So, after traversing the historical rise and fall of Israel – from the weak King Saul, through the mighty establishment of the lineage of David/Solomon, and into the devastating cycles of sin/repentance that make up the past of the kingdoms of Israel/Judah – we end up with the sad state of a once promising group of people. Instead of becoming all that God had planned for them – their own sin and rebellion led them both into captivity – Israel to Assyria and Judah to Babylon. 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings give us the historical account of these generations. They provide us many details into what happened… how things went so array. But now, as we enter into 1-2 Chronicles… we must pause and take a brief look at how these next two books differ from what we have already seen.

Many people get confused when reading through these portions of Scripture. Their confusion comes about due to seeming contradictions in the two versions we have before us. There are accounts that we read in Kings (for instance) that will be slightly different when we read them in Chronicles (and vice verse). Typically, the differences are based upon the purpose of the writings themselves. Names and dates appear out of order (or even missing) not because the other version is wrong… but because they do not pertain to what is being said in that particular section.

To make this point clear – we need to understand some details about the Chronicles. The word “Chronicle” comes through the Hebrew word for “words of the days”… which was translated into Greek for “things omitted” in the Septuagint. As we discussed regarding 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles also was originally one book, divided into 2 separate books in latter years. The original Hebrew title of that book was literally the daily acts or occurrences, and was applied to the accounts of the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah. Just as in 1-2 Kings, the history accounted in Chronicles is not new, but covers many of the same situations we have already read about… with its purpose being very different.

While the books of Samuel and Kings followed a basic historically chronological order – the book of Chronicles largely ignores the sequential order of events. This is mainly because the first books are written of events from the perspective of man. What king did what… when did they do it… history from a human viewpoint. On the other hand, 1-2 Chronicles gives the same history from God’s point of view, pointing to the moral side and providing reasons behind why certain things transpired. The exact order of the events spoken about is not as important in Chronicles, instead opting to bring out causes or consequences for the purpose of comparison and contrast between records.

While 1-2 Kings provides an account of both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 1-2 Chronicles focuses entirely upon Judah and the line of King David. The reason for this is the same as has been previously stated; the focus of these books is what is happening behind the facts. Instead of the gross sin and war, we will deal with details that enforce the Covenant Promise between God and David (2 Sam 7 & 1 Chron 17). It is through David’s lineage (and the tribe of Judah) that the Messiah will eventually come – thus those groups will garner most of our attention in Chronicles.

With all of that said – perhaps we can understand why the first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles focus on what appears to be a “rehashing” of genealogies. Knowing the purpose – and taking a closer look – will reveal that this list seems to largely detail some parts with just a casual mention – while focusing in on the lineage of the future Messiah (such as the ignoring of Cain/Able for Seth… the listing of Noah’s sons – Japeth & Ham vs. the lineage of Shem… as well as the comparison between the listings for Esau and Jacob). In this genealogy, we see it mainly broken down into 3 section of 10 generations each… Adam to Noah (vs 1-4) … Shem to Abraham (vs 24-27)… with the final group taking us to the Babylonian exile.

So – as we read through these next 2 books… try to place yourself in God’s position – knowing the end from the beginning (as we now have through hindsight). Unlike Samuel and Kings, this book (presumed to be written by Isaiah and Ezra during the captivity years in Babylon) shows us the divine reasoning behind God’s dealing with Israel, as well as why David’s Kingdom was not allowed to continue. It is here we can see what was happening while other things were happening… all pointing us to Jesus.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,