1 & 2 CHRONICLES

GENERAL FACTS ABOUT THE BOOKS OF CHRONICLES

Like Kings, Chronicles was originally only one book but was divided into two in the Septuagint translation. The word “chronicle” means “a historical record” or “annal.” The books of Chronicles are a historical record from Adam to the end of the Babylonian Captivity. One half of the pages of Chronicles are devoted to the reigns of David and Solomon and most of the remaining pages are devoted to the kings of Judah. We do not know the author of Chronicles. Jewish tradition says that the prophet Ezra was the author. Whoever the author was, he perhaps wrote the books about 400 B.C. after the time of the Captivity.

PURPOSE AND THEME

The people after the Captivity needed to know their history so that they could learn lessons from the past. If they were to build new God-pleasing lives, they would have to know the tragedies that their fathers’ idolatry brought and the blessings of faithfulness to the Lord. The history lesson of Chronicles dare not be lost on us either. The Holy Spirit has preserved the inspired book for us so that we may be preserved from setting our hearts on evil things and test our faithful Lord. (See 1 Corinthians 10:66ff) The theme of Chronicles can be taken from its own words in 2 Chronicles 15:21b: “The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”

COMPARING KINGS AND CHRONICLES

The writer of Chronicles repeats many of the same records that are found in Kings and 2 Samuel. But there are also differences between Kings and Chronicles. First, at the time of the Divided Kingdom the author of Chronicles follows only the line of the kings of Judah and ignores the kings of the Northern Kingdom. Kings presents both lines of kings. Secondly,Chronicles gives us many details that are not recorded in Kings.

GENERAL OUTLINE OF THE BOOKS OF CHRONICLES

1. A Genealogy From Adam to after the Exile (1 Chron. 1-9)2. The Reign of David (1 Chron. 10-29)3. The Reign of Solomon (2 Chron. 1-9)4. The History of Judah to its Fall (2 Chron. 10-36) Note that 1 Chronicles has 29 chapters, and 2 Chronicles has 36 chapters.

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