1 Chronicles – First Book of the Chronicles

1 Chronicles Summary

1 Chronicles or the First Book of the Chronicles is one of the two books that make up the Books of Chronicles, the final texts of the Jewish Bible. 1 Chronicles is also the last of the history books of Old Testament. The authorship of 1 Chronicles is primarily attributed to Ezra by the ancient Jewish traditions, along with Nehemiah who also plays a vital role. However, this claim cannot be proven with absolute certainty.

Most scholars consent that the book 1 Chronicles was written during the later part of the 5th century B.C., which coincides well with the time Ezra lived. Whoever the anonymous author was, he was probably a temple priest or a Levite who hailed from Jerusalem. He was also very well versed, was an efficient editor as well as having sophisticated knowledge of theology. Some researchers believe that the original manuscript of 1 Chronicles was composed by a single individual, after which later expansions were made here and there. While this might be true, all specific proposals concerning them remain strictly tentative.

The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles present a detailed account of various genealogies that go on from Adam to Saul and his children. Genealogies are an important part of Biblical history as they serve to maintain valuable records and they also ensure that the Lord knows each and every one of His followers by their names, thus taking a direct personal interest in people’s lives. Although the genealogical listing presented in the Book of 1 Chronicles is not complete by itself, it still presents a comprehensive account of the important names. Further details on family histories were preserved in court archives of Judah and Israel. An additional purpose for the presentation of the genealogy is to show that God is choosing the Israeli nation as a part of His divine kingdom.

Chapter 10 of 1 Chronicles documents the tragic ends to the not-so-wise choices made by King Saul in his life. A poignant account of the death of King Saul is presented in the last 2 verses of the tenth chapter. It is said that the reason for Saul’s death was that he did not obey the voice of God and instead chose to seek advice from a witch; it was his deviation from the path of righteousness that was responsible for his death.

Chapters 11 to 21 of 1 Chronicles discuss the positive and negative aspects of King David’s rule in Israel. David was anointed as the king in Hebron. One of the first things he did as a king was that he attained the Ark from the Philistines and tried to bring it to Jerusalem. Chapter 14 gives an account of David’s victory over Philistine forces. He was ultimately successful in bringing the Ark to Zion. David was eager to build a temple for God, but God said that his son Solomon instead of him would be able to build the temple. David, on the other hand, will be bestowed with the task of creating the dynasty that will rule forever.

The final chapters of 1 Chronicles show his success in subduing his enemies, as well as the preparations he made for the construction of the temple. The book ends with the passing of King David and the coronation of Solomon as next ruler of Israel. Learn about our Bible Quotes service to receive quotes from Chronicles 1.