Day 1: Jeremiah 2:23-5:19
Day 2: Jeremiah 5:20-6:30, 2 Kings 22:3-20, 2 Chronicles 34:8-28
Day 3: 2 Kings 23:1-20, 2 Chronicles 34:29-33, 2 Kings 23:21-28, 2 Chronicles 35:1-19, Nahum 1:1-3:19
Day 4: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19, Zephaniah 1:1-2:7
Day 5: Zephaniah 2:8-3:20, 2 Chronicles 35:20-27, 2 Kings 23:29-30, Jeremiah 47:1-48:47
Day 6: 2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:31-37, 2 Chronicles 36:5, Jeremiah 22:1-23, Jeremiah 26:1-24, 2 Kings 24:1-4, Jeremiah 25:1-14
Day 7: Jeremiah 25:15-38, Jeremiah 36:1-32, Jeremiah 45:1-46:28
- Why do we read the same accounts twice, and why are the stories different sometimes? When I studied historiography, I learned that one of the most important parts of writing history is choosing what to include and what to exclude. It’s simply not possible to write about everything from every perspective. What we see here are two different emphases in the different books. According to Gleason L. Archer, “The theme of these two books [1 and 2 Kings] was to demonstrate on the basis of Israel’s history that the welfare of the nation ultimately depended on the sincerity of its faithfulness to the covenant of Yahweh, and that the success of any ruler was to be measured by the degree of his adherence to the Mosaic constitution and his maintenance of a pure and God-loving testimony among the heathen.” He notes that the author frequently excludes mention of some of the kings’ greatest secular achievements in order to focus on their spiritual state. Extensive discourse of God’s work even among the northern tribes, and their hardness of heart, serves to underscore this purpose. Talmudic tradition has Jeremiah as the likely author, which accounts for the prophetic focus of the books of 1 and 2 Kings. Talmudic tradition has Ezra as the likely author of 1 and 2 Chronicles, which makes sense given his role in rebuilding Israel’s identity through worship, Law, and heritage (the genealogies). The author of Chronicles focuses hugely on David’s dynasty and goes into detail about the north only so far as it has directly to do with its intersection with David’s family. It also heavily emphasizes the Temple, its founding, and its worship, which makes a great deal of sense if it were written in Ezra’s day.
- How to take note of what’s going on here: (2 Kings 23) What’s the spiritual state of the land? What has sprung up since the days of Hezekiah, and what’s the extent of it? How many people are involved? This happens in 623 BC, 18 years before the first Babylonian invasion. What is God doing among His people, and why is He still doing it in practically their last days?
- (2 Chron. 35:20-22) “After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.” Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.” What’s going on with Josiah’s death? Why does he move so rashly against the pharaoh when he doesn’t need to?