1Chronicles 1-12

Sunday Evening Bible Study

September 29, 2002

Introduction to 1Chronicles

First and Second Chronicles were originally written as one book.  They weren’t divided into two books until around 200 B.C., with the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. 

Time period covered: 

They cover the same period of history that is covered in Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, or, from the rise of David as king through the divided kingdom, exile, and the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple.

The author: 

Most likely Ezra was the author.  Ezra was a priest, and the books have a very priestly emphasis, lots on the temple and worship.  Also, the final verses in 2Chronicles 36:22, 23 are exactly repeated in Ezra 1:1-3.  Probably the book of Ezra was to be a continuation where Chronicles leaves off, similar to the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

When written: 

In 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar came down and wiped out the southern kingdom of Judah and took the people to Babylon with him.  Seventy years later, the people were allowed to start coming back to rebuild their land.  In 457 B.C., Ezra led a group of exiles back to Jerusalem.  It is probably between 450 and 430 B.C., in Jerusalem, for the exiles, that Ezra wrote this history.  Nehemiah, the political leader of the time, had collected a large library of historical documents, and it is these sources along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Ezra used to compile the Chronicles.

Ezra even gives his own bibliography of sources: 

1)  The book of the Kings of Israel and Judah (1Chr.9:1; 2Chr.16:11; 20:34; 25:26; 27:7; 28:26; 32:32; 35:27; 36:8)

2)  A Commentary on the Book of the Kings (2Chr.24:27)

3)  Chronicles of Samuel the Seer (1Chr.29:29)

4)  Chronicles of Nathan the Prophet (1Chr.29:29; 2Chr.9:29)

5)  Chronicles of Gad the Seer (1Chr.29:29)

6)  The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (2Chr.9:29)

7)  The Visions of Iddo the Seer (2Chr.9:29; 12:15; 13:22)

8)  Records of Shemaiah the Prophet (2Chr.12:15)

9)  Records of Iddo the Prophet on Genealogies (2Chr.12:15)

10)  Treatise of the Prophet Iddo (2Chr.13:22)

11)  The Annals of Jehu the Son of Hanani (2Chr.20:34)

12)  The Acts of Uzziah by Isaiah the Prophet (2Chr.26:22)

13)  The Vision of Isaiah the Prophet (2Chr.32:32)

14)  The Records of the Hozai (2Chr.33:19)

15)  The Account of the Chronicles of King David (1Chr.27:24)

16)  The Writing of David and His Son Solomon (2Chr.35:4)

Also, Ezra had access to genealogical lists and documents such as the message and letters of Sennacherib (2Chr.32:10-17)


Why another history? 

These records serve as a divine commentary on this period of history.  Samuel and Kings give a political history of Israel and Judah.  Chronicles gives the religious history of David and Judah (but not the northern kingdom of Israel).  Samuel and Kings are written from a prophetic and moral viewpoint, Chronicles is written from a priestly and spiritual perspective.  The books of Kings show the fall of the kingdom and its deserving judgment, while Chronicles hints at God's preservation through judgment, at God's keeping His promises to David.

The Genealogies (chs.1-9)

If you've ever read this portion of the Bible, maybe in reading the Bible in one year, you've noticed how boring these eight chapters are.  Why are they here?

1.  The Messianic Line

David had been promised that His descendant would sit on the throne forever.  The Messiah would come through David.  We see the connection here from David through Zedekiah.  Matthew completes the connection with the lineage of Jesus.

2.  The Priestly Line (Ezra's own background)

For the exiles, it was important to see that those they had as priests over them were legitimate descendants of Aaron.

3.  A Phone Book (Who's Who in the Old Testament...)

It’s interesting to read through all the names and look for people you know...
Note:  When you see a name, be careful not to jump to any conclusions too soon, there are lots of people with the same name (ie. 2:18, Caleb, is not Joshua's buddy, he doesn't appear until 4:15).  Also, there are often different ways that a name will be spelled (compare 6:22-30 with 6:33-38 which repeats the list, but backwards, changing spelling, even adding or leaving people out).

1Chronicles 1 – Adam through Isaac/Esau

:1-4 Adam through Noah’s sons

:5-7 Descendants Japheth

:8-16 Descendants of Ham

:17-23 Descendants of Shem

:24-28 Shem through Abraham’s sons

:29-31 Descendants of Ishmael

:32-34 Abraham’s other sons, including Isaac and Esau

:35-42 Descendants of Esau

:43-54 “Dukes” of Esau/Edom

(1 Chr 1:44 KJV)  And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.

It has been suggested that this “Jobab” is the man “Job” in the book of Job.

One of Job’s friends was “Eliphaz the Temanite” (Job 4:1), and you see the names of Eliphaz and Teman early in the line of Esau.

1Chronicles 2 – Beginning of the tribes of Israel

:1-2 The sons of Israel

:3-17 From Judah to David

We get a list of David’s brothers and sisters:

(1 Chr 2:15-16 KJV)  Ozem the sixth, David the seventh: {16} Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.

You’ll often see Joab and Abishai referred to as the “sons of Zeruiah”.  We see here that Zeruiah was David’s sister.

:18-55 Other Descendants of Judah

:18  Caleb the son of Hezron

Don’t confuse this “Caleb” with the Joshua’s pal.  This is an example of how different people in the Bible have the same name.  You can only tell one apart from the other by the genealogy, by who their father was.  Joshua’s pal was “Caleb the son of Jephunneh”, we’ll see him in 4:15.

1Chronicles 3 – Line of Kings

:1-16 The sons of David

This is a list of the Kings of Judah, all descended from David.

The last king mentioned in verse 16 is Zedekiah, who was the last to reign before Babylon carried away the nation.

:17-24 More sons of David

This list starts after the Babylonian captivity, giving us a link eventually to the Messiah.

1Chronicles 4 – the Land of Judah

:1-8 More descendants of Judah

:9-10 Jabez

(1 Chr 4:9-10 KJV)  And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. {10} And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.


:11-23 More descendants of Judah

:24-43 Descendants of Simeon

The tribe of Simeon lived within the tribe of Judah, and so they are listed here.

1Chronicles 5 – Eastern Tribes

:1-10 Descendants of Reuben

:11-17 Descendants of Gad

:18-22 A war involving the eastern tribes

Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh lived together on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

This is a record of their war with the Hagarites.

(1 Chr 5:20 KJV)  And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him.

:23-24 Leaders of Manasseh

:25-26 Eastern tribes taken away

These were the first tribes to be taken into captivity, falling to the king of Assyria.

1Chronicles 6 – Levi

:1-15 Line of Aaron to the captivity

:16-48 Families and divisions of Levites

:28-33 Samuel

His lineage

From 1Sam.1:1, we get the idea that the prophet Samuel was from the tribe of Ephraim (his father is "an Ephraimite").  This presents problems when we see Samuel serving at the tabernacle as a boy, and as offering sacrifices as a man. 
Only Levites were allowed to actually perform the ritual sacrifices.  How could Samuel legally be performing sacrifices when he was an “Ephraimite”?
In 1Chron.6:27-28; 33-34, we see that Samuel was actually a Levite, descended from the family of Kohath.  This would make it allowable for him to help with the sacrifices and serve in the tabernacle.   
His father was an Ephraimite because he was a Levite living in the area of Ephraim.

His legacy

We read in 1Sam. 8:1-3 that Samuel’s sons were “corrupt” and this is one of the reasons why the people demanded that Samuel appoint a king to rule the nation.
But in the genealogy, we see that one of Samuel’s grandsons, Heman, was one of David’s main worship leaders in the temple (1Chron.6:33).

:49-53 Line of Aaron the High Priest

:54-81 Levitical cities

The tribe of Levi did not have their own distinct territory like the other tribes did.  Instead, they were given cities out of each tribe’s land, and they lived scattered among all the tribes within their cities.

1Chronicles 7

:1-5 Descendants of Issachar

:6-12 Descendants of Benjamin

:13 Descendants of Naphtali

:14-19 Descendants of Manasseh

Including the “daughters of Zelophehad”

:20-29 Descendants of Ephraim

:30-40 Descendants of Asher

1Chronicles 8

:1-32 More Descendants of Benjamin

The purpose of this list is to lead up to the first king of Israel, Saul

:33-40 Descendants of King Saul

After Saul dies, a record is kept of his descendants

1Chronicles 9 – Return from Babylon

:1-9 Those that settled in Jerusalem

:10-13 The Priests that returned

:14-34 The Levites that returned

There’s even an interesting description of some of the duties that were done during this initial restoration period (:23-33).

There were gatekeepers, those that opened up in the morning, those that were in charge of the special vessels (plates, bowls, etc.), those that made the holy anointing oil, those that baked things, and the singers.

:35-44 The lineage of King Saul

This is given a second time in order to lead into the next chapter.

1Chronicles 10 – The Death of Saul

:1 men of Israel fled...Philistines came...

This is a picture of how black a day this was for Israel.  When Joshua took the nation across the Jordan, they were to drive out the inhabitants and take the land.  Here we see them giving up what they had taken.


:13-14 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; {14} And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

We are given the reasons why God allowed Saul to die at this battle.  There are two reasons:

(Note:  Nothing is mentioned about Saul having an “evil spirit” or about trying to kill David)

1.  He didn't obey God.

Saul had been commanded by God to wipe out the Amalekites (1Sam.15:1-23).  This was to be part of God's plan for taking the land.  But when he went to fight against Amalek, he left the king and the best of the animals alive. We know from David’s future battles with Amalek that Saul actually left quite a few Amalekites alive.  When Samuel came and saw that Saul hadn’t done what the Lord had asked him:
1Sam.15:22-23  And Samuel said, "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king."


God is serious about us completely obeying Him.

He isn't impressed about how many times we might read our Bibles or go to church, thinking that we can somehow make up for our sins.
And though it is very true that God will graciously, and totally forgive us when we repent and confess our sins, because of His Son's sacrifice on the cross, it is also true that He would rather have us obey Him in the first place, than having to live in constant confession.
Jesus said,
John 14:15  If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

2.  He didn't go to God for advice.

He went to a medium instead (not a rare or well-done)
This happened after Samuel’s death, when Saul was facing his last huge battle with the Philistines.
(1 Sam 28:6-7 KJV)  And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. {7} Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
Mediums:  those who supposedly contact the spirits of dead people and ask these spirits for advice.


Questions to ask when God is silent.

a.  Is there sin in my life?
Is.59:1-2  Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.
b.  Have I been listening to God?
Zech.7:13  "And it came about that just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen," says the Lord of hosts.
c.  Have I been waiting?
Ps.40:1  I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

1Chronicles 11 – David becomes king

:1-3  David becomes king

:2 leddest out and broughtest in Israel

Referring to David's leadership in the nation, leading the people into battle, even while Saul was still king.

In fact, it was this that got David into trouble with Saul, it provoked him to jealousy (1Sam. 18:5-9)

:2 the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel,

God keeps His promises.

There were several years (maybe 25 yrs.) between when Samuel anointed David king, and when the people finally anointed him.  We are told that David was a young boy when Samuel anointed him (1Sam.16:11), and it wasn't until he was thirty-seven when he became king over all Israel (2Sam.5:4,5).

During those years, life was not exactly easy for David.  Much of the time he was running for his life from crazy Saul who was so jealous of David that he was constantly trying to kill him.

During those times he was living in caves, hiding out with the Philistines, on the run.

But God's promise was that he would be king.  Even when the opportunity came, David didn't take things into his own hands.  Twice he had the opportunity of personally killing Saul, making it possible to fulfill God's promise all by himself.  Yet he didn't.  He let God do the exalting.

I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

:4-9 David captures Jerusalem

:6 Joab

Two notes about Joab:

1.  We are told here how Joab got his job as commander over the armies of Israel.  It was in proving himself in the battle for Jerusalem.  He was the first to kill a Jebusite.

2.  He is the son of Zeruiah. (Q. Who is Zeruiah?)  Zeruiah was one of David's big sisters (1Chron.2:16), so Joab was David's nephew.

:7 city of David

There are two of them: 

1.  Jerusalem (here) because it was where David ruled.

2.  Bethlehem  - because it was his hometown (1Sam. 20:6)

:10-47 David’s Mighty Men

:10 mighty men

The “mighty men” of David were his life-long companions.  They were kind of like Robin Hood’s band of merry men.  There weren’t a huge number of them, but they were strong, brave, and loyal.

There were several divisions among David's mighty men.

The first three men were Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah (2Sam. 23:11).  Only Jashobeam and Eleazar are mentioned here.

Of the next three, only Abishai is mentioned (vs.20).

There’s something to be said about these qualities.  Somehow we’ve gotten the idea that spiritual men are kind of weak, pale, and limp-wristed.  We call Jesus, “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”, yet forget that he was a carpenter (took muscles) and that he overthrew the temple money-changers, etc.


Christians can be strong

To the carnal church at Corinth, Paul wrote,
They had been acting like babies:

I Corinthians 3:1-3  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Paul challenged them to act like men:

I Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit (act like) you like men, be strong.

God desires that we learn to be strong in Him.  That we learn to be fierce warriors in the spiritual realm.

:11 Jashobeam

He killed 300 at one time.

:12-14 Eleazar the son of Dodo

He was famous for a battle where he didn’t give up, a battle that took place in Pas-damminm.

Pas-dammimop Pac Dammiym – “boundary of blood”

Warriors don’t give up.  They stand their ground against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10-13  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

:15-19 Water from Bethlehem

read the story


Loyal friends

What a picture of loyalty!
I've heard some people criticize either these mighty men or David in this story.  David has been criticized for saying that he was thirsty for Bethlehem water.  The three have been criticized for getting it.  David has been criticized for not drinking it.

I think we ought to be careful to not jump to conclusions about these things.  The scripture does not criticize these men for this adventure. 

In fact, in just reading the story, you get the idea that it was included to show just how brave these men were.  I think David is commendable in not drinking the water because of the price it cost.
What would we do for our Lord?
What would we do for our friends?

(John 15:13 KJV)  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

:20-21 Abishai

A brother to Joab, the commander.  Killed three hundred men in a single battle.

:22-25 Benaiah

He killed an Egyptian seven and a half feet tall!

This man also became Solomon’s commander-in-chief to replace Joab.  He actually became somewhat of Solomon’s executioner.

:26-47  The rest of the Mighty Men

Uriah the Hittite (vs.41)

I think it’s interesting to see that Bathsheba’s husband wasn’t a stranger to David.  He was one of David’s mighty men.  He had undoubtedly spent a lot of time with David, out on the battle field.

We may have read the story of David and Bathsheba and thought, “poor Uriah, whoever he was, an innocent bystander”.  Yet Uriah wasn’t just a nobody, he was a friend of David, one of his mighty men.

When we see David ordering Uriah to be killed to hide his own adultery with Bathsheba, it only makes David’s crime even that more heinous.  David had a friend killed to cover up his own sin.

That’s what happens when we cover up our sin.  We get in deeper and deeper.  The lies get thicker and thicker.  We can even end up killing those close to us, just to keep from getting caught.

1Chronicles 12 – David’s armies

We now get an accounting of the various groups of fighting men that joined David as he became established as king.

:1-7  When David was at Ziklag

A group of men came and joined David while he was still hiding from Saul by staying with the Philistines in Ziklag.

:8-15 Gadites to the stronghold

A group of men from Gad joined David while he was camped out in one of his caves.

:16-18 More to the stronghold

Another group from Benjamin and Judah joined David while he was in the caves.

:19-22 From Manasseh

A group joins him from Manasseh while he was at Ziklag.

David’s army continues to grow:

(1 Chr 12:22 KJV)  For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.

:23-38 Joining David at Hebron

After Saul died, David became king first of the tribe of Judah, ruling from Hebron.

When the entire nation decided to make David king over all of Israel, groups from every tribe joined him in Hebron. We get the tally of each group here.

:39-40 Feasting and joy

When David was made king of all Israel in Hebron, there was a great party.


The makings of a great army

1.  Equipped
(1 Chr 12:2 KJV)  They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.

They came with bows and stones.  They knew how to use their weapons.

We are to be equipped as well:

(2 Tim 3:16-17 NASB)  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; {17} that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2.  Flexible
Some of these guys were ambidextrous (12:2):

and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow

They could use either hand. 

Are you flexible?  Can you adapt to whatever situation you’re in?
Paul says as servants, we are to be equipped:

(2 Cor 6:7 KJV)  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

3.  Loyal
When one group came to David, he tested them on their loyalty.  He wanted to know if they were on his side or not.

(1 Chr 12:17-18 KJV)  And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it. {18} Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

I think that we ought to be loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I think we should also learn to be loyal to those in various leadership roles.

If you are in the Children’s Ministry, I think you ought to be loyal to support George Schade.

If you are on the worship team, I think you ought to be loyal to support Dave Dunagan.

If you serve in the Youth Ministry, I think you ought to be loyal to support Greg and Caleb.

I don’t think this means that you can’t disagree with them.  But I think we ought to learn to support one another rather than find ourselves becoming critical of one another.

4.  Aware of our opportunities
(1 Chr 12:32 KJV)  And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

These men knew that the thing to do at the moment was to make David king of Israel.

God is looking for people who are aware of our own moment in history.

We are getting very near the time when Jesus will return.

We need to be focusing more and more on reaching the lost for Jesus.

5.  Joyful
(1 Chr 12:38-40 KJV)  All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king. {39} And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them. {40} Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.

This is a beautiful picture of what happens when we make Jesus king of our lives.  And with one heart, not wishy washy over doing it, but doing it with a whole heart.