2 Chronicles 8-11
(Beginning of the End of Wisdom)
May 7th


Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

All Solomonís work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid until its completion. So the temple of the Lord was finished.

- 2 Chronicles 8:16

Summary of Chapters

Todayís study bridges the generations of Solomonís era and the era of his son, Rehoboam. The transition from one generation to the next also marked the end of the short-life of a large Israelite empire.

Chapter 8 begins by summarizing Solomon's accomplishments in the first 20 years of his career, which included the building of the temple and the only account from Chronicles of a military victory during Solomon's reign (8:3). Chapter also notes that Solomon grew in riches and married the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, who eventually led him astray - although this result is not explicitly described in Chronicles. The next chapter provides an account of the visit by the Queen of Sheba, which is relatively consistent with the account in 1 Kings 10.

Chapters 10-11 describe the succession of Solomon by Rehoboam. The northern tribes revolted shortly after because Rehoboam announced his plans to rule his subjects with an iron fist. He had considered advice from his father's advisors, but decided to go against it:

    Three days later Jeroboam and the people showed up, just as Rehoboam had directed when he said, "Give me three days to think it over; then come back." The king's answer was harsh and rude. He spurned the counsel of the elders and went with the advice of the younger set: "If you think life under my father was hard, you haven't seen the half of it: my father thrashed you with whips; I'll beat you bloody with chains!"

    - 2 Chronicles 10:12-14 (MSG)

Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, became the king of the northern tribes, and established his own religion so that people would not go south to Jerusalem. Rehoboam remained in Judah and wanted to attack the north, but God told him not to do that because it was his plan for the nations to split. The two nations would never fully re-unite.

Reflection and Application

If you compare this set of chapters to the parallel ones in 2 Kings, you will see that the general story line is relatively consistent. However, there were certain details left out, such as the observation that Solomon married 700 other women. I can empathize with the authorís desire to leave out this fact of unfathomable polygamy. How could he depict Solomon as a man of God, dedicated to one woman, when in reality he had so many wives?

I suppose the author thought it was a sufficient indictment to note that Solomon married a foreigner. The problem with this union was that his wife did not convert to worshiping the LORD but gradually pulled Solomon away from the LORD. Solomon must have known this was a problem. Perhaps this is why he had this wife live some place other than the palace, where the ark had once been stored. But he did not apply his wisdom to end this relationship or request that his wife become a follower of the true God. This marriage was the inflection point that became the beginning of the end.

Solomonís son Rehoboam needed a father of faith and integrity who would teach him how to make good decisions. The wisdom that Solomon received was supposed to be the stability of his time (as noted in Isaiah 33:6 and illustrated in the photo above), but he failed to pass it on. Rehoboam did not receive Solomon's wisdom and training. For example, he would have benefitted from knowing and following the advice in Proverbs 13:20: "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm (NIV)."

Rehoboam did receive wise advice, and considered it for three days as noted in chapter 10, but he failed to heed this wisdom or consult with God. Instead, Rehoboam listened to the foolish advice of the young turks that surrounded him. Their advice led him to make a decision that cost half a kingdom. Consequently, he lost nearly everything built by his father (Solomon) and grandfather (David).

We must serve as good role models for the next generation. They may not hear and absorb everything we say, but they observe everything we do and imitate it more often than they would admit. We must also be careful to not ignore wise advice, but instead remember to consult God with important decisions.

Note Shebaís reaction when she met Solomon in all his splendor:

    ďThe report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!

    - 2 Chronicles 9:5-7 (NIV)

We may say something similar when we meet God! We have heard how great he is, but itís hard to imagine and understand his fully glory until we fully experience it.

For more discussion and analysis of Solomon and Rehoboam you can return to our studies in 1 Kings on April 10th and April 11th

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What was one of the wisest decision you ever made?
    2. How would you describe the wisdom of God?
    3. How well has our generation provided a role model for the next one? What can we change?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, you are the source of wisdom. We confess that we don't always listen to what you tell us, regardless of whether we receive it from trusted sources or even directly from you. Please help us to hear your wisdom.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Architects and Designers of Buildings

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 2 Chronicles 12-16 (Rehoboam's Legacy)

    Comments and Questions
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