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
B. 1:1-9:31 The Reign of Solomon: The story of Solomon’s reign as told here is in two parallel parts. 1:1-5:1 and 5:2-9:31. Each half begins with a national assembly to worship and a night time theophany where a prayer of Solomon is answered. The sanctuary in the first part is the old sanctuary at Gibeon and the sanctuary in the second part is the new Temple in Jerusalem.
1:1-17 Seeking God and Receiving Blessing: Solomon’s reign is described as successful and obedient. Solomon’s first act as king was to seek the Lord.Notice how the sanctuary at Gibeon is given legitimacy by recalling Moses’ actions. (Compare this telling to 1 Kings 3:2-3 which is more apologetic about this event).Notice also that “all Israel” and “the whole assembly” are present. Recall also that seeking the Ark was the first thing David did as king. (1 Chronicle 13:3) In verse 4 we are given a preview of the changes to come with the reference to the Ark an Jerusalem. Verses 7-12 are the theophany and Solomon’s request. In Kings the focus is on Solomon’s wisdom, here the focus is on his wealth (verses 14-17).
2:1-18 Preparing for the Temple: Solomon’s recruitment of workers is similar to David’s in 1 Chr 22:2. From 1 Chronicles we were told David provided much material for the Temple, but now verse 9 tells us even more is needed. Verses 3-6 are Solomon’s message to Hiram but also serve to link David and Solomon, remind us of the purpose of the Temple( worship and not a house for God) and to tell us that because Israel’s God is greater than any other god, Israel’s God deserves a great temple. But no matter how wonderful the Temple is, it falls short. Hiram’s response is also theologically based. Hiram praises Israel’s God and David and Solomon. Solomon’s letter and Hiram’s response is consistent with Hiram being a vassal of Solomon.
3:1-5:1 Building the Temple: This version of the building of the Temple is about half as long as the version in 1 Kings 6-7. Notice the repetition “he made”. The chapter begins by recalling David. For the modern reader, the size and details of the Temple may not be compelling reading. But what is your impression of the Temple based on this reading?
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.