Bible Basics

VERZUZ: Kings vs. Chronicles

November 21, 2023 Jacqueline Williams Adewole Season 1 Episode 26
VERZUZ: Kings vs. Chronicles
Bible Basics
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Bible Basics
VERZUZ: Kings vs. Chronicles
Nov 21, 2023 Season 1 Episode 26
Jacqueline Williams Adewole

Ever wondered why the books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament tell different stories about the same kings? Imagine discovering how these ancient texts, each carrying unique perspectives and distinct themes, craft the narrative of Israel's past. This episode helps  us understand the conspicuous differences and overlaps between these monumental books of the Bible. We dive into the historical and theological  context. By the end of the journey, we come to appreciate how these contrasts in portrayal reflect different messages and intentions.


RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

VERZUZ: Patti Labelle vs. Gladys Knight 

Thank you for tuning in!
Bible Basics is now streaming on Youtube. Please subscribe now!

Feel free to contact us at info@bible-basics.org. We would love to hear from you!

Note: All scripture references are from the NIV translation unless otherwise indicated.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered why the books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament tell different stories about the same kings? Imagine discovering how these ancient texts, each carrying unique perspectives and distinct themes, craft the narrative of Israel's past. This episode helps  us understand the conspicuous differences and overlaps between these monumental books of the Bible. We dive into the historical and theological  context. By the end of the journey, we come to appreciate how these contrasts in portrayal reflect different messages and intentions.


RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

VERZUZ: Patti Labelle vs. Gladys Knight 

Thank you for tuning in!
Bible Basics is now streaming on Youtube. Please subscribe now!

Feel free to contact us at info@bible-basics.org. We would love to hear from you!

Note: All scripture references are from the NIV translation unless otherwise indicated.

Jacqui:

Greetings listeners. Today we're going to immerse ourselves in the sacred pages of the Old Testament to witness a clash of the Titans the books of 1st and 2nd Kings versus 1st and 2nd Chronicles. In the spirit of friendly competition, we aptly named this episode VERZUZ, drawing inspiration from that live stream series that pitted musical maestros against each other, much like the soul-stirring musical matchups that enthralled VERZUZ audiences during the COVID pandemic. My favorite was Gladys Knight versus Patty LaBelle. The books of Kings and Chronicles unfold a historical symphony, weaving tales of kings, kingdoms, triumphs and tribulations into the grand tapestry of Israel's past. But let's be clear this isn't a battle seeking a victor. Instead, both are indispensable, they both are God's word. They're no winners or losers. Indeed, they're both needed messages for their listening audiences during challenging times and for us. So fasten your seatbelts for this episode of the Bible Basics Podcast, where we'll take a scriptural journey into the books of Kings and Chronicles. They'll step into the spotlight, showing their individual brilliance in this divine versus encounter. Well, welcome everyone. I'm your host, Jacqui Adewole, and this is the Bible Basics Podcast, where, weekly, we break down the Bible into understandable, bite-sized chunks. Prepare to join us on a quest to unravel the subtle distinctions between these ancient manuscripts, 1 and 2K kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Jacqui:

Much of chronicles describe events and people also found in Samuel and Kings. I'll occasionally mention the book of Samuel because it covers the reign of King David, who's featured prominently in the Chronicles. While they cover overlapping figures and events, their unique perspectives, distinct target audiences and underlying purposes make them essential companions in understanding the rich history of Israel. Fun fact, despite appearances, about 57% of the content in 1 and 2 Chronicles is unique and it's not found in Samuel or Kings, but that does leave a sizable chunk that does overlap. 1 and 2 Kings and even a part of 2 Samuel paint a vivid picture of the history of Israel and Judah for the time of David and Solomon until their destruction by the empires of Assyria and Babylon. They present this destruction as the inevitable outcome of the people's disloyalty to God. Kings also speaks to the persons and events pertaining to both Israel and Judah. On the flip side, first and second chronicles adopt a priestly and spiritual perspective. The book's place emphasis on God's covenant with David, the temple and its priests and the responsibilities of the people of God. Chronicles focuses predominantly on Judah, weaving in tales from Israel only when directly impacting Judah's events.

Jacqui:

Before I go any further, I think I need to highlight a few historical facts to make sure we're all looking at the same context. 1. King David and his son Solomon were the second and third kings of the United Kingdom of Israel. In 931 BC, god judged Israel by dividing the nation into two separate kingdoms. To the north were ten tribes who retained the name Israel. To the south were the tribes called Judah. 2. In 722 BC, israel was conquered by Assyria. 3. In 586 BC, judah was conquered and exiled by Babylon for 70 years. 4. In 538 BC, the exiles in Babylon were allowed by Persia to return to Jerusalem. Now let's talk about where you can find these books in the Bible.

Jacqui:

In the Christian Bible, K ings and Chronicles are right smack in the middle of those 12 historical books. Kings and Chronicles differ in their placement within the Hebrew Bible called the Tanakh. While Kings resides in the prophets section, Chronicles is placed in the writings section, the last book in the Hebrew Bible alongside Psalms and Proverbs. As we delve into the content, you'll notice Chronicles tends to paint a more positive picture of the kings, strategically omitting the less flattering bits Consider the story of David and Bathsheba, while 2 Samuel, 11 and 12 tells the entire story, spilling the beans on David's shortcomings. Chronicles omits anything that was negative or in opposition to David's kingship.

Jacqui:

Let's do this Imagine you have a sheet of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle to make two columns. Label the left column first and second kings, and label the right column first and second chronicles. Chronicles give Solomon's reign a very positive spin, skipping over the struggles documented in 1 Kings. So that's a negative for Solomon in the left column. And in the right hand column there's a plus sign for Solomon. So let's use minus signs when it's a bad report and plus signs when it's a good report. Okay, so here's another one. In 1 Kings, 15: 3, Abijah" committed all the sins that his father did before him, unquote. But in 2 Chronicles, 13, 1 through 22, abijah is a loyal defender of Yahweh's cost. So on the left column under Kings, we can put a minus sign because he committed all these sins, but on the right side, under Chronicles, it looks like we can add a plus sign too, because it talks about him being a loyal defender of God.

Jacqui:

Lastly, let's compare and contrast King Manasseh in Kings and Chronicles. You all have heard of him. He's considered one of the worst kings. So first, let's make sure we're talking about the same guy in both books. First Kings, 21: 1, 2, reads Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem 55 years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.

Jacqui:

In 2 Chronicles, 33: 1-2 reads Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem 55 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. Okay, it's the same, we're talking about the same guy in both books. Second Kings goes on to describe in detail, graphic detail, what he did, to include sacrificing his own son in the fire and shredding so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end. This description of Manasseh's reign ends by pointing out quote his sin caused Judah to do evil in the eyes of the Lord.

Jacqui:

That sounds like a lot of minus signs under King Manasseh in the left hand column. But now things change. Let's look at where 2 Chronicles goes. The Chronicleer does point out in chapter 33 that Manasseh sacrificed his children in the fire, practiced witchcraft and did so much evil in the eyes of the Lord that he aroused God's anger. Okay, looks like there's some minus signs on the right hand side as well. However, if we move down to verse 12 of 2 Chronicles 33, we see a drastic change. Manasseh is seeking the favor of the Lord. After being captured by Assyria, he humbled himself and prayed. Verse 15 tells us he got rid of all the images of foreign gods and led the people to begin making offerings to the Lord, god of Israel. Really, that sounds a lot like some plus signs on the right hand side. Column for Manasseh.

Jacqui:

The Chronicles version of King Manasseh portrays a significant turnaround that 2 Kings conveniently leaves out. It's like two storytellers sharing the same tale but emphasizing different plot points. Now we can look at our sheet and see a visual representation of the differences and the way the Kings are described. We have mostly minus signs under the books of Kings and plus signs under the column for Chronicles. Why the different narratives? Well, the rationale lies in historical and theological context.

Jacqui:

Kings, remember, that's the narrative we tracked on the left column of your paper. It was written during the early stages of Judah's exile in Babylon. It challenges a hardened people to reflect on how they strayed from God's laws, leading to their challenging predicament. The people's question is in light of God's covenants with Abraham God promised us land forever and with David you told David that there will always be someone in David's line on the throne In light of these covenants, "how did all this happen to us?

Jacqui:

God had not failed his people. His people, led by the kings, failed their God. The Lord punished Israel and Judah because they didn't follow his laws, as described in 2 Kings, 17: 7-23. The people's disobedience was worsened by the evil Kings who led them into idolatry. This resulted in God's expressing his righteous anger and judgment against his rebellious people. The judgment was exile, but the covenant also promised to return from exile for those who returned to Yahweh. So the people needed to be convinced of their own sin so that they would repent and have the opportunity to return from exile. That's what the Books of Kings set out to do. On the flip side, Chronicles speaks to those who've returned from exile and are now back in Jerusalem, asking Are we still the people of God? The chronicler crafts a narrative that showcases blessings restored through repentance. By tracing the history of God's people, the author of Chronicles reminded this new generation that God had been their help in ages past. By emphasizing the unconditional covenant with David, he gave them hope for the future. By including the genealogies, he showed them that they were the ones to continue the legacy. So the chronicler seeks to encourage his struggling post-exilic audience to serve God wholeheartedly and know that a patient and merciful God awaits their response and hears their prayers.

Jacqui:

In concluding our exploration of the Books of Kings and Chronicles, we've unraveled an interplay of history and theology, much like a verses showdown, harmonizes diverse artists in unique dialogue. These sacred texts engage in a divine conversation illuminating Israel's past. Each book contributes indispensable insights, creating a cohesive narrative rather than a contradiction. Throughout, both, two enduring principles echo. Obedience yields blessings, while disobedience invites judgment, a truth vividly illustrated in the Books of Kings by Judahs Exile to Babylon. Yet Kings also carries a resounding message of hope promising the restoration of the people of Israel.

Jacqui:

Chronicles, on the other hand, highlights this dynamic, showing instances where kings, through obedience and unwavering trust in the Lord, receive divine blessings and protection. As we bring this chapter to a close, let's embrace the dual narratives presented by Kings and Chronicles, recognizing that their differences enhance rather than diminish our understanding of God's enduring message. These books, like a harmonious duet, provide a comprehensive view of God's intricate plan for his people. May the echoes of obedience, judgment and hope within these pages resonate in our hearts, guiding us in our own spiritual journeys. Thank you for tuning in. If this has been beneficial to you, please share it with others, subscribe or follow, and all of you Apple Podcast listeners, drop us a review.

Intro
Historical Facts
Placement in Bible
Presentation of Kings' Character
Rationale for Describing Kings Differently
Conclusion