I Chronicles

The two Books of Chronicles have much in common with the books of Samuel and Kings. They contain genealogical tables from Adam to the death of Saul, the reign of Solomon, the division of the kingdom, the Exile, and the proclamation of Cyrus.

Two key passages to look at in I Chronicles:

I Chronicles 17:11-14 -And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go
to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons;
and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.
I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from
him, as I took it from him who was before you. And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall
be established forever.
I Chronicles 29:11 – Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.

I Chronicles 17 is pivotal not only for the Book of Chronicles, but for the rest of the Scriptures as well as the Davidic covenant is recorded herein as well as in II Samuel 7. God promises David that He will “Establish him [David’s ultimate offspring, Jesus Christ] in my house and in my kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever” I Chronicles 17:14.

1. In the Hebrew Bible I & II Chronicles were originally one book. Both books cover the same period of Jewish history described in II Samuel through II Kings, but the perspective is different. Samuel and I and II Kings give a political history of Israel and Judah and are written from a prophetic and moral viewpoint.
I and II Chronicles present a religious history of the Davidic dynasty and are written from a priestly and spiritual perspective.
2. The genealogies in chapters 1-9 cover the time frame from Adam to David, and
chapters 10-29 focus on the 33 years of David’s rule over the United Kingdoms of Israel
and Judah (1004-971 B.C.)
3. The Chronicles are addressed to the returned remnant to Jerusalem from Babylon.
4. Ezra led some of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem in 457 B.C.
5. During Ezra’s time, Ezra is the SPIRITUAL leader, Nehemiah is the POLITICAL leader, and Malachi is the MORAL leader.

In order to give the returned remnant a divine perspective on the developments of their past, Chronicles retraces the whole story of Israel’s history up to the return from captivity. Like II Samuel, the whole book of I Chronicles is dedicated to the life of David.

There are two divisions to 1 Chronicles:

The Royal Line of David (1-9)

These nine chapters are the most comprehensive genealogical tables in the Bible. They trace the family tree of David and Israel as a whole, but in a highly selective manner. The genealogies place a disproportionate emphasis on the tribes of Judah and Benjamin because Chronicles is not concerned with the northern kingdom but with the southern kingdom and the Davidic dynasty. They show God at work in selecting and preserving a people for Himself from the beginning of human history to the period after the Babylonian exile.
The genealogies move from the patriarchal period (Adam to Jacob; 1:1 – 2:2) to the national period (Judah, Levi, and the other tribes of Israel; 2:3 – 9:44).
They demonstrate God’s keeping of His covenant promises in maintaining the Davidic line through the centuries.
The priestly perspective of Chronicles is evident in the special attention given to the tribe of Levi.

Reign of David (10-29)

Compared with II Samuel, David’s life in I Chronicles is seen from an entirely different light. This is clear from both the omissions and the additions.
Chronicles is written from a more positive perspective, emphasizing God’s grace and forgiveness, in order to encourage the Jews who have just returned from the captivity.

a. David’s struggles with Saul.
b. His seven-year reign in Hebron.
c. His various wives.
d. Absalom’s rebellion.
e. The event in 2 Samuel that hurt the rest of his life—his sin with Bathsheba.

a. David’s preparations for the temple.
b. Its worship service.

Only one chapter is given to Saul’s reign (10), because his heart was not right with God. David’s story begins with his coronation over all Israel after he has already reigned for seven years as king over Judah. Chronicles stresses David’s deep spiritual commitment, his courage, and his integrity. It also emphasizes his concern for the things of the Lord, including his return of the ark and his desire to build a temple for God.
God establishes His crucial covenant with David. (17) The kingdom is strengthened and expanded under his reign. (18-20) His sin in numbering the people is recorded to teach the consequences of disobeying God’s law.
Most of the rest of the book (22-29) is concerned with David’s preparations for the building of the temple and the worship associated with it.
The priestly perspective of Chronicles can be seen in the disproportionate space given to the temple and the priests. Although David is not allowed to build the temple (28:3), he designs the plans, gathers the materials, prepares the site and makes arrangements for the Levites, priests, choirs, porters, soldiers, and stewards. The book closes with his beautiful public prayer of praise and the accession of Solomon to the throne.

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