The End of the Southern Kingdom – 2 Chronicles 36

Jehoiachin-Jeconiah was a king of Judah. He wa...

Jehoiachin-Jeconiah was a king of Judah. He was the son of Jehoiakim with Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz, reigned next at the age of 23. His reign lasted for three months, when “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.” Neco then made his brother, Eliakim, king and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Then he carried Jehoahaz off to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began his reign, and he reigned eleven years. The scripture simply says that he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Whatever that means, you can be sure that idolatry was involved somewhere. Then Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. he also took some vessels from the house of the Lord, and brought them to his palace.

Then Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son, began his reign, which lasted just over three months. Then Nebuchadnezzar also sent for him, and brought him to Babylon, making his brother, Zedekiah, king. He was twenty-one when he began his reign, and he also reigned for eleven years. He also did evil in God’s eyes.  It was a ruinous time. Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, and he turned away from God, so there was no help for him. Next comes the capture and burning of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans.

The Books of Chronicles ends with the Proclamation of Cyrus, in which he says that God has charged him with building a house in Jerusalem. Thus ends the Book of Chronicles, which was written to give the remnant of the southern kingdom, who had returned from captivity, hope for the future and an understanding of the past. It shows that the line of David remained intact and kept the necessary records of their heritage and lineages, so that God’s people could begin to rebuild the land, the temple, and their lives.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

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Major Prophets (part 5) – Book of Daniel

English: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the...

English: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Furnace (Dan. 3:23-24,91-98) Русский: Седрах, Мисах и Авденаго в раскалённой печи (Дан. 3:23-24,91-98) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar brought young men of noble heritage in Judah back for service in the king’s court. Daniel and his friends were part of one of these groups (Daniel 1:3). So his life in captivity was quite different from that of Ezekiel and many others less fortunate. According to Daniel 1:21, he served there until the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which would be about 538 B.C.

Daniel is a very important book in the Old Testament. It contains much prophecy that was fulfilled with undeniable accuracy (critics and skeptics notwithstanding). As has always been the case, even disputed passages have held up under the test of time (take, for example, Daniel’s use of the name Belshazzar in Daniel 5). It also teaches through Daniel’s life and that of his friends, Shadrach, Meshach,, and Abednego, a great deal about living faithfully under very great adversity. Finally, and most importantly, it teaches us much about the power of God, and His faithfulness to His word.

Daniel's Answer to the King

Daniel’s Answer to the King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fulfilled prophecies from the Book of Daniel are a great source of assurance to believers for their accuracy. Skeptics and critics, as is always the case, dispute much concerning them of course. But they too have stood the test of time. A detailed account and analysis of all of these in one blog would be an exercise in futility. But for some great analysis of two of them, as well as answers for critics, take a look at this article from Apologetics Press concerning Daniel 2, and this article concerning prophecies in Daniel 8.

Belshazzar's Feast depicts a vision described ...

Belshazzar’s Feast depicts a vision described in the biblical Book of Daniel. –31&src= Daniel 5:1–31 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summary

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Psalms 74 – Arise O God, Defend Your Cause

Nebuchadnezzar_002It is hard to imagine that this lament psalm could have been written about anything other than the fall of Jerusalem.  In fact, Burton Coffman’s assessment (Coffman, James Burton. “Commentary on Psalms 74”, “Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament”) was that it must have been one of three occasions.  The first possibility is of course the 587 BC destruction of the Temple and the city by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24).   The second seems much less likely – the 351 BC suppression of a Jewish uprising by Persian King Artaxerxes.  Although the third possibility seems a bit more credible – the profaning of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C – the first seems to fit much better (verse 7 notwithstanding).

Though the superscription assigns this psalm to Asaph, in actuality it would be the “sons” (descendants) of Asaph that were responsible; and the likelihood that it is a prophetic psalm seems quite high.  The psalmist appears to obviously see the destruction to come, yet pleads for hope that it may not all come to pass.  He asks God to remember the covenant and Mount Zion; and to “redeem the tribe” of His heritage.

This moving psalm is very appropriate for any community lament, as the psalmist combines fervor for God’s justice and vengeance against those who scoff, with praise for His power, might, and sovereignty:

Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth…
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

 

Daniel 2 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream is troubling him, and so he seeks the usual counsel of wise men to interpret it.  In the ancient cultures, a king’s dream was important to him for knowing what he might have to prepare for.  But the dream that God had given him had been made so important that he wanted to be certain that the one who interprets it does not do so falsely.  So his command to the wise men is that they will tell him his dream first – and then interpret it.  Of course none of them can do that; and the king orders all of the wise men destroyed – an order which would include Daniel and his companions (verses 12-13).

In a show of great faith, Daniel requested an appointment with the king to make the interpretation (verses 14-16).  He prays and has Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) pray as well; and the Lord makes the dream and its meaning known to him.  He praises God for the knowledge in verses 20-23, and gives him the credit in verses 27-28 when he appears before the king.  Daniel recounts the dream first, and then interprets it to Nebuchadnezzar in verses 31-45.  The statue in the dream is a representation of the four great kingdoms that would dominate the history of the world.  The current Babylonian empire was the first.  The Medo-Persian empire ruled by Cyrus beginning in 539 b.c., and then Greece, under Alexander the Great, in about 331.  These latter two are explicitly named in his vision in Daniel 8:20-21.  The fourth is the Roman Empire.  After that, the God of heaven would establish an everlasting kingdom (verse 44), pointing to the Christ.  Compare verses 44-45 to Luke 20:17-18.

Nebuchadnezzar shows his gratitude in verses 46-49, and made Daniel chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.  At Daniel’s request, he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province.  These young men, by being in position to look out for the welfare of the society they lived in, would be promoting their own welfare as well – just as Jeremiah had advised in Jeremiah 29:5-7.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.