By Tyson Thorne

September 4, 2018

Intro Chronicles Large

These books are complimentary to 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings and, like them, 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book. Titled "Chronicles", the main book was separated into two books by the translators of the Septuagint. There is some thought that perhaps the original work also included the book of Ezra. The reasoning behind this is rather compelling. Historically it is held that Ezra is the author of Chronicles as well as his self-titled book, and the two cover a consecutive history as demonstrated in an examination of 2 Chronicles and the beginning of Ezra:

Chron Ezra Compare

The original audience for this work would have been encouraged by the message. After having survived the captivity of their enemies the Israelites were now returning home and Ezra assured the people that they no longer needed to live in defeat. God would forgive them. They could start over. If they would return to YHWH, obey the conditions of the covenant, they could life confident that the land would remain theirs, that it would produce for them, and that their enemies would fail. The could be the chosen people once more.

Chronicles may sound repetitive and you may wonder why we have yet another account of the Davidic Dynasty and history of Israel. While much of the history is repeated, the message is very different. The purpose of this work is to emphasize the spiritual side of their history, to remind the people of God's faithfulness and their need to be faithful in return. Even the genealogies have purpose; notice how he traces the lineage of David to the Messiah.

Author and Date of Writing

We've already given away the lead on this one, identifying that tradition holds Ezra responsible for authoring Chronicles. What we haven't yet disclosed is how he wrote such a lengthy history. The prophet used no less than 10 source documents which he identifies in 1 Chronicles 9.1-2 and 2 Chronicles 12.15. If Ezra is the author, and there can be little doubt, then the date of writing is circa 450 BC.

Big Idea

God keeps his covenant promises when the people hold true to their spiritual and sacred duty.

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