Survey of 1 Chronicles
Book Type: Book of History; the thirteenth book of the Old Testament; the thirteenth book of the Bible.
Author: The book itself does not name its author and remains anonymous. Jewish tradition states it was written by the Jewish priest Ezra.
Audience: First and Second Chronicles were originally completed as one book, written to the Jewish people in Jerusalem surrounding regions following the return from Babylonian exile. Its words reminded them of their history, God's promises, the consequences of sin, and God's promised future hope for the Jewish people.
Date: Unknown, though it likely took place shortly after the concluding events of 2 Kings; between 450—-425 BC.
Overview: This book consists of 29 chapters and includes three main sections. The first section records the genealogy of the Jewish people from Adam to those living in Jerusalem near the time of the book's writing (1 Chronicles 1—9). It starts with the family history of God's people from the first man, Adam, to the time just before the reign of King David (1 Chronicles 1—2). Chapter 3 then lists Jewish genealogy from David to the Babylonian captivity. Chapters 4—9 include a family list of the 12 tribes, with most of chapter 9 focusing on those living in Jerusalem following the return from Babylonian exile.
The second section emphasizes David's coming to power and his reign (1 Chronicles 9:35—12:40). Beginning with Saul's life and the death of Saul and his sons (1 Chronicles 9:35—10:14), the book records David's anointing (1 Chronicles 11:1¬–3), his conquest of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 11:4–9), and his list of mighty men (1 Chronicles 11:10—12:40).
The third section of 1 Chronicles emphasizes the reign of David and the transition of royal power to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 13—29). Great importance is placed on the ark of the covenant's relocation to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13—16), as well as the Davidic covenant (1 Chronicles 17). Various military battles are then mentioned (1 Chronicles 18—21) followed by the many preparations David took for the Lord's temple in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 22—29). The book ends with a transition of royal power from David to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:21–30).
Key Verses (ESV):
1 Chronicles 11:1–2: "Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and said, 'Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord your God said to you, "You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel."'"
1 Chronicles 21:13: "Then David said to Gad, 'I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.'"
1 Chronicles 29:11: "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all."