"…who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…" 1 Chronicles 12:32
Who Wrote Chronicles?
Ezra compiled and edited the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, drawing from the official histories and archives: "The Chronicles of King David"; the Book of Samuel, the Book of Nathan, the Prophesy of Ahijah, the Book of the Kings of Israel, the Vision of Isaiah the Prophet, and other annals. Ezra had access to journals, diaries and public records, which are now not available.
What is the Difference Between Kings and Chronicles?
1 and 2 Kings give a parallel account of both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, Chronicles focuses primarily on the southern kingdom.
Three Sections of Chronicles
1: 1 Chron. 1 – 9, lists the genealogies.
2: 1 Chron. 10 – 2 Chron. 9, presents the story of the United Kingdom under King David and his son Solomon.
3: 2 Chron. 10 – 36, the story of Judah in the time of the divided kingdom.
Why So Much Attention to Genealogies?
Under the old Covenant land was apportioned to families and could not be sold in perpetuity. It was to remain within the family. The priesthood was also hereditary, according to families. Similarly, the kingly line was to come from the ancestry of David. The emphasis on genealogies in the Bible shows that an important part of our identity is who our parents and ancestors were. Who we marry will affect future generations, for eternity.
Who Are the Main Characters?
The central character of 1 Chronicles is King David. The central characters in 2 Chronicles: King Solomon, King Asa, King Jehoshaphat, King Joash, King Hezekiah and King Josiah.
Reformations and Revivals
There are five great periods of Reformation and spiritual Revival recorded in 2 Chronicles. King Asa (Ch. 15), Jehoshaphat (Ch. 17), Joash (Ch. 23), Hezekiah (Ch. 29 - 31), and Josiah (Ch. 34 – 35). In each of these times of Reformation, there was a return to studying and applying the Law of God to every area of life. Idols were destroyed, immorality repented of, prostitutes banished from the land, pornographic Asherah poles demolished, Baal alters (where babies had been sacrificed) destroyed. Decisive action was taken to confront sin in both hearts and society. These times of earnestly seeking God's face were followed with spiritual Revival.
The Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the worship of the Lord are central in Chronicles. David's capture of Jerusalem, transporting the Ark to Jerusalem, the preparation for building of the Temple, and the dedication of the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, are given much attention in Chronicles.
If My People
After the dedication of the Temple, the Lord appeared to Solomon and instructed him: "When I shut up Heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
When any natural or man-made disaster occurs, then God's instruction to His people is to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek His face, and to turn from our wicked ways. Only then does He promise to hear our prayer, to forgive our sin and to heal our land.
Sin is Serious
Chronicles makes clear that God always gives His people warning before He brings judgement upon them for what they know is wrong. Sin is serious. Everything has consequences. Jerusalem fell and the Temple was destroyed because of persistent immorality and idolatry.
"Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God." 1 Chronicles 22:19
Jesus in Chronicles
Jesus Christ is the son of David, Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords. He has a greater Kingdom than that of Solomon, Christ has greater wisdom. He is greater than the Temple. He is a greater High Priest. He is the Eternal Judge.
"O give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His Holy Name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvellous works which He has done, His wonders and the judgments of His mouth." 1 Chronicles 12:8-12
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa