1 Chronicles

by Sarah Barry   06/20/2000     0 reads




Daily bread - Old testament [2000]

13 - 1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles
Key Verse:


1 & 2 Chronicles were most likely written by Ezra, after or at the time of the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity (c. 430 BC). They cover Israel's history from the beginning of the monarchy to its end. It is the same period of history covered by the books of 2 Samuel and Kings. The Chronicler, however, is primarily concerned with the history of the southern kingdom, Judah. He mentions Israel only when Israel's history touches Judah's. He is writing for the Jews who are struggling to begin a new life after 70 years of exile.

The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles contain many names--genealogical and property records, etc. The Chronicler puts special emphasis on the genealogies of Judah (David's tribe) and Levi, the tribe of the priests. The hero of 1 Chronicles is King David. He is the Shepherd of Israel. The Shepherd God called David and trained him to be the shepherd of his people. In 2 Chronicles the Levites rather than the kings are the heroes. They were the caretakers of the temple and the Bible teachers of the nation. The restoration of the temple was a miracle. It reminded the returned exiles that God still loved them and had a purpose for them. The key to national restoration, however, was the Bible. They must study it and put it into practice. This is also our key to national and personal restoration. We will begin our daily readings with 1 Chronicles 9. Read through the genealogies.


Chronicles 1:1-8:39 A sense of history

Key Verse: 9:1

1. Genealogies from Genesis (1:1-2:2)

The Chronicler goes from Adam to Noah in 1:1-3. 1:4-27 contains the genealogies of Noah's sons, concluding with and focusing on Shem, the ancestor of the elect line. This brings us to Abraham. 1:28-50 summarizes Abraham's children, including those of Hagar and Keturah--and Sarah. Sarah's elect son, Isaac, had twin sons: Jacob and Esau. The genealogy of Esau, the non-elect son, is summarized here (1:35-51) as in Genesis 36. The genealogical records of the sons of Jacob, the elect son, are recorded in detail, for these are the patriarchs of Israel. The names of Jacob's sons are listed in 2:1-2, with the 6 sons of Leah, Jacob's first wife, mentioned first.

2. Judah's line (2:3-4:23)

Judah is the elect son; he is the ancestor of King David. David's family is the focus of this section. David's descendants, the kings of Judah from Solomon to the exile, are recorded in 2:10-16, and the royal line after the exile is recorded in 2:17-24.

3. The other tribes and Levi (4:24-8:39)

The Levites were responsible for temple worship--and the music. Their names, duties and property rights are listed in chapters 6 and 9:10-34. All priests were descendants of Aaron. The majority of the pioneers who returned to re-build Jerusalem after the exile were Levites. They are listed in 9:1-44. The monarchy began with a failure--King Saul. Chapter 8 is his genealogy. His family record is repeated in 9:35-44 to introduce his tragic death.


1 Chronicles 9:1-44

Key Verse: 9:1,2

1. The people in Jerusalem (1-34)

The people of Judah were taken into Babylonian exile because of their unfaithfulness. After 70 years of captivity, God, by the hand of Cyrus the Persian, set them free. Some elected to stay in Babylon because rebuilding the broken nation was too hard. Many who returned were priests and Levites who loved God and their nation. Restoring the temple was their first task. 9:1-34 are a record according to tribes of the returnees. Some Levites were given special duties (17-34). The gatekeepers were important, because there were many enemies. The Levites who guarded the house of God did not go home at night; they stayed around the house of God. They put God ahead of their own families. A Levite named Mattithiah was responsible for baking the sacred bread. This bread symbolized God's presence with them.

2. Saul's genealogy (35-44)

Saul was the first king of Israel, but he failed. He is put aside in history by recording his genealogy and moving on. This leads into the story of his tragic end.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be faithful to the hard task of the spiritual rebuilding of our nation.

One Word: Resettle and rebuild


1 Chronicles 10:1-14

Key Verse: 10:13

1. Saul takes his own life (1-12)

Saul was handsome and able. He was Israel's first king. His final battle with the Philistines ended in tragic defeat. The Israelites fled before the Philistine army. The enemy killed Saul's sons and wounded him mortally. Saul did not want to be captured and abused by his enemies, so he died by his own hand. When the Israelites heard that their king was dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. The Philistines desecrated the bodies of Saul and his sons, but men of Jabesh Gilead, the city which Saul had rescued as his first act as king (1Sa 11), recovered the bodies and buried them.

2. Because he was unfaithful to God (13-14)

Saul was not defeated because of the military might of his enemies. He was defeated because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He did not obey God's word. Instead of seeking God's help through prayer he consulted a medium. So God put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David.

Prayer: Lord, keep my heart faithful to you. Teach me your ways and help me to pray.

One Word: Keep the word of the Lord


1 Chronicles 11:1-9

Key Verse: 11:2b

1. David becomes king of Israel (1-3)

While King Saul was still alive, Samuel anointed David to be king of Israel. He was called a man after God's own heart. But because of Saul's jealousy, he had lived as a fugitive. After Saul's death, he became king of Judah and ruled in Hebron. Saul's supporters tried to hold on to the throne, but they failed. Now, 7 years later, the elders of Israel came to Hebron and asked David to be king of all Israel. They remembered his victories in battle when he served as Saul's general. Most importantly, they remembered God's promise to him. They anointed David king and God's people had a shepherd.

2. Jerusalem (4-9)

Jerusalem was a Canaanite city that had never been conquered. The Jebusites who lived there thought their city was impregnable. David promised that the man who led the attack on Jerusalem would be his commander-in-chief. Joab became that man. Jerusalem became the City of David, the capital. The Lord Almighty was with David.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for raising up shepherds for your people.

One Word: A shepherd for God's people


1 Chronicles 11:10-25 (-47)

Key Verse: 11:10

1. David's drink of water (10-18a)

Strong and able men supported David's kingship and extended it over the whole land. Many of these had come to him during various periods of his fugitive life. They had been outcasts and had come with many problems. David was their shepherd. They loved him and were ready to die for him. One incident reveals this well. Once, while David was hiding out in a cave not far from his hometown, someone overheard him say how much he would like a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem. The town, however, was occupied by the Philistines. Three mighty men risked their lives to slip through enemy lines and bring him the water.

2. David pours it out before the Lord (18b-25)

David's shepherd heart came from his humility before God and his respect for men. He refused to drink the water, but poured it out before the Lord, because it represented the lifeblood of his men. David would not accept such devotion personally. He gave it to God. God honored him and blessed him because of his awesome respect for God and for men.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to honor you and respect your people.

One Word: Poured out before the Lord


1 Chronicles 12:1-22

Key Verse: 12:18

1. Men of courage (1-15)

Saul was jealous of David and tried to kill him, so David fled for his life. After living as a fugitive in Israel, he went to live in exile among the Philistines. God helped him. Throughout his fugitive life many courageous and able men came to join him. Some warriors were ambidextrous; some Gadites had faces like lions and feet like gazelles. Some were political dissidents; some were outlaws. Many came in bands or groups with their own leaders. They were a motley crew of rebels, robbers, misfits, outcasts, but they were unified by their love for and absolute loyalty to David. They were all men of courage.

2. For your God will help you (16-22)

When men of Saul's tribe defected, David wondered if he could trust them. The Spirit of God came on Amasai and he spoke for them all. (18) They could give their hearts to David because they believed that God helped him. They trusted him even though he was an exile; his army was like the army of God.

Prayer: Lord, raise up faithful shepherds and loyal, committed men and women for our times.

One Word: A man on God's side


1 Chronicles 12:23-40

Key Verse: 12:23

1. Men who understood the times (23-37)

God had chosen David to be the shepherd of Israel; but David and Israel had to wait on God's time. After Saul's death, David went to Hebron and was anointed king of Judah. The tribes of northern Israel followed Ishbosheth, Saul's son. After 7½ years, God's time came. Men who understood the times and knew what God wanted came to Hebron to make David king of all Israel. Some were Saul's kinsmen who had been loyal to Saul until this time; all were brave warriors. They came from all the 12 tribes of Israel to unite their nation under one shepherd of God's choosing.

2. Great joy in Israel (38-40)

Contrary to modern opinion, men and nations need shepherds. The men of Israel came to Hebron fully determined to make David their king and shepherd. They were armed for battle, but they did not come to fight--they came with food and drink to rejoice. They had a great party to celebrate, for God had given his shepherdless people a real shepherd.

Prayer: Lord, teach us to discern the times and wait on you. Raise up shepherds and Bible teachers for our times.

One Lord: Great joy in Israel


1 Chronicles 13:1-14

Key Verse: 13:3

1. It seemed right to all the people

David wanted to restore God to his central place in Israel's life. So he wanted to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. He asked his army commanders and priests and other leaders about this and they all agreed. It was right to bring the ark of God to the capital city.

2. Uzzah struck dead

David consulted people, but he didn't consult the Bible. According to the Bible, the ark should be carried only by the Levites (Nu 4:15). David moved the ark on a new cart, with two men guiding it. He and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God. Then, the cart hit a bump and one man steadied it with his hand. The Lord struck him dead. David was angry and fearful. He didn't know what to do. So he put the ark in the home of Obed-Edom for three months. God blessed this family greatly. Good intentions and sincerity are not enough--we must serve God in God's way, not according to our own ideas.

Prayer: Lord, teach me your ways through your word, the Bible.

One Word: Do it God's way (15:15)


1 Chronicles 14:1-17

Key Verse: 14:2

1. For the sake of his people (1-7)

David knew that God had established him as king, not for his own sake, but for the sake of God's people. According to the custom of those times, a king's marriage was not a personal matter. It was the way of sealing treaties with foreign nations. David accepted the mission God gave him; God highly exalted his kingdom.

2. David inquires of God (8-17)

David was an able warrior, but he did not depend on his own ability. He was a man of prayer. When the Philistine army which had defeated Israel and killed King Saul came out to search for David and plunder one town, David asked God what to do. He did as God commanded and attacked them. He won a great victory. The next time they came out, David again prayed. This time, God gave him different directions. But David obeyed, and again defeated the enemy. He depended on God, not on his past experience. The Lord made all the nations fear his servant David.

Prayer: Lord, help me to accept the mission and task you give me, whether it is large or small. Give me grace to seek your help in prayer, step by step.

One Word: Ask God first


1 Chronicles 15:1-29

Key Verse: 15:13

1. The right way (1-15)

The first time David had attempted to bring the ark to Jerusalem his good intentions had ended in tragedy. He had not followed God's word, but had done it his own way. This time, he studied the Bible and found that the ark should be carried with poles on the shoulders of Levites (Ex 25:12-15; Nu 4:15), so he confessed his mistake and called the Levites to consecrate themselves for this task. God's people must do God's work in God's way.

2. David danced before the Lord (16-29)

David was so happy that at last he could bring the ark of his God into the city of David. He got the best singers and musicians to make the music. He put aside his kingly robes and wore a simple linen garment as he danced like a child in the procession that escorted the ark into Jerusalem. David's wife, Saul's daughter, was too proud to understand David's heart of love for God. She despised David and lost God's blessing.

Prayer: Lord, give me joy that comes from repentance and obedience to your word.

One Word: Obey God and rejoice


1 Chronicles 16:1-43

Key Verse: 16:8 Thanksgiving Day

1. David blessed the people (1-6)

When the ark of God was brought to its resting place, David and all Israel rejoiced. David honored God first, and then he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. He gave presents to each Israelite man and woman. How happy they were! David established spiritual order in his kingdom.

2. David's song of praise (7-36)

The main themes of this psalm of praise are introduced in verse 8. First, let us thank God for his work of salvation; second, let us call on his name--depend on him alone for help and protection; third, let us praise God who keeps his covenant forever; fourth, let us proclaim his sovereignty to all the people of the earth. The Lord reigns! Let us give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love and mercy endure forever. Let all creation praise the Creator.

3. Daily sacrifices and worship (37-43)

David appointed priests and musicians to minister before the ark every day. Then David went home to bless his family.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your saving grace. Help me to proclaim your salvation to all nations.

One Word: Proclaim his name to the nations


1 Chronicles 17:1-14

Key Verse: 17:14

1. David's heart's desire (1-2)

David loved God. He was sorry that he lived in a palace made of cedar while the ark of God was in a tent. So he decided to build a house for the Lord.

2. The Lord's answer (3-14)

God sent Nathan the prophet to David with his response. The God of Israel was a pilgrim God. He had never needed a house. He had never asked those whom he appointed to shepherd Israel to build him a house. But God was pleased with David. His heart was moved. So he blessed David with a wonderful promise. He would build David's house. David's line would be established. His descendant would sit on the throne forever. This promise looks forward to the Messiah. It was fulfilled in Jesus. God also promised that the people of Israel would be planted in the land. This promise looks forward to God's eternal kingdom--the kingdom for which Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done." (Lk 11:3; Jn 18:37).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for one man, David, who loved and honored you from his heart. Help me to love and honor you so that you may bless others through my life.

One Word: A kingdom established forever


1 Chronicles 17:15-27

Key Verse: 17:24a

1. Who am I, and what is my family? (15-22)

How did David respond to the promise God gave him through Nathan? He went in and sat down before the Lord and prayed. He acknowledged his unworthiness and his gratitude. He remembered the greatness of God who redeemed Israel from Egypt and who made the people of Israel his own people forever. He remembered that God had done these things for the sake of his own name.

2. That your name be great forever (23-27)

God promised to build a house for David. David accepted this blessing, and prayed that God might do as he promised. He prayed that God might establish his kingdom forever, and make his own name great forever. David believed that God would keep his promise, and he believed that if God blessed him and his house, they would be blessed forever. We must have faith to claim God's promises.

Prayer: Lord, who am I, a wretched sinner, that the very Son of God should come and die for me? I believe your word and your promises. Glorify your own name.

One Word: For the sake of his name


1 Chronicles 18:1-17

Key Verse: 18:6b,13b

1. The Lord gave victory (1-10)

The Philistines were powerful enemies, and so were the Moabites and the Arameans. But David defeated them all. He reduced the striking power of his enemies; he received tribute from defeated kings and took valuable metals from them. He located military outposts strategically. He was a skillful general and an able administrator. But his secret of success was not in his ability. God gave him victory wherever he went. His kingdom grew and he became wealthy and powerful. But there was a love relationship between David and God that remained untarnished by David's success.

2. David's just reign (11-17)

David dedicated beautiful and valuable things he acquired through conquest to the Lord. He was not greedy or materialistic. He ruled justly because he loved and served God. He was a good steward of God's blessings.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to love and serve you in both good times and bad.

One Word: The Lord gives victory


1 Chronicles 19:1-19

Key Verse: 19:13

1. David's messengers insulted (1-5)

Hanun became king of the Ammonites when his father died. David sent a delegation to the funeral. Hanun was foolish. He listened to his counselors and insulted David's emissaries. His rude prank angered David.

2. Let us fight bravely (6-19)

Hanun realized that the Ammonites had become a stench in David's nostrils, so he hired mercenaries from Aram and from neighboring countries. General Joab and his army went out to fight, and found themselves in a trap, surrounded by the Ammonites on one side and the Arameans on the other. Joab did not give up. He deployed his best troops against the Arameans, put the rest of the army under his brother and deployed them against the Ammorites. Read his words of encouragement to Abishai in verses 12 and 13. When the spiritual battle must be fought against impossible odds, we must fight bravely and the Lord will do what is good in his sight.

Prayer: Lord, forgive my fear and laziness and help me to fight bravely.

One Word: Be strong and fight bravely


1 Chronicles 20:1-8

Key Verse: 20:2

1. A jeweled crown for David (1-3)

Rabbah was across the Jordan, on the eastern-most boundary of Israel. Joab led the army out to fight, while David stayed in Jerusalem. David's sin with Bathsheba occurred at this time (2Sa 11), but Chronicles does not record this. We can see, however, a small seed of corruption in David's heart. He went out to join his army later, after the big battle was over. In the past, the spoils of war had been dedicated to the building of God's house. This time, no mention is made of this, and the golden crown is put on David's head. After all the Ammonite towns were subdued David and the army returned to Jerusalem.

2. War with the Philistines (4-8)

Philistia was to the west, on the seacoast. The Philistines had been Israel's most persistent and powerful enemy. Saul had finally been defeated and his army scattered by them. There were some mighty warriors among the Philistines, but they were no match for David's mighty men. God helped David enlarge and make secure the borders of Israel.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to become proud and complacent when everything goes well.

One Word: The jeweled crown is the Lord's


1 Chronicles 21:1-30

Key Verse: 21:24

1. David numbers the fighting men (1-17)

Satan incited David to take a census. God who looks at the heart, was displeased. He saw that David was proud and that he was trusting in himself. Even Joab knew that it was wrong to count the fighting men. But when God punished Israel, David's humble character comes out. He quickly repented and asked God's forgiveness. He was willing to accept God's punishment, but he was very sorry that his sheep had to suffer for his sin. So he prayed about it.

2. The threshing floor of Araunah (18-30)

David wanted to offer a sacrifice to stop the plague. He followed God's directions to build the altar on the threshing floor of Araunah. Araunah wanted to give his threshing floor and oxen to the king, for the sacrifice. But David insisted on paying the full price. He would not offer to God something which cost him nothing.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be responsible for my sins and repent before you. Teach me to honor you and offer you my best.

One Word: Offer sacrifices that are costly


1 Chronicles 22:1-19

Key Verse: 22:10

1. I had it in my heart to build a house

David loved God and wanted to build a house for him. But God did not permit him to do so. David was a man of war. His son Solomon would be a man of peace. Solomon would build the Lord's house. God promised to establish the throne of his kingdom forever. God finally fulfilled this promise in Jesus, David's descendant. David selected the temple site--the threshing floor of Araunah. He gathered all the materials.

2. David's charge to Solomon (11-19)

David prayed for his son and charged him to build the house of the Lord. He told him that he would have success if he studied the Bible and kept God's law carefully. He told him to be strong and courageous--and never to be fearful or discouraged. He prayed for his son, that God would give him discretion and understanding. David had made careful preparation; he obeyed God's direction and entrusted the task to Solomon; he commanded the leaders of Israel to help Solomon.

Prayer: Lord, help me to do what you want me to do instead of what I want to do.

One Word: God keeps his promises


1 Chronicles 23:1-27:34 Supplementary study

King David not only provided ample building materials for the temple Solomon was to build, but also he organized and established the Levites as spiritual leaders. He was laying foundations to make Israel a holy nation and a kingdom of priests.

1. Temple worship

Of the 38,000 Levites, 24,000 were appointed to do all the work involved in temple worship; 4,000 were musicians and 4,000 were gatekeepers. Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. (Moses and Aaron were descendants of Kohath.) The priests, all descendants of Aaron, were appointed to conduct the temple worship. The other Levites were assigned to do the menial work of the temple. Aaron's two eldest sons, Nadab and Abihu, died before the Lord because they had not shown respect for God or for their sacred office (Lev 10). David divided the priestly responsibilities among descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's two remaining sons.

2. Musicians and gate keepers

David thought the orchestra was very important. He appointed 4,000 musicians, including some singing Bible teachers, who prophesied with musical accompaniment (25). Levites were also appointed as gatekeepers, treasurers and other officials (26). From all the tribes, David appointed army officers and tribal leaders. King David had many able men around him. They were loyal to him to the point of death. The kingdom was at peace because David loved and obeyed God and was a good shepherd for his people.


1 Chronicles 28:1-21

Key Verse: 28:9

1. I had it in my heart to build a house (1-8)

David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble in Jerusalem. He told them how much he had wanted to build a magnificent house for the ark of God. He had made plans to build it, but God told him that he was not the one to build God's house because he was a man of war. He had blood on his hands. His son Solomon (Peace) would have the privilege. So David prepared everything for Solomon his son to build the temple. He even organized the priests and Levites who would serve in the temple.

2. The Lord searches every heart (9-21)

David charged his son Solomon to serve God with pure motives and wholehearted devotion. God knows the heart. If a man seeks God, he will find him. If a man forsakes God, he will be rejected. He charged Solomon to be strong and courageous, and to be positive about doing the work of God.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to love and serve you with my whole heart. Help me to be strong and courageous to do your work.

One Word: The Lord searches every heart


1 Chronicles 29:1-20

Key Verse: 29:14,17

1. Consecrate yourselves to the Lord (1-9)

The young and inexperienced Solomon was to have the task of building the palatial temple. It was a great task, because the temple was not for man, but for God. David set the example in sacrificial giving. He had already provided gold and silver and precious stones in large quantities. Now, from his personal treasures, he gave over and above everything else he had given. Then he challenged the leaders: "Who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?" and they responded with a great out-pouring of gifts. The people rejoiced because their leaders had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.

2. David's prayer (10-20)

David led the people in singing a hymn of praise which he had composed. Giving is a joyous privilege. It is a privilege granted by God, because God owns everything. What can men give him? He wants our hearts. He tests the heart and is pleased with integrity. David prayed that the people--and Solomon--might keep their hearts loyal to God forever.

Prayer: Lord, help me to serve you with a willing and honest heart. Grant me the privilege of giving.

One Word: Give wholeheartedly to the Owner


1 Chronicles 29:21-30

Key Verse: 29:23

1. Solomon acknowledged as king (21-25)

Solomon's reign was marked by peace and prosperity. There was spiritual order because all Israel obeyed the king, and all the officials pledged their submission to him. They celebrated his anointing as king with a great feast, eating and drinking with joy in the presence of the Lord. The heavenly Messianic feast will be like this--when all of God's people sit down with King Jesus to eat and drink and rejoice together.

2. David's death (26-30)

David "served God's purpose in his own generation and fell asleep" (Acts 13:36). In David's time it was God's purpose to unite the kingdom. For this purpose David fought many battles. But the hardest battle was with himself. He surrendered his pride time after time. David ruled 7 years in Hebron and 33 years over the united kingdom in Jerusalem. David was blessed with a long life, wealth, and honor, and the joy of seeing his own son established as king. God spoke through many prophets to record the history of David, the man to whom God promised an everlasting kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, help me to serve your purpose in my time, and grant that I may rejoice in your presence.

One Word: Rejoice before the Lord