We have just finished reading about David’s kingdom in 2 Sam. Now we will read about it again in 1 Chronicles. 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Chronicles all tell the same history: the history of the kings of Israel and Judah. 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, it is believed, was the official history kept by Samuel, and continued by David’s court once Samuel was gone, and the subsequent kings of Judah and Israel.
1-2 Chronicles was a record kept, it is believed, by priests or Levites, since in Chronicles there is an emphasis on ecclesiastical matters rather than just political matters; i.e. how the politics of certain reigns influenced the worship of YHVH in the land, and how YHVH responded to the state of His worship with the kings.
It may be that as the priests and Levites saw the kingdom divide, and the kings go down to idolatry, that they feared that the official record of the kings would become corrupted and the truth of what the kings were doing and what God was doing might be lost. So it is possible they began to keep a record of the history of Judah and Israel themselves, to serve as a corrector, if necessary, to the official history. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity under the leadership of Ezra, he collected the records and set them in their present form. He was a Levite, a scribe, and a teacher of the Law, and it was Ezra who organized synagogues in every town, with a schedule for reading from the Torah and the Prophets every Sabbath, so that Israel would learn the Torah and never fall back into idolatry again.
Chronicles tends to uphold the righteousness of the line of David, as the rightful ruler of Israel, and minimizes the kings of Israel.
Present in Samuel-Kings, absent in Chronicles:
1. David’s early life
2. David’s kingdom in Hebron
3. David’s adultery
4. Amnon and Tamar
5. Absalom’s revolt
6. Solomon’s apostasy
7. The kings and history of the Northern Kingdom, for the most part
Present in Chronicles, absent in Samuel-Kings
1. David’s preparation for building the temple
2. David numbers and distributes the Levites
3. David arranges the singers, players and temple ritual
4. David prepares for temple officers
5. The war between Abijah and Jeroboam
6. The reform of Manasseh
7. The Passover of Josiah
8. Extra genealogical materials
So as we go through the repeats of history, I will not repeat what has already been said in this Bible study, unless new details revealed take us in a new direction. 🙂
Today I will just note, that when David, who is a picture of the triumphal reign of Messiah which is coming, was made king, there was joy in Israel (1 Chr 12:40). That is a prophecy. We have to remember that Israel includes us – all who believe in Messiah Yeshua. We have been grafted in to Israel’s commonwealth and her covenant with God (Eph 2:11-13, Rom 11:17). A commonwealth is a nation, state, or political unit founded on law and entered into by agreement of the people for the common good of all. God does not see us as outsiders, but insiders along with the rest of Israel and the Jews. And when the Son of David takes His place, there will be joy in Israel, including the Jews and including us!