Today’s three chapters break neatly across the three reigns of Amaziah, Uzziah, and Jotham. A clean literary rhythm has emerged for these kings: an introduction that includes an assessment of righteousness, age at coronation, and mother’s heritage; a middle that outlines achievements, often followed by a “but” statement regarding an ethical failure; and an epitaph, listing the length of reign, “for more information” citation, and burial notice.
There are a few details that contribute to the flavor of these staccato accounts. One that may or may not be significant is the mention of the king’s mother in the opening paragraph. Each king today is a daughter of Jerusalem, which may have something to do with each king’s opening faithfulness. Sons of mothers who were from other kingdoms, such as Rehoboam, and those whose fathers married daughters of Ahab’s line, have not begun well.
Another trend to watch is the death scenes for the kings of Judah, such as this for Amaziah: From the time he turned away from the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish and put him to death there.
From Jehoram in chapter 21, who died “to no one’s regret” when his bowels erupted, through Uzziah, who was shunned as a leper in chapter 26 – six consecutive monarchs of Judah die either by horrible disease or by assassination. None of them is acknowledged as receiving honor, or even being missed, by their subjects. So the brevity of chapter 27 is a welcome relief: Jotham did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, he avoided the failure of his father, and died before anything bad happened.
While these trends may be no more than historical trivia, remember the intention with which the author approached other themes, such as the genealogies and Temple construction. Imagine that he would not be wasting space, and look for other details that might point to larger trends.
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 25 through 27. 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.