Resource Pages

How to write an Account

These notes are mainly for the Web-based Courses, but can also be adapted for my Lecture-based Courses.
There are also other Pages which describe the standards I use when grading Essays and Reading Reports, and a Page to show how I would prepare for the Essay on the Life of Abraham

How I would prepare to "Write an account of the events described in II Chronicles, chapters 34-36"

1. I would locate and read the passage, make some preliminary notes of the events in sequence, and try to decide the relative importance of the events :

Text Main Events Secondary Events
II Chron. 34:1 Josiah, 8 years old when he became king, reigned 31 years in Jerusalem  
II Chron. 34:2-7 Josiah was a righteous king
at the age of 16 he began to seek God
at the age of 20 he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of heathen idols and high places
religious reforms - breaking down of images and altars of Baal
destruction of "groves".
Josiah burned the bones of ungodly priests on their altars
Josiah also led religious reforms in the regions of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon and Naptali, then returned to Jerusalem
II Chron. 34:8-13 18th year of Josiah's reign - he was 26 years old
Josiah sent Shaphan, Maaseiah and Joah to repair the Temple
They brought money to Hilkiah the High Priest
The money for the repairs was collected by the Levites from the people who lived in Manasseh, Ephraim, Judah, Benjamin
The money was given to the workmen in charge of repairs
stone and timber were needed because previous kings had destroyed some of the buildings
the workmen were trustworthy and didn't cheat
II Chron. 34:14-28 Hilkiah found a "Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses"
When Josiah heard what was in the book he rent his clothes and told people to enquire of God about the book, because the previous kings and people had not been doing what the book told them to do
Huldah the prophetess sent a message to Josiah that the curses in the book would come to pass, but because Josiah had sought God he would have peace, and the curses would only happen after his death
Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan to take to Josiah
Shaphan reported back to Josiah that the repairs were being made and the workmen were being paid
Shaphan read the book to Josiah
II Chron. 34:29-33 Josiah went to the Temple and read the book to all the elders and people of Judah and Jerusalem
Josiah made a covenant with God, to do as the book said
The inhabitants of Judah and Benjamin stood and promised to keep the covenant with God
there were further religious reforms
the Israelites kept the covenant as long as Josiah was king
II Chron. 35:1-19 Josiah kept a Passover in Jerusalem the Levites were organized for service in the Temple
The Levites were to put the Ark into the Temple, and not carry it around any more
Josiah and the princes gave thousands of animals so that people could keep the Passover
details of the Passover - sacrifices, meals, music - the best Passover since the time of Samuel
II Chron. 35:19 The Passover was held in the 18th year of Josiah's reign, when he was about 26 years old. The next verses lead into his death. 34:1 tells us that he reigned for 31 years, so there is a gap of 13 years
II Chron. 35:20-27 Pharaoh Necho came through the land to fight against Carchemish
Josiah tried to stop Necho and was killed
Necho sent ambassadors to Josiah to say that he was not attacking Israel
Necho said that God had told him to attack Carchemish
Josiah went to the valley of Megiddo in disguise, to fight Necho's army
Josiah was wounded by Necho's archers, and told his servants to get him home
Josiah was buried in the sepulchers of the kings
The people mourned for Josiah
Jeremiah wrote a lamentation for Josiah
II Chron. 36:1-3 Jehoahaz (son of Josiah) became king at the age of 23, and reigned for 3 months
The king of Egypt (Necho) took Jehoahaz as a prisoner to Egypt, and made Jehoahaz' brother Eliakim king of Judah; he made him change his name to Jehoiakim
The king of Egypt levied a fine of 100 talents of silver and one talent of gold
II Chron. 36:4-8 Jehoiakim was 25 when he became king, and he reigned for 11 years. He was a bad king
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon attacked, and took Jehoiakim as a prisoner to Babylon
Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim) became king
Nebuchadnezzar also took the vessels from the Temple to Babylon
II Chron. 36:9-10 Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned for 3 months and 10 days. He was a bad king
Nebuchadnezzar brought Jehoiachin to Babylon, and made Jehoiachin's brother Zedekiah king of Judah
Nebuchadnezzar took more vessels from the Temple
II Chron. 36:11-20 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned 11 years
Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, who came and captured Jerusalem, killed the men, burned the Temple, and took Zedekiah as a prisoner to Babylon
Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah swear by God that he would not rebel
The priests and people were worshipping other gods, and refused to listen to the prophets who told them to return to God
Nebuchadnezzar took all the remaining treasures from Jerusalem to Babylon; what he did not take he destroyed.
Nebuchadnezzar broke down the walls of Jerusalem
II Chron. 36:21 The land was desolate for 70 years, as the prophet Jeremiah had foretold
II Chron. 36:22-23 Cyrus became king of Persia (successor to Babylon)
In the first year of Cyrus' reign he made a proclamation that called for all Jews who wished, to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple
the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled

2. There may be some "grey areas" where one is not sure just how much importance to give to an event. This is normal. The main events will be those that represent turning points in the story. These should be fairly easy to decide, and will form the skeleton for the essay. The less important events can be mentioned in passing and will help to fill in the picture.
If the Account is one of the 20 Questions of a Reading Report, a connected narrative of the main events would be sufficient.

3. For an Essay I would plan the skeleton, in the form of paragraph notes :

Paragraph Contents
Introduction Roughly when and where did these events take place
(In Judah and Jerusalem, in the closing years of the monarchy)
Paragraph 2 Josiah and his reform of religion
Paragraph 3 Josiah and the Book of the Law
Paragraph 4 Josiah and the Passover
Paragraph 5 Josiah and Necho
Paragraph 6 Jehoahaz
Paragraph 7 Jehoiakim
Paragraph 8 Jehoiachin
Paragraph 9 Zedekiah
Concluding Paragraph Jeremiah's prophecy, Cyrus, and the return from Exile

4. Then I would write the account as if I were telling it to someone who had not heard it before.
I would try to keep to the past tense of verbs rather than the present (he did, they saw, etc. rather than he does, they see)

Recapitulation

How to write an account or essay :
  1. Read the passage and make notes of the events in the sequence in which they occur in the passage
  2. Decide which are the main events (which are the most important), and which are secondary (less important)
  3. Re-tell the story in your own words, as if you were telling it to someone who had not heard it before, using a paragraph for each of the main events.
  4. If the account is of something which happened in the past, use the past tense (he did, they saw, etc) rather than the present (he does, they see). Be careful not to switch between past and present tenses (eg. he goes to them and he said . . .)
  5. Try to write a connected account, rather than a "list" of events or topics. (don't write something like : "He came to Capernaum. He healed someone. He taught in the synagogue. He had supper. He went away." or "Healing of a blind man, teaching the crowds, the parable of the sower")

Go here to see what I look for when grading Essays.
Go here for a scale of proficiency in writing.
Go here to read about "Edited Standard Written English" (ESWE)

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Station 19, ENMU
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated : September 7, 2012

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