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.
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 reign of Solomon is presented as two parts, each part begins with the king organizing an assembly of all the nation to worship and a theophany where Solomon’s prayer is answered. 5:2-9:31 is the second half of Solomon’s reign. The first part concerned the construction and furnishing of the Temple. Now for the second part:
5:2-7:22 The Dedication of the Temple:
5:2-6:2 Solomon’s placing of the Ark in the Temple is modeled after David’s bringing the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13-16). There is a national gathering, sacrifices, music, and a blessing. As when the tabernacle was dedicated in Exodus 40:34-38, God’s presence is signified by a cloud. In 6:2 Solomon formally “gives” the Temple to God.
6:3-7:3 : Verses 3-11 recall God’s promises. Verses 12-42 are Solomon’s prayer of dedication and explains how the Temple functions in the relationship between God and Israel. (1 Kings 8:22-53 is followed closely here) Notice in verse 12 -13 that Solomon does not stand in the inner court with the priests, but with the regular people. Also notice that Solomon kneels to pray. Notice that Solomon’s prayer focuses on prayer and forgiveness. Seven different scenarios are presented. Notice in verse 32-33 that even foreigners are able to call upon the name of God. In 7:1-3 fire comes down from heaven and the glory of the Lord fills the Temple. Remember other times in Scripture when this has happened. Notice how connections are made between the Tabernacle and the Temple by Solomon’s words and God’s actions. Also notice how often God’s love is proclaimed in this section. Often Christians fail to recognize the presence of God’s love and it’s importance in the Old Testament.
7:4-22 The Temple’s dedication is concluded with sacrifice and music and trumpet blasts. There is a week of dedication and then the celebration of the Fest of Tabernacles. (Lev 23:34-36,39_43; Num 29:15-38). In verse 7:12 the theophany begins. Notice the emphasis on prayer, sacrifice and repentance. The “you” in verse 19 is plural meaning both the people and the king.
The dedication of the Temple gives us a summary of the Chronicler’s theology. What does it tell us? Are your surprised?
What have you learned about the Temple and how it functioned in Israel’s life? Does this help you understand why the Temple was so important in the New Testament? Do you understand it’s use as a spiritual metaphor better?
8:1-16 Completion of the Temple: Solomon’s other achievements are listed. Buildings signify blessing for the author.The author is careful to tell us that no Israelites were slaves laborers. What do you think about verse 11 and Solomon’s wife? Is the problem a woman’s ritual impurity or that she was foreign? Solomon continues David’s scheme of organization and maintains proper sacrifice.
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.