1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles
• Author: Thought to be Ezra
• Date of writing: 450-400 BC
• Title: A chronicle is a historical record
Septuagent & Catholic Bible: Paralipomenon - the things omitted
• Purposes: - Give a sense of history
- Legitimize worship at the new temple
- Encourage unity of all Israel
- Show spiritual causes and effects
• Themes: - David and Solomon as types of Jesus
- The central importance of the Temple
• Key verses: 17:12-14 (compare to 2 Samuel 7:13-16)
He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne
forever. I will be his father and he will be my son. I will never take my love
away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over
my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.
Chronicles Presents a “Synoptic Problem”
• We have Samuel & Kings. Why do we need Chronicles?
– Why are there 4 gospels?
• Each author has different perspective, purpose & audience
• Each has unique material
– 57.8% of Chronicles unique. Averages 8½ more verses per king.
• Parallel material does not always seem to match
– Simplifications
• The coronation of Solomon
• One Gerasene man (Lk 8:26) or two Gaderene men (Mt 8:28)?
– Information that does not support purpose is omitted
• The sins of David and Solomon
• The Northern Kings
– Harmony is possible, although occasionally difficult
Is Chronicles Historical?
• Yes, it is historically accurate
– Used earlier documents
• Biblical sources: Ge, Sa, & Ki. Also Ex, Jo, Ju, Ru, Ps, Is, Jer, La, & Ze
• Other sources: Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel, Book of the Kings of Israel,
Book of the Annals of King David, Annotations on the Book of Kings, genealogical
records. Plus the writings of: Samuel the seer, Nathan the prophet, Gad the seer, Ahijah
the Shilonite, Iddo the seer, Shemaiah the prophet, the prophet Isaiah, and the seers.
– Contains no imaginary events, lies, or exaggerations
• Cites his sources
– Very carefully copied the text before him as shown by:
• Near word for word agreement on most parallel passages
• Lack of editorializing to synchronize names in genealogies
• But it isn’t meant to stand alone as historical document
– Idealizes David and Solomon -- not a balanced picture.
– Author assumes the reader is familiar with Samuel/Kings
• 1Ch 20:1-2 “…but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah
and left it in ruins. David took the crown from the head of their king…”
Why Study an Idealized History?
• I think of Chronicles as message- not a history
– A message has a point
• What can the returnees learn from their history?
– What can we learn today?
“Finally,brothers,whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Ph 4:8)
“As far as east is from west, so far has he removed
our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12)
A Comparison of the Returnees
with the People of Samuel/Kings
What They Lacked
• A Davidic king
• A nation
• The ark
• Their former tribal
lands & population
• Separation of Israel
and Judah
What They Still Had
• History
• Jerusalem & temple
• Law
• Prophets:
Haggai, Zechariah,
• Messianic Hope
Possible Concerns of Returnees
1. Did the Davidic promise fail? (Gen 49:10, 2 Sam 7:16)
Does it still have meaning for them?
2. Their glory is gone. Are they still God’s people?
3. What is their identity?
4. Does the covenant still have meaning when so
much of it doesn’t apply to the current situation?
5. How can the peoples of the Northern and Southern
tribes coexist?
6. Will Israel’s glory ever be restored?
Chronicles Encourages the Returnees
• Emphasizes what the still have:
– The Temple
– The Priesthood and Levites
– Prophets
– The commandments
• Emphasizes their heritage with genealogies
• Emphasizes unity of all Israel
Many lists of peoples from all of the 12 tribes
“All Israel” welcomed David as King, the Solomon
Notes migration of Israelites to Judah
Uses “Israel” inclusively. Skips the separate nation of Israel.
• Emphasizes the Messianic aspect of the Davidic promise
– Idealic portrait of David and Solomon is almost Mesianic
– Portrays types of the Prophet/Priest/King
– Offers hope
Outline of 1 Chronicles
Genealogies (ch 1-9)
Modern readers may find it tedious and fail to recognize
how significant and encouraging it was to the returnees
1½. Saul (ch 10)
David’s reign (ch 11-21)
Mostly parallels 2 Samuel
David’s preparations for the temple (ch 21-29)
Unique to Chronicles
David’s Reign (ch 11-21)
1. All Israel welcomes David
Skips 7 years at Hebron
Makes Jerusalem the capital
Recalls fugitive days: many warriors join him, even from Benjamin
2. Brings ark back to Jerusalem
Explains why first attempt failed, where as Samuel doesn’t:
It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke
out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.
Ark enters Jerusalem as David sings a psalm of thanks
3. David wants to build temple
God refuses, but promises to build David’s house:
I will raise up one of your offspring to succeed you…He is the one who will build a house
for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father and he will be my son.
I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will
set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.
David’s thankful prayer
4. David’s victories
5. Counts the fighting men
Only sin recorded: temple-related aspect outweighs idealic concern
David Prepares for the Temple (ch 21-29)
• Purchases the land
• Collects vast materials
• Instructs Solomon privately about succession and the temple
– Reminds him of the key verse
– Tells him to “be strong and courageous” for the task
• Organizes Levites,priests,gatekeepers,singers,treasurers,officials
• Instructs Solomon publicly
• Gives Solomon the temple blueprints
“All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me and
he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.”
– Parallels exist between Moses/Joshua & David/Solomon
• Encourages more contributions, by example
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as
this? Everything comes from you and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
• David dies and Solomon is made king
Lessons Learned
• My identity as one of God’s people
– The lineage of the people of God stretches back to Seth and
continued even through judgment and exile.
– God is always working through his remnant
• Imitate David’s good qualities
– His concern for the worship of God and zeal to serve God by
building a temple
– His concern for Israel
“I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they
done? O LORD my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this
plague remain on your people.”
– His generosity toward God
• God is faithful to all of his promises
– He was not finished with his down-trodden people
– He will keep his promise to David, to establish the throne of the
Son of David forever