Daily Bible Study Tips: 1 and 2 Chronicles

Comments on 1 Chronicles Chapters 1 - 15
Comments on 1 Chronicles Chapters 16 - 25

1 Chronicles 26:1, 6-9, 12-32,  Duties of the porters.
2 Chronicles 11:1-17,  King Rehoboam and the priests and Levites.
2 Chronicles 11:18 – 12:16,  King Rehoboam’s career.
2 Chronicles 13:1-22,  King Abijah supports the priesthood.

Comments on 2 Chronicles Chapters 22 - 35

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1 Chronicles 26:1, 6-9, 12-32,  Duties of the porters. (7/1/2010)  

Some of the Levites were assigned to be porters.  If you are a fan of English mysteries, you know that porters are the guys who control the entrances and keep track of who goes in and out of the campus, monastery, block of flats, or whatever.  The ESV translates this word as "gatekeepers."  Other translations use "Temple guards."  In modern American, "lobby guards" might be appropriate.  Some of them were in charge of keeping track of everything in the treasury - both money and objects - and might appropriately be called "tellers."  The more we read about the duties of the Levites, the more I'm impressed with what a huge operation it was.

2 Chronicles 11:1-17,  King Rehoboam and the priests and Levites. (7/2/2010)  

After the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam inherited the throne.  He was a bit of a hothead, and he managed to antagonize the ten northern tribes into withdrawing from the kingdom.  The new northern king, Jeroboam, set up false shrines and appointed non-Levitical priests and assistants to serve in them. I Kings 12 goes into detail about what the two kings were doing, saying, and thinking, but strangely enough (although I never noticed it before), I Kings doesn't say what the reaction of the priesthood was to Jeroboam's apostasy.  Naturally, the writers of Chronicles are the ones who supply this information.  Remember that the Levites had 48 cities scattered throughout the lands of the other tribes?  The ones who lived in the north abandoned their cities and relocated to Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 11:18 – 12:16,  King Rehoboam’s career. (7/5/2010)  

To get a complete picture of King Rehoboam, you need to read both I Kings 12 and 14 and 2 Chronicles 10-12.  Kings is a little more forthcoming about his religious failings, but Chronicles gives a little more information overall.  Yesterday I said he was a hothead who lost most of the kingdom.  He was also an apostate who allowed, among other things, hill shrines to false gods and male cult prostitution (I Kings 14:23-24).  Well, what can you expect?  His mother was an Ammonite, not a Jewess.  As John Wesley said, "None can imagine how fatal and how lasting are the consequences of being unequally yoked with an unbeliever."

2 Chronicles 13:1-22, King Abijah supports the priesthood. (7/6/2010)

What do you think? I'd rather be baptized, married, and buried by any ordained minister or rabbi in a standard denomination than by any preacher with a mail-order certificate. I just don't have the confidence that the mail-in process, for which the applicant pays a small fee, is going to get me really baptized, married, or buried. The writers of Chronicles felt the same way about it.

I Kings 15 and II Chronicles 13 treat King Abijah differently. I Kings gives him eight verses, two of which are actually about David. The six remaining verses are just enough to say that he came to power, continued to commit the same acts of apostasy as his father Rehoboam, and died. The writers of Chronicles devote an entire chapter (plus half a verse in the next chapter) to Abijah, mostly because he gave a speech that they like a lot. It's ironic that this apostate king uses the argument, apparently successfully, that Judah (the southern kingdom) should win the war against Israel (the northern kingdom) because the priests and Levites minister correctly to the LORD, whereas any old non-Levite with the license fee can offer sacrifices to the non-gods of the North.

Copyright 2010 by Regina L. Hunter.  All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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