Thursday, June 02, 2005

In an earlier post I wondered why Chronicles was grouped with the writings in the Hebrew canon. After having read through the book(s) again, I concluded that Chronicles is wisdom literature. Among the several themes of Chronicles (e.g., putting the Davidic kingship in the best possible light) is the theme strongly associated with traditional wisdom (like the book of Proverbs) which teaches that if you obey the Lord, he will bless you, but if you don't, he won't. (Reflective wisdom teaches that while the general rules of traditional wisdom are true, life isn't always like that; think of Job, or compare Psalms 1 and 13.) Repeatedly, Chronicles shows how the godly Davidic kings were immediately rewarded by the LORD and enjoyed covenant blessings, (e.g. many children); however, the ungodly kings very quickly got their just bad desserts from the LORD. When a godly king turned away from the LORD, bad things began to happen; when an ungodly king turned to the LORD, good things happened. Chronicles teaches the principle of immediate reward and retribution.

How is this for a brutal epitaph: "He passed away to no one's regret" (2 Chron. 21:20, of Jehoram).