Judah had watched as Assyria captured the
last Israel in 722 B.C. In 586 B.C., when the Babylonian besieged Jerusalem for
the third and final time, Judah lost her temple and the city of David, bringing
the reign of the sons of David to a halt. All seemed lost. Judah was held
captive for 70 years. Then a Persian king, Cyrus, sent out a decree telling the
exiles they could return and rebuild Jerusalem and their temple.
But if they did, could they be assured that
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be with them? Had He abandoned His
people and His promise to Abraham because of their sin? Would the northern and
southern kingdoms ever be united again? Would God still send Messiah? Would
David have a descendant who would sit on the throne of David forever?
And the temple? Between the time of Solomon
and the Babylonian captivity, king after king had neglected it or desecrated it
with idols. If they were to restore it, would it do any good?
What of the prophets? What was God's Word,
the prophets' message, regarding Israel, Judah, and their future? Would the Word
of God change? Would the words of the prophets be valid after Israel and Judah
had so grievously sinned?
On returning from captivity, God's people had
to be reminded "of the events or annals of the days, the years," and so
Chronicles was written, We don't know for certain who wrote Chronicles; perhaps
it was Ezra. However, we do know that it was part of God's plan, for God
included it in the canon of the Scripture.
How to Study
If possible, study 1 and 2 Samuel and then 1 and
2 Kings before you study 1 and 2 Chronicles. Chronicles is to these other
historical books what John is to the synoptic Gospel (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).
Both John and Chronicles are supplemental and yet bring unique insight and
understanding. Study the Historical
Parallel of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles (on 1 Ch Graphics).
First and 2 Chronicles have time gaps in them.
Keep this in mind as you study. When you wonder about the timing of something,
look at the Historical
Parallel of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.
Watch for and mark references to time with a
clock ¹. Double-underline in
green all geographical references.
When you finish observing each chapter, record
its theme on Structure of 1 Chronicles and in your Bible.
Chapters 1-9: The Genealogies of the
Nation of Israel.
this section may seem boring because it is
primarily genealogies with a a few historical sidelights. However, remember that
this information has a purpose, and that is why God included it in His Word.
Some genealogies, such as 4:1-23, are not included anywhere else.
this section; you will gain valuable insights which will help you in the study
of the rest of the book.
To discover the scope of the genealogies, read
verses 1:1 and 9:1-2. Then write in the margin of 1:1 when the genealogies begin
and end according to the historical events they represent. Keeping in mind what
was said in the introduction to 1 Chronicles, notice in 9:2 the words "the first
who lived in their possessions in their cities."
In this segment the key words to mark or
underline are the names of people who play vital roles in Israel's history.
Mark the following key words in a distinctive
way: Adam, Noah, and Noah's three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Then mark the
phrases the sons of Japheth, the sons of Ham, and the sons of Shem.
Mark the sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael,
and Abraham became the father of Isaac, and the sons of Isaac were Esau and
Israel (remember that Israel was called Jacob until God changed his name to
In chapter 2 mark these are the sons of Israel.
Then count the sons. How many were there? They became the heads of the tribes of
Israel. Record their names on an index card and look for any place where they
are repeated in this segment. Use this card as a bookmark. Read Genesis 49:1-28,
where Jacob (Israel) gives a prophetic blessing to each of these men.
In 2:3-15 mark the sons of Judah and then look
for David. In the margin, list David's genealogy from Judah through David's
immediate father, Jesse. Remember that the author of Chronicles gives the
genealogy of Judah before the other sons of Israel. Why? What would be important
to the exiles who now repossessed their cities? Wouldn't it be God's promises to
David? Keep this in mind as you study the second-to-last segment of 1
In 3:1, mark the names of the sons of David and
list their names in the margin. Refer to "David's
First Chronicles 3:10-16 gives the line of kings
that come from David through Solomon. List this names in the margin.
First Chronicles 3:17-24 list the genealogy
through Jeconiah (Jehoiachin). He was the king who reigned three months and ten
days before he was taken into exile in Babylon, put in prison, and then
released. See 2 Kings 24:8:16 and 2 Chronicles 36:9-10
When you read chapters 4 through 9, watch for any
mention of the 12 sons of Israel and their genealogy. As you do:
Notice that not all 12 are mentioned in the
chapters 4 through 9.
Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim are mentioned
in Scripture as part of the 12 tribes of Israel. The reason for this is given in
1 Chronicles 5:12. Take special note of this.
Write "Joseph's son" next to any mention of
Manasseh and / or Ephraim.
Manasseh is named twice. The tribe split when
Canaan was divided. Half the tribe of Manasseh took land east of the Jordan and
the other half went west of the Jordan; thus the reference to the "half-tribe of
Read the section on the sons of Levi carefully
and either underline what they were to do or note in the margin. Also observe
and note what Aaron and his sons were to do. This will help you come to the
final chapters of 1 Chronicles.
Don't forget to record the chapter themes in the
text and on Structure of 1 Chronicles.
Chapters 10-19: God Turns the Kingdom to
As y read this segment, see how it fits with 1
and 2 Samuel. To do this consult the Historical
Parallel of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.
Read 1 Chronicles 10, mark any reference to
kingdom, and list the events of that chapter.
Also note where it says whose son David was. Keep
in mind what you just studied in the first segment.
Note in the margin why Saul died, who died with
him, and what happened to Saul's body.
Read this segment chapter by chapter and do the
Mark the following key words: city of David,
ark, covenant, and inquired of God. Observe what you learn from these words and
record your insights in your notebook.
Ask the "5 W's and an H" as you read each
chapter. Who are the key characters? What happens? When? (Mark references to
time with a ¹.) Where do events
occur? Why do they occur? How do things happen? Record your insights in your
Don't forget to record the
chapter themes on Structure of 1 Chronicles and in the text next to the chapter
Watch for any prophecies
(promises), speeches, songs, or psalms of praise. Who gives them? Why? What is
said in each? Record your insights in your notebook. Also ask: How can I apply
these truths in my life?
Chapters 20-29: David
Builds an Altar and Prepares for God's House
Note where this portion of 1
Chronicles comes in respect to 2 Samuel.
When you read chapter 20,
compare the wording of verse 1 with 2 Samuel 11:1. Then as you look at the
content of 2 Samuel 11-12, note what the author of Chronicles leaves
Now compare 1 Chronicles 21 with
2 Samuel 24. Why was this event included in 1 Chronicles when David's other sin
was omitted? Remember, the temple is very important to returning exiles.
As you read each chapter, mark
the following key words and note in the margin what you learn from each: house
(home, temple, sanctuary), ark, heart, Levi (Levites), and Aaron.
The words house has been used
numerous times in 1 Chronicles; however, whit one or two exceptions "house"
referred to someone's family, such as the house of David. In this segment it is
used primarily for the house of the Lord. As you mark it, note what you learn.
Keep in mind that this is the book for the exiles who had returned to rebuild
the temple and thus the emphasis is on the house of God and its importance. When
difficulties arose, this historical account would affirm God's enduring purpose
As you mark the references to the Levites and to
Aaron and his sons, observe carefully the types of duties they were to perform
and which Levite family was to perform each type of duty.
Read each chapter as you did in the last segment,
asking the "5 W's and an H." Note in the margin what you observe. Also as you
did in the last segment, watch for any speeches, prophecies, etc., and note the
same things you looked for previously.
Complete 1 Chronicles Structure. There are two
lines for any additional segment divisions you might see and want to
Application of 1
Second Timothy 2:13 says, "If we are faithless,
He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." What have you seen of the
faithfulness of God in the book of 1 Chronicles? What assurance does this give
you for your life?
You marked the word heart in this last segment.
Go back over these references in chapter 29 and review what you observed about
the heart. Also review what you observed as David blessed the Lord. Think about
your own heart. What is your heart like in respect to the Lord? How can you turn
what David did into a prayer to the Lord?
As you think about all you learned about the
priests and their duties and you think of yourself and other Christians as a
kingdom of priests unto God (Revelation 1 and 5), do you see any application you
can make to your responsibilities as a priest unto God?
in the NIV and KJV
|NASB key words
|| NIV related
||NASB key words|| KJV related words|
the sons of Judah
-the people of Judah
|-Abraham become the father of Isaac|
-the sons of Judah
|-Abraham begat Issac |
-the children of Judah