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Passage: 2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27

2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27 – The Divided Monarchy

Summary

Following Solomon's death, the ideal of a united Israel ruled by a Davidic king and worshiping in the Jerusalem temple was destroyed when the nation split into two kingdoms: Judah in the south, comprised of the tribes of Judah--Benjamin and Levi--which had remained loyal to David's house; and Israel, the ten northern tribes that broke away.

Analysis

The period of the united monarchy (1 Chronicles 10:1-2 Chronicles 9:31) began when God "turned the kingdom over to David" (1 Chronicles 10:14). The beginning of the period of the divided monarchy is similarly marked with the same, rare Hebrew root (sbb, "turn," "turn of affairs"): "…it was a turn of affairs brought about by God" (2 Chronicles 10:15). Things had changed; the golden age of David and Solomon's united monarchy was in the past. Only the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah are discussed, and references to the northern kings or the nation of Israel are carefully omitted, unless they overlap with the presentation of Judah. These kings are all evaluated against the ideal of David and Solomon. Faithful kings prosper in terms of military victory and wealth through tribute, building projects, rest, and progeny. Kings displaying infidelity experience punishment in the form of military defeat, illness, or death. The period bristles with the appearance of otherwise unknown prophets who tirelessly point out the error of the kings' ways, while at the same time holding out the possibility of repentance and forgiveness as God had promised (2 Chronicles 7:14).