Exploring the Bible // 1 & 2 Chronicles
First and Second Chronicles is largely a recap of what took place in the books of Samuel and the books of Kings. We get to read about David and Solomon, Israel’s history, and their captivity in Chronicles. However, there are some differences and we have to remember—if it’s in the Bible it’s there for a reason.
Originally one book, it was divided when it was translated into Greek. The author is not known but some believe Ezra the priest make have been “the chronicler.” There is good indication of this because the final words in 2 Chronicles are also the first words in the book of Ezra, which directly follows Chronicles.
The two books can be divided into two parts and because we took a look at much of this material in previous books, we’ll explore them only shortly.
Geological History of Israel (1 Chronicles 1-9)
The first nine chapters contain a genealogy that starts with Adam and covers David, the twelve tribes, and even those after the exile. It gives a thorough account of people in Israel’s history.
Israel’s United Kingdom (1 Chronicles 10-2 Chronicles 9)
Chapter 10 begins with the death of Saul and his sons, and then leads into the life of David in chapter 11. Much of David’s reign is covered including is military campaigns and preparations for the temple. The rest of 1 Chronicles covers his life with Solomon coming onto the scene in 2 Chronicles 1.
With Solomon we read mostly of his temple preparations and some other exploits in chapters 1-9. Then, after his death, the kingdom is divided.
Divided Kingdom (2 Chronicles 10-36)
After Solomon dies, as we learned in 1 Kings, the kingdom is split into two. Rehoboam, who rose to power after Solomon but does not walk in wisdom and taking poor counsel, oppresses the people. The people rise up and the kingdom is divided: Rehoboam led Judah in the south and Jeroboam led Israel in the north.
These chapters, howe ver, focus on the kingdom of Judah. Remember, they were the nation to have a few goods kings in a string of bad ones. These stories provide powerful lessons to us about how we ought to live a righteous life. They serve as a marker to holy living.
Released From Captivity (2 Chronicles 36)
In the final verses of the book, Judah is taken into captivity by the Persians. However, in verses 22-23, which take place 70 years after they are taken captive, King Cyrus of Persia release the people to return to Jerusalem to build a temple.
What We Can Learn
These two books provide many valuable lessons. Overall, we get a great view of God’s people and their lineage from the first man to the exiles. It reminds us that God has ordained every person for a purpose. Then, we see the immorality people descend into when they try and go their own way. We see that when people obey God, there is nothing too big to overcome. However, when His people disobey, protection is lifted.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14