First and Second Chronicles

First and Second Chronicles

Leslie S. Rainey

The Book of Chronicles appears at the end of the Hebrew Bible, being in the third division and means, “Words of Days,” that is, Journals. In the Greek LXX the title is “Omissions,” because they are regarded as supplementing what had already been written. The present title, Chronicles, dates back from the fourth century A.D. and embraces identical passages, omissions, and additions from the other kingdom books of Samuel and Kings.

Key Word: Worship. Key Verses: 1 Chronicles 29:10; 2 Chronicles 20:20; 2 Chronicles 26:5.

1. The Secret of the Book is to find the key. Many who study the Bible agree that in this Book there is little to interest and attract. For this reason it has been the “Book of Kittle” (difficult, of puzzling) Chronicles.

2. The Significance of the Book is learned in remembering the purpose of the books of the Bible differ. For example in 2 Samuel you have the account of David’s sin, where as in 1 Chronicles you have his career under God’s hand with never a mention of sin. J.N.D. says, “In Samuel you have the King of History in responsibility toward God.” In I Chronicles it is the David of Grace in blessing according to the counsel of God. NOTE:

(a) It reveals the unique position of Israel in covenant relation with God and views her history from the divine viewpoint rather than the human viewpoint: the ecclesiastical position rather than the national position; her moral history rather than her legislative history, life and times of Israel through the eyes of the priest rather than through those of the politician. In this Book the writer never gets out of sight of the towers and pinnacles of the Temple. All that pertains to worship is here; the Temple, and its services, priests, Levites, singers, and hatefulness of idolatry. It could be said, “The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up.”

(b) The writer is only interested in the Tribe of Judah — he only refers to the history of the Northern Kingdom where it serves his purpose of throwing light on Judah and Jerusalem and the Temple. The reason for this is because through Judah the Royal Tribe was to come.

3. The Sources from which the Book is compiled are clearly seen in the Book. The language savours that of Ezra and Nehemiah and must have been written during the time of the Babylonian Captivity. No fewer than twelve are named: 1 Chron. ix.1; xxix:29; 2 Chr. ix.29; xii:15; xx:34; xxiv:27; xxvi:22; xxxii:32; xxxiii:19).

4. The Scope of the Book is most important. All history is “His-Story” and here you have the course of God’s earthly elect from the first Man Adam and David. The Book records the order, nature and birth of Israel and thus exhibits the sovereign grace of God and His purposes in relation to His Chosen People from the beginning. It begins with Adam (1:1), and ends with the decree of Cyprus in 586 B.C. covering a period of 3500 years. Cyprus, King of Persia permitted the captives to return to Jersualem to rebuild the Temple. Such a marvellous sweep of History invests these Books with peculiar value and spiritual instruction to the student of the Word of God.

5. The Supplement:

1. The Genealogies are given in detail and amplified form to prove that the Messiah is the promised Son of David, Judah, Abraham and Adam.

2. The Names of the People listed are seen to be associated with some unusual experience and convey spiritual truth.

3. The Book breathes an ecclesiastical atmosphere.

(a) The Reigns of David and Solomon recorded with fullness. David because of his preparation for it; and Solomon because of his establishment of it. Six chapters devoted to its erection and glory whereas only three to other affairs.

(b) The Ritual of the Temple far more evident than the wars of the Kings.

(c) The Relationship of Jehovah to His own is also brought out (iv. 9,10; v.20; xi.14; xii.18; xiv.2,11,15; xviii.13).

(d) The Righteousness of Jehovah in dealing with those who defiled His Temple and the wickedness of earthly sovereigns who led the people away from God’s Temple (v.25,26; vi.15; ix.1; x.13,14; xv.2,13; xxi.19). How this bears out the Blessing of God upon all who seek to put Him first, and the failure of those who despise His law which Christ makes fundamental to all true prosperity.

6. The Subject of the Book

The Sovereign Lord

The Spiritual Life

As to the first — Jehovah is seen on the throne and though oft ignored, disobeyed, yet He acts in grace bestowing blessing upon the just and bringing judgment upon the unjust. As to the second — the secret of the life that pleases God is found in the clauses. “Seek ye the Lord,” “Prayer and Service.”

VII. The Study of the Book. In the Hebrew MSC. the two Books of Chronicles were one and remained so even to the time of Jerome (340 - 420 A.D.)

While this cannot be determined exactly, it is believed that Ezra is a continuation of 2 Chronicles so the internal evidence leads us to conclude that the compilation must be between a limit several years subsequent to the return and the year B.C. 410, or thereabouts.

Passages in Chronicles but not in Kings and Samuel.

1 Chronicles — xii; xxii; xxiiixxvii; xxviii; xxix.

2 Chronicles — xi.5-32; xiii.2-23; xiv.15-22; xxv.5-10; xiv.8-14; xv.1-15; xvi, 7-10; xvii; xix; xx,1-30; xxi, 2:19 xiv,15:22; xxv,14:16; xxvi,6-16; xxvii, 5,6; xxx,1-27; xxxi,2.21; xxxiii.11-13.

Passages found in Samuel or Kings but not in Chronicles

2 Samuel — 1-5; vi.20-23; ix.xi: 2.-xii.25; xiii.-xx.1-14,15-17; xxii; xxiii.

1 Kings — 1;11.1-9, 26-46; iii.1,16,28; iv; vii.1-12,13-39; viii.56-61; xi.1-13,14- 40.

2 Kings — xii.17,18; xvi.5-18; xviii. 4-8.


The Genealogical Tables (i-ix).

1. The Primeval Period — (1.1-23) Adam to Abraham.

2. The Patriarchal Period — (I.- 24:ii.2) Abraham to Jacob.

3. The National Period — (II.3IX4) Posterity of Jacob’s Sons.

The Kings of Israel (x-xxix).

1. The Ruin of Saul (x).

2. The Reign of David

(a) His Companions (xi.-xii).

(b) His Course (xiii.-xvii).

(c) His Conflicts (xviii.-xx).

(d) His Chastening (xxi).

(e) His Charge (xxii).

(f) His classification of the People (xxiii.-xxvii).

(1) Levites (xxiii). (2) Priests (xxiv). (3) Singers (4) Porters (xx-vi). (5) Soldiers (xxvii.1-24). (6) Counsellors (xxvii.32-34). (7) Stewards (xxvii.25-31).

3. The Reign of David (xi-xxix.30)

(g) His Conclusion (xxviii.-xxix).

(1) Charge to Officers (xxviii.1-8).

(2) Charge to Solomon (xxviii.9-21)

(3) Charge to People (xxix.1-5).

(4) Concerning Giving (xxix.6-25).

(5) Consummation (xxix.26-30).

4. The Reign of Solomon :xxix.22b25). (II Chron. i-ix).

(a) Commencement — (i.1-13).

(b) Career — (i.14-ix 12).

(c) Close — (ix.13-31).

5. The Reigns of the Kinzgs of Judah (x.-xxxvi.21).