1 Chronicles
New American Bible Revised Edition

* [1:1–9:34] The Chronicler’s intention seems to have been to retell, from his particular viewpoint, the story of God’s people from creation down to his own day. Since his primary interest was the history of David and the Davidic dynasty of Judah, he hurries through everything that preceded the death of Saul, David’s predecessor as king, by the use of genealogical lists. The sources for these genealogies are mostly the books, already largely in their present form in the Chronicler’s time, that eventually formed the Hebrew canon. For any given portion of these chapters, see the cross-references to their scriptural sources.

* [1:19] Divided: see note on Gn 10:25.

* [1:38] Seir: another name for Esau (v. 35) or Edom (v. 43).

* [2:3–4:23] The Chronicler had two reasons for placing his genealogy of the tribe of Judah before those of the other tribes, and for making it longer than all the others: his interest in David, who was of the tribe of Judah; and the prominence of descendants of that tribe among the Jews of the Chronicler’s time.

* [2:9] Chelubai: a variant form of the name Caleb (vv. 18, 42), a different person from the Chelub mentioned in 4:11.

* [2:10–17] These verses list the immediate ancestors of David. A similar list appears in Ru 4:18–22.

* [2:18–24] These verses record the descendants of Caleb. In 4:15 as well as frequently in the Pentateuch (see Nm 13:6; 14:6, 30; 26:65; etc.), Caleb is called the son of Jephunneh. Here his father is called Hezron, perhaps because the Calebites were reckoned as part of the clan of the Hezronites.

* [2:25–41] The Jerahmeelites were a clan living in the Negeb of Judah.

* [2:42–49] Another list (see vv. 18–24) of the Calebites, a clan inhabiting the south of Judah.

* [2:50–55] The Hurites were a clan dwelling to the south and west of Jerusalem and related to the Calebites.

* [3:1–9] A list of David’s sons.

* [3:1] Daniel: he is called Chileab in 2 Sm 3:3.

* [3:5] Shimea: he bears the name Shammua in 2 Sm 5:14. Ammiel: Bathsheba’s father is called Eliam in 2 Sm 11:3.

* [3:10–16] The kings of Judah from Solomon down to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

* [3:15] Shallum: another name for Jehoahaz, Josiah’s immediate successor; cf. Jer 22:11.

* [3:17–24] The descendants of King Jeconiah down to the time of the Chronicler. If twenty-five years are allowed for each generation, the ten generations between Jeconiah and Anani (the last name on the list) would put the birth of the latter at about 405 B.C.—an important item in establishing the approximate date of the Chronicler’s work in its final form.

* [3:18] Shenazzar: presumably he is the same as Sheshbazzar (Ezr 1:8, 11; 5:14–16), the prince of Judah who was the first Jewish governor of Judah after the exile. Both forms of the name probably go back to the Babylonian name Sin-ab-ussar, meaning “O [god] Sin, protect [our] father!”

* [3:19] Zerubbabel: here called the son of Pedaiah, though elsewhere (Hg 1:12, 14; 2:2, 23; Ezr 3:2, 8; 5:2; Neh 12:1) his father’s name is given as Shealtiel. The latter indication may merely point to the fact that Zerubbabel succeeded Shealtiel as head of the house of David.

* [4:1–43] Genealogies of the southern tribes, Judah and Simeon.

* [4:39] Gedor: the Greek reads Gerar, probably correctly.

* [5:1–26] Genealogies of the Transjordanian tribes, Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

* [5:26] Pul: the Chronicler seems to speak of two different kings here, but Pul was the name which the Assyrian king Tilgath-pileser III (745–727 B.C.) adopted as king of Babylon.

* [5:27–6:66] The tribe of Levi. The Chronicler’s list gives special prominence to Levi’s son Kohath, from whom were descended both the Aaronite priests (vv. 28–41) and the leading group of Temple singers (6:18–23).

* [5:30–41] The line of preexilic high priests. The list seems to become confused in vv. 36–38, which repeat the same names, mostly in inverse order, that occur in vv. 34–36. A similar but shorter list occurs, with variations, in Ezr 7:1–5.

* [6:16–32] The cultic functions performed by the levitical families in the postexilic Temple at the time of the Chronicler are here traced back to David, in a way analogous to that in which all the laws in the Pentateuch are attributed to Moses.

* [6:39–66] For the rights of the Levites in the cities assigned to them, see note on Jos 21:1.

* [7:1–40] The seven northern tribes.

* [7:11] The Hebrew text appears to be defective.

* [7:23] Beriah…evil: the name sounds like the Hebrew word for “evil,” with the preposition be.

* [8:1–40] A second, variant list (cf. 7:6–11) of the Benjaminites, highlighting the family of Saul (vv. 33–40).

* [9:2–34] The inhabitants of Jerusalem after the exile. A similar list, though with many variants in the names, occurs in Neh 11:3–24.

* [10:13–14] The Chronicler explains why Saul met his tragic end: he had disobeyed the Lord’s command given through the prophet Samuel (1 Sm 15:3–9), and had consulted a necromancer (1 Sm 28:6–19), contrary to the Mosaic law (Dt 18:10–11).

* [11:11] The Three: the Chronicler actually names only two of these figures, Ishbaal and Eleazar. According to 2 Sm 23:11, the third member of the Three was Shammah.

* [11:18] Poured it out: as a libation.

* [11:20] The Thirty: they are listed by name in vv. 26–47. The parallel list in 2 Sm 23:8–39 often differs in names and spellings; for the numbers, see note on 2 Sm 23:8–39.

* [12:21] See note on 27:1–15.

* [12:25–38] The Chronicler here takes the brief account of David’s installation as king in 2 Sm 5:1–3 (= 1 Chr 11:1–3) and expands it in line with his exaltation of David and his dynasty.

* [13:5] Shihor of Egypt: the eastern branch of the Nile delta. Lebo-hamath: in southern Syria.

* [13:9] Chidon: in 2 Sm 6:6 the name is Nodan (variant: Nacon).

* [13:11] Perez-uzzah: this Hebrew phrase means “the breaking out against Uzza.”

* [14:1] The Chronicler’s account of David’s establishment as king and his victories over the Philistines follows 2 Sm 5:11–25, but makes David’s rule even more prominent.

* [14:2] David now knew: see note on 2 Sm 5:12.

* [14:11] See note on 2 Sm 5:20.

* [15:20–21] Alamoth…sheminith: musical terms of uncertain meaning. Alamoth, lit., “young women,” occurs in the superscription to Ps 46. The term sheminith, in v. 21, might mean “bass” or “octave”; cf. Ps 6:1; 12:1.

* [16:8–36] A hymn composed of parts of several psalms: vv. 8–22 = Ps 105:1–15; vv. 23–33 = Ps 96:1–13; vv. 34–36 = Ps 106:1, 47–48. There are minor textual variants between this hymn and the psalms it is drawn from.

* [17:18] Known: given David recognition, chosen him, singled him out; cf. Gn 18:19; Ex 33:12; Am 3:2.

* [18:16] Zadok…and Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, were priests: emendation—the Masoretic text here reads “Abimelech,” not “Ahimelech”; but 2 Sm 8:17, the Chronicler’s source, has “Ahimelech.” See note there.

* [18:17] Chief assistants to the king: according to 2 Sm 8:18, the Chronicler’s source here, David’s sons were priests. The Chronicler’s modification reflects his conviction that only Aaron’s descendants could be priests.

* [20:1] At the turn of the year: thus in 2 Sm 11 begins the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband Uriah, but the Chronicler omits it.

* [20:5] Elhanan…slew Lahmi, the brother of Goliath: with this notice the Chronicler solves the difficulty of the apparent contradiction between 1 Sm 17:49, 51 (David killed Goliath) and 2 Sm 21:19 (Elhanan killed Goliath).

* [21:1] A satan: in the parallel passage (2 Sm 24:1) David is led astray because of the Lord’s anger. The Chronicler’s modification reflects the changed theological outlook of postexilic Israel, when evil was no longer attributed directly to God. At an earlier period the Hebrew word satan (“adversary,” or, especially in a court of law, “accuser”) designated both human beings (1 Kgs 11:14) and a “son of God” who accused people before God (Jb 1:6–12; 2:1–7; Zec 3:1–2). In later Judaism (cf. Wis 2:24) and in the New Testament, satan, or the “devil” (from diablos, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word), designates an evil spirit who tempts people to do wrong.

* [21:25] Six hundred shekels of gold: according to 2 Sm 24:24, David paid only fifty shekels of silver for Ornan’s threshing floor; the Chronicler’s higher figure reflects the value the site of the future Temple had in his eyes.

* [22:2–4] According to 1 Kgs 5:15–32, Solomon himself made the material preparations for building the Temple, even though David had wished to do so (1 Kgs 5:17–19). The Chronicler, however, seeks to enhance David’s role in the building of the Temple.

* [22:9] The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is reflected in the name Solomon, in Hebrew, Shelomo. The Chronicler draws a contrast here between Solomon, the “peaceful man,” and David, who “waged great wars” (v. 8). David was prevented from building the Temple, not only because his time was taken up in waging war (1 Kgs 5:17), but also because he shed much blood (1 Chr 22:8), thereby making himself, in the Chronicler’s view, ritually unfit for the task.

* [22:14] A hundred thousand talents of gold: about 3,775 tons of gold. A million talents of silver: about 37,750 tons of silver. These highly exaggerated figures are intended to stress the inestimable value of the Temple as the center of Israelite worship. More modest figures are given in 1 Kgs 9:14, 28; 10:10, 14.

* [24:6] Ahimelech, son of Abiathar: see note on 18:16.

* [25:1] This list of twenty-four classes of Temple singers balances the list of the twenty-four classes of priests (24:4–19). The last nine names in v. 4, which seem to form a special group, were perhaps originally fragments or incipits (the opening words) of hymns. With some slight changes in the vocalization, these names would mean: “Have mercy on me, O Lord,” “Have mercy on me,” “You are my God,” “I magnify,” “I extol the help of…,” “Sitting in adversity,” “I have fulfilled,” “He made abundant,” and “Visions.”

* [26:18] The large building: parbar, mentioned also in 2 Kgs 23:11; the meaning of the word is unclear.

* [26:29] Civil affairs: lit., “external work,” i.e., conduct of affairs external to the Temple.

* [27:1–15] This list of army commanders is similar to, but distinct from, the list of David’s warriors given in 11:10–47. The schematic enumeration of the soldiers presented here appears artificial and exaggerated (12 x 24,000 = 288,000 men!). However, the Hebrew word (’eleph) translated “thousand” might also designate a military unit of much smaller size.

* [27:34] After Ahithophel: after Ahithophel’s suicide (2 Sm 17:23), Jehoiada succeeded him as the king’s counselor. Abiathar: David’s priest, along with Zadok. See note on 18:16.

* [28:2] The ark…the footstool…of our God: the Lord, who was invisibly enthroned upon the cherubim associated with the ark of the covenant at Shiloh and later in the Jerusalem Temple, had the ark as his footstool; cf. Ps 99:5; 132:7. There was no ark in the postexilic Temple. Cf. note on 2 Chr 5:9.

* [28:18] Chariot: this reference is probably inspired by the vision account in Ez 1:4–24; 10:1–22.

* [29:22] For a second time: the first time is in 23:1 where David appoints Solomon his successor. Now there is a solemn public ratification of that appointment.

a. [1:1] Gn 5:3, 6, 9.

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Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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