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
II. 1 Chronicles 9:35- 2 Chronicles 9:31 The Reigns of David and Solomon
III. 2 Chronicles 10:1-28:27 The Divided Kingdom
A. 10:1-12:16 Rehoboam’s Checkered Reign
B 13:1-16:14 Trusting the True God in Times of Crisis
C. 17:1-21:1a Jehoshaphat Chooses and Loses the Lord’s Presence
D. 21:1b-23:21 The Threat to the Dynasty Averted:
21:1-22:1 Jehoram. Jehoshaphat dies and his son Jehoram rules. Jehoram is the first king to have a completely negative portrayal in Chronicles. A letter from the prophet Elijah is preceded by two rebellions and follower by two rebellions. And framing the rebellions is the authors appraisal (v 6-7) of Jehoram’s reign and the judgments of God and the people (v17-19). The letter from Elijah does not appear in Kings. This is the first time Elijah appears in the book of Chronicles.
22:2-9 Ahaziah. Ahaziah is Jehoahaz of 21:17. The evil influence of Ahab from the Northern Kingdom continues.
22:10-23:21 Athaliah: Athaliah was the mother of Ahaziah and the granddaughter of Omri. Omri’s son was Ahab. The alliance of Jehoshaphat with Ahab is still causing troubles and threatens the the Davidic dynasty. Athaliah tries to eliminate all of the royal household but Jehoshabeath hides Joash. A revolt that involves essentially everyone succeeds. In this version ( as contrasted with Kings) Jehoshabeath is the wife of Jehoiada the priest who leads the coup against Athaliah. Also the involvement of the priests and Levites is larger in this version of the story. A priest and the people restore proper worship and the proper king.
24:1-27 Joash: Joash’s reign is told in a similar style to that used to describe Rehoboam and Asa- there is a period of success followed by decline. Verses 1-14 tell us about “faithful” Joash. (In Kings his name is Jehoash) In verse 5 the is an unusual critical observation about the Levites. The story of the collection of funds for the Temple and its repair echo the story in 1 Chronicles about David’s collection for the Temple. Notice that the priest Jehoiada is written about in a manor similar to one of the kings. Also note that after his death, Joash becomes influenced by other priests and falls away from faithfulness. Jehoiada’s death is not described in Kings. In verses 17-27 Joash does not listen to prophets and even kills the son of Jehoiada. Then they are invaded by a small Syrian army and Joash is killed by his own servants.
E. 24:1-26:23 How to Lose the Race in Three Lessons
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.