2 Chronicles 36

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Read 2 Chronicles 36

Judah’s Decline

36 The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.Then the king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and laid on the land a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and bound him in chains to take him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried part of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his palace in Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and the abominations that he did, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 10 In the spring of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him to Babylon, with the precious vessels of the house of the Lord, and made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 All the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. And they polluted the house of the Lord that he had made holy in Jerusalem.

15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy.

Jerusalem Captured and Burned

17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged. He gave them all into his hand. 18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. 19 And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its precious vessels. 20 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

The Proclamation of Cyrus

22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”

Go Deeper

Throughout all of 2 Chronicles, and especially in today’s reading, we see a trend that still applies today: just because the world wants something, does not mean that it is actually good for us. We see a common theme of the preferences of the majority of people being placed over the will and desire of the Lord. This never ends well. Not in 2 Chronicles 36. Not in the Old Testament. Not in the New Testament. And not today.

Reading this chapter feels a little…chaotic. One king appointed, another one carried off to a place, then another king carried off to another place, and so on and so forth. King after king, place after place, battle after battle, complete and utter chaos. Is chaos a characteristic of the Lord? First Corinthians 14:33 says that God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. Does this portion of history represented in this chapter of Scripture trend more towards disorder or peace? It is easy to read these texts and ask, “Why would they not see their mistakes and turn to the Lord? Clearly this was not working.” It is even easier to point the finger today and say, “Why doesn’t society today see their mistakes and turn to the Lord? Clearly this is not working.” However, God calls us to turn that finger around and point it at ourselves. 

If your common thought pattern when reading Scripture is consistently, “I need to send this to ____,” or “These people in Scripture sure sound like ____,” then there might be a pride problem. If when listening to sermons you think, “I hope ____ is listening to this, they need to hear this,” you might have a pride problem. The common theme of people not knowing what they want does not just apply to “people,” it applies to all of us on an individual level. These texts are not historical reminders for the sake of knowing some fun Bible trivia. These texts are a reminder that we should not trust our own desires, our own plans, or our own opinions. 

At the end of 2 Chronicles, we are issued a historical warning for what happens when we follow our own desires, plans, and opinions: Jerusalem falls. Death is everywhere. Not even the elderly and children are spared. This is where our ideas take us. God’s plan takes us to abundant life (John 10:10). Death or Life? This decision is not just for others who you deem more “lost.” It is a decision for you to make every day, every hour, and every moment. A decision that can only be made by relying on the strength of the Holy Spirit. Press into Him today. Let Him lead you to abundant life.


  1. In what areas are you pursuing your own opinions rather than God’s truth?
  2. Do you tend to think Scripture and sermons that point out sin apply to others more than you? Why?
  3. Notice the age of the kings. They are all different, yet they all committed evil against a holy God. Why do you think it matters that we are shown ages besides just it being a historical fact? Remember Matthew 18:2-4.

Watch This

Now that we’re finished with 2 Chronicles, go back and watch this video from The Bible Project about all that transpired during 1 and 2 Chronicles.

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4 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 36”

  1. Through the reading of 2 Chronicles and the lives of both good and evil kings, I’ve paid close attention to legacies and what was passed down to their heirs/sons who would succeed them. Particularly puzzling is when a godly king like Josiah is followed by a son who did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and led the people into disobedience. How does this apply to us today when raising children who will honor God with their choices? The answer seems to be intentionality.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-8 provides us a model that is just as applicable today as it was then, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Notice the verbs in this important directive: hear, love, impress, talk, sit, walk, lie, tie, bind, write. First, as a parent I must have a desire to develop a deep relationship with Christ. It requires that we be fully present not distracted with our children. It’s not a once in a while thing but constantly. It’s bringing the commands of scripture into our daily routines and modeling obedience. It’s a sacred rhythm to our days that both acknowledges and invites the presence of God into our lives where it becomes deeply ingrained and continues to grow throughout our days.

  2. I read that what seems to be failure from man’s standpoint is a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is not the same as man’s. All of these kings lives and reigns were triumphs and failures BUT GOD knew and had it all mapped out. My purpose in life is now His purpose, whatever that may be, I am no longer worrying about that. I am after His heart for this day, these minutes. My life is not by chance, He has purpose for me just to grow in Him, to be fully present with my family, my life group, my coworkers and people in the world that God in Christ in me can love on and speak into.

    God thank You for Your love goggles that I can see people as You do. Thank You for Your voice coming out of my mouth and that my old self is dead and the Christ in me is what is speaking, seeing, and doing to be a blessing I today, in these moments of this day. God I ask for Your Holy presence to abide in me as I endeavor to wrap my heart and mind around Your holy fear. I desire to live outwardly what You have done for me already inwardly in Jesus name amen

  3. Thank you for the study of 2 Chronicles and accompanying commentary. Having a Bible reading plan and the accountability of other believers following it helps me learn from all books in God’s Word.

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