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Books of Chronicles

General Information

The two Books of Chronicles are the 13th and 14th books of the Old Testament in the Authorized Version of the Bible. The name Chronicles is a free rendering of the Hebrew title "events of past times." The author, known as the chronicler, is sometimes identified with Ezra. Those scholars who believe that Chronicles and Ezra And Nehemiah were written by a single author date the work in the period 400 - 250 BC; others date Chronicles as early as 515 - 500 BC. Chronicles recounts biblical history from Adam to Cyrus the Great (d. 529 BC), paralleling and often directly excerpting from Genesis through Kings, but with additional sources, frequent omissions, and different emphases. Extracts from Samuel and Kings, historical and legendary materials, sermons, oracles, and prayers are included in a genealogical framework.

The work focuses on David and Solomon as founders of the Temple and its priestly and musical orders. The departure of the northern kingdom of Israel from the Davidic dynasty is deplored, and the history of the southern kingdom of Judah is told with the intent of reuniting all Palestinian Jews in the purified temple worship at Jerusalem in postexilic times (after 537 BC). Chronicles gives a more flattering view of Judah's kings than do the books of Samuel and Kings, and it emphasizes the element of miraculous divine intervention in biblical history.

Norman K Gottwald

Bibliography
J C Whitcomb, Solomon to the Exile: Studies in Kings and Chronicles (1971).


Books of Chronicles

Brief Outline

  1. Genealogies, to enable the Jews to establish their lines of family descent (1Chr. 1-9)
  2. The kingdom of David, as a pattern for the ideal theocratic state (1Chr. 10-29)
  3. The glory of Solomon (2Chr. 1-9)
  4. The history of the southern kingdom (2Chr. 10-36)



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