Ezra 7: We finally meet Ezra, “a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the Lord the God of Israel had given” (NRSV Study Bible, p. 677; Ezra 7.6). Later text calls him a priest. The main part of this chapter focuses on a decree from the Persian King indicating how important Ezra was to the Persians. He seemed to have been a pretty powerful person. The king pretty much gives him full authority and tells everyone that they need to do what he asks of them. Ezra ends this chapter with a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
Ezra 4: We see initial opposition to the reconstruction of the temple. The opposition stems from people who initially wanted to help rebuild the temple but were told they couldn’t help by those who returned from exile. They responded by getting the people on their side, bribing people, and writing to the Persian kings telling them that those who returned from exile will not pay tribute to the kings once they are able to rebuild the city.
Introduction to Historical Books section in NRSV: The following quote comes from the introduction to the historical books section in the NRSV study bible:
2 Chronicles 35: Josiah celebrates Passover and dies in this chapter. Not much else to say.
2 Chronicles 32: This is the final chapter to focus on Hezekiah. In this chapter Judah is invaded by Assyria’s King Sennacherib. Sennacherib sent letters to Jerusalem mocking God and telling them no gods were able to save people in the past and it wouldn’t happen this time either. Bad move on his part. God sent a messenger down who utterly destroyed Sennacherib’s army. He went home in disgrace and was murdered by his sons in his temple. The rest of the chapter focuses on the last years of Hezekiah’s rule, which was primarily good.
2 Chronicles 26: Amaziah’s son, Uzziah, takes over as king. As with the two kings before him, his reign started well in that he followed God and did what he was supposed to do. Eventually, he failed to do this just like his two predecessors. His sin was that he went into God’s sanctuary and burned incense. Only priests who were descended from Aaron were allowed to do this. God inflicted him with a skin disease and he lived alone until he died.