Reading the Bible Together – 1 Chronicles

May 2018

– The book we are reading this month is the first book of Chronicles, which is the 13th book of the Old Testament.

This will be the 42nd book of the Bible we will have read, since commencing this initiative over three years ago in October 2015. (We have actually read Matthew and Joshua twice!) . There are a total of 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

We will review this month’s book at  our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Thursday 7th June 2018.

Introduction to the First Book of Chronicles

“As for you my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

“Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” 1 Chronicles 28:10

Author – Ezra (According to Tradition)

Date – From 4004-536 BC Approximately

Theme – The reign of King David

Types and Shadows – In Chronicles Jesus is the builder of the house of God

Summary of the Book of 1 Chronicles

Ch.1-9 – Genealogical tables from Adam to the time of Ezra.

Ch. 10-29 – The dual history of King Saul and King David (in connection with the book of Samuel).

Outline of the Book of 1 Chronicles

I – Genealogical Matters (1 Chronicles 1-9)

These genealogies begin with Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1) and are brought up to the time of the writer (1 Chronicles 9). It is surprising to note the large number of historical incidents mentioned in connection with the individuals named in these lists. Many of these are taken from other Old Testament scripture, but some find their origin elsewhere (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10, 38-43).

2 – The Reign of David (1 Chronicles 10 -29)

  • The last days and death of Saul and the early reign of David (1 Chronicles 10-12).
  • The return of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13-16). Included in this section is the account of the misfortune of Uzzah, who was killed when he reached forth to save the ark from falling (1 Chronicles 13).
  • David purposes to build the temple but is forbidden because of the great amount of bloodshed to which he has been a party (1 Chronicles 17).
  • The account of David’s conquests (1 Chronicles 18-20).
  • The census and the plague (1 Chronicles 21).
  • David’s preparations for building the temple (1 Chronicles 22). Although David was himself forbidden to build a temple for God, he set about to collect the necessary materials for such a temple so that the task of his son Solomon might be easier.
  • Designation of the duties of the Levites (1 Chronicles 23).
  • Organization of the government (1 Chronicles 24).
  • David’s last words and his death (1 Chronicles 28-29).

The English version of the Bible places the books of Chronicles after Kings, but in the Hebrew text they are placed at the very end of the Old Testament. The books of Chronicles were originally one book, as in the case of Samuel and Kings. The Hebrew title is translated the “words of the days”, yet the word Chronicles is mainly adopted by a theologian named Jerome who thought that they ought to bear the title from the Greek word for time which is “Chronos”. This title created a distraction from the true meaning and purpose of this wonderful book. The main purpose of Chronicles was to form a genealogical description of the 12 tribes of Israel from the earliest recorded time. This was very important considering that there was a mixed multitude that had returned from Babylon, and it was also important to determine the lineage of Judah, and to re-establish the functions and order in which each individual tribe was required to perform.

The author of Chronicles has a fervent desire to make the people of Israel aware of the true glory of their kingdom, realizing that it traces back to David and Solomon. There is nothing that would impress upon them a greater understanding than taking them back through a detailed history of their kingdom, with all of its glory and prosperity and also the horrible sin that led to the captivity and the downfall of the theocracy. The author of Chronicles had a constant focus on the Temple which had been destroyed and the dynasty of King David. There is hardly any mention of the northern kingdom of Israel; it is mainly concerned with Judah and the events in connection with King David, and the building of the Temple. Solomon is not necessarily a huge focus other than his preparations for building the Temple and its dedication. The worship of the Temple is paramount and the functions of the Levites as well. The Kings of Judah are stressed with great importance as well as the idolatry that seduced the people of God.

Hebrew tradition credits Ezra as the author of the books of Chronicles. The beginning of the books trace the genealogical records all the way back to Adam which took place in approximately 4004 BC. The book concludes with the Jews in Babylon after the captivity.

More information can be found HERE


Short illustrated summary of Chronicles

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