Have you ever started reading the books of Chronicles, and once you read chapter 1 and 2, just skipped the rest because of genealogies and seemingly repetitions from the books of Kings? I certainly have, and would not blame you if you also did the same. However, there are rich things in the books of Chronicles that we can learn from and if we see Christ in these pages, we will receive great blessing upon reading these books. The Chronicles were the last in the Hebrew Old Testament, forming the last section of the writings.
The two books of Chronicles present God’s review of the past history of His people, and His thoughts. The books of Samuel and Kings present the history of Israel according to the political state of the kingdom, in the sight of the people. The two books of Chronicles present the history of Israel as to the religious perspective – the Davidic dynasty of Judah. The books also present the history of Israel and Judah according to God’s perspective.
We see Christ in these two books of Chronicles. In 1 Chronicles, the tribe of Judah is placed first in the national genealogy because the monarchy, temple, and Messiah will come from this tribe (Genesis 49:10). In 2 Chronicles, the throne of David has been destroyed, but the line of David remains. Every form of enmity against Judah threatens the Messianic line, but it remains clear and unbroken from Adam to Zerubbabel. We have in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 the fulfilment in Christ. The temple is also a figure of Christ. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 12:6, “But I say unto you, that there is here what is greater than the temple.” He also likens His body to the temple. In John 2:19, “Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Finally, the Lord replaces the temple in Revelation 21:22, “And I saw no temple in it; for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lamb.”
First Chron. 3:19ff; 9:1-2 and 2 Chron. 36:22-23 make it clear that the two books were only written or completed after the Babylonian captivity. As the last verses of 2 Chronicles and the first few verses of the book of Ezra are nearly identical and as the book of Ezra is the historical sequence of Chronicles the Jewish scholars who wrote the Talmud named Ezra as author of the Chronicles (from Arend Remmers First and Second Book of Chronicles – biblecentre.org).
I will now attempt to divide the first book of Chronicles in order to provide a simple outline or overview of the contents of the book. The book can be generally divided into two parts.
- 1 Chronicles 1-9 presents genealogies from Adam all the way up to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
- 1 Chronicles 10-29 describes David’s reign, preparations for building the temple, and the services of the Levites, priests, singers, porters, captains and civil servants.
The second book of Chronicles can generally be divided into either two or three parts.
- 2 Chronicles 1-9 presents the reign of Solomon and the building of the temple.
- 2 Chronicles 10-28 describes the rebellion of the ten tribes and the history of the kings of Judah.
- 2 Chronicles 29-36 presents the history of Hezekiah and those after him, eventually leading to the captivity in Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem.
I have used the aid of Arend Remmers and Arno Gaebelein’s notes and divisions of the books, but the division of 2 Chronicles is a little different. These notes of the authors are available on www.biblecentre.org and this website is full of rich resources.