The genealogies of I Chronicles present an overview of Israel’s history. The first nine chapters are filled with genealogies that trace the lineages of people from Adam to the exile in Babylon. Saul’s death is recorded in chapter 10. Chapter 11 begins the history of David’s reign.
I Chronicles was written after the Jews returned to Jerusalem around 538 B.C. from exile in Babylon. This was the result of a decree of Cyrus, king of Persia, who authorized the return.
This book was written from a priestly point of view and emphasizes the religious history of Judah and Israel. The northern kingdom is virtually ignored, David’s triumphs-not his sins-are recalled, and the temple is given great prominence as the vital center for worship.
Though not specifically named in the book, Ezra has been assumed to be the author.
The purpose of the book is to trace the Davidic line and to teach that genuine worship needs to be the center of both individual and national life.
The author evidently compiled the Chronicles to emphasize the importance of social and religious purity, and the place of the law, the temple, and the priesthood. It is apparent that he purposed not only to write history, but also to teach doctrinal and moral truth.
It seems that the writer was not writing a complete history of Israel but presumed his readers’ knowledge of the books of Samuel and Kings. If Chronicles were read by itself, it would give an unbalanced picture of Israelite history.
I Chronicles is also an invaluable supplement to II Samuel and a strong reminder for tracing our roots and rediscovering our foundation. It is good to trace our own godly heritage, thank God for our spiritual forefathers, and recommit ourselves to passing on God’s truth to the next generation.
David loved the Lord and wanted to build a temple to replace the tabernacle, but God denied his request. David’s greatest contribution to the temple was not the construction but the preparation.