1 Chronicles

About the Book of 1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles is a book about the history of the Israelites. Some of the book is about the same time that we read about in 2 Samuel. There are also many lists of people.
1 Chronicles begins with a list of the families of the Israelites. Then it tells us about the time when David ruled over all Israel. It also tells us a lot about how the people worshipped God. The last part of the book describes David's plans to build a temple for God in Jerusalem. David gave careful rules to the priests. He wanted everyone in the temple to serve God properly.
1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles were one book for a long time. Its Hebrew name was ‘The Book of Events’. Later, they made it into two books so that they would each fit on one scroll. Now we call them the Books of Chronicles. It means that they are a record of events.
We do not know who wrote the Chronicles. Many Jewish people believed that Ezra wrote Chronicles, as well as the Book of Ezra. It may have not have been Ezra himself, but someone who lived at the same time as he did. The writer seems to be a Levite. He writes about things like the temple, prayer and the worship of God. He tries to explain what the events in Israel mean. He explains how God was using those events.
The writer gives lists of names. He starts with Adam, the first man. Then he makes a list of those people who came from Noah's family. From them came the nations that the Jews knew about. He then tells about Jacob, who was also called Israel. He was the ancestor of all the Jews. From then on, he gives only lists of all the tribes of Israel. But to him the most important people are those who came from Judah. The kings came from the tribe of Judah. After that, the writer gives lists of people who helped in the worship of God, and soldiers in David's army. He wants to tell people how important those jobs were.
When he wrote the book, the Israelites had just returned to their country after 70 years in exile. So, the writer wants them to know that all Israelites are God's people. He believes that Israel is the God's kingdom. David and Solomon were kings who ruled God's kingdom. Those ideas would help the people who had just returned from exile. Israel's kingdom would be safe because God would keep it safe. After some time, God would make it strong again.
These Israelites needed to know that they did belong to Israel's people. So, the writer gives lists of the families of Israel. He records the families of the 12 tribes until the exile. He used several books that are now in the Bible. And he also used many other very old books. We do not have any of those other books now.
One very important thing that we read about in these books is the temple in Jerusalem. The writer tells us how David put the workers in the temple into groups. He made lists of the priests and the Levites who would be leaders of the worship in the temple. God did not let David build the temple. But David prepared the materials so that his son would be able to build it. In another book, 2 Chronicles, we can read how Solomon built the temple.