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

16:4-43 Praise and Worship:This is the conclusion of the story of the installation of the Ark in Jerusalem. In verses 4-6 and 37-42, the prose sections, David appoints the people for choral music and then the where and what they do is explained. Notice in verse 39 the mention of the tabernacle in Gibeon and the regular offerings along with the persons serving there.This is significant because in 2 Chr 1:2-6 Solomon will offer sacrifices there. The Ark is in Jerusalem and we are told who ministers there also.

Verses 8-43 is a hymn made up of three Psalms. Verses 8-22 are from Ps 105:1-15. Psalm 105 talks about the God’s saving actions toward Israel. Verses 23-33 are from Psalm 96,celebrates God’s kingship. Verses 34-36 are from Psalm 106:1,34-36 a lament that praises God for past actions and offers hope for Israel. There are some changes in wording between these verses in Chronicles and the Psalms that reflect that Chronicles is describing the time before the Temple was build. But also remember that Chronicles was written for a post exile community.How would using the psalms in this place in the story of David affect the Chronicler’s audience?

17:1-27 God”s Promise to David. This chapter is one of the points about which the book of Chronicles revolves. In verses 1-15 we have the story of Nathan’s oracle to David. Verses 1-2 are David’s plan, verses 3-15 are God’s response and verses 16-27 are David’s prayer. There is a word play in Hebrew which is lost in English. the word “Bayit” can be translated house or palace or temple or dynasty. David is to be the one to secure the land and Solomon the one to build the Temple. David responds with prayer, verses 16-19 are gratitude, verses 20-22 are praise for what God has done and verses 23-27 are a petition. It was typical for someone given divine revelation and/or mission to respond in disparaging terms about oneself, “Who am I…”

What do you think about the fact that Nathan initially gives wrong advice to David and is corrected by God? God (and Nathan and David for that matter) doesn’t seem upset that Nathan gave incorrect advice at first.

18:1-20:8 David’s Wars: This is a summary of fifteen chapters in 2 Samuel. Information about David’s personal life has been left out. No story of adultery, or the rebellion of Abaslom or the birth of Solomon. This is a description of David’s military role and defeat of enemies. The section begins and ends with the defeat of the Philistines. The word “hikka” occurs in 18:1,2,3,5,9,10,12; 20:1,4,5,7. It can be translated as “attack”, “defeat”, and “kill”. Allen suggests the old term “smite” in the King James version helps preserve the sense of repetition that was present in the Hebrew (414). Notice in this section also, that the spoils of war are dedicated to the Temple and to God. Also notice that God is given the ultimate credit for David’s victories. There is also the Chronicler’s emphasis on “all Israel” in 18:14.

Now that the land is secure, the next chapters will focus on the Temple.

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.