A prayer to use before reading from the Book of Common Worship:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
You will find and introduction and outline to Chronicles here.
An Outline of First and Second Chronicles ( from Allen)
I. 1 Chronicles 1:1-9:34 Israel: Elect and Inclusive, Unfaithful but Restored
A. 1:1-2:2 Israel’s Election
B. 2:3-9:1 A Panorama of Pre-exile Israel
C. 9:2-34 Israel’s Restoration in Principle
II. 1 Chronicles 9:35- 2 Chronicles 9:31 The Reigns of David and Solomon
A 9:35-29:30 The Reign of David
26:1-32 Temple Security and Secular Assignments: The are three lines of gatekeepers, from Korah, Oded-edom and Merari. The east gate was the most important gate (also known as the king’s gate) and so had the greatest number of guards. The “storehouse” is a temple treasury. The temple gatekeepers functioned like security police but part of the security work was religious. They made sure unclean people did not enter the temple grounds. Beginning at verse 20 we have the description of “other Levites” who work outside of the Temple. There are two types of temple treasuries. One type stored sacred vessels and the sacrificial materials (flour, wine and oil). The other treasury was a bank/museum. Temples in the ancient world contained valuable articles that had been collected over time; for example spoils of war.
27:1-34 Lay Leaders: There are four lists in this chapter, two that concern Israel’s tribes and two associated with the king. The names of the divisional leaders here are related to the list in 11:11-31 of David’s prominent warriors. The list of tribal leaders in v 16-22 comes from David’s census. These verses do not suggest that David was wrong to take the census, and in fact followed Torah by not counting men under 20. (Num 1:3). Here, as in chapter 21, Joab began the census but did not finish it due to God’s wrath. The last two lists, v25-31 and v32-34 are considered historically reliable.
28:1-21 Solomon’s Renewed Mandate to Build the Temple: In chapter 22 David privately tells Solomon he is to build the Temple but now Solomon is publicly charged with the task. David’s speech recaps themes from chapters 17 and 22.Notice how all that has happened has been God’s idea, and the result of God’s actions. Notice the important role obedience plays. David hands over the plans and encourages Solomon. Notice that here, David has done essentially everything but physically build the Temple. David designed the plans (under God’s direction) and provides the materials.
29:1-30 David’s Public Appeal and Prayer of Praise: David appeals for contributions to the Temple and the people respond. This recalls what happened in Exodus 35:4-9 when Moses asked the people for contributions for the building of the Tabernacle. In verses 10-19 David thanks and praises God and asks for God’s continued help. In verses 20-22 the people worship and offer sacrifices. In verses 22-25 Solomon is made king. This is a “second” ceremony, perhaps the chronicler felt that the ceremony in 1 kings 1:38-40 was not sufficient. In this telling of the story, Solomon has the support of all the sons of David. Is the author summarizing the longer story of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings by which Solomon gains their support? Or is the author giving us a different version of events? Verses 26-30 summarize David’s reign.
What do these chapters, from 21 to 29 tell us about David (and Solomon)? Do you find it interesting that the building of the Temple in chapters 28-29 has as much or more emphasis than the enthronement of Solomon? What is the chronicler telling us by the way the story is told? How might a defeated and exiled people read this book?
Read More About It:
Here are several good sources to aid your reading of 1 and 2 Chronicles
Allen, Leslie C. “The First and Second Books of Chronicles: ” in The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol 3, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 1999.
Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.
Knoppers, Gary N.”1 Chronicles” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, Fully Revised 4 th Edition, Michael Cougan, ed. (New York:Oxford University Press) 2010.
Stinespring, William F. and Burke O. Long “1 Chronicles” and “2 Chronicles” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books Metzger, Bruce M., Roland E. Murphy, eds.(New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.
Throntveit, Mark A. “I Chronicles” and “2 Chronicles” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.