Vernon McGee Thru The Bible: 13 - 1 CHRONICLES

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Vernon McGee Thru The Bible: 13 - 1 CHRONICLES

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The ACTS of the Old Testament


Probably Ezra. There is a striking resemblance in style and language to the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Evidently Chronicles was written during the Babylonian captivity. It could have been a compilation, assembled by Ezra, of diaries and journals of the priests and prophets. These two Books of Chronicles not only constituted one book in the original, but apparently also included Ezra and Nehemiah. This lends support to the authorship of Ezra and supports the Jewish tradition. Scholars have noted a similarity in the Hebrew of all four books.


Many treat Chronicles and Kings as if they were “Cabbages and Kings.” Are the Chronicles a duplication of Kings? Although they cover the same ground from Saul to Zedekiah, they are not duplications. Greek translators gave Chronicles the title of “Things Omitted” — there is more here which does not occur in the other historical books. This is another instance of the law of recurrence or recapitulation, seen previously in Genesis 2 and Deuteronomy, by which God goes over previously covered ground in order to add details and emphasize that which He considers important. This is exactly the case in Chronicles. David is the subject of 1 Chronicles; the house of David is prominent in 2 Chronicles. Chronicles gives the history of Judah while practically ignoring the northern kingdom. Chronicles does not record David’s sin — when God forgives, He forgets. The temple and Jerusalem are prominent in Chronicles. In Kings, the history of the nation is given from the throne; in Chronicles, it is given from the altar. The palace is the center in Kings; the temple is the center in Chronicles. Kings records the political history; Chronicles records the religious history. Chronicles is an interpretation of Kings — hence the constant reference in Kings to Chronicles. Kings gives us man’s viewpoint; Chronicles gives us God’s viewpoint (note this well as you read Chronicles; it will surprise you).



I. Genealogies, Chapters 1 — 9

This is important to God. We must be sons of God before we can do the work of God. “Ye must be born again” (Joh_3:7). These help explain the two genealogies of Christ in Matthew and Luke (compare 1Ch_3:5 with Luk_3:31).

II. Saul’s reign, Chapter 10

III. David’s reign, Chapters 11 — 29

A. David’s mighty men, Chapters 11, 12

B. David and the ark, Chapters 13 — 16

C. David and the temple, Chapter 17

D. David’s wars, Chapters 18 — 20

E. David’s sin in numbering the people, Chapter 21

F. David’s preparation and organization for building the temple, Chapters 22 — 29


I. Solomon’s reign, Chapters 1 — 9 Building the temple is his most important accomplishment.

II. Division of the kingdom and the history of Judah, Chapters 10 — 36

Reformations given prominence:

A. Asa’s, Chapters 14 — 16

B. Jehoshaphat’s, Chapters 17 — 20

C. Joash’s, Chapters 23, 24

D. Hezekiah’s, Chapters 29 — 32

E. Josiah’s, Chapters 34, 35



I. Genealogies, Chapters 1 — 9

Chapter 1 — This chapter begins abruptly with the genealogy of Adam. There is nothing extant to compare to the first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles — the story of man from Adam through David, tribes of Israel, and especially the tribe of Levi through the 70-year captivity (Ezr_2:62). Genesis is the book of the families, and this section of 1 Chronicles selects that which God considers essential to the record leading to Christ (Genesis 5, 10, 11, 16, 21, 25, 29, 36, 46).

Chapter 2 — This is the genealogy from Israel through Judah and Jesse to David. Also, the descendants of Caleb are traced to the offspring for whom the cities Bethlehem, Beth-gader and Kirjathjearim are named.

Chapter 3 — The line of David is traced through his sons and then Solomon’s line, the royal family, is followed. 1Ch_3:17 — see Jer_22:24 in connection with Jeconiah. The line is followed through the 70-year captivity. 1Ch_3:19 — see Mat_1:12 in connection with Zerubbabel who was carried into captivity. 1Ch_3:22 — see Ezr_8:2 in connection with Hattush.

Chapter 4 — The posterity of Judah through Caleb and Shelah is followed, also the tribe of Simeon.

Chapter 5 — The tribe of Reuben is followed to the captivity. 1Ch_5:1-2 — Reuben lost the birthright and it was given to Joseph, not Judah. Judah prevailed and the ruler came from Judah. The tribe of Gad is recorded to the reign of Jotham over Judah and the captivity of the northern kingdom. The reason for the captivity is given in 1Ch_5:25-26.

Chapter 6 — The tribe of Levi (family of high priests) is traced through the sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. The official occupation of Aaron and his sons is given in 1Ch_6:49.

Chapter 7 — Gives the genealogies of the tribes of Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim and Asher. These went into Assyrian captivity.

Chapter 8 — Traces the genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin, with special reference to Saul and Jonathan.

Chapter 9 — Gives the genealogy of the tribe of Levi when it was scattered among the cities of the 12 tribes. Verse 1 is a significant statement in reference to the importance of the genealogies, especially in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, as they relate to the humanity of Christ.

II. Saul’s reign, Chapter 10

From God’s viewpoint, Saul’s reign was not important. His death is recorded again and the reason for it is given (1Ch_10:13).

III. David’s reign, Chapters 11 — 29

A. David’s mighty men, Chapters 11, 12 Chapter 11 — While only one chapter is devoted to Saul, the remainder of 1 Chronicles is devoted to the reign of David, and 2 Chronicles is given over to the reign of David’s line. It is easy to see where God placed the emphasis and why. David was not only a man after God’s own heart, but his line is leading to Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. This chapter records again David’s ascension to the throne and catalogs his mighty men (see notes on 2 Samuel 23). These are the deeds that God considered important enough to record twice.

Chapter 12 — Records those who came to David during the days of his rejection. 1Ch_12:15-18 give the thrilling account of the men who swam over the flooded Jordan River to join the ranks of David and pledge to him their undying allegiance.

B. David and the ark, Chapters 13 — 16

Chapter 13 — Repeats David’s attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem on a cart (see 2 Samuel 6). 1Ch_13:6 clearly informs us that God did not dwell in a material house “between the cherubim.”

Chapter 14 — God prospers David materially, which was the blessing He had promised His earthly people.

Chapter 15 — David brings up the ark according to God’s original instructions (1Ch_15:2). 1Ch_15:29 gives the reason Michal was rejected as being the mother of the royal line.

Chapter 16 — God places the emphasis upon the sacrifices that speak of Christ (1Ch_16:1-3). David organizes a choir and writes a psalm of praise for them to sing. David also organizes the priests into courses.

C. David and the temple, Chapter 17

David’s desire to build God a house delighted the Lord, and He repeats it here. Then God makes a covenant with David (see notes on 2 Samuel 7).

D. David’s wars, Chapters 18 — 20

Chapter 18 — David fully organizes his kingdom and expands it to its largest extent and border. Even then, they occupied only 30,000 square miles of the 300,000 square miles God had given them.

Chapter 19 — Joab leads a campaign against Ammon and Syria (see notes on 2 Samuel 10).

Chapter 20 — Joab takes the city of Rabbah. This was when David committed his sin with Bathsheba. Notice that God does not record it here. When God says He will remember our sins no more, He means it.

E. David’s sin in numbering the people, Chapter 21

David’s greatest sin in numbering the people is recorded because God permitted him to choose his punishment. Here we see who was the mastermind in promoting this sin of pride (1Ch_21:1). (See notes on 2 Samuel 24.)

F. David’s preparation and organization for building the temple, Chapters 22 — 29

Chapter 22 — David’s chief ambition was to build the temple. It was his plan and he gathered the materials (read carefully 1Ch_22:1-5 and 1Ch_22:14-19). The reason God did not permit David to build the temple is clearly stated in 1Ch_22:8-9. The temple should be called David’s temple, not Solomon’s.

Chapter 23 — David makes Solomon king and organizes the Levites to serve and sing in the new temple.

Chapter 24 — The priests are divided into orders to serve in the

temple. Also, the service of the sons of Kohath and Merari is divided.

Chapter 25 — The singers and orchestra are organized (1Ch_25:1).

Chapter 26 — The porters and guards are organized for temple service.

Chapter 27 — The tribes of Israel are organized to serve in connection with the temple.

Chapter 28 — David encourages the people in building the temple. This reveals the passion of David’s heart (see 1Ch_28:2-3). He gives to Solomon the blueprint for the temple (1Ch_28:11-13) and encourages him to build the temple (1Ch_28:20-21).

Chapter 29 — Notice that David’s final word to the nation had to do with the building of the temple. Indeed, David loved the Lord (1Ch_29:2-3). 1Ch_29:10-19 give David’s great prayer which was evidently used by our Lord in the so-called Lord’s Prayer. This is one of the great prayers of Scripture — it is all-comprehensive, majestic, and filled with adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. It repudiates all human merit, declares human dependence upon God, reveals self- humiliation, confession, and dedication of self, admitting that all belongs to God.

This chapter closes the book of 1 Chronicles with the death of David and ascension of Solomon to the throne.


Crockett, William Day. A Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings,

and Chronicles. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House,


Darby, J. N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. Addison, Illinois:

Bible Truth Publishers, n.d.

Davis, John J. and John C. Whitcomb, Jr. A History of Israel. Grand

Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1970. (Excellent.)

Epp, Theodore H. David. Lincoln, Nebraska: Back to the Bible

Broadcast, 1965.

Gaebelein, Arno C. The Annotated Bible. Neptune, New Jersey:

Loizeaux Brothers, 1912-22.

Gray, James M. Synthetic Bible Studies. Westwood, New Jersey:

Fleming H. Revell Co., 1906.

Heading, John. I & II Chronicles. Kansas City, Missouri: Walterick

Publishers, 1982.

Jensen, Irving L. I Kings with Chronicles. Chicago, Illinois: Moody

Press, 1968. (A self-study guide.)

Jensen, Irving L. II Kings with Chronicles. Chicago, Illinois: Moody

Press, 1968. (A self-study guide.)

Kelly, William. Lectures on the Earlier Historical Books of the Old

Testament. Addison, Illinois: Bible Truth Publishers, 1874.

Knapp, Christopher. The Kings of Israel and Judah. Neptune, New

Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1908. (Very fine.)

Mackintosh, C. H. Miscellaneous Writings. Neptune, New Jersey:

Loizeaux Brothers, n.d.

Meyer, F. B. David: Shepherd, Psalmist, King. Fort Washington,

Pennsylvania: Christian Literature Crusade, n.d.

Sailhamer, John. I & II Chronicles. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press,


Sauer, Erich. The Dawn of World Redemption. Grand Rapids,

Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951.

(An excellent Old Testament survey.)

Scroggie, W. Graham. The Unfolding Drama of Redemption. Grand

Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970.

(An excellent survey and outline of the Old Testament.)

Unger, Merrill F. Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament.

Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1981.

(Volume I covers Genesis through Song of Solomon with a fine

summary of each paragraph.)

Wood, Leon J. Israel’s United Monarchy. Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Baker Book House, 1979. (Excellent.)

Wood, Leon J. The Prophets of Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Baker Book House, 1977. (Excellent.)