Today marks the beginning of our plan that will carry us through the summer. We’re going to read 1 Chronicles, then go back and read the prophets mentioned throughout 1 Chronicles. Then we’ll move onto 2 Chronicles and do the same!
We believe that the Holy Spirit has preserved these books for a reason and we can’t wait see what we learn from God’s Word as we study these ancient books.
1 Chronicles Overview
In order to understand the book of 1 Chronicles and the context in which it was written, we have to go back to the beginning of God’s story. We see that all of Scripture points to God and His rescue plan through Jesus. God designed the world for people to be in perfect relationship with Him and with each other. However, man sinned, rebelled, and chose to break a relationship with a good and holy God. Immediately after sin enters the world, God promises that in spite of the brokenness He will one day send a Victor to overcome sin and death—and bring restoration. From there, we see a pattern in Scripture of man rebelling against God, doing what is right in their own eyes, and God delivering them.
Fast forward to 1400 B.C. The new generation of Israelites enter into the Promised Land, but they don’t want to be set apart as a nation like God commands them. They desire to look just like the rest of the people in the land. The Israelites get into these cycles of sin and God raises up military leaders called Judges to point them back to righteousness. But the people want a king. God raises up kings, even though He is the King that they really need. A majority of these kings are unrighteous, and eventually this kingdom is split into two. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BC, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC. God allowed them to return to Israel from captivity, but it is not the same. The temple and walls are broken, and the people don’t remember the Law.
The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were written after the exile in order to teach the Israelites returning from exile how to faithfully serve and worship God. It is not only a rebuilding of what they were physically, but a spiritual rebuilding for the people of God. The words of this book acted as a reminder of their history, the consequences of their sin, and the promises of God to restore all things one day. God had always been their help throughout the ages. The people needed to recall God’s faithfulness and ancient covenant promises to Abraham, Moses, and David. The time frame in which this book was written mirrors 2 Samuel and 1 Kings, but broadly covers Adam all the way to the Babylonian captivity. Scholars suggest that 1 Chronicles is likely written between 450 and 425 BC. The author is unknown, but Jewish tradition credits it to the priest and scribe Ezra. As a result, the storyline reflects more of a priestly perspective compared to Samuel and Kings.
There are extensive genealogies written in the book of 1 Chronicles. We are about to read 10 chapters of them! Genealogies at the time this book was written were a big deal. They reveal God’s character and His promises. They tell us the full story. Circle the names you have seen before. Write down what you know about them. Ask how they fit into God’s providential plan. Some of these names and stories might sound familiar, but it’s not just a repeat! In these next 29 chapters look for examples to follow, sins to avoid, commands to keep, and promises of God to trust in. We might be tempted to skip past these chapters and get to the action, but we know that God’s Word does not return void.
Read 1 Chronicles 1
Historical Records From Adam to Abraham
To Noah’s Sons
1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3 Enoch, Methuselah,Lamech, Noah.
4 The sons of Noah:
Shem, Ham and Japheth.
5 The sons of Japheth:
Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.
6 The sons of Gomer:
Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah.
7 The sons of Javan:
Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites and the Rodanites.
8 The sons of Ham:
Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.
9 The sons of Cush:
Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah and Sabteka.
The sons of Raamah:
Sheba and Dedan.
10 Cush was the father of
Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on earth.
11 Egypt was the father of
the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 12 Pathrusites, Kasluhites (from whom the Philistines came) and Caphtorites.
13 Canaan was the father of
Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, 14 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 16 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites.
17 The sons of Shem:
Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
The sons of Aram:
Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.
18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,
and Shelah the father of Eber.
19 Two sons were born to Eber:
One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan.
20 Joktan was the father of
Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,22 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan.
24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah
27 and Abram (that is, Abraham).
The Family of Abraham
28 The sons of Abraham:
Isaac and Ishmael.
Descendants of Hagar
29 These were their descendants:
Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael.
Descendants of Keturah
32 The sons born to Keturah, Abraham’s concubine:
Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan:
Sheba and Dedan.
33 The sons of Midian:
Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Keturah.
Descendants of Sarah
34 Abraham was the father of Isaac.
The sons of Isaac:
Esau and Israel.
35 The sons of Esau:
Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah.
36 The sons of Eliphaz:
Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz;
by Timna: Amalek.
37 The sons of Reuel:
Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah.
The People of Seir in Edom
38 The sons of Seir:
Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan.
39 The sons of Lotan:
Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister.
40 The sons of Shobal:
Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam.
The sons of Zibeon:
Aiah and Anah.
41 The son of Anah:
The sons of Dishon:
Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Keran.
42 The sons of Ezer:
Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.
The sons of Dishan:
Uz and Aran.
The Rulers of Edom
43 These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned:
Bela son of Beor, whose city was named Dinhabah.
44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king.
45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king.
46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. His city was named Avith.
47 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah succeeded him as king.
48 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river succeeded him as king.
49 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan son of Akbor succeeded him as king.
50 When Baal-Hanan died, Hadad succeeded him as king. His city was named Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab. 51 Hadad also died.
The chiefs of Edom were:
Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.
Let’s acknowledge what you’re probably thinking: that’s a lot of names (and you may have never seen most of them before)! The book of 1 Chronicles begins with a series of continued genealogies. These lists of lineages take us from Adam and Eve to Abraham and David and beyond. To us, genealogies may seem like a bunch of names on paper, but God specifically places genealogies in the Bible to communicate His greater plan to us. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says that “All (emphasis added) Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Lord purposefully created, deeply loved, and thoughtfully used the people in the genealogies of 1 Chronicles to establish the Earth. Each name served a purpose in God’s plan, and these genealogies were intended to serve as a reminder of God’s faithful work in the lives of His people.
Genealogies reflect on the past to point towards the future. In 1 Chronicles, the storylines of the royal line (through David’s lineage), and the priestly line (through Aaron’s lineage) are emphasized. This is in order to orient the people of God towards the approaching reality of Jesus’ first coming. In His perfect life, sacrificial death, and miraculous resurrection He revealed Himself as the Messianic King and High Priest! Furthermore, Matthew 1 (the first book of the New Testament) follows a genealogy that includes many of the same names found in 1 Chronicles. The New Testament draws on the genealogies of the Old Testament as a way of making the theological claim for Christ as Savior, Lord, and King. Ultimately, Jesus is the centerpiece of the entire Gospel story (from Genesis to Revelation), and his family lineage plays a role in revealing His authority!
While the people living in the time of 1 Chronicles 1 were looking towards Jesus’ first coming, we are now a people living in the time of awaiting Jesus’ second coming. Hebrews 9:8 says, “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” As we learn more deeply about the importance of reflecting on the past of Jesus’ lineage, how marvelous is it that God freely offers to include us into His eternal family? More so, let us pray to be a people that desires for our distant relatives of Adam to be brought into the eternal family that Christ freely offers through His love, power, and grace.
- What is your initial reaction towards reading genealogies in the Bible? Why do you think the Lord intentionally places them throughout His Holy Word?
- Jesus came from a royal and priestly lineage, yet through His life, death, and resurrection has made a way for all of us to become part of His family. How significant is that to your understanding of God’s identity and your own identity?
- For those who are believers and have been brought into Christ’s family, how can this lead you towards eagerness to share this Good News with the lost around you?
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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 1 + Overview”
In a list of mostly obscure names, we need to remember that they somehow made it into the narrative of holy scripture. Just like you and me, each one was created in the image of God and was known and loved by God. The beautiful thing we see is the spiritual heritage of every believer tied to these unfamiliar names. Each person was intentionally woven into the loving plan of our personal God. I’m excited to read and be reminded of how God was at work through his people for generations.
This is interestingly confusing but I do know God has a purpose. I found the Enduring Word commentary helped some more also. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-chronicles-1
“This is an ancient graveyard. The names of past generations who were born and died, who loved and suffered, who stormed and fought through the world, are engraven on these solid slabs. But there is no inscription to record their worth or demerit. Just names, and nothing more.” (Meyer) this is from Enduring Word about 1 Chronicles. I also read that Abraham concubine was his second wife and I didn’t know that. There is always more and more details to learn in God’s Word that makes it more alive and helps as we traverse these days, WOOHOO!!
God thank You for Your Word and details. Thank You for learning each day more and more about You. Thank You for how the details come together to make the picture of who You are, what happened and why more complete. God thank You for continuing to open the eyes of my understanding to Your Word and about You in Jesus name amen