was a priest in the southern kingdom who lived in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11). The books of Chronicles focus on temple worship, priests and Levites. This fits with the fact that Ezra was a priest. The writing style is very similar to Ezra, who wrote the book bearing his name. The two books of Chronicles are historical books which go up to the time period of the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra reads like a continuation of the book of 2 Chronicles.

Date Written

The author, probably Ezra, wrote it after the Jews had returned to the land after the Babylonian Captivity (1 Chronicles 3:19; 6:15; 9:1, 2). The book is a guide to those returning from exile to know how to worship in the Temple of Jerusalem. It was written between 450 and 425 BC and covers approximately 424 years. Continue reading Bible Study: 2 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Chronicles

The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book. Like the books of Kings, this is a historical book. However, the books of Kings focused on the northern kingdom, Israel, and this book focuses on the southern kingdom, Judah.

The two books of Chronicles cover about the same time period as 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. For 1 Chronicles this is approximately 1000 to 960 BC. It includes the end of Saul’s reign and takes the reader up to the beginning of the reign of Solomon.

Author of 1 Chronicles

The book does not claim an author, but tradition says that the author was Ezra. Ezra was a priest in the southern kingdom who lived in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11). The books of Chronicles focus on temple worship, priests and Levites. This fits with the fact that Ezra was a priest. The writing style is very similar to Ezra, who wrote the book bearing his name. The two books of Chronicles are historical books which go up to the time period of the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra reads like a continuation of the book of 2 Chronicles.

Date Written

The author of the book wrote it after the end of the Babylonian Captivity (1 Chronicles 3:19; 6:15; 9:1, 2). The book seems to be a guide to those returning from exile to know how to worship in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem. It was written between 450 and 425 BC. The book of 1 Chronicles covers just 40 years while 2 Chronicles is approximately 424 years. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 2 Kings – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 2 Kings

This is the second part of the book of Kings. Originally this book and the preceding book were combined into one longer book in the Hebrew Bible. The same thing happened with the books of Samuel and Chronicles (immediately before and after the books of Kings).

Second Kings covers about 270 years of history. This includes the reign of Ahaziah (son of King Ahab) to the Babylonian captivity and a bit beyond. The book covers about 26 years into the captivity (2 Kings 25:27).

Author

It is not certain who author of the book was, but tradition says that Jeremiah the prophet wrote the book.

Date Written

This book ends with the Babylonian captivity (plus a few years). Its contents end around 586 BC. The book was probably written some time between 586 and 540 BC if Jeremiah was the author. Jeremiah also wrote the book bearing his name about the same time.

Purpose of 2 Kings

Like the other books of history, this book seems to be more historical in nature as opposed to trying to drive home a certain lesson. It traces the history of Israel from the divided kingdom after the death of Ahab until the Assyrian captivity of Israel and the Babylonian captivity of Judah.

In the first and second books of Kings, the reader can see the progression of Israel from its glory to its downfall. The history of the wickedness of the kings and the nation show the decline and captivity of the great and mighty nation of Israel. When Israel began to abandon the God of heaven and chose to worship other gods and ideologies the nation declined in spirituality. Their sin resulted in punishment by slavery like they escaped in Egypt. Continue reading Bible Study: 2 Kings – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of Esther

Esther was a Jewish woman who was selected by the Persian King Ahasuerus to be his wife. He had banished his former wife and chose Esther through a contest. However, the king did not know she was a Jew. (Esther 1-2)

Esther’s uncle was Mordecai. Mordecai learned of a plot to kill the king and made it known to Esther who passed the news to the king. The two men involved in the plot were hanged. In the book of Esther this information is casually presented as unimportant, but comes up later in the story. (Esther 2)

One of the princes in the kingdom was Haman. Mordecai and Haman had a mutual disdain for one another. Haman devised a plan to eliminate Mordecai. He told the king that there was a people group in the kingdom that had their own laws and customs. If they were allowed to continue they might overthrow the power of the king. Therefore Haman convinced the king that this group should be killed. While Haman and the king did not know it at the time, he was asking the king for permission to kill the new Queen Esther. (Esther 3)

The law was created that allowed the Jews to be murdered. When Mordecai learned of the new law he spoke with Esther about asking the king to reconsider. She was loved by the king, but she did not have the authority to enter into the king’s chambers and talk with him at any time she pleased. Mordecai told her that God had allowed her to become the queen to help protect her people. Though conflicted with the thought of perishing by the hand of the king or by the new law in place, she determined to let the king know she was a Jew and that his new law would require that she be killed. (Esther 4)

Without an invitation into his presence Esther approached the king and invited him and Haman to a meal at her house. When asked what the occasion was, she said that she wanted to ask the king and Haman to return to her house the next day for another meal. The king agreed and Haman was pleased to be so favored by the king and his bride. (Esther 5)

However, Haman saw Mordecai that day and was enraged. He determined that he would kill Mordecai the next day by hanging. He requested a gallows be made to hang Mordecai in the morning. (Esther 5)

That night the king could not sleep. He asked that someone read to him about the recent events in the kingdom. He was reminded that Mordecai stopped a plot to kill the king. King Ahasuerus never publicly thanked Mordecai for his efforts, but determined to honor Mordecai the following morning. (Esther 6)

About this time Haman came to the palace to talk to the king and tell him that he would like to hang Mordecai the next day. The king was glad to see Haman because he had a question for him. Before Haman could give his request the king asked, “What should be done to the man I wish to honor publicly?” Haman thought that the king must be wanting to honor Haman for being such a good servant so he came up with the most elaborate plan to be honored by the king. He said the man should be paraded through the streets wearing the king’s robe and crown while riding on the king’s horse. (Esther 6)

Haman did not get a chance to tell the king that he wanted to kill Mordecai before the king told Haman, “You have come up with a great way to honor a man who saved my life. Gather everything you need and do just as you’ve said for Mordecai!” (Esther 6)

Haman was disgusted to have to honor Mordecai this way. After the parade he went home in a rage. But he was not able to vent very long because it was time to go to Queen Esther’s house for her banquet. When Haman and the king arrived at Esther’s house the king wanted to know what her request was. He was willing to give her up to 1/2 the kingdom. (Esther 6-7)

She told the king that there was a plot to destroy her and her people. The king was angry and asked who was behind the wickedness. When she pointed to Haman the king was furious. He went outside to think. Haman was arguing with Esther, supposedly not knowing she was a Jew. He was begging for his life because the king had already said the person behind the plot would be hanged. Haman got animated and excited. He fell onto Esther’s bed. When King Ahasuerus came back from the garden he saw Haman on his wife’s bed and grew even more angered at the thought that Haman was trying now to persuade his wife sexually. (Esther 7)

Haman was hanged that day on the gallows he intended for Mordacai. (Esther 7)

Esther made one more request to the king. That was that the law be reversed which would have destroyed the Jews. The law was rewritten to save the Jews and destroy the family of Haman. He was an Agagite, or an Amalekite. (Esther 8)

The celebration of the Jews that ensued after the new law was carried out was the beginning of the celebration called Purim. Today, Purim is celebrated by a public reading of the book of Esther. Each time wicked Haman’s name is mentioned the crowd will stomp their feet, hiss and yell to show their disdain for the villain of the story. (Esther 8-10)

Bible Study: 1 Kings – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Kings

The books of first and second Kings were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible, but were later divided into two books: just like the books of Samuel and Chronicles.

First Kings covers about 126 years of Israel’s history. This includes the death of David to the death of Jehoshaphat, or about 960 to 834 BC. This is the period of history in Israel from its greatest glory to its division into two kingdoms which eventually led to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities by the end of the second book of Kings.

Author

The author of the book is unknown but tradition says that it was Jeremiah the prophet. Jeremiah wrote another book bearing his name.

Date Written

The end of the second book of Kings covers the Babylonian captivity and a few years beyond. Its contents end about 586 BC. The book is suspected to have been written sometime between 586 and 540 BC. The book of Jeremiah was written about the same time covering the previous 40 years from 626 to 586 BC. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Kings – Summary of the Book