|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The words of the days, (1 Kings 14:19; 1 Chronicles 27:24), the daily or yearly records of the transactions of the kingdom; events recorded in the order of time.
Chronicles, Books of
The two books were originally one. They bore the title in the Massoretic Hebrew Dibre hayyamim, i.e., "Acts of the Days." This title was rendered by Jerome in his Latin version "Chronicon," and hence "Chronicles." In the Septuagint version the book is divided into two, and bears the title Paraleipomena, i.e., "things omitted," or "supplements", because containing many things omitted in the Books of Kings.
The contents of these books are comprehended under four heads.
(1.) The first nine chapters of Book I. contain little more than a list of genealogies in the line of Israel down to the time of David.
(2.) The remainder of the first book contains a history of the reign of David.
(3.) The first nine chapters of Book II. contain the history of the reign of Solomon.
(4.) The remaining chapters of the second book contain the history of the separate kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from Babylonian Exile.
The time of the composition of the Chronicles was, there is every ground to conclude, subsequent to the Babylonian Exile, probably between 450 and 435 B.C. The contents of this twofold book, both as to matter and form, correspond closely with this idea. The close of the book records the proclamation of Cyrus permitting the Jews to return to their own land, and this forms the opening passage of the Book of Ezra, which must be viewed as a continuation of the Chronicles. The peculiar form of the language, being Aramaean in its general character, harmonizes also with that of the books which were written after the Exile. The author was certainly contemporary with Zerubbabel, details of whose family history are given (1 Chronicles 3:19).
The time of the composition being determined, the question of the authorship may be more easily decided. According to Jewish tradition, which was universally received down to the middle of the seventeenth century, Ezra was regarded as the author of the Chronicles. There are many points of resemblance and of contact between the Chronicles and the Book of Ezra which seem to confirm this opinion. The conclusion of the one and the beginning of the other are almost identical in expression. In their spirit and characteristics they are the same, showing thus also an identity of authorship.
In their general scope and design these books are not so much historical as didactic. The principal aim of the writer appears to be to present moral and religious truth. He does not give prominence to political occurences, as is done in Samuel and Kings, but to ecclesiastical institutions. "The genealogies, so uninteresting to most modern readers, were really an important part of the public records of the Hebrew state. They were the basis on which not only the land was distributed and held, but the public services of the temple were arranged and conducted, the Levites and their descendants alone, as is well known, being entitled and first fruits set apart for that purpose." The "Chronicles" are an epitome of the sacred history from the days of Adam down to the return from Babylonian Exile, a period of about 3,500 years. The writer gathers up "the threads of the old national life broken by the Captivity."
The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were public records, registers, and genealogical tables belonging to the Jews. These are referred to in the course of the book (1 Chronicles 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27; 26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25). There are in Chronicles, and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often verbal, proving that the writer both knew and used these records (1 Chronicles 17:18; Comp. 2 Samuel 7:18-20; 1 Chronicles 19; Comp. 2 Samuel 10, etc.).
As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles omits many particulars there recorded (2 Samuel 6:20-23; 9; 11; 14-19, etc.), and includes many things peculiar to itself (1 Chronicles 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.). Twenty whole chapters, and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied with matter not found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller detail, as (e.g.) the list of David's heroes (1 Chronicles 12:1-37), the removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chronicles 13; 15:2-24; 16:4-43; Comp. 2 Samuel 6), Uzziah's leprosy and its cause (2 Chronicles 26:16-21; Comp. 2 Kings 15:5), etc.
It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book is that it substitutes modern and more common expressions for those that had then become unusual or obsolete. This is seen particularly in the substitution of modern names of places, such as were in use in the writer's day, for the old names; thus Gezer (1 Chronicles 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Samuel 21:18), etc.
The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the khethubim or hagiographa. They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in the New Testament (Hebrews 5:4; Matthew 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5; 11:31, 51).
Chronicles of king David
(1 Chronicles 27:24) were statistical state records; one of the public sources from which the compiler of the Books of Chronicles derived information on various public matters.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
CHRONICLES, BOOKS OF
kron'-i-k'-ls (dibhere ha-yamim), "The Words of the Days"; Septuagint paraleipomenon:
1. The Name
2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament
3. Two Books, or One?
4. The Contents
5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical
6. Nehemiah's Library
7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources
8. Additions by the Chronicler
9. Omissions by the Chronicler
10. The Extra-Biblical Sources
11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles
12. The Text
13. Critical Estimates
14. Date and Authorship
15. Evidence as to Date and Authorship
Arguments for a Later Date
16. Truthfulness and Historicity
(1) Alleged Proofs of Untruthfulness
(2) Truthfulness in the Various Parts
17. The Values of the Chronicles
1. The Name:
The analogy of this title to such English words as diary, journal, chronicle, is obvious. The title is one which frequently appears in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. It is used to denote the records of the Medo-Persian monarchy (Esther 2:23; Esther 6:1; Esther 10:2), and to denote public records, either Persian or Jewish, made in late postexilian times (Nehemiah 12:23), and to denote public records of King David (1 Chronicles 27:24). But its most common use is to denote the Judahite and Israelite records referred to in the Books of Kings as sources (1 Kings 14:19; 1 Kings 15:7 and about 30 other places). The references in Kings are not to our present Books of Chronicles, for a large proportion of them are to matters not mentioned in these. Either directly or indirectly they refer the reader to public archives.
As applied to our present Books of Chronicles this title was certainly not intended to indicate that they are strictly copies of public documents, though it may indicate that they have a certain official character distinguishing them from other contemporary or future writings. The Greek title is Paraleipomenon, "Of Things that have been Left Untold." Some copies add "concerning the kings of Judah," and this is perhaps the original form of the title. That is, the Greek translators thought of Chronicles as a supplement to the other narrative Scriptural books. Jerome accepted the Greek title, but suggested that the Hebrew title would be better represented by a derivative from the Greek word chronos, and that this would fit the character of the book, which is a chronicle of the whole sacred history. Jerome's suggestion is followed in the title given to the book in the English and other languages.
2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament:
In most of the VSS, as in the English, the Books of Chronicles are placed after the Books of Kings, as being a later account of the matters narrated in Kings; and Ezra and Nehemiah follow Chronicles as being continuations of the narrative. In the Hebrew Bibles the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah and 1 and 2 Chronicles are placed last. By common opinion, based on proof that is entirely sufficient, the three books constitute a single literary work or group of works, by one author or school of authors. It is co nvenient to use the term "the Chronicler" to designate the author, or the authors if there were more than one.
3. Two Books, or One?:
It is the regulation thing to say that 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book, which has been divided into two. The fact is that Chronicles is counted as one book in the count which regards the Old Testament as 22 or 24 books, and as two books in the count which regards the whole number of books as 39; and that both ways of counting have been in use as far back as the matter can be traced. Both ways of counting appear in the earliest Christian lists, those of Origen and Melito, for example. 1 Chronicles closes with a summary which may naturally be regarded as the closing of a book.
4. The Contents:
With respect to their contents the Books of Chronicles are naturally divided into three parts. The first part is preliminary, consisting mostly of genealogical matters with accompanying facts and incidents (1 Chronicles 1-9). The second part is an account of the accession and reign of David (1 Chronicles 10-29). The third part is an account of the events under David's successors in the dynasty (2 Chronicles).
The genealogies begin with Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1) and extend to the latest Old Testament times (1 Chronicles 9; compare Nehemiah 11, and the latest names in the genealogical lines, e.g. 1 Chronicles 3:19). The events incidentally mentioned in connection with them are more numerous and of more importance than the casual reader would imagine. They are some dozens in number. Some of them are repeated from the parts of the Old Testament from which the Chronicler draws as sources-for example, such statements as that Nimrod was a mighty one, or that in the time of Peleg the earth was divided, or the details concerning the kings of Edom (1 Chronicles 1:10, 19, 43; compare Genesis 10:8, 25; Genesis 36:31). Others are instances which the Chronicler has taken from other sources than the Old Testament-for instance, the story of Jabez, or the accounts of the Simeonite conquests of the Meunim and of Amalek (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10, 38-43).
The account in Chronicles of the reign of David divides itself into three parts. The first part (1 Chronicles 10-21) is a series of sections giving a general view, including the death of Saul, the crowning of David over the twelve tribes, his associates, his wars, the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the great Davidic promise, the plague that led to the purchase of the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. The second part (1 Chronicles 22-29:22) deals with one particular event and the preparations for it. The event is the making Solomon king, at a great public assembly (1 Chronicles 23:1; 1 Chronicles 28:1). The preparations for it include arrangements for the site and materials and labor for the temple that is to be built, and the organizing of Levites, priests, singers, doorkeepers, captains, for the service of the temple and the kingdom. The third part (1 Chronicles 29:22-30) is a brief account of Solomon's being made king "a second time" (compare 1 Kings 1), with a summary and references for the reign of David.
The history of the successors of David, as given in 2 Chronicles, need not here be commented upon.
5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical:
The sources of the Books of Chronicles classify themselves as Biblical and extra-Biblical. Considerably more than half the contents come from the other Old Testament books, especially from Sam and Ki. Other sources mentioned in the Books of Chronicles are the following:
(1) The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chronicles 16:11; 2 Chronicles 25:26; 2 Chronicles 28:26; 2 Chronicles 32:32).
(2) The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah (2 Chronicles 27:7; 2 Chronicles 35:27; 2 Chronicles 36:8).
(3) The Book of the Kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 20:34).
(4) The Book of the Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27).
It is possible that these may be four variant forms of the same title. It is also possible that they may be references to our present Books of Ki, though in that case we must regard the formulas of reference as conventional rather than exact.
(5) The Book of the Kings of Israel (1 Chronicles 9:1), a genealogical work.
(6) The Midrash of the Book of the Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27).
(7) The Words of the Kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:18), referred to for details concerning Manasseh.
Observe that these seven are books of Kings, and that the contents of the last three do not at all correspond with those of our Biblical books. In the seventh title and in several of the titles that are yet to be mentioned it is commonly understood that "Words" is the equivalent of "acts" or "history"; but it is here preferred to retain the form "Words," as lending itself better than the others to the syntactical adjustments.
(8) The Words of Samuel the Man of Vision and the Words of Nathan the Prophet and the Words of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29) are perhaps to be counted as one work, and identified with our Books of Judges and Samuel.
(9) The Words of Nathan the Prophet (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 11:41-43). Source concerning Solomon.
(10) The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 11:29; 1 Kings 14:2, etc.). Solomon.
(11) The Visions of Jedo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 13). Solomon.
(12) The Words of Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chronicles 12:15; compare 1 Kings 12:22). Rehoboam.
(13) "Shemaiah wrote" (1 Chronicles 24:6). David.
(14) Iddo the Seer in Reckoning Genealogies (2 Chronicles 12:15). Rehoboam.
(15) "The Words (The History) of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the Book of the Kings of Israel" (2 Chronicles 20:34; compare 1 Kings 16:1, 7, 12). Jehoshaphat.
(16) "The rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the Prophet, the son of Amoz, write" (2 Chronicles 26:22; compare Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 6).
(17) "The Vision of Isaiah. in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel" (2 Chronicles 32:32; compare 2 Kings 18-20; Isaiah 36-39, etc.). Hezekiah.
(18) The Words of the Seers (2 Chronicles 33:19 margin). Manasseh.
(19) References to "Lamentations," and to "Jeremiah" etc. (2 Chronicles 35:25). Josiah.
(20) The Midrash of the Prophet Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22). Abijah. These numbers, from 12 to 20, are referred to as works of prophets. At first thought there is plausibility in the idea that the references may be to the sections in Samuel and Kings where these several prophets are mentioned; but in nearly all the cases this explanation fades out on examination. The Chronicler had access to prophetic writings not now known to be in existence.
(21) Liturgical writings of David and Solomon (2 Chronicles 35:4; compare Ezra 3:10). Josiah.
(22) Commandments of David and Gad and Nathan (2 Chronicles 29:25). Hezekiah.
(23) The Commandment of David and Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun (2 Chronicles 35:15). Josiah.
(24) Chronicles of King David (1 Chronicles 27:24).
(25) Last Words of David (1 Chronicles 23:27).
Add to these many mentions of genealogical works, connected with particular times, those for example of David, Jotham, Jeroboam II (1 Chronicles 9:22; 1 Chronicles 5:17), and mentions of matters that imply record-keeping, from Samuel and onward (e.g. 1 Chronicles 26:26-28). Add also the fact that the Chronicler had a habit, exhibited in Ezra and Nehemiah, of using and quoting what he represents to be public documents, for example, letters to and from Cyrus and Artaxerxes and Darius and Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 1:1; Ezra 6:3; Ezra 4:7, 17; 5:06; 6:06; 7:11 Nehemiah 2:7). It is no exaggeration to say that the Chronicler claims to have had a considerable library at his command.
6. Nehemiah's Library:
If such a library as this existed we should perhaps expect to find some mention of it somewhere. Such a mention I think there is in the much discussed passage in 2 Maccabees 2:13-15. It occurs in what purports to be a letter written after 164 B.C. by the Maccabean leaders in Jerusalem to Aristobulus in Egypt. The letter has a good deal to say concerning Nehemiah, and among other things this: "And how he, founding a library, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the (books) of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts." It says that these writings have been scattered by reason of the war, but that Judas has now gathered them again, and that they may be at the service of Aristobulus and his friends.
This alleged letter contains statements that seem fabulous to most modern readers, though they may not have seemed so to Judas and his compatriots. Leaving out of view, however, the intrinsic credibility of the witness, the fitting of the statement into certain other traditions and into the phenomena presented in Chronicles is a thing too remarkable to neglect. In the past, men have cited this passage as an account of the framing of a canon of Scripture-the canon of the Prophets, or of the Prophets and the Hagiographa. But it purports to be an account of a library, not of a body of Scripture; and its list of contents does not appear to be that of either the Prophets or the Hagiographa or both. But it is an exact list of the sources to which the author (or authors) of Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah claim to have access-"books about the kings" (see above, Numbers 1-7), "and prophets" (Numbers 8-20), "and of David" (Numbers 21-25), "and letters of kings about sacred gifts" (those cited in Ezra and Nehemiah). The library attributed to Nehemiah corresponds to the one which the Chronicler claims to have used; and the two independent pieces of evidence strongly confirm each the other.
7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources:
The method in which the Biblical sources are used in Chronicles presents certain remarkable features. As a typical instance study 1 Chronicles 10 in comparison with 1 Samuel 31. 1 Chronicles 10:1-12 is just a transcription, with slight changes, of the passage in Samuel. A large part of Chronicles is thus made up of passages transcribed from Samuel and Kings. The alternative is that the Chronicler transcribed from sources which had earlier been transcribed in Samuel and Kings, and this alternative may in some cases be the true one.
This phenomenon is interesting for many reasons. It has its bearings on the trustworthiness of the information given; a copy of an ancient document is of higher character as evidence than a mere report of the contents of the document. It has a bearing on questions concerning the text; are the texts in Kings and Chronicles to be regarded as two recensions? It is especially interesting as illustrating the literary processes in use among the writers of our Scriptures.
It is sometimes said that they used their sources not by restating the contents as a modern compiler would do, but by just copying. It would be more correct to say that they do this part of the time. In 1 Chronicles 10 the copying process ceases with 1 Chronicles 10:12. In 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14 the Chronicler condenses into a sentence a large part of the contents of 1 Samuel; one clause in particular is a condensation of 1 Samuel 28. So it is with other parts. 1 Chronicles 1:1-4 is abridged from Genesis 5 at the rate of a name for a section; so is 1 Chronicles 1:24-27 from Genesis 11:10-26. In the various parts of Chronicles we find all the methods that are used by any compiler; the differentiating fact is simply that the method of transcribing is more used than it would be by a modern compiler.
In the transcribed passages, almost without exception, there has been a systematic editorial revision. Words and clauses have been pruned out, and grammatical roughness smoothed away. Regularly the text in Chronicles is somewhat briefer, and is more fluent than in Samuel or Kings. If we give the matter careful attention we will be sure that this revisional process took place, and that it accounts for most of the textual differences between Chronicles and the earlier writings, not leaving many to be accounted for as corruptions.
8. Additions by the Chronicler:
Of course the most significant changes made by the Chronicler are those which consist in additions and omissions. It is a familiar fact that the added passages in Chronicles which bulk largest are those which deal with the temple and its Worship and its attendants-its priests, Levites, musicians, singers, doorkeepers. Witness for example the added matter in connection with the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the preparations for the temple, the priests' joining Rehoboam, the war between Abijah and Jeroboam, the reforms under Asa and Jehoshaphat, details concerning Uzziah, Hezekiah's passover, the reform of Manasseh, the passover of Josiah (1 Chronicles 15-16; 22-29; 2 Chronicles 11:13-17; 13; 14; 15; 17; 19; 20; 26:16-21; 29-31; 33:10-20; 35). It has been less noticed than it should be that while the Chronicler in these passages magnifies the ceremonial laws of Moses, he magnifies those of David yet more.
Next in bulk comes the added genealogical and statistical matter, for example, the larger part of the preliminary genealogies, details as to David's followers, Rehoboam's fortified cities and family affairs with details concerning the Shishak invasion, Asa's military preparations and the invasion by Zerah, with numbers and dates, Jehoshaphat's military arrangements, with numbers, Jehoram's brothers and other details concerning him, Uzziah's army and his business enterprises (1 Chronicles 2-9; 12; 27; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12, 18-23; 2 Chronicles 12:3-9; 14:3-15; 17:1-5, 10-19; 26:6-15).
The Chronicler is sometimes spoken of as interested in priestly affairs, and not in the prophets. That is a mistake. He takes particular pains to magnify the prophets (e.g. 2 Chronicles 20:20; 2 Chronicles 36:12, 16). He uses the word "prophet" 30 times, and the two words for "seer" (chozeh and ro'eh) respectively 5 and 11 times. He gives us additional information concerning many of the prophets-for example, Samuel, Gad, Nathan, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Hanani, Jehu, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. He has taken pains to preserve for us a record of many prophets concerning whom we should otherwise be ignorant-Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Jedo (2 Chronicles 9:29), Iddo, the Oded of Asa's time, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, Eliezer the son of Dodavah, two Zechariahs (2 Chronicles 24:20; 2 Chronicles 26:5), unnamed prophets of the time of Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:5-10, 15, 16), Oded of the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:9).
In addition, however, to the materials that can be thus classified, it is the method of the Chronicler to preserve interesting incidents of all kinds by working them into his narrative. When he reaches Jair in his genealogical list, he finds himself in possession of a bit of information not contained in the older writings, and he inserts it (1 Chronicles 2:21). He is interested to keep alive the memory of the "families of scribes which dwelt at Jabez" (1 Chronicles 2:55). He has found items concerning craftsmen, and concerning a linen industry, and a potters' industry, and he connects these with names in his list (1 Chronicles 4:14, 21, 23). He has come across a bit of a hymn in the name of Jabez, and he attaches the hymn to his list of names as an annotation (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10). There are matters concerning the sickness and the burial of Asa, and concerning the bad conduct of Joash after the death of Jehoiada, and concerning constructions by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 16:12, 13; 2 Chronicles 24:15-27; 32:27-30), that seem to the Chronicler worth preserving, though they are not recorded in the earlier writings. The fruits of the habit appear, in many scores of instances, in all parts of the Books of Chronicles.
9. Omissions by the Chronicler:
As the Books of Chronicles thus add matters not found in the older books, so they leave out much that is contained in the Books of Samuel and Kings. Here, however, the question should rather be as to what the Chronicler has retained from his sources than as to what he has omitted. He writes for readers whom he assumes to be familiar with the earlier books, and he retains so much of the older narrative as seems to him necessary for defining the relations of his new statements of fact to that narrative. From the point where the history of David begins he has omitted everything that is not strictly connected with David or his dynasty-the history of northern Israel as such, the long narratives concerning the prophets, such distressing affairs as those of Amnon and Absalom and Adonijah and the faithlessness of Solomon, and a multitude of minor particulars. We have already noticed his systematic shortening of the passages which he transcribes.
10. The Extra-Biblical Sources:
There are two marked phenomena in the parts of Chronicles which were not taken from the other canonical books. They are written in later Hebrew of a pretty uniform type; many parts of them are fragmentary. The Hebrew of the parts that were copied from Samuel and Kings is of course the classical Hebrew of those books, generally made more classical by the revision to which it has been subjected. The Hebrew of the other parts is presumably that of the Chronicler himself. The difference is unmistakable. An obvious way of accounting for it is by supposing that the Chronicler treated his Scriptural sources with especial respect, and his other sources with more freedom. We will presently consider whether this is the true account.
There are indications that some of the non-Biblical sources were in a mutilated or otherwise fragmentary condition when the Chronicler used them. Broken sentences and passages and constructions abound. In the translations these are largely concealed, the translators having guessed the meanings into shape, but the roughnesses are palpable in the Hebrew. They appear less in the long narratives than in the genealogies and descriptive passages. They are sometimes spoken of as if they were characteristic of the later Hebrew, but there is no sense in that.
For example, most of the genealogies are incomplete. The priestly genealogies omit some of the names that are most distinguished in the history, such names as those of Jehoiada and two Azariahs (2 Kings 11:9, etc.; 2 Chronicles 26:17; 2 Chronicles 31:10). Many of the genealogies are given more than once, and in variant forms, but with their incompleteness still palpable. There are many breaks in the lists. We read the names of one group, and we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of names that belong to another group, and with nothing to call attention to the transition. The same phenomena appear in the sections in 1 Chronicles 23:2-27. These contain a succession of matters arranged in absolutely systematic order in classes and subclasses, while many of the statements thus arranged are so fragmentary as to be hardly intelligible. The most natural explanation of these phenomena assumes that the writer had a quantity of fragments in writing-clay tablets, perhaps, or pottery or papyrus, or what not, more or less mutilated, and that he copied them as best he could, one after another. A modern writer, doing such work, would indicate the lacunae by dots or dashes or other devices. The ancient copyist simply wrote the bits of text one after another, without such indications. In regard to many of the supposable lacunae in Chronicles scholars would differ, but there are a large number in regard to which all would agree. If someone would print a text of Chronicles in which these should be indicated, he would make an important contribution to the intelligibility of the books.
11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles:
On the basis of these phenomena what judgment can we form as to the purposes for which the books of Chronicles were written? There are those who find the answer to this question a very simple one. They say that the interests of the writer were those of the temple priesthood, that it seemed to him that the older histories did not emphasize these interests as they ought, and that he therefore wrote a new history, putting into it the views and facts which he thought should be there. If this statement were modified so as not to impugn the good faith of the Chronicler, it would be nearly correct as a statement of part of his purpose. His purpose was to preserve what he regarded as historical materials that were in danger of being lost, materials concerning the temple-worship, but also concerning a large variety of other matters. He had the historian's instinct for laying hold of all sorts of details, and putting them into permanent form. His respiration from God (we do not here discuss the nature of that inspiration) led him this way. He wanted to save for the future that which he regarded as historical fact. The contents of the book, determined in part by his enthusiasm for the temple, were also determined in part by the nature of the materials that were providentially at his disposal. There seems also to have been present in his consciousness the idea of bringing to completion the body of sacred writings which had then been accumulating for centuries.
As we have seen, the Greek translators gave to the Books of Chronicles a title which expressed the idea they had of the work. They regarded it as the presentation of matters which had been omitted in the earlier Scriptures, as written not to supersede the older books, but to supplement them, as being, along with Ezra and Nehemiah, a work that brought the Scriptures up to date, and made them complete.
12. The Text:
The text of the Books of Chronicles has been less carefully preserved than that of some other parts of the Old Testament. Witness for example the numbers 42 and 8 for the ages of Ahaziah and Jehoiachin (2 Chronicles 22:2; compare 2 Kings 8:26 2 Chronicles 36:9; compare 2 Kings 24:8). There is no proof, however, of important textual corruption. As we have seen, the fragmentary character of certain parts is probably in the main due to exactness in following fragmentary sources, and not to bad text; and the differences between Samuel or Kings and Chronicles, in the transcribed passages, are mostly due to intended revision rather than to text variations.
13. Critical Estimates:
In critical discussions less semblance of fair play has been accorded to Chronicles than even to most of the other Scriptures. It is not unusual to assume that the Chronicler's reference to sources is mere make-believe, that he "has cited sources simply to produce the impression that he is writing with authority." Others hurry to the generalization that the Books of Kings mentioned in Chronicles (see Numbers 1-7 above) are all one work, which must therefore have been an extensive Midrash (commentary, exe getical and anecdotal) on the canonical Books of Kings; and that the references to prophetic writings are to sections in this Midrash; so that practically the Chronicler had only two sources, the canonical books and this midrashic history of Israel; and that "it is impossible to determine" whether he gathered any bits of information from any other sources.
Into the critical theories concerning Chronicles enters a hypothesis of an earlier Book of Ki that was more extensive than our present canonical books. And in recent publications of such men as Buchler, Benzinger and Kittel are theories of an analysis of Chronicles into documents-for example, an earlier writing that made no distinction between priests and Levites, or an earlier writing which dealt freely with the canonical books; and the later writing of the Chronicler proper.
Read Complete Article...
Chronicles (45 Occurrences)
1 Kings 14:19 The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 14:29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 15:7 The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 15:23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 16:5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 16:14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 16:20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 16:27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 17:23 Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother; and Elijah said, "Behold, your son lives." The First Book of Chronicles (WEB)
1 Kings 22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 22:45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 1:18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 8:23 The rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 10:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 12:19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 13:12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 14:15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 14:18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 14:28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, for Israel, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:6 Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 21:25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 24:5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Chronicles 1:35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jalam, and Korah. The Second Book of Chronicles (WEB)
1 Chronicles 27:24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but didn't finish; and there came wrath for this on Israel; neither was the number put into the account in the chronicles of king David. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer, (See NAS RSV)
2 Chronicles 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, aren't they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. (See RSV)
2 Chronicles 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel. (See RSV)
2 Chronicles 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. (See RSV)
2 Chronicles 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. (See RSV)
Nehemiah 12:23 The sons of Levi, heads of fathers' houses, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Esther 2:23 When this matter was investigated, and it was found to be so, they were both hanged on a tree; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the king's presence. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Esther 6:1 On that night, the king couldn't sleep. He commanded the book of records of the chronicles to be brought, and they were read to the king. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Esther 10:2 All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)