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First Book of Chronicles

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Back to the Second Book of Kings | List of Books | Forward to the Second Book of Chronicles
The First Book of Chronicles is a book of Israel's History

The First Book of Chronicles or First Chronicles is the thirteenth book of the Old Testament and thus the Bible. The First Book of Chronicles begins with a detailed documentation of ancestry of biblical persons, leading up to David. From there First Chronicles describes the accounts of David. In First Chronicles a different perspective, as well as several details not mentioned in 2nd Samuel and first kings are written, connecting the three sets of books.


Authorship

Author

While certainty about it's authorship is not truly known, it is possibly Ezra. This is reasonable, because in his book Ezra has meticulous records concerning governmental officials and genealogy, much like First Chronicles. In addition the Book of Ezra contains historical accounts, that the records support. There is also much focus on the Temple in both books; in First Chronicles the preparation, fundraising and early planning of the Temple, while in Ezra it's reconstruction.

It is feasible that Ezra wrote First Chronicles, because it was written after the exile[1][2]. Regardless the whoever the author was, it would have been written after the exile.

First Chronicles originally was written into one book merged with Second Chronicles.

Sources

Compared to most books of the Bible, First Chronicles relies heavily, if not entirely on other sources for its information. First Chronicles was written hundreds of years after the events documented in the book, making it very unlikely that it is a primary or secondary source; rather a tertiary or quaternary source.

Much of the content was either paraphrased or copied directly from Second Samuel. Not only were phrases directly copied, but often entire chapters. The copied chapters are usually entirely identical, but sometimes have a very small added note- usually specifying a certain individual, or genealogical fact that 2nd Samuel did not have. First Chronicles also has information that is original to the Bible in its historical documentation. Sometimes this information is even inserted between chapters or in the middle of sections of Second Samuel's chronology.

Many of the genealogical records were copied from the Book of Kings of Israel and Judah[2], since the record refers to there being a source genealogy[3][4] many times. The Book of Kings of Israel and Judah would have been a non-Biblical book, because the First and Second Book of Kings do not contain any genealogy. These genealogical sources would have been authored over time, oftentimes by the royal scribe[5].

The records towards the end of the book concerning government workers, specifically the military divisions were sourced from the Annals of King David[6]. Due to David's sin in asking for a census of soldiers under twenty, the numbers could not be entered[7].

Some of the information was obtained from documents recorded by the prophets Samuel, Nathan, and Gad[8], but this could be a reference to the books of First and Second Samuel. .

Purpose

Yet, despite First Chronicles borrowing information from Second Samuel, it has a separate reason for being written. Second Samuel was written as a primary/secondary account about the reign of David, while Chronicles was written as tertiary/repetitive account of David's reign to remind Israel of its era of power.

First Chronicles contains many records and genealogy while Second Chronicles does not. The goal of these records was to trace lineage of post-exile Jews to their Israelite ancestry, reminding them of being God's chosen people and the authenticity of their ancestor's work. First Chronicles also shows the power of the Nation of Israel, under the reign of King David, both through the historical accounts and the records; the records show the power of the government, the Office of King, the Levitical Priesthood and the military all through listing the roles and amounts of the workers.

First Chronicles also gives the early plans and thoughts about the Temple. In its records it mentions officials who worked in the Temple[9], giving reminder that Solomon had constructed it. It also mentions in the context of David's triumph over other nations that Solomon had used bronze, David had raided in building the Sea of Bronze[10]. Furthermore the Davidic covenant recorded in the book (copied from Second Samuel) is an early example of the desire to build the Temple[11], but David is told that his son would build it instead[12]. Furthermore Chronicles records David's military census, which lead to David building an altar where the Temple would one day be built.

First Chronicles also has an original copy of the account in the twenty-second chapter, which details the early fundraising and acquisition of materials by David for his son to build. The actual construction of the Temple would be detailed in both Second Kings and in Second Chronicles, which is the sequel to First Chronicles. If indeed Ezra wrote the book, then the Book of Ezra would serve as the third book in the "trilogy" on the history of the Temple.


Genre

Records

Genealogy

First Chronicles has as an extensive amount of genealogy, tracking various family records. The genealogy starts with summaries of early ancestry such as Adam, Noah, Abraham and Jacob, but mainly focuses on that of the Israelite tribes. Specific genealogy traces from Judah to David and his family line.

Verses

  1. 1 Chr 3:17-24; 5:6,22; 6:15; 9:2 (Link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 1 Chr 9:1
  3. 1 Chr 7:2,5,40; 8:28;9:9,34 (Link)
  4. 1 Chr 4:41, 5:1 (Link)
  5. 1 Chr 24:6 (Link)
  6. 1 Chr 27:24 (Link)
  7. 1 Chr 27:23 (Link)
  8. 1 Chr 29:29 (Link)
  9. 1 Chr 6:10, 32; 9:2,28,33 (Link)
  10. 1 Chr 18:8 (Link)
  11. 1 Chr 17:1 (Link)
  12. 1 Chr 17:12 (Link)



Start a Discussion Discussions about First Book of Chronicles

  • June 2016- First Book of Chronicles

    2 messages
    • For June of 2016 we will be reading the First Book of Chronicles. 1st Chronicles has 29 chapters and so one chapter can be read a day with one...
    • For some reason I always liked the Chronicles better, even though most of our Bible readings in school on David were from 1st and 2nd Samuel. 

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