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:
9:1-12 The Queen of Sheba visits: Even the Queen of Sheba recognizes Solomon’s wisdom is due to God.
9:13-29 Solomon’s wealth and wisdom:Almost all of chapter 9 comes from 1 Kings 9:26-10:29. Why would it have been important to describe Solomon’s wealth in such detail? In Chronicles, Solomon’s unfaithfulness to God (1 Kings 11) is not mentioned. I Kings is critical of Solomon’s marriages to foreign women. Some believe that the author of Chronicles- in contrast to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah- does not consider religious intermarriage to be a problem. K Kings 11 also says that Solomon, persuaded by his foreign wives did not follow God. The author of Chronicles evidently doesn’t believe this happened and that Solomon fulfilled what God required for the kingship to continue.
III. 2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27 The Divided Kingdom: Now the third section of the history told in Chronicles begins.
A. 10:1-12:16 Rehoboam’s Checkered Reign: Notice the role that prophecy plays in Rehoboam’s reign.
10:1-19 The King who would not listen. Notice again the mention of “all Israel” All Israel arrives to make Rehoboam king but first they have a question for him. Rehoboam doesn’t listen to the elders, but does listen to bad advice from the young men. The result being that Israel leaves without crowning Rehoboam and his attempt at forced labor results in rebellion.
11:1-23 Strength from Listening: Rehoboam listens to Shemaiah and does not go to war against Jeroboam. The priests and Levites leave Israel and move to Judah because Jeroboam will not allow the priests to do their duties to God. Remember that in Chronicles, building projects are an indication of God’s blessing which is the result of obedience.
12:1-16 Failure and a Fresh Start: Rehoboam appears to have forgotten that God is the one granting him wealth and power.So the king of Eypt attacks. Rehoboam escapes defeat by humbling himself before God. Israel is not destroyed but does become a vassal state to Shishak of Egypt.There are consequences for Rehoboam’s actions but the is still hope.
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.