1 & 2 Chronicles

Introduction – In the original Hebrew writings, there was just one book entitled, “Chronicles,” but the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) divided it into two parts. The Books basically repeat what the preceding historical Books of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings recorded plus some additional information. Early Jewish tradition recorded in the Babylonian Talmud ascribed the authorship of Chronicles to Ezra and Nehemiah, or at least a contemporary of these men. Most conservative scholars believe that these Books were written within Ezra’s lifetime (450-400 B.C.). If so, it would make Chronicles one of the last if not the last historical Book of the Old Testament.

Why all the genealogies? In the most general sense they are to show that the promises and purposes of God continue. The writer probably also went back to Adam to connect God’s provision of salvation through David and his descendants to the first promise of salvation given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. Perhaps God chose to open the Book with genealogies to help the Hebrews appreciate their heritage and to tie themselves to Adam, Abraham, and David in particular. Adam was important as the head of the human race. Abraham was important because of the promises God gave him and his descendants in the Covenant with him. David was important because of his role as Israel’s divinely chosen king and because of the promises God gave in the Covenant with him. Both the Old and New Testaments open with genealogies in Genesis, Matthew, and Luke.

Years ago these two Books were quite dormant to me personally. I assume this to be true for many Christians. However, the old saying that “he who teaches learns most” once again became true for me. I now have a deeper appreciation for God’s Word in these historical Books. Since repeated information from those other OT Books, will be omitted, I will still do my best to site new information.

1 Chronicles  1-9 – The Earth Was Divided?

All contain extensive genealogies. In Chapter 1 verse 19, it says, “….Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided….” This is also written in Genesis 10:25, and, if you recall, I commented about it, but here is some additional information. Scholars have discussed what “divided” meant. Some say the different languages took hold and they went their separate ways. I think, however, that this occurred well before Peleg’s days. Others think that since Peleg lived about 200 years following the Flood that the huge ice caps and snow caused by the Flood had been melting and would have raised the sea level some 300 feet which would be enough to cover all the land bridges connecting the continents. Then the continents would have been divided by the oceans. This makes sense because there is strong evidence indicating that all under water continental shelves were the dry land at one time in history, and these would connect all the continents prior to The Flood. During the Flood there was a fast-occurring “ice age” due to either ice comet particles being sucked to the poles because they would be magnetized at -300 degree F or due to water shooting high up from under the crust and precipitating as ice/show as it came down from the cold temps high in the atmosphere. In any case, there was a lot of ice that came down from the poles at one time. I do not think there have been thousands of “ice ages” over billions of years. I don’t believe the earth is that old. If it was, too many other things would be different today, i.e., the amount of salt in the oceans would be much higher and there would be no more helium remaining in rocks. All dating methods rely on assumptions that cannot be proven. If you want more information on the problems with dating methods, go to icr.org and answersingenesis.org and key in “dating methods.”

1 Chronicles 10 – Saul and Jonathan were killed by the Philistines.

1 Chronicles 11 – David takes over power and is successful right away. Many men of valor under him are listed in this chapter.

1 Chronicles 12 – This was a brief flashback to when David was still running from Saul. David’s men are listed plus many who defected to him. Specific numbers of soldiers and of captains are listed.

1 Chronicles 13 – David tried to bring back the Ark of the Covenant, but did not do it properly, and a man died because he touched it (Uzza). If David followed God’s Word on how to transport the Ark, it would not have tilted and Uzza would not have died.

1 Chronicles 14 – David was reaching his peak of popularity and took multiple wives unto himself. This was in direct disobedience to the Law from Deuteronomy 17:17 and may have led him to sin with Bathsheba. This in turn lead to the division and violence throughout God’s nation for many years.

Application for Today: Sin is more deceitful than we realize. When Adam and Eve sinned, they did not die immediately but death indeed did come. The death process began in their cellular makeup and they were physically separated from God. When David began to take many wives, the sin with Bathsheba had not yet yielded its rotten fruit . Many times our sin takes a while to find us out. Sometimes we may even fail to see the connection between a specific sin and a consequence. But God’s Word says that we “reap what we sow.” So no one actually gets away with anything.

1 Chronicles 15 – Loud Music is Okay?

David prepared a tent for the Ark of the Covenant and had it brought to its place in the proper manner (so no one would be killed this time). Then he organized his people into musical groups – singers, lyre players, harp players, and bronze cymbal bangers. The one in charge of singing was so talented that he gave lessons. All this was done to worship the Lord. And that they did when the Ark was brought to them. The music was “loud.”

Application for Today: I put “loud” in quotes because there were no amplifiers then. By this passage young people today may try to justify extra loud music that actually damages the ears. I cannot justify music so loud that it harms the ear that God has made. Furthermore, loudness does not necessarily mean “more anointing” (as some preachers seem to think when they yell….I just can’t picture Jesus yelling at people like some preachers do, and if Jesus did not do it, how can they justify this?). At the other extreme with this issue are people who think any noise in church is irreverent. They need to look at this passage and many others like it in Psalms, to realize that it is not only all right to make a little noise in church, but also proper. God takes pleasure in His people, and we also need to take pleasure in Him. Singing, playing various musical instruments, clapping, and dancing, if it is done for the Lord and not just for our own enjoyment, is considered to be proper spiritual worship…as long as it stays within the safe decibel level for the ear that God has miraculously made.

1 Chronicles 16 – The Ark of the covenant was brought into the tent that David provided. He assigned certain people to tend it. He also appointed a man named Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord. Included in this thanks were many components of Christianity:

1) Make known God’s deeds to others
2) Seek His face continually
3) Remember His covenant (promise)
4) Proclaim salvation from day to day
5) Tell of His glory among all nations
6) All gods of other people are idols (non-existent things)
7) He is coming to judge the earth.

If we do the above, we will not be depressed or lonely, we will be excited and lifted up by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how we need to live.

1 Chronicles 17 – David wanted to build a “house for God” but God said no. David’s son, Solomon, did build the physical Temple in Jerusalem. However, considering the bigger picture, Jesus Christ built the True Temple and verses 13-14 support this interpretation, especially considering Hebrews 1:5 describes Jesus in the same way these two verses do. Similarly, verse 9 seems to be describing God’s True Church rather than the Jews of the Old Covenant because it says they will have their own place and not be moved again. We know from history that the Jews were removed from Jerusalem in 587 B.C. by the Babylonian Empire. Later in 70 A.D. the nation of physical Israel was literally wiped of the globe until 1948 A.D. So the only undisturbed, permanent place would be the “place that Jesus prepares for His people” (remnant of Jews and Gentiles). See John 14:3.

1 Chronicles 18 – David had great success in battles and established his rule over all of Israel. He was just and righteous in all his dealings with the people.

1 Chronicles 19 – More battles covered earlier in 2 Samuel.

1 Chronicles 20 – More battle success for the Hebrews. Goliath’s brothers were killed.

Application for Today: When God says “no” to us about anything, can we still maintain a good attitude of humility and thankfulness as David did in Chapter 17?

1 Chronicles 21 – David gave in to the temptation from the devil by numbering Israel (to see how strong his numbers were?). God did not like this and many died from pestilence as a consequence. I think God perceived that David was beginning to trust in numbers and physical strength rather than God for protection. Considering what David had gone through at this point in his life, this was a serious step backward.

1 Chronicles 22 – Plans for the building of the Temple.

1 Chronicles 23 – David is old and passes on the kingship to Solomon. Many family trees listed and people were organized into divisions to serve the Lord properly.

1 Chronicles 24 – List of the Levites and all their duties.

1 Chronicles 25 – Lineages and names of people who were to use their musical talents to prophesy in the House of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 26 – Lineages and names of the gatekeepers.

1 Chronicles 27 – Lineages and names of the armed forces of Israel and various counselors and overseers.

Application for Today: David viewed music as a means of prophesying. I would say that it is safe to assume that music contains power to stimulate us to worship Him and our connection with God so that we can hear His voice and even give His message to a person or group of people. Music is powerful and is a wonderful gift from God so we know that Satan and his cohorts will incite some sort of perversion of it. We need to be ever discerning of the spirit behind songs. A good example is John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” Although it may sound beautiful to many people, the words say Jesus Christ was wrong about heaven. So what sort of spirit would inspire that? The song also asserts that within man there is the ability to bring peace on earth without involving The Prince of Peace.” This will never happen. It is a humanistic pipe dream.

1 Chronicles 28 – David assembled all the people and officially announced that Solomon would build the Temple. He preached to the people that they must observe God’s laws and that Solomon must serve Him with his whole heart (because God searches all the hearts of men and knows what is inside them). If Solomon would seek God, God would let him find Him. If Solomon forsakes God, then God would reject him forever. David then gave all the plans to build the Temple over to Solomon.

1 Chronicles 29The people gave their own wealth willingly and gladly to the Temple, and everyone rejoiced fervently before the Lord because of their generosity. David stated to the people that they are all mere sojourners in this life and tenants (caretakers of what God gave them). Their days are but a shadow and have no hope unless they follow God. Solomon took over as king, and David died.

Application for Today: When we give willingly from our hearts, there is gladness and joy. Also, our lives are short, especially compared to eternity so let us all live for Him and His Kingdom fervently.