Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 37


The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 37
Watching Now

I. Introduction

A. Position in the canon

B. Author and date

II. Contents

A. Adam to King Saul

B. God chooses David

C. Solomon succeeds David

D. Kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Zedekiah

  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Survey of the Old Testament



I. Introduction (00:13):

Welcome to the lecture on the book of Chronicles. Yes, that's right. Chronicles is one book, just like Samuel, just like Kings, just like Ezra-Nehemiah. Chronicles is one book in the Hebrew tradition. It was simply too long when we translated into Greek to get it onto one scroll. So that's when it became 1 and 2 Chronicles. As you know, we are in the third section of the Hebrew Bible. There's the law, there's the prophets and there's the writings. The writings are about covenant life. How do you think and live inside the covenant? Chronicles is in the second subgroup of the writing. So life in exile, how do you live and think in exile? There's kind of a theology of exile going on in Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles. That theology is, though we've experienced a return from exile, that return is not the one prophesied by the prophets. It was not the greater one that we had anticipated, it was actually a lesser one. So we still look for, with them a return from exile them with us in the resurrection, as we've been talking all along in this course.

A. Position in the Canon (01:17):

Let's talk about the position of the Chronicles in the canon and why that's important. We've done a little bit before, but it bares returning. We're going to talk about the position of the canon, date and authorship, and then we'll survey the contents of the book. The contents of the book are right up here. There's four sections, chapters one through nine deal with genealogies, from Adam to King Saul. Then here we have the life and ministry of David. Then down here, we have the life and ministry of Solomon, which is portrayed positively in Chronicles, not negatively as we saw in Kings. He was the faithful temple builder. Then here we have the divided kingdom period, but no Northern tribes are treated here. It's only a re-history of the south, okay. Israel is gone, it's just about the south.

So we're really honing in on that, you could say faithful remnant and focusing on kingship and priesthood. We have talked a lot about the position of this book in the canon, but we really want to reinforce the importance of Chronicles serving as the last book of the Hebrew Bible. We know that Jesus knew of his Bible in terms of a book that runs from Genesis in the beginning to Chronicles in the end, when he talks about the blood of all the prophets in Matthew 23:35 and parallel, Luke 11:51, that synoptic account, when it says, "all the righteous blood has been shed on the earth from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood Zechariah son of Berekiah whom you murdered between the temple and the altar."

These are the martyrdoms that occur in the very beginning in Genesis and at the very end in 2 Chronicles. There are like death notices, like we noticed with Moses and Joshua, weaving books together. These death notices kind of lay the outer limits of the canonical Corpus. Interestingly thinking about Genesis and Chronicles, the first and the last book of the Hebrew Bible, both Genesis and Chronicles begin with an Adam figure, all right. In fact, the first word of the book of Chronicles is Adom, Adam. They're tracing that genealogy. We're still on the hunt for the seed. Remember there is this obsession with the seed of the woman that runs through the Old Testament and Chronicles begins with saying, man, a long time has passed since that seed promise has been made, so let's go back to Adam and track that seed until current day.

That's what they do. They track it, where are we on the seed train. Also, Chronicles begins with genealogies in a similar way that Genesis holds major genealogies in this book. So both Genesis and Chronicles are concerned with genealogies. Additionally, both Genesis and Chronicles end with the prospect of redemption and a prophecy of a return to the land. Remember I told you that Genesis tells the story one time over. Then Exodus to Chronicles tells the story another time over. At the beginning of Chronicles, we're at the beginning of Genesis. At the end of Chronicles, we're at the end of Genesis, right? Do you remember in Genesis 50:24-25, where Joseph says to his brother, "I'm about to die and God will surely come to your aid," that verb to visit, "and He will take you up out the land that He promised, He swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear in an oath and said, God will surely come to your aid," visit you, "and then you must carry up or bring up my bones from this place."

There's that verb to visit and to bring up two times each year. The exact same verbs appear in the last verse of 2 Chronicles 36, “where God has appointed me to build a temple”. That verb appoint is the one to visit, and let him go up at the end is the exact same verb that Joseph bones wanted to go when they come out. So Canon scholars recognize that is no accident that these books begin the same way and end the same way and they occur at the first and the last end of the chapter. The theme of going up is also significant in Judges and is used to highlight the central role in Judah as the one who will go up and lead in victory and war. For example, in Joshua 1:1-2, and at the very end against the Benjaminites.

The book of Chronicles, however, doesn't just point back to Genesis, but it points forward to the New Testament, especially Matthew as Chronicles and Matthew, I love it when I fell on this, as Chronicles and Matthew are the only two books in the whole Christian Bible to begin with genealogies. They're the hinge of the Old New Testament. So the genealogies that are begun in Chronicles are finished in Matthew and the genealogy that climaxes in Matthew is Jesus. When you get to Jesus, the genealogies are done. He is the two things that the genealogies are looking for, the right priest and the right king. Paul House writes, "the book of Chronicles has a canonical awareness that makes it important for grasping the whole message of the Old Testament."

Selman writes, "Chronicles stands apart in its attempt to interpret the Old Testament from beginning to end,". Think of this, historically speaking, the book of Chronicles covers the greatest historical period of any book in the Old Testament. From creation, whenever you think that might be, all the way to the decree of Cyrus in 538 BC. But if you track the genealogy, they go even further. But at least the historical marker at the end is 538 BC. If you think about in antiquity, it's the first history of the world in our Bible. It's being communicated from a theological perspective. We have a theological history that teaches us about the world in Chronicles, from Adam to exile. Take that Greek historians, take that people doing that, the author of Chronicles beat you. Who wrote it then and when was it written? That's an important thing to know about.

B. Author and Date (07:11):

The author of the book is anonymous once again and there is no internal evidence that maybe used to identify any possible candidates. So what do we do? We begin with tradition and church history. Jewish tradition suggests that Ezra wrote it. The title, Chronicles represents surrendering of Jerome, which is Chronicon, Totius, Divenet, Historia, the Chronicle of the whole sacred history. There's this big, long [foreign language 00:07:37] translated, the things emitted from the kings of Judah. So, and it's going to be riding with 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Samuel in mind. That's their source documents. Or you can translate it as miscellaneous things concerning the Kings of Judah. The title in Hebrew is literally “the words of the day”, or you can translate it, the things of the days or the events of the days, the events of the times, or maybe the days of our lives would work.

These are the days of our lives. That's what it's like. A key reference for dating is located in 1 Chronicles 3:17-24. Everyone's favorite memory verse, which takes the Levitic dynasty all the way down to about 400 BC. The majority opinion then for the dating of these books is therefore around 400 to 350 BC, probably around 400 BC. So here's the thing Chronicles begins with Adam at, let's say just zero. We begin at “don't know BC”. The genealogy takes you all the way down to 400 BC, but then when you get to the end of the book, you're back at 538 BC. Now remember when I told you about Ezra-Nehemiah. That's that tacit indictment that the exile, that return from exile that we've experienced is not the right one.

That heaven on earth is not going to work just like the Solomonic heaven on earth did not work, just like the Edenic heaven on earth didn't work. We've got to get a place. We need a better Adam, a better garden, a better temple, a better city. Well, what's also interesting is that there are resources available to the author, oftentimes called the chronicler. Just like you have the canonicler, this is the chronicler, the guy who chronicled it. Now may be where the documentary hypothesis gets its kind of idea from, that they had these documents. I don't know any place in the world that Moses had these documents in the Sinai library. So we have here, you don't have to write them down, but we have this book, the genealogies of the clans and the kings, or you can say, the genealogies of the tribes of the kings.

Letters from foreign rulers, like we had Ezra-Nehemiah. They had letters from foreign rulers, songs of praise and lament, like probably the book of Psalms. There are 11 different prophetic writings, the book of the Kings of Israel and Judah and quotations from Genesis, Numbers, Joshua, Samuel Kings, Jeremiah and the Psalms. So this guy is a Bible scholar writing history, does that make sense? He's got biblical material in front of him and he's adapting that biblical material to tell a story. It is because the Bible just doesn't contain any kind of history. It's not unbiased history. It's super biased history. It's biased by the divine mind to write about the kingdom of God and to trace the seed and the covenant administration of the kingdom. It's covenantal history. It would appear then that the chronicler had access to the temple archives and documents collected by Nehemiah.

II. Contents (10:52):

So this could have been Ezra, this could have been Nehemiah, it could have been someone else that we don't know about out. Again, I've said this many times, but in my mind, Ezra's a guy who finished up the book and put it in its final form, maybe with Nehemiah as well. We know that Ezra was a scribe, we don't know about Nehemiah's literary skill. He would've been ascribe like Moses would've been a scribe. Let's take a look then at the contents and talk a little bit about that in terms of, basically we want to know, how did the chronicler shape the history of Israel in a way that's different from Samuel and Kings, that's trying to get us to think about the current history that he is living and working in. Again, it's not going to be a 100% retelling. We don't need that.

A. Adam to King Saul (11:33):

What he's doing is saying the kingdom has fallen, we've experienced exile and something's wrong and so I've got to write about it to explain it. The first section in Chronicles consists of a genealogy that begins with Adam and ends with the sons of Azel from the line of King Saul. So they end with his line. The first thing we notice in the genealogy is that they are not complete, but rather illustrative of the way in which God has been faithful to fulfill his promises to his people and direct the events of history. So the genealogies are selective. We know that from comparing them with other genealogies. So in the same way, the genealogy's Christ could be selective. It is because as they're trying to get like seven, seven, seven, seven, and the genealogies in Genesis could be selective.

Genealogies in the Bible were not necessarily designed to give you the exact historical linears one set at a time, but to give you certain number 10 or seven and to shape history. So you know how it worked. It could have been a son then a grandson or a son then a great grandson, like that. The second item worth taking note of is that a disproportionate amount of space is devoted to Judah and Levi. Judah gets 101 verses of genealogy, Levi gets 81 verses of genealogy, the house of the kings and priests. There are 407 verses in 1 Chronicles 1 to 9. Almost 50% is devoted to only two tribes. It is very similar in terms of a literary technique we saw, for example, in Judges, where in Judges chapter one, 21 verses were dedicated to the success of Judah in their conquest. One verse to Benjamin and in his failure, showing you that God is focusing on Judah's success, but also mocking Benjamin a little bit, because that's going to be the Saul-David conflict in the Benjamin-Judah conflict in kingship. That's still happening here.

Compare this to Ephraim, for example, who receives a total of nine verses. Naphtali, the whole tribe Naphtali, one verse, and the guy is mad. The tribes of Dan and Zebulun are not mentioned at all in these chapters. So they're not trying to be exhaustive. The focus is on kingship and priesthood and it would've been a significant issue related to the community rebuilding that Ezra-Nehemiah were doing. That's why you can see like Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles really form a unit. It's almost like they're the apocalypse of the Old Testament telling us about what to expect and who's coming. The presentation of genealogies are also concentric, that is, they circle around, circle around, circle around representing degrees of holiness. Guess who's in the middle? The Levites. 1 Chronicles 1:1-2 constitutes a linear genealogy from Adam to Israel, suggesting Israel was the goal of God's purpose in creation.

The genealogies enumerate the nations of the world according to the pattern of Genesis 10 in a counterclockwise direction. So they're going off of the table of nations in Genesis 10, from the perspective of Judah or Jerusalem as that would be at the center of the world. Now think about this, it's not that Israel was favored because they wanted to be favored Israel, and it's not that Judah was the center of the universe. It's the fact that Jesus was coming from that line and he's the center of the universe. So yes, God did favor the Jews, why? It’s because they were going to be the line to produce the Messiah who would save the world, that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. The genealogy not only show that in what they focus on, but in how they align things up and make concentric circles in those genealogies.

What's amazing is I have a whole book on the genealogies of Chronicles that talk about all this stuff. It's fascinating, but again, time constrains us. The genealogies after the initial one that goes from Adam to Israel, then they follow the world, Israel, Jerusalem, temple pattern. That's the pattern. So from the world to Israel, from Jerusalem to the temple. The world of the nations forms the first external circle with Israel at the center. The tribes of Israel for the second center with Judah, Benjamin and Levi in center stage, because remember Judah and Benjamin were the king tribes. Then Levi, with Levi in the very center of the circle. The third circle is Jerusalem and its inhabitants, the temple, the dwelling of Yahweh and its personnel in the center. So all the servants and the temple singers and all that stuff right in the center.

The genealogy looks like the temple or the tabernacle. We've got concentric circles of holiness as you move in and in and in. It's the same way too, in which Israel was stationed around the tabernacle, where we had the people out there and then the priests in there then temple, so that was a concentric circle. It's the same picture that we get in heaven with God at the center and the host around it and the elders in the middle. All of this is a picture or a repicture of that patterning. The genealogies in Chronicles link David to Adam, the genealogy in Luke links Jesus with Adam, the son of God. The structure of the genealogy highlights, Judah, David, Solomon, and the Levites. These figures highlighted in the genealogy are the same figures highlighted in the rest of the book.

The genealogy gives you the table of contents for what's coming up. The chronicler brackets the genealogy with Judah first, and then Benjamin last. The structuring points to the promise of the southern kingdom during the return from the Babylonian exile. Now this is very interesting. Two times in the genealogies King Saul is associated with the city of Gibeon rather than with the city of Gibeah. In 8:29 and 9:35, it says, Saul from Gibeon or Saul from Gibeah. Now, remember he's from Gibeah, but Gibbeon is really close. They've got the first same two letters, but not the last one.

Now, why is that important? It’s because the Gibeonites were the ones who in the days of Joshua. They tricked Joshua into entering into a covenant with them and so they're actually Canaanites. The chronicler is kind of poking at this a little bit and saying, hey, he's that king like all the other nations, he's really a Canaanite king. Remember how we talked about that, head and shoulders above the rest. They wanted him to be just like the other kings. So by calling that, little churn of speech right there, you can miss it. Most people don't even know. They just think, yeah, Gibeon, Gibeah, probably just a by name. No, that's a statement of Saul's kind of Canaanite heritage and why he was illegitimate king. He was the people's choice, David was Yahweh's choice.

All of these little details usually are lost on us because we try to read these as fast as possible. The best thing to do is to get a book on these things. Well, they're like reading a computer manual so it's not that exciting, and finding out like why from Adam to Israel, why the nations, why they put it together? You have to have like an architectural mind to do it. It's not just a list, it's an architectural that builds a house. The genealogical record in 1 Chronicles 9 is the only chapter in either book that mentions the actual return of the exiles to Judah. So in all of Chronicles, the return of the exiles are mentioned only in first Chronicles nine at the end of the genealogies. That's where that chapter ends, where it takes us back to about 400 BC.

Then it's going to back up and start talking about David. So now we're back to about 1,000 and then we're going to take that. So we go creation to 400, back up to 1,000, all the way to 538. Now that's what's called recursive narrative style. We've seen that in Genesis 1 and 2, where you do something, then you back up and you get it from a slightly different angle. So in 1 Chronicles 1 to 9, it's all done. Then you back and you're going to tell the story back here from 1,000 to 538 again. So to put it this way, I like this, this deals with, from beginning to 400, this goes back to a thousand-ish BC to 538. It's taking a section of this and discussing it again. That's that recursive narrative style. If you miss that, you miss the significance of what's going on. It takes careful reading.

This chronological perspective set forth in Chronicles, provides the reader with an eschatological hope. Note that Chronicles follows Ezra-Nehemiah, two, works that historically speaking follow the events recorded in Chronicles. So it's all out of order. The word is anachronistic, if you've ever heard that word. It's de-chronologized. Interestingly, apart from the book of Judges, Chronicles is the only other book to end with a verb. A verb that leaves the reader with a sense of hope because the author still expects a return from exile greater than that accomplished by Ezra-Nehemiah. Canon scholars make a lot of this. In fact, Stephen Dempster in his book, Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible, we can see dominion, kingdom, and dynasty seed. Have you seen the code for that book? It's a great book. Dempster takes a very similar approach to the canon that I have, and the first two chapters in the book are worth buying and reading because he's a great academic and he's kind of shown how all that works.

B. God Chooses David (21:02):

Now we're going to move into the next part right here. We're going to move into the David part. This part begins with the account of Saul's death and the termination of his dynasty in 9:35 through 10:14. Note that 40% of material covered in 1 and 2 Chronicles covers a relatively brief period of time, the reigns of David and Solomon. David reigned 40 years, Solomon reigned 40 years. So this big chunk right here is 40 years. This is how many years? Lots of years, we can't even calculate. This is a lot of years too, the divide in the monarchy, It's like 970 to 538, I mean to 586, okay. It's big. That's called narrative focus again. That's like, when you have the whole of Genesis from the beginning of the world, till you've got Israel about to enter the promised land, but from the middle of Exodus to the middle of Numbers, you're one year at Sinai, Exodus 19 to Numbers 10. The reigns of David and Solomon are 29 of the 65 chapters.

The chronicler has telescoped the account of David given in the book of Samuel to highlight two important events. The establishment of the Davidic Covenant by Yahweh, that's the first event. What do I mean by telescoped? He's abbreviated it. There's a lot left out. He's not trying to recount the whole Davidic narrative back in 2 Samuel, he's just showing us the briefest part. He is telescoped the account of David given in the books of Samuel or to highlight two important events, the establishment of the Davidic Covenant, so that's 1 Chronicle 17, 2 Samuel 7. The second thing in the life of David is highlighted by the chronicler is his preparation for building the temple. He provides the plans and the materials for the temple. He sets the duties for the Levites, the priests, the gatekeepers and the musician.

C. Solomon Succeeds David (22:51):

The role of Solomon in Chronicles is less significant in the account of Chronicles. David did like all the preliminary work. He raised the money, he got the plans, he set up the administration, but Solomon executed it. The relationship between David and Solomon in Chronicles is similar to the relationship we saw between Moses and Joshua. Moses did most of it, Joshua finished it up. But Joshua was the faithful follow-upper.In Chronicles, Solomon is going to be the faithful follow-upper too, which is going to be interesting. The presentation of the lives of David and Solomon lack most of the negative material that is found in Samuel and Kings. In Chronicles Solomon is completely clean kosher. So there there's no, we think about him, his sin was the fall of the kingdom, okay. As for David only his taking of the census is mentioned, because that's where you get the land for the temple. That's the only thing that's mentioned. So it's all temple driven.

An examination of the material recorded in this section reveals, two major events are highlighted by the chronicler for the reign of David. Note that both events are followed by an active worship. There are two things, one the bringing of the arc to Jerusalem followed by a song of praise, note that this song contains elements that are similar to or, can be extracted from Psalm 96, 105, 106 and 47,48. They're using elements from that, they're kind of borrowing from. Of course, Psalm 105 and 106 are historical Psalms. They're using that history there. We know that because we had a great lecture on the types of Psalms. That's the first thing the bringing of the arc to Jerusalem. The second is the preparation for the building of the temple followed by a prayer. Arc, praise, temple, praise, we're reestablishing that place.

Note that in this section, the chronicler is determined to emphasize two things, David's building of the kingdom and his building of the cult, building of the kingdom, building of the cult. Now by cult, I mean the system of worship, not something creepy. The author appears to alternate between two themes, that is, kingdom, capturing Jerusalem, cult, transport of the arc. Kingdom, military victories, cult, arc to Jerusalem and David desire to build the temple. Kingdom, military victories, cult, preparation for the temple. Do you ever wonder why you get these like lists of mighty men, some other stuff lists of mighty men, some other stuff, list of wars and battles, some other stuff. It's because that's the way they like to do it. They don't like to write in a linear fashion.

They like to weave it together, kingdom and cult, kingdom and cult, kingdom and cult. It's more like a tapestry than just one thread. That's the way Hebrew works and that's why we have to work at figuring out not just how to read Hebrew, but how to read Hebrew narrative. That's why Alter’s book is so helpful, the art of biblical narrative. That's this section. Really great on David, only the census thing, 70,000 people did die. Now we're going to be down here. We're going to be in Solomon's time. Solomon succeeds David and builds the temple in this section. The beginning of the rule of Solomon and his request for wisdom are located once again in 2 Chronicles 1. That took a little while, in the Samuel narrative, there were some things that went before, like he had to establish his kingdom, he had to eradicate his brother, stuff like that. But right here, it's the vision. It starts with the vision or the dream and the request for wisdom.

In fact, the entire life of Solomon is bracketed by references to his wisdom. So in 2 Kings 1:10, it says, "give me wisdom that I may lead this people, for who's able to govern this great people of yours." That's the request. Then in 2 Chronicles 9:23, it says, "all the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that got to put in his heart." So Solomon here is considered or construed as the great wisdom builder. Remember, like in Proverbs 8, where wisdom was the great builder. In Exodus, when God gave certain men wisdom, it's translated skill, but it's the same word in Hebrew, wisdom to build all the fancy things that he needed for the temple.

It's God who gives wisdom to build his house in this world. That's the most important thing about Solomon and it's his wisdom. Details about the temple's construction, dedication and divine blessing, take up the book of 2 Chronicles, 2 to 7. Remember Ezra-Nehemiah were obsessed with walls, foundations, cities, and gates. In Exodus 25 to 40, we've got the instructions for the tabernacle and the building of it. That's a lot of space, minus 32 to 34, golden calf. In Solomon's time a lot of space given to, we got these trees, we got this marble, we measured it out, we had these craftsmen, we had labor crews, all this stuff, build this building thing, this kingdom building project. The kingdom building project is what the author wants us to focus on.

Details about the temple's construction occupies that chunk 2 to 7. God's choice of Solomon to fulfill his task is recorded in 1 Chronicles 28:9-10, where He says, "as for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him but if you forsake Him, He'll reject you forever. Consider now for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary, be courageous and act". Now that be courageous and act, you can think about that. The words that the Lord gave to Joshua, be strong and courageous, it's the same kind of thing when he is being commissioned there. All of these hyperlinks back to kingdom administration.

Note that in 1 Chronicles, 28 to 29, prior to this formal treatment of Solomon, the chronicler notes three times that Yahweh had chosen Solomon to succeed David and build a temple. That chosen, and so it's the verb to choose there in Hebrew. So three times before he even gets on the scene, he says, I've chosen you, I've chosen you, I've chosen you. The importance of this triple notation may be gauged by the fact that these three passages are the only times in which the verb is applied to a king after David. Other than that, no more. David and Solomon are the only ones. I've sought for myself, a man, okay. That kind of language. This makes it clear that Yahweh chose Solomon for a singular purpose to build a temple in Jerusalem. That's the freight, even though his life was a train wreck. Solomon in that particular activity was successful.

So he says, for example, in 1 Chronicles, 28:6, "Yahweh said to me, David, Solomon, your son is the one who will build my house and my courts for I have chosen him to be," listen, "my son and I will be his father." You can see that again. In 1 Chronicles, 28:10, and 1 Chronicles, 29:1. I'm not going to repeat it. Chronicles highlights Solomon's temple building role by dividing his 40 year career into two unevenly treated periods of time. So for 40 years, the first 20 years appear in chapters one through seven, that's temple building. The second 20 years, the post temple projects, the consolidation of the kingdom, faithful worship, prosperity, and the recognition of his greatness by the queen of Sheba and other Kings, two chapters. Temple, temple, temple, temple, temple.

D. Kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Zedekiah (29:44):

We move into this last section, then gang, we're coming down the pike. The chronicler presents three types of kings. We talked about this earlier, it's the same thing. There are good kings, David, Solomon, Abijah, Jotham, Hezekiah. Isn't that interesting that Solomon's listed to the good king section? There are good and bad kings kind of mixed ones, Manasseh, Rehoboam, Jehoshaphat, Asa, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Josiah. Then bad ones, Jehoram, Azahiah, Athaliah, Ahaz, Amon, Jehoaz, Jehoakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah. Two additional items are worth mentioning. This is from Hamilton. First, “the types of kings presented by the Chronicle correspond to the types of churches in Revelation 2 to 3”. We said that earlier about the last time, in 2 Chronicles, “apostate kings are just as numerous as penitent Kings”.

This is another scatological feature of the Chronicles work that there are both these two sides apostate and penitent. The kings that follow David and Solomon are measured, right, by the reigns of David and Solomon. They're faithless to God in the affairs of the kingdom, especially as it relate to the temple and proper worship. Now this is a big change, right? In 1 Kings 12 and following, all of the kings are measured either, like David, my servant, or like Jeroboam son of Nebat. Now being added, Solomon is redeemed in Chronicles in some sense, which gives me hope and which makes me think like, okay, he really could have been the author of that stuff back in Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs. So that's really good. Sometimes it's not the explicit things that are said, but it's kind of like of Gibeon or like, and they were faithful like David and Solomon.

David conquered the kingdom, Solomon built the house. They were faithful. Finally, gang, we've said this over and over again, but it bears noting, the last words of the author recite the decree of Cyrus that the people may now go up or return. And you know that the people of God have already returned from exile when this book was written. This is what Hamilton says right here, "the last words of the author to an audience that has already gone up to Zion is that they may yet, again, go up to Zion. They recognize the point of the conclusion, you who have gone up and gone home can now go up and go home." It means, well, where do we go? Who do we go with? Who's going to lead us? It leads us asking that question for 400 years. Thankfully we live on the other side of that 400 year bracket. We know who led us, who is bringing us home, and who's doing the conquering.

III. Conclusions and Questions (32:40):

That's the book of Chronicles. It’s a great book, probably more exciting than you thought. Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles are oftentimes not loved and appreciated by the church as they should be. They do have some lengthy lists and lengthy materials. But if you look at them from a covenantal, biblical, theological perspective, and you know why they're talking about houses and why they're talking about genealogies and why they're talking about temples. It actually can serve to shape your eschatological worldview and how you live in this world, which is life in the land, life in exile. All right, any questions I'd love to have at this point.

Throughout this, God has a preordained plan and He's working it through. He tells us ahead of time, He does it. Scripture tells us why. There are times throughout the Old Testament where God changes His mind. Like Hezekiah, He says, Hezekiah, you're going to die, then He says, oh, you're not going to die. Or relenting to not destroy in the flood, so how does that fit with things being preordained?

Yeah. Good question.

God changes His mind and yet things are preordained.

Yeah. So that verb it's like N-C-H-M, nchm in Hebrew. It has a very wide range of meaning. It can mean, I'm sorry, I regret, I relent. When God says something like that, it's a little bit different than we say it. We say it because we didn't know. God said it because He chose to act this way even though He knew He was going to have to change His mind because humans were involved and He cares for the way humans interact with Him. He may do something first the hard way, have to back up and do it again. But then that's the way He intended it to be. So for example, at the flood, He regrets or He is sorry that He created the world because evil has come to such a hideous height. He's got to destroy it, but He's still going to save it, does that make sense? So it doesn't change His sovereignty, but it does say that He's invested in what He's created and He's moved by what He's doing, which to me is a remarkable thing that He just doesn't scrape us off the ground.

It is actually sovereignty with a passionate connection to the object. I think that's the best way to describe it. Think of God’s sovereignty in the fact that for how many years did He have to anticipate His Son on the cross? That's an amazing thing to think about and how He orchestrated that. There involved so many different administrations of the covenant of grace to get there. Even now we're still awaiting the consummation of that new covenant. We've had the down payment, the achieved work, but we're waiting for the final judgment and the final reward. So it's all in His plan, but sometimes it grieves Him how we get there because He is connected to us personally.