2 Chronicles 1 + Overview

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2 Chronicles Overview

Second Chronicles picks up right where the previous book leaves off: as King David’s reign is ending and Solomon, his son, assumes the throne. Originally one long book, 1 and 2 Chronicles were divided into two parts some time around 200 BC as the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew to Greek (known as the Septuagint). Like 1 Chronicles, this was likely written in the fifth century BC after the Jewish people had returned home from exile and began rebuilding the temple. While the author isn’t explicitly identified, one leading theory amongst many scholars is that Ezra was the one who penned this book. 

This book covers a few hundred year span from when Solomon became king in 971 BC until the southern kingdom of Judah was carried into Babylonian exile in 586 BC. This book focuses on the story of Judah (and less so on the northern kingdom of Israel). The beginning portion of the book opens with the story of Solomon building the temple (according to the plans God had given to David). From there, we see a cyclical pattern of righteous and unrighteous kings that followed and disobeyed God’s instructions (and the ramifications of their choices). 

Since this book was written as a historical piece to help God’s people remember where they had been and what they had come from, we would do well to let it serve as a reminder to us as well. As we read these words and chapters from over two thousand years ago, let us be reminded of the importance of honoring and obeying God’s instructions in our own lives. We, too, can be forgetful people and fail to remember what God has done in redeeming our own lives, let alone the lives of those who came before us. As we read over the coming weeks, let’s be reminded of the goodness of God in our own lives.

To refresh your memory and to be reminded of the overall story arch of 1 and 2 Chronicles, check out this video overview from The Bible Project.

Read 2 Chronicles 1

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.

Then Solomon spoke to all Israel—to the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in Israel, the heads of families— and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar that Bezalelson of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the Lord; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

13 Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting. And he reigned over Israel.

14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 15 The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 17 They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

Go Deeper

Second Chronicles transitions from the end of David’s reign as king to the beginning of the kingship of Solomon. David reigned in Israel for 40 years, and his reign was marked by successes in battle and a heart passionately devoted to God. Solomon’s establishment as king was marked by three things: David’s gathering of building materials to enable his son to build God’s temple, Solomon publicly leading his people in worship of the one true God, and his request to God for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people (v. 10).  

God offered Solomon anything he wanted, so He was pleased when Solomon asked from his heart for wisdom to rule well rather than for tangible things such as possessions, wealth, or long life. This request was evidence of Solomon’s desire to govern well rather than pursue selfish ambition. As a reward, God blessed him in such a way that his rule was known for riches and honor far beyond any king that ruled before him. 

As the new king, Solomon had everything he needed to continue David’s work. His reign begins to sound like the perfect, storybook career until we reflect on God’s instruction to the kings in Deuteronomy 17, which specifically warns against multiplying horses, multiplying wives, and multiplying silver and gold. Was Solomon unaware of these instructions? Of course not. David, a man who knew God’s law intimately, would have been sure to instruct his son in them and have him write a copy of the law as commanded.  

So, like David before him, Solomon also had flaws, despite his great gifts from God. These things appear in the words of the Chronicler, beginning in verse 14. When it came to wealth, Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen. Silver and gold in Jerusalem were as common as stones. He used his wealth to import horses from Egypt (versus 14-16). While his reign began on a promising note, it was his trust in wealth that led to dire consequences in the chapters to come. 


  1. If God were to give you anything you wanted, what would you ask for? What is your gut response and what does that reveal about your heart?
  2. How is it possible that the great gifts given to Solomon would become the catalyst that led to his downfall? 
  3. Where else in the Old Testament have we seen man mishandle God’s perfect gifts?

Pray This

Father God, 

Help me see the gifts that you have created exclusively for me. Allow me the wisdom to take those gifts and create fruit that advances your kingdom. Let me understand the importance of being a vessel that you can work through and shine your light to others. Continue to teach me in your Word where you provide everything I need to walk closely with you and share the good news, according to your perfect plan. 

In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

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4 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 1 + Overview”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    As I read the opening chapter of Solomon’s kingship, I was reminded of how well he began. Having grown up in King David’s household and witnessed his father’s devotion to God surely impacted Solomon. V1 announced “the Lord his God was with him and made him very powerful.” Following in his beloved father’s footsteps as king would be a challenge. God seemed to test him right off as he poses the question, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you.” Solomon answers well putting the needs of his people above his own as he asks for wisdom and knowledge to govern well. At this point, he clearly had his priorities aligned and God was pleased. I’m challenged to take a hard look at what matters most to me. Is it Jesus and others before myself? Am I seeking his kingdom and righteousness above all else?

  2. If God were to come to you right now and ask “What do you want?” what would you say? At this very moment mine answer would be for my children to all be following God faithfully, standing on their own two feet completely, and to be “happy”. What would I desire for myself, is to be completely obedient to God. Obedience seems to get Solomon and others in trouble. Solomon had wisdom and knowledge but still did not obey. When we get what we desire is that enough? As Nate so very well put it yesterday, God’s Glory is in our world, His Word, and in us. Our purpose is to showcase our Creator by our lives and loving others well and wonder as we see all His splendor, majesty around us in nature .

    God thank You for me inhaling You but also for my exhales to be You! God what I have read today let it be reflected in my life at work. Thank You for my ears to hear You and my obedience in action in Jesus name amen

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    My ask would be that God grant me wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to make good decisions based on proper discernment and judgement. Knowledge in vs.10 refers to practical know-how necessary to handling everyday matters. I pray that I may devote myself wholeheartedly to studying and applying God’s Word, the source of divine wisdom. Amen.

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