History Is His Story

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

How does 1-2 Chronicles fit into our reading plan and what’s with all the genealogies?

The author of 1-2 Chronicles is not mentioned in the Old Testament but Jewish tradition has suggested that it was Ezra.  But we will call him the Chronicler as do most scholars today.

I think maybe the best way to describe how the book fits into our story is to imagine you are watching a show on the History Channel about the American Revolutionary War and you have a team of scholars explaining what has happened and what it means for the future.

They are reviewing the events that occurred during the war, examining the documents written at the time, interpreting history and it’s meaning to us now in 2014 and in the future.

Currently in our reading, Saul has just died and David has been made the King. If we were further along in the story we would know that the nation of Israel, after the rule of Solomon, is split into two Kingdoms – The Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.

The North is eventually conquered in 721 BC and the South is conquered in 586 BC.  After the Babylonian conquest of the South, a period known as the Exile, the Israelites are allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the walls surrounding the city.  We read about this in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

When we read 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings we are getting the story kind of when it happens.

Going back to our History Channel analogy, these would be the events and documents as they happened.

The Chronicler represents the team of scholars who are examining the story to discuss what it means.

And that is what we have here – Chronicles is written to interpret Israel’s history, but it is written after the exile, but before the arrival of Christ, to answer the question – “What is God doing?”

By beginning with Adam, Chronicles connects itself to Genesis. This connection between Genesis and Chronicles is intended to demonstrate the fundamental unity of the story line carefully set forth in the Old Testament.

James M Boice once wrote: “The Christian view of history sees God at the beginning of history (taking charge of it), the cross of Jesus Christ at the center of history (giving it meaning), and the return of Christ at the end of history (bringing it to a triumphant conclusion).”

The same God who created the universe and granted humanity dominion over the earth in Genesis, was still working to accomplish His redemptive plan in 1–2 Chronicles; even while His people suffered as a community longing to experience the restoration of Davidic kingship, the Aaronic priesthood, and covenant blessings.

The opening genealogies help us to unite the Old and New Testaments by identifying Jesus as the long–anticipated Seed of the woman who would come as our Savior and crush the head of the Serpent (Genesis 3:15).  Sound familiar?

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts taken from the following: ESV-SB, GTB, BKC, HCSB-SB

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