While this set of chapters start off well with a few kings who do the right thing, they’re eventually succeeded by a set who do all the wrong things and get so bad that God allows Nebuchadnezzar to come in and take them all away and destroy everything. But as with the rest of the Chronicles, this also rehashes information from prior books. This set covers 2 Kings 18 to 2 Kings 25.
These are more detailed explanations of the beginning of 2 Kings 18 where Hezekiah comes and has the priests clean house and follow God while He supports them in all their endeavors and they eventually tear down all the “high places” that none of the other kings got rid of.
In contrast to the way the last three chapters take place in the same span as the first two paragraphs of 2 Kings 18, this one takes up the rest of it along with 2 Kings 19. and 2 Kings 20. It’s roughly the same with some minor differences in phrasing and such but there is a bit missing about Hezekiah and Babylon.
Manasseh is the next king and he takes up most of this chapter as in he had in 2 Kings 21, but that account left out a big part of his story that this one includes. In this account, Manasseh gets captured and “bound with chains of bronze” and he prays and repents and god delivers him. He sets about undoing everything he had done for other gods and holds and puts the God of Israel back in His place.
Then it goes on to Amon, his son, who goes back and does “evil in the sight of the Lord” in the way that Manasseh originally had. This time, Amon is conspired against by his servants and is killed.
Following the account that is told in 2 Kings 22, Josiah is a good king, following God and rebuilding the house of God. He is also king when they find the book of the Law and consult Huldah before beginning to follow it. It bleeds into 2 Kings 23 a bit with the renewal of the covenant between the king and God and then the elders and god.
This covers a big chunk out of the rest of 2 Kings 23 but doesn’t finish it off. The account of both the Passover that Josiah has and the battle with Neco, king of Egypt, is given in greater detail. He was apparently not even supposed to be a part of that conflict, and God told him not to go. It is this battle where Josiah obtains the wounds he will die from.
An interesting extra note was that it is from the lamenting done for Josiah that the Book of the Laments comes from but there is a note in my study Bible that this is not the same book as Lamentations.
This chapter follows the rest of 2 Kings 23 and on to the end of that book as well with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon taking everyone and destroying everything.
At the end, there is the “Proclamation of Cyrus ” who had been the king of Persia at the time, and which I had never heard of before:
The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.
Surrounding this proclamation are some references that we haven’t gotten to of both Jeremiah and Ezra. I did a search for the proclamation and it seems that is where the book of Ezra picks up and there is reference within the chapter of Jeremiah speaking for God to Zedekiah who had been the last king before Nebuchadnezzar came in and tore the place up.