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: 11:1-12:40 David Anointed King of All Israel. Notice how often the phrase “all Israel” or something similar appears. Also notice how Israel chooses David. The struggles between Saul and David are not mentioned. David is king over all the tribes rather than just two tribes as 2 Samuel 2-5 tells the story. In the Chronicler’s telling, the capture of Jerusalem is the first thing David does, which reinforces Chronicles interest in establishing the importance of Jerusalem. In Chronicles, David also builds more than in Samuel. The list of the chiefs, here follows the list in 2 Samuel 23. Again consider why the list is given early in the story in Chronicles and late in the story in 2 Samuel. What impression is each author trying to give us?  Beginning at verse 18, recall this story from 1 Samuel 7:6.

Chapter 12 uses the technique of flashbacks to tell David’s story. Notice how in v1-7 we are back to the earlier days. Much of this chapter does not have parallels in Samuel. Notice the authors effort to show the extent of support for David. (You may wish to skim through some of 1 and 2 Samuel to compare the two ways the story is told. Also notice how much God’s favor is mentioned. Beginning in verse 39 notice, again, the unanimity of the tribes in proclaiming David king and the festivities that ensue.

Chapter 13:1-16:43 David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem: Remember that one of the Chronicler’s main interests is the establishment of proper worship. All of Israel is in favor of David’s idea to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. This telling of the story doesn’t mention how the Ark left Israel’s possession, other than it is somehow Saul’s fault. Verses 6-14 follow 2 Samuel 6:2-11, although Samuel tells the story as mostly a military event and in Chronicles it is primarily a religious event.

Chapter 14 David builds a house and his success is measured in terms of wives, children and his palace. Beginning with verse 8 there are two stories of battles with the Philistines. Notice the emphasis on God’s part in David’s success.

Chapter 15 David again tries to bring the Ark to Jerusalem: In the ancient Near East, Kings were expected to honor the God/gods who brought them success by supporting worship places. Chapters 15 and 16 add to what we know from 2 Samuel 6. In verses 1-24 David pays attention to the procedures that need to be followed in order to safely and successfully bring the Ark to Jerusalem. Much of this material is unique to Chronicles. Notice the importance of the Levites in transporting the Ark. Again notice how “all Israel” is involved. Seven bulls and seven rams are sacrifices (in 2 Sam 6:13 one ox and one fatling were sacrificed by David). Verse 29 is a much shorter version of the story of David and Michal (see 2 Samuel 6:16-23).

 B. 1:1-9:31 The Reign of Solomon

III. 2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27 The Divided Kingdom

A. 10:1-12:16 Rehoboam’s Checkered Reign

B  13:1-16:14 Trusting the True God in Times of Crisis


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.