The early Christian scholar Jerome wrote, "The book of Chronicles is of such importance that without it anyone who claims to have a knowledge of the Scriptures makes himself a fool." Dr. Raymond Dillard holds similarly high regard for this portion of the Bible, but equal recognition that understanding its full import depends upon a thorough knowledge of the whole Scripture. "There are few issues in the history of exegesis," he says, "that are not in some way touched by Chronicles, so that along with their richness they involve the interpreter in a labyrinth of related questions."
Among the issues and events examined in this thoroughgoing study are: The literary structure of 2 Chronicles The Chronicler's interaction with canonical texts from the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the prophets, Joshua, Samuel, and particularly with Kings The Chronicler as both historian and theologian, including perspectives on kings both faithful and unfaithful, reform-minded and decadent The building of Solomon's temple The revolt of Rehoboam The banishment of Israel to Babylon Reward and punishment in Chronicles: the theology of immediate retribution The Chronicler's concern with the themes of exile, restoration, and renewal.
Dr. Dillard throughout demonstrates his commitment to the Bible as the word of God. Affirming a view of Scripture that follows the pattern of the Incarnation-that the Bible is both divine and human-he shows the Chronicler, like the other biblical writers, as having been guided by a divine hand, and, like them, in their humanity, having shaped their material through their own personalities and varying theological purposes: "Chronicles is through and through a theological essay; the Chronicler describes the put to demonstrate the validity of particular premises that addressed the needs of Israel in his own day. Chronicles is not only a writing of history; it is a tract."
Dr. Dillard's lucid writing and careful study, solidly based on his familiarity with ancient languages and historical backgrounds and his use of a wide range of scholarly research materials, make his volume on 2 Chronicles an invaluable resource for preacher, teacher, and serious student.