1 Chronicles 1–29

Old Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2003), 144–45


Introduction

The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book, but they almost always appear as two books in translations from the time of the Greek Septuagint. They were completed sometime after Cyrus issued the decree that allowed the Jews to return from captivity in Babylon (ca. 538 B.C.) and are, in part, a post-exile sequel to the histories in the books of Samuel and Kings. The authorship of Chronicles is uncertain. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are the historical continuation of the books of Chronicles.

The purpose of Chronicles was to help the returning exiles remember their relationship with the Lord and with the former united nation of Israel. The genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1–9 and the account of the success of the Davidic kingdom in 1 Chronicles 10–29 reminded Israel of the Lord’s hand in choosing and guiding His people.

Nearly half of the material in Chronicles was taken from the books of Samuel and Kings, but the author included only material he felt helped the people see themselves as God’s chosen people. Almost everything that would detract from that image, such as David’s sin against Uriah and the rebellion of Absalom, was left out. In 2 Chronicles 1–9 the writer emphasized the glory of the temple Solomon built and the importance of temple worship. Nothing was written about Solomon’s foreign wives or his idolatry.

The history of the kings of Judah, particularly in 2 Chronicles 10–32, illustrates that having a king or even a temple was not a guarantee of divine protection and blessing. Only when the king and the people were obedient to God’s laws were the promises of the Abrahamic covenant realized.

The returning exiles were not granted the status of an independent nation with a king of their own. They were still under the authority of Persia. For those Jews returning from exile, temple service and obedience to the law were emphasized as the source of divine blessing. Israel never again succumbed to her old sin of idolatry. However, in time an equally dangerous tendency began to manifest itself. The leaders of the Jews placed great emphasis on the law of Moses and added numerous rules to prevent anyone from violating it. Many people became so zealous for the law that they became blind to the lawgiver, Jesus Christ, and rejected Him when He came.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Suggestions for Teaching

1 Chronicles 1–29. The Lord’s prophets frequently remind and encourage us to live the gospel. (15–20 minutes)

On the board write practice makes perfect, and ask students if they agree. Underneath it write practicing correct principles makes perfect and ask which statement is more correct and why. (We cannot become perfect by practicing wrong principles.) Explain that the second statement helps us understand why our Church leaders often counsel us repeatedly on the same subjects. Have students list some of the subjects that Church leaders often speak about. Ask them why they think those principles are taught so often.

Tell students that some people wonder why the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles repeats so much of what was previously taught in the Old Testament. Explain that he gathered much of his material from other books, primarily the books of Samuel and Kings. The following table lists where parallel passages can be found and compared.

1 Chronicles

Event

Parallels

1:1–4

The generations from Adam to Japheth

Genesis 5:1–32

1:5–28

The generations from Japheth to Abraham

Genesis 10:2–31; 11:10–26

1:29–31

Ishmael’s posterity

Genesis 25:12–16

1:32–33

Keturah’s sons

Genesis 25:1–4

1:34–54

Esau’s posterity

Genesis 36:10–43

2:1–2

Israel’s (Jacob’s) sons

Genesis 35:22–26

2:3–17

Judah’s posterity

Genesis 38:2–7, 29–30; Ruth 4:18–22; Matthew 1:3–6

3:1–9

David’s sons

2 Samuel 3:2–5; 5:14–16

4:24–33

Simeon’s posterity

Joshua 19:1–9

5:3

Reuben’s sons

Genesis 46:9

5:23–26

The people of Israel forsake the Lord and are taken captive

2 Kings 15:19–31; 17:6–18

6:54–81

Levite cities

Joshua 21:3–39

9:1–18

Inhabitants of Jerusalem

Nehemiah 11:3–19

10:1–12

The Philistines defeat Israel; Saul dies

1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 1:4–12

11:1–9

David is anointed king

2 Samuel 5:1–10

11:10–41

David’s warriors

2 Samuel 23:8–39

13

David takes the ark from Kirjathjearim

2 Samuel 6:1–11

14

David defeats the Philistines

2 Samuel 5:11–25

15:25–16:3

The ark is taken into Jerusalem

2 Samuel 6:12–19

16:8–22

David’s Psalm of Thanksgiving

Psalm 105:1–15

16:23–33

David praises the Lord

Psalm 96

17

David offers to build a house of the Lord

2 Samuel 7

18

Israel’s enemies are subdued

2 Samuel 8

19

The Ammonites abuse David’s messengers

2 Samuel 10

20

Israel defeats the Ammonites and the Philistines

2 Samuel 11:1; 12:29–31; 21:15–22

21

David numbers Israel

2 Samuel 24

29:26–30

David’s death

1 Kings 2:10–12

Choose any of the events listed in the chart and have students compare the parallel passages and find similarities and differences. The chart could be duplicated for each student or made into a poster and displayed.

To further illustrate the repetition of gospel teachings, help students compare Matthew 5:3–12 with 3 Nephi 12:3–12 and ask them why they think the Lord repeated His beatitudes in 3 Nephi. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:45–49 and discuss why Moroni might have repeated his message to Joseph Smith four times in such a short time period. Help them understand that repeated teaching of correct principles not only reminds us of how we should live but ensures that those important principles are taught to new members of the Church and to new generations of members.

1 Chronicles 5:18–26. We should repent, be courageous in righteousness, and put our trust in the Lord. (20–25 minutes)

Discuss with students what we must do to receive the full blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Have them search 1 Samuel 8:1–20 and 12:14–25 and look for why Israel wanted a king and what Samuel prophesied about being ruled by a king. Discuss examples from the lives of Saul, David, and Solomon that show the truthfulness of Samuel’s prophecies. Share some of the information from the introduction to 1 Chronicles 1–29 (p. 144) to help them understand that the returning Jews no longer had a king to depend upon.

Have students study 1 Chronicles 5:18–26 and discuss what helped determine Israel’s success or failure against her enemies. Ask them to identify other scriptures that teach us to be obedient and trust in the Lord (for examples, see Topical Guide, “trust in God,” pp. 539–40). Use information from the introduction (p. 144) to explain what happened to Jewish worship after their return from captivity in Babylon. Ask them what some people depend upon today instead of depending on the Lord. Read Alma 36:3 and ask how our lives would be better if we trusted and obeyed the Lord more fully.

weekly icon 1 Chronicles 29:29. The Bible does not contain everything that God has revealed to His prophets. He reveals His will to His children in all times through His chosen prophets. (20–25 minutes)

On the board write Nathan 2:7–8 and Gad 7:16. Ask students to look up those references and find out what they say about the Bible. When students realize that those books are not in the Bible, have them read 1 Chronicles 29:29 to see that they once existed.

Help students understand that many people think that the Bible contains all the word of God and that we do not need modern scripture. Ask them what they have learned so far from their study of the Old Testament about how and why Heavenly Father communicates with His prophets. Have them imagine what might have happened if the only revelation Noah received was the written account of the Lord’s dealings with Adam or if the only counsel Moses received from the Lord was what He had revealed to Noah. Ask students what is unique about our own day that makes modern revelation necessary (see Amos 3:7; Ephesians 4:11–14; D&C 1:11–17).

Discuss what 2 Nephi 29 teaches about the purpose of other scriptures. Discuss how God loves all His children and continues to reveal His will to them through His chosen prophets.