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
IV. 2 Chronicles 29:1-36:23 The Reunited Kingdom
A. 29:1-32:23 Hezekiah Attains Royal Potential: This is the fourth and last section. 1 Chron 1-9 was the genealogical introduction. 1 Chron. 10-2 Chron.9 was the history of the united monarchy of David and Solomon with the Jerusalem temple and Israel unified. 2 Chron. 10-28 tells of the divided monarchy. Now Hezekiah repairs the Temple, re institutes appropriate worship and invites the North to join in celebrating Passover. In the previous telling of history, Josiah was the reforming king. In Chronicles, Hezekiah is the reforming king who restores unity and proper religious actions. Watch for the ways both David and Solomon are evoked to tell us about Hezekiah.
29:1-36 Purification and Re dedication of the Temple:In 28:24 Ahaz “shut up the doors of the house of the Lord”. In 29:3 Hezekiah “opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them”. In verses 4-19 the Temple is cleaned. In verses 20-30 the sanctuary and alter are rededicated. Notice that atonement is made for “all Israel” in verse 24. In verses 31-36 regular worship is resumed. Notice the mentions of David.
30:1-31:1 Passover: All of Israel and Judah are invited to celebrate Passover. “From Beer-sheba to Dan” (v5) suggests the ideal of Israel as it was in Solomon’s time.The Passover is celebrated. Hezekiah’s prayer (v18-20) recalls Solomon’s great prayer. As with Solomon’s feast of dedication, this celebration lasts for 14 days.
31:2-21 Provisions for Worship: Hezekiah restores the divisions of the priests and Levites as described by David and instituted by Solomon. (1 Chron 22:23-26; 29:2-5;2 Chron 8:14) Like David, Hezekiah contributes to the Temple and so also, do the people. Hezekiah also makes sure the tithes, contributions and offerings are properly stored and cared for. Verses 20-21 give a summary of Hezekiah’s reforms.
32:1-33 Sennacherib’s invasion: Now we have a much shorter telling of political matters. The author of 2 Kings spent chapters 18-20 telling this story. The story in Kings includes Hezekiah’s surrender, his foreign alliances and the stripping of the Temple. The story in Chronicles emphasizes the importance of prayer and reliance upon God. Recall that for the author of Chronicles, building projects and large armies (v 2-6) are seen as signs of blessing. Verse 21 tells of God’s deliverance of Hezekiah and this people. In verse 22 and 23, “rest” and tribute from other nations are signs of God’s favor.
Beginning with verse 24 we learn that Hezekiah was not without flaws. Hezekiah is miraculously healed but does not respond properly. Wrath “comes upon” the king and his people. Hezekiah, like David (1 Chron 21:8,17) and Rehoboan (2 Chron12:7), and unlike Uzziah (2 Chron 26:16-21) humbles himself and God’s wrath is averted.
Verses 27-33 summarize Hezekiah’s reign. Remember that wealth and building projects are seen as signs of God’s favor and blessing for the Chronicler.
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.