Sunday, May 31, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to Revelation 1

Introduction to Revelation 1

Context of Revelation 

Author: John of Patmos 

Was he John the Apostle? John the Presbyter (the “Elder”)? Some other John?

“If the author of Revelation was indeed one of the apostles, it would seem implausible that he would list the names of the apostles as a group distinct from himself. The Greek of the Gospel of John is simple, but grammatical. The Greek found in Revelation, however, is described by Raymond Brown as ‘the poorest in the [New Testament] to the point of being ungrammatical, which probably reflects one whose native language was Aramaic or Hebrew.’ Though inconclusive, these hints serve to show that the authorship of Revelation cannot be known with certainty. There is no way to verify whether John the Apostle, John the Presbyter, or some other unknown John was actually the author. The name "John" was, evidently, a common name among the early Christians. Therefore, possibilities abound.” 

Date: About A.D. 95.

“The earliest external evidence for the date of Revelation is the statement from Irenaeus (c. A.D. 130-c.200) that the book was seen at the end of the reign of Domitian. Domitian was emperor from A.D. 81 to 96, so this account would suggest a date of authorship around A.D. 95-96. After the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70 by Titus, ‘Babylon’ had become a symbolic name for Rome in Jewish literature. This symbolic association is used by the author of the epistle of First Peter as well. The designation originated, in part, due to it having been Babylon that had destroyed the first Jewish temple and Rome which had destroyed the second. The designation also associated the Rome of that day with the decadence, wealth, and great power of the Babylon of 600 B.C. This type of symbolic language implies that Revelation was written after the destruction of the Temple by Titus. A date after the Temple's destruction would also fit the description of the Temple in 11:2 where John writes that the temple's outer court has been ‘handed over to gentiles - they will trample on the holy city for forty-two months.’” 

Place of composition: Western Asia Minor 

Audience: Seven churches of Asia Minor 

Themes of Revelation 

“Revelation affirms Christianity’s original hope for an immediate transformation of the world and assures the faithful that God’s prearranged plan, including the destruction of evil and the advent of Christ’s universal reign, is soon to be accomplished. The book presents an apokalypsis (unveiling) of unseen realities, both in heaven as it is now and on earth as it will be in the future. Placing governmental tyranny and Christian suffering in cosmic perspective, Revelation conveys its message of hope for believers in the cryptic language of metaphor and symbol.” 

Methods of Interpretation

(1) The preterist approach believes that “Revelation is simply a sketch of the conditions of the empire in the first century.” Although one cannot divorce the interpretation of this book from its occasion this view cannot adequately handle all the data of Revelation, for the author makes plain that this work is a work describing the future.

(2) The historicist view (or continuous-historicist view) “contends that Revelation is a symbolic presentation of the entire course of the history of the church from the close of the first century to the end of time.”

(3) The futurist approach usually argues that “all of the visions from Revelation 4:1 to the end of the book are yet to be fulfilled in the period immediately preceding and following the second advent of Christ.” “The more literal an interpretation that one adopts, the more strongly will he be construed to be a futurist.”

(4) In the idealist approach, “the Revelation represents the eternal conflict of good and evil which persists in every age, although here it may have particular application to the period of the church.” But like the preterist view, this approach does not do justice to the predictive elements in the book. 

John’s Numerical Symbols: The Mystical Number of the Beast

“Whoever this figure is, the author is certain that the first century recipients of his letter would be able to decipher his meaning. This would seem to go against current trends in popular theology, where it is asserted that the beast is an unknown future figure. The word ‘anti-christ’ nowhere appears in Revelation. In most surviving texts the number given is 666, but in both Greek and Hebrew manuscripts the number 616 appears instead. This variant was known to Irenaeus as early as the late second century. Many theories have been advanced, but it appears most probable that this number symbolizes the name of Nero. Before the use of Arab numerals, the letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets were also used as numbers, the value corresponding to the place in the alphabet. An example from English would be the letter A equaling the number 1, and so on. In this practice, by adding up the values of component letters that total the number of a person's name ‘the number of a human being’ is obtained. In Hebrew, the letters of ‘Neron Caesar’ add up to 666.”

“This is not the most common spelling of Caesar Nero's name, however, which can also be spelled without the final ‘n.’ In such a case, where the final ‘n’ is dropped, the name adds up to 616. Hence a possible explanation for the alternative rendering in the manuscript evidence. The evidence of the 616 number in the manuscript record at the very least allows for the possibility that in the understanding of some early Christian scribes, Nero was the implied figure.”

“Two other possibilities exist, for the Greek spelling of ‘Caesar God’ adds up to 616, as does the Latin spelling of ‘Caesar Nero.’ None of these interpretations necessarily exclude the others.” 

Domitian as Nero Revived

“In Revelation, the Nero legend is associated with the beast from the abyss and with the ‘eighth’ king who is at the same time ‘one of the seven’ emperors. The question immediately arises as to why Nero's name is being used if Domitian is the ruling emperor at the time of John's writing. The revived Nero legends all appear after the fall of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 C.E., giving further indication as to the time of Revelation's composition, and again, excluding Nero as the ruling emperor. Just as ‘Babylon’ was used by the early Christians as a pseudonym for Rome, it appears that ‘Nero’ was being used for Domitian. The historical Babylon had destroyed the first temple, just as Nero was the first emperor to brutally persecute the Christians. As the recipients of John's letter began to see themselves as the recipients of imperial persecution, it would have appeared to them that Nero had in fact been revived, if not physically, at least in spirit. This is not just an idea of the Christians, for both Juvenal and Pliny the Younger, both writing just after Domitian's reign, regarded Domitian as the second Nero. This explains how John could refer to the current emperor as the eighth, and yet at the same time as one of the previous seven: Domitian was Nero returned.” 

Chapter 1 

The book begins with a prologue, starting with the author’s self-identification and the basis for his authority – divine revelation. The text is identified as a “revelation” of what “must soon take place.” The revelation was sent from God to Jesus to the angel to John to the churches.

The next part contains greetings and a doxology. The letter is addressed to the seven churches in the province of Asia. A blessing of grace and peace is given to the reader from “the one who was, and is, and is to come.” The “seven spirits before the throne” and Jesus Christ also send their blessings.

Jesus is identified as…

The faithful witness
The firstborn from the dead
The ruler of the kings of the earth
Our lover
Our liberator from sin
The one who made us a kingdom of priests
Worthy of praise

We then come to the doxology:

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and ‘every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him’;
and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’
So shall it be! Amen.”

The next part of the book is John’s vision of Christ. Here, the writer identifies himself as John, and says that he, like others, has endured suffering for Jesus, and that he is on the island of Patmos because of the testimony of Jesus. He says that he was “in the Spirit” on “The Lord’s Day” when he heard a trumpet-like voice behind him telling him to write down what he saw and to send it to the seven churches. He then turned to see seven gold lamp stands, and a fiery man, bright as the sun, holding seven stars in his hand, and with a sword coming out of his mouth. John then faints and the man touches him and tells him not to be afraid. The man identifies himself, saying, “I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” The man then says that the seven stars represent seven “messengers” and the seven lamps represent the seven churches.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 3rd John

Introduction to 3rd John 


The Third Epistle of John is attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John. The Third Epistle of John is a private letter composed to a man named Gaius, recommending to him a group of Christians led by Demetrius, which had come to preach the gospel in the area where Gaius lived. The purpose of the letter is to encourage and strengthen Gaius, and to warn him against Diotrephes, who refuses to cooperate with the author of the letter.

Early church literature contains no mention of the epistle, with the first reference to it appearing in the middle of the third century. This lack of documentation, though likely due to the extreme brevity of the epistle, caused early church writers to doubt its authenticity until the early 5th century, when it was accepted into the canon along with the other two epistles of John. The language of 3rd John echoes that of the Gospel of John, which is conventionally dated to around AD 90, so the epistle was likely written near the end of the first century. 

Chapter 1 

The letter begins with a salutation where “the elder” greets his “dear friend” Gaius, whom he “loves in the truth.” He says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

He then commends Gaius for his faithfulness, saying, “It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

He then commends Gaius for his hospitality, saying, “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.”

He then condemns Diotrephes, saying, “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

He then recommends Demetrius, saying, “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.”

He then gives his final greetings, saying, “I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.”

Friday, May 29, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 2nd John

Introduction to 2nd John


The doctrines of Doceticm and Gnosticism had made inroads among the followers of Jesus in the latter half of the First Century. Some said that Jesus never assumed human flesh, but only had the appearance of flesh, because they were scandalized that Divinity would soil itself by associating so closely with matter. Others said that Christ was raised as a spirit only, and did not experience a bodily resurrection. In this epistle John condemns such doctrines in no uncertain terms with the statement that such persons were antichrist.

Chapter 1 

The letter begins with a salutation. “The elder” greets “the lady chosen by God” and her children. And he offers a blessing, saying, “All who know the truth love them because of the truth, which lives in them and will be with them forever. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.”

He then discusses the issue of maintaining the truth in love. First, he discusses practicing the truth, saying, “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. Dear lady, I am not writing you a new command. From the beginning, he said to love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.”

Second, he discusses protecting the truth. He says to guard against doubt and defeat. He says, “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. They are the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

He also says to guard against defection and defectors, saying, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.”

He then offers his final Greetings, saying, “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.”

Monday, May 25, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 1st John 2-5

Readings for this week

Monday: 1st John 2
Tuesday: 1st John 3
Wednesday: 1st John 4
Thursday: 1st John 5
Friday: 2nd John 1
Saturday: 3rd John 1
Sunday: Revelation 1

Introduction to 1st John 2-5

Chapter 2 

John continues to discuss to the topic of fellowship and how its provision is through the death of Christ. He says, “My dear children, I write this so that you won’t sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of us and the whole world.”

He then discusses the imperatives of fellowship such as obeying God’s commands, saying, “We can be sure that we know him if we keep his commands. The truth is not in those who say ‘I know him’ but ignore his commands. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

And he adds:

“Dear friends, this new command is really the old one that you’ve always known from the beginning. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still walking blindly and stumbling in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light.”

He then presents a poem on the prerequisites of fellowship or the status of the believers:

I am writing to you, dear children,
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, dear children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

He then discusses the impulses against fellowship or loving the world, saying, “Do not love the world or anything in the world – for those who love the lusts and prides of the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

He then moves on to the topic of false teachers and how to recognize their deception. The first proof is their abandonment. He says, “Dear children, this is the last hour. You’ve heard the antichrist is coming, but many antichrists have already come. We know it’s the last hour because all these antichrists emerged from within us… but they didn’t really belong to us. They’re exit proves that they didn’t truly belong to us.”

The second proof is their denial that Jesus is the Christ. He says, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth – that’s why I’m writing to you. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

The third proof is the anointing of the Spirit on the believers. He says, “As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you so that you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life. I’m writing this because of those who are trying to lead you astray and not because you needed to be taught. You have kept his real anointing which teaches you about all things - and it taught you to remain in him.” 

Chapter 3 

He then moves on to the topic of eschatological hope which is motivation for holy living in the present. Hope produces holiness. He says:

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed. If you know that he is righteous, then you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world doesn’t know us is because it didn’t know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

He then offers a proleptic view of sanctification, saying:

“Everyone who sins is a law-breaker. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins – because there’s no sin in him. If you live in Jesus, you no longer live in sin. If you continue living in sin, then you don’t really see or know him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them. They cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how to tell the difference between the children of God and the devil: Those who don’t do right and who don’t love their brothers and sisters are not God’s children.”

He then goes on to discuss love as the basis for assurance. And he offers some examples, starting with the negative example of Cain from the Hebrew Bible, saying, “You heard from the beginning that we should love one another. Don’t be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”

He adds, “Don’t be surprised if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

He then points to the positive example of Christ, saying, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

He adds, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

He continues to discuss assurance and addresses the issue of discernment through the witness of the Spirit. He brings up the topic of the condemned heart, saying, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know it’s because God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

He then discusses the confidence we can have before God, saying:

“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 

Chapter 4 

He then talks some more about false teachers as well discernment of false spirits. And he provides an objective test regarding doctrine, saying, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God and is the spirit of the antichrist, which you’ve heard is coming but is already in the world.”

He also offers a subjective test by the witness of the Spirit, saying, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them instead of to us. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

He then talks about how love is essential to sanctification. First, he reminds them of the exemplary love displayed in the death of Christ, saying:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but God lives in us and his love is made complete in us if we love one another.”

He also points to the witness of the Sprit to the death of Christ, saying, “This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”

He then talks about how love removes fear, saying, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. The one who fears is not made perfect in love, because fear has to do with punishment.”

He then talks about how divine love prompts brotherly and sisterly love, saying, “We love because he first loved us. Liars claim to love God while hating a brother or sister. Those who don’t love their visible brothers and sisters cannot love an invisible God. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 

Chapter 5 

He then talks about faith, and how it is assurance in our hearts, saying, “All who believe that Jesus is Messiah are born of God. Everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands… which are not burdensome. This birth and faith is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who overcomes the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

He also talks about faith and assurance brought by the witness of the Spirit, saying:

“Jesus is the one who came by water and blood… and the Spirit of truth testifies it. For there are three that testify in agreement: the Spirit, the water and the blood. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because he gave it about his son. Whoever believes in the Son of God (those who don’t are calling God a liar) accepts this testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. If you have the Son, you have life; if you don’t, you don’t.”

He then discusses the advocacy of Christ which is the basis for our present confidence before God. He says:

“I write to believers in the Son’s name so that you may know you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us… and if he hears us we have it—whatever we ask. If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I’m not talking about those sins that lead to death. But know that every wrong action is sin… and not every sin leads to death.”

He then summarizes his points on assurance, saying:

“Anyone born of God does not continue to sin because the One who was born of God keeps them safe so the evil one cannot harm them. We are children of God, and the whole world is under the control of the evil one. The Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ, who is the true God and eternal life.”

And the letter ends abruptly with the command, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols…”

Sunday, May 24, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 1st John 1

Introduction to 1st John 1


The First Epistle of John is the first of the Johannine epistles of the New Testament, and the fourth of the catholic epistles. It is attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two Johannine epistles. This epistle was probably written in Ephesus in AD 95–110. The work was written to counter docetism, which is the belief that Jesus did not come "in the flesh", but only as a spirit. It also defined how Christians are to discern true teachers: by their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus in the flesh, and by their love. It appears that John might have also been rebuking a proto-Gnostic named Cerinthus, who also denied the true humanity of Christ. 

Chapter 1 

The epistle begins with a prologue much like the Gospel of John describing the reality of the incarnation. He writes, “We proclaim this about the Word of Life - which was from the beginning, and which we have heard, seen, and touched. We proclaim that we saw the life appear - the eternal life, which was with the Father - so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

He then goes on to discuss the topic of fellowship and how it is motivated by God’s dealings in the past. First, he discusses the principles of fellowship, or walking in the light, saying:

“We declare the message we heard from him to you: God is light. We are liars if we say we have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim we’ve never sinned, we’re fooling ourselves. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive and purify us. If we claim we’ve not sinned, we’re calling him a liar and his word isn’t in us.”

Monday, May 18, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 31-36

Readings for this week

Monday: 2nd Chronicles 31
Tuesday: 2nd Chronicles 32
Wednesday: 2nd Chronicles 33
Thursday: 2nd Chronicles 34
Friday: 2nd Chronicles 35
Saturday: 2nd Chronicles 36
Sunday: 1st John 1

Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 31-36

Chapter 31 

Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to their duties. The Israelites gave a tithe. Conaniah was in charge of the offerings. 

Chapter 32 

Sennacherib of Assyria besieged Judah. Hezekiah and Isaiah cried out to the LORD and the Assyrians were struck dead. Hezekiah had great riches. 

Chapter 33 

Manasseh became king. He did much evil and was captured by the Assyrians. Then he sought the LORD. Amon became king and did evil. 

Chapter 34 

Josiah became king. He repaired the temple and had the law read out. Huldah said, "The LORD says: You will be buried in peace." 

Chapter 35 

Josiah celebrated the Passover. He appointed priests to their duties and provided offerings. Then he attacked Pharaoh Neco and was killed. 

Chapter 36 

Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah ruled. Then Nebuchadnezzar burned the temple and took Judah captive for seventy years.

Monday, May 11, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 24-30

Readings for this week

Monday: 2nd Chronicles 24
2nd Chronicles 25
2nd Chronicles 26
2nd Chronicles 27
2nd Chronicles 28
2nd Chronicles 29
Sunday: 2nd Chronicles 30

Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 24-30

Chapter 24 

Joash ruled and did right while Jehoiada lived. The priests collected money to repair the temple. Joash was killed by his servants. 

Chapter 25 

Amaziah ruled in Jerusalem. After he slaughtered the Edomites he bowed down to their gods. He challenged Jehoash and was defeated. 

Chapter 26 

The people made Uzziah king. He did right and became powerful. But he went to burn incense on the altar and was struck with leprosy. 

Chapter 27 

Jotham became king and did right in the sight of the LORD. He built fortresses in the hills and conquered the Ammonites. 

Chapter 28 

Ahaz became king. He made idols, so the LORD gave him to Aram and Israel. He shut the LORD's temple and sacrificed to other gods. 

Chapter 29 

Hezekiah became king and did right. He told the Levites to cleanse the temple. He assembled the officials and they made offerings. 

Chapter 30 

Hezekiah sent couriers throughout Judah and Israel saying, "Return to the LORD." Many gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

Monday, May 4, 2020

READ IT! - Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 17-23

Readings for this week

Monday: 2nd Chronicles 17
Tuesday: 2nd Chronicles 18
Wednesday: 2nd Chronicles 19
Thursday: 2nd Chronicles 20
Friday: 2nd Chronicles 21
Saturday: 2nd Chronicles 22
Sunday: 2nd Chronicles 23

Introduction to 2nd Chronicles 17-23

Chapter 17 

Jehoshaphat became king and was devoted to the LORD. He sent his officials to teach the law. He grew greater and built fortresses. 

Chapter 18 

Ahab and Jehoshaphat planned for war. Micaiah said, "I saw Israel scattered. Your prophets are lying." Ahab was killed in battle. 

Chapter 19 

Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem. He appointed judges and said to them, "Judge carefully, for with the LORD there is no injustice." 

Chapter 20 

An army came against Jehoshaphat so he sought the LORD. Jahaziel said, "The battle is not yours but God's." The LORD set ambushes. 

Chapter 21 

Jehoram ruled and did evil. Elijah wrote saying, "The LORD will send a plague." The LORD struck Jehoram with a disease and he died. 

Chapter 22 

The people made Ahaziah king. He did evil and was killed by Jehu. Athaliah destroyed the royal family but Jehoshabeath hid Joash. 

Chapter 23 

Jehoiada gathered the Levites and anointed the king's son as king. Athaliah was killed. The people tore down the temple of Baal.