The Old Testament | The Books of History

1 Chronicles

Things to know
Where does the book begin?

The book begins with a list of the ancestors of David and of the sons of Jacob.

Where does the book end?

The book ends with the story of the death of David.

People to know


Places to go

David had his greatest soldiers.
1 Chronicles 11:10-25

Uzzah touched the ark*.
1 Chronicles 13:11-14

God made a promise to David.
1 Chronicles 17:1-15

The giant with six fingers fought Israel.
1 Chronicles 20:4-8

David prayed for the people.
1 Chronicles 29:1-19

The Story of 1 Chronicles

You will see many stories in this book that you have seen before. That is because Chronicles is very much like the books of the Kings. This book talks about the people of Judah, just like Samuel and Kings. But it tells the stories in a different way. The books of the Kings told about what happened to the people. The books of Chronicles tell why those things happened.

The book teaches the people the lessons that are in the stories. It explains the stories. It teaches people things about God. That is why some people think the book sounds more like a prophet wrote it. The book reminded people how God is in all of Israel’s* story.

One of the first things you will see in the book is names. Lots and lots of names. There are many lists in the books. They are important records. The people needed to remember who they were. They needed to remember where they came from. That is why there are so many names in the book. These stories are about real people.

The rest of the book of 1 Chronicles is about David. Some of the stories are the same as the ones in Kings and Samuel. But not all of the stories about David are told again. Some of the stories are new. The stories tell about David and the promises that God made to him. The stories in 1 Chronicles talk about how David was a part of God’s bigger plan. That is why the book begins with the first man, Adam. Remember the promise that God made to Adam and Eve? God promised that one of their sons would overcome the snake.[1] David was one of the sons of Adam. David would become a part of God’s plan to keep that promise.

David’s story begins with the story of Saul. He was the king before David. Saul was not a good king. He did not listen to God. But God was very important to David. David wanted everyone in Israel to honour God. So one of the first things he did was to go to get the ark* back from Israel’s enemies.

Years before, Israel’s enemies stole the ark* of God’s promise. So the book tells you how he got it back. David wanted the people to remember God. That is why the ark* was important to him. This ark* was a sign that God was with them. David wanted the people to remember who they were. They were God’s people. He wanted them to love God and honour God. He knew that the people would not be loyal to God if the king was not loyal to God. So he did many things to show the people how to follow God. There are many stories about the ark* in this book. There are many stories about the priests and the temple*. That is why these things were important to him. All of those stories help us see David as a man who loved God. That lesson is very important in the book of Chronicles.

Do you remember the promise that God made to David? He promised to make one of David’s sons a king. That king would rule all people some day. That king would rule over God’s house and God’s kingdom* for ever. Samuel included that promise in his book. We find it again in Chronicles.

When God said, ‘my house’, that was another way of saying, ‘my temple*’. This promised king would care about the kingdom*. And he would care for the temple* too. Maybe that is why Chronicles tells so many stories about the temple* and the priests. David was a king with the heart of a priest. David cared about the ark* and the temple*. He showed by his example what the promised king might be like.

David did not build the temple*. God did not allow him to build it. But David made all of the plans. He gathered the money to build it. He collected the wood and stones. He chose the priests. He chose the singers. He chose the people to watch the gates. He chose the artists and builders. All that his son had to do was put it together.

This book teaches many things. The people of Judah were God’s people. David was a good king. He followed God. He honoured God. So, God made Judah great. He defeated their enemies. God gave them peace* when they followed him. As long as they remembered these things, God would be with them.

The next book shows what happened when they forgot.

  • [1] Genesis 3:15

The Old Testament | The Books of History