Study Guide

1 Chronicles Summary

1 Chronicles Summary

Our story begins in the most attention-grabbing way possible—with nine chapters of genealogies. That's right, the first third of this book is a whole bunch of ancient name-dropping and figuring out who begat who. It's absolutely riveting and we…zzzzzzz.

But buried in all those hard-to-pronounce Hebrew names is some important stuff. The author starts with Adam (the first guy) and goes up through Abraham (the guy God made that covenant with) and Jacob (the guy with the 12 sons). Jacob's sons would go on to form the 12 tribes of Israel, who are pretty much the backbone of Jewish history and culture.

The Chronicler is mainly interested in the tribes that formed the southern half of the ancient Kingdom of Israel—Benjamin, Judah, and Levi. Benjamin and Judah are hugely important because they're both ancestors of kings—Saul and David respectively. Levi's tribe is the one in charge of all the holy stuff. They've totally got an in with God.

After we get all those names and lists out of the way, the real story starts. Israel's King Saul has just died and someone needs to step up to the plate. That someone is named David and he would go on to become the most just, beloved, and celebrated king in all of Jewish history. Seriously, if they made a TV show about him it would be called Everybody Loves David.

And no one loves David more than the author of this book. He reiterates all David's greatest moments. The time he set up the capital in Jerusalem—awesome. And then brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city—even better. Each and every victory he had during wartime—totally amazing. And his decision to build a Temple dedicated to Yahweh –where can one even begin?

But in the end, even the greatest kings must die. David goes out by passing the torch to his son Solomon, and asking him to be the one to actually build the Temple in Jerusalem. David's dying words are basically, Don't mess this up, kid. Will Solomon be another great king? You'll have to skip over to 2 Chronicles to know for sure.

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