And the carved image of the idol that he had made he set in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever, and I will no more remove the foot of Israel from the land that I appointed for your fathers, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the statutes, and the rules given through Moses.” Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel. - 2 Chronicles 33:7-9
Did you notice this yesterday? By placing Manasseh’s treachery within the context of God’s promise to his forefathers, the author is setting up a final showdown: how will the promise fare against evil that even the Canaanites – whom the LORD had driven out – had not conceived?
As with all things for the Chronicler, the end of the story will have been ordained by God. It may even fulfill the word of a prophet or two, just as Jeroboam’s success had been. We’ll surely learn the fate of Jerusalem, the city of David, and of the Temple that Solomon so carefully constructed. In keeping with his pattern of virtually ignoring Israel, the author will not reveal the fate of the kingdom of Jeroboam, Ahab, and Pekah. Indeed, Judah’s northern kin had been wiped out during the reign of Ahaz, but did not make the final cut in this narrative.
The final words of this book form the opening speech of the book of Ezra, which directly follows it in most English Bibles. However, in the Hebrew scriptures the Chronicles are most often placed at the very end, forming the final piece of the “Writings” section. Were you to combine the Hebrew Bible with the Christian New Testament, Chronicles would be followed immediately by the Gospel of Matthew. The hopeful epilogue you’ll read in chapter 36 affirms that the end of the Chronicler’s story, and of the promise he clung to, has yet to be written.
Our verse for this week is Revelation 22:5: And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
2 Chronicles 34 through 36. Now let’s read it!
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.