1 Chronicles
Willmington's Bible at a Glance

1 Chronicles at a Glance

This book records the genealogies from Adam to Jacob including those descendants from Jacob’s 12 sons. It also overviews the death of King Saul, the 40-year reign of David and his extensive preparation in gathering the necessary materials to be used in constructing the first temple.

Bottom Line Introduction


General Introduction: Although there is much related material in the New Testament Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, each is different and unique, written to accomplish a specific task. So it is with the Old Testament books of Second Samuel, the Kings, and the Chronicles. In spite of the many similarities in these parallel accounts, each is written for a specific purpose. Thus:

In Second Samuel and First and Second Kings we get a detailed religious history of Judah only. The books of Second Samuel and First and Second Kings emphasize the rulers and prophets, while First and Second Chronicles zero in on the priests and temple. In essence, then, Second Samuel and First and Second Kings viewed the events of the day from an earthly perspective, while First and Second Chronicles saw them through the eyes of heaven. However, both viewpoints are equally inspired, in that Second Samuel parallels First Chronicles; and First and Second Samuel parallel Second Chronicles.

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Ezra. He was a gifted Bible teacher, priest and scribe (Ezra 7:1-6, 10) who led the second of three Jewish returns from Persia to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:27, 28).

2. What? The books of 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, and Ezra.

3. When and where?

a. 1 & 2 Chronicles: 460 B.C. from Persia (?)

b. Ezra: 450 B.C. from Jerusalem

4. Why?

a. 1 Chronicles: to record the genealogies of the patriarchs, the 12 sons of Jacob, the reign of David and his preparations in regards to the Temple.

b. 2 Chronicles: to record the reign of Solomon and the kings of Judah (only) from Rehoboam to Zedekiah.

c. Ezra: To record the first two returns of the Jews from Persia back to the Holy Land

5. To whom?

a. 1 and 2 Chronicles: the southern kingdom of Judah

b. Ezra: the returning Jewish remnant

Key Events

1. The anointing of David by the 12 tribes as King over all Israel

2. David's great psalm of thanksgiving

3. The beginning of David's massive preparation for the building of the temple

4. David's gifts to the temple and his prayer of gratitude for the temple

Key Individuals

1. Saul: Israel's first king who was killed by God for consulting the witch of Endor

2. David: Israel's greatest king, who spent the last years of his reign gathering materials for the temple

3. Solomon: son of David who became Israel's third king

4. Nathan: fearless prophet during David's reign

Key Places

1. Mt. Gilboa: place where Saul and Jonathan were killed in a battle with the Philistines

2. Hebron: David's first capital

3. Jerusalem: David's final capital

4. Kiriath-jearim: city housing the Ark of God until David moved it to Jerusalem

5. Gibeon: location of the Tabernacle in David's day

Unique Features

As has been previously noted, there is much related material to be found in five Old Testament books:

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

But there are also significant differences as can be seen by the following:

1. Material found only in 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings:

David’s terrible sins of adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11)

The revolt of Absalom (2 Sam. 15-20)

The struggles of Solomon to obtain his throne (1 Kings 1-2)

The failures of Solomon (1 Kings 11)

The ministries of both Elijah and Elisha

2. Material found only in 1 Chronicles:

The genealogy of the tribes (1 Chron. 1-9)

The names of the early dwellers in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 9:2-24)

The names of the tribal leaders who anointed David (1 Chron. 12). Note especially 12:32, “And of the children of Issachar … were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”

The elaborate preparations involved in bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15-16)

The fact that Satan tempted David to number the people of Israel (1 Chron. 21:1)

The extensive preparations for the Temple construction (1 Chron. 22-29)

The dividing of the Levites into 24 groups (1 Chron. 23:6-23)

The dividing of the priests into 24 groups (1 Chron. 24:1-19)

The dividing of the singers into 24 groups (1 Chron. 25:1-3)

The appointing of Temple doorkeepers, treasury officials, and judges (chapter 27)

The appointing of 12 army captains and special counselors (chapter 27)

David’s speech at a fundraising assembly for the construction of the Temple (chapter 28)

David’s great prayer of thanksgiving for both his son Solomon and the future Temple (chapter 29)

3. These final nine chapters (22-29) contain some of the most wonderful words of praise, prayer, and exhortation in all the Bible! Note especially:

David’s prayer for Solomon (22:11-13; 28:9-10, 20; 29:19)

His encouragement to the Israelite leaders (22:18-19)

His praise to God (29:10-18)

Comparison with Other Bible Books

Matthew and Luke:

1 Chronicles provides an extended genealogical record as do the New Testament books of Matthew (1) and Luke (3).

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. The God of Israel (4:10)

2. God of Salvation (16:35)

3. God of the Davidic Covenant (17)

4. Angel of the Lord (21:12)

5. God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (29:18)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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