Books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles

National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series

The Books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles are historical books in the Old Testament of the Bible that provide a detailed account of the history of Israel, with a particular emphasis on the Davidic dynasty and the worship of God in the temple. Here is a summary of each book:

1st Chronicles:

The book begins with genealogies tracing the lineage of Adam to the time of King Saul. It then focuses on the reign of King David, highlighting his achievements, including his military victories, the establishment of Jerusalem as the capital city, and the preparation for building the temple.

1st Chronicles places a significant emphasis on the worship of God and the organization of the priestly and Levitical duties. It provides extensive details about the roles of the Levites, the musical worship in the temple, and the appointments of priests.

The book also includes an account of David’s desire to build the temple and his preparations for its construction. However, David is told by God through the prophet Nathan that he will not be the one to build it, but his son Solomon will fulfill that task.

1st Chronicles concludes with the death of David and the coronation of Solomon as the next king of Israel. The book serves to establish a positive image of David and to emphasize the importance of worship and obedience to God’s commands.

2nd Chronicles:

The book continues the narrative from 1st Chronicles, focusing on the reigns of the kings of Judah, the southern kingdom. It highlights the religious reforms and acts of obedience by some of the kings, particularly Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah.

2nd Chronicles describes Solomon’s reign in detail, including the construction of the temple in Jerusalem and his renowned wisdom. The book also records the dedication of the temple and the glory of God filling it.

However, as the narrative progresses, the book portrays a gradual decline in the faithfulness of the kings and the people of Judah. Many of the subsequent kings turn away from God, leading to idolatry, moral corruption, and alliances with foreign nations. The prophets sent by God consistently warn the people, but their warnings often go unheeded.

The book concludes with the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile, paralleling the events described in 2nd Kings. It ends on a note of hope, with the proclamation of Cyrus, the Persian king, allowing the exiled Jews to return to their land and rebuild the temple.

In summary, the Books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles provide a detailed account of the history of Israel, focusing on the reigns of David and the kings of Judah. These books emphasize the importance of worship, obedience to God’s commands, and the consequences of turning away from Him. They also highlight the significance of the temple and its role in the religious life of the Israelites.