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
21:1-22:19 Temple Site and Builder Announced;
21:1-22:1 Discovery of the Temple Site by Grace: Notice that the site of the Temple is revealed as the result of David’s wrongful actions. What do you think about this connection between human sinfulness and the holy Temple? The telling of this story in 2 Samuel doesn’t mention Satan. In 2 Samuel it is the anger of the Lord which causes David to sin. What theological implications are there for either way the story is told? We might wonder why taking a census was considered a sin. Scholars suggest that a census indicated a lack of trust in God as the one who gave victory. In the previous chapters, David has given God the credit for his military successes. Verses 8-14 tell that David was given a choice of punishments after he repents. David chooses direct punishment from God rather than punishment via humans. Next there is the description of the actions of the angel and David culminating in the angel telling David to build an alter on the threshing floor. Notice in verse 26 that God answers David’s prayer with fire from heaven. Verses 21:28-22:1 give reasons why the Temple was built where it was, rather than at Gibeon . The presence of an angel prevents David from going there.
22:2-19 Solomon’s Mandate to Build; Verses 2-5:David, while not able to actually build the Temple does provide materials for it. Verses 6-19 contain a private commissioning of Solomon. The public commissioning with be in chapter 28. There are parallels between this exchange between David and Solomon and the commissioning of Joshua by Moses. Both call for courage, describe the new task and both offer assurance of God’s help. The entry into the promised land and the building of the Temple are linked by the way this section is told. Why do you think that is important?
23:1-29:30 Preparing Personnel for the Temple:
23:1-32 Organization and Duties of the Levites: The phrase “old and full of years/days” has been used previously for Abraham, Isaac and Job. David makes Solomon king. The rest of the chapter gives us lists of divisions of the Levites and their duties. The counting of the Levites, unlike the counting of the military, does not appear to cause a problem for David. This list is probably from the time after the exile (rather than David’s time) because the used of Levites as gatekeepers and singers developed after the exile.
24:1-31 The Divisions of Priests and Levites: The priests are divided into divisions which creates a system of rotational Temple service. This method lasted through the time of the Second Temple. Again this more likely reflects the post exilic time but is credited to David. Beginning at verse 20 a similar listing of Levites is given.
25:1-31 Temple Musicians: Now we have the divisions of musicians. Notice the linkage of music and prophecy. What do you think about this?
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.