I & II Chronicles
The Book of Chronicles, published in two volumes, was composed by Ezra, and the sages of the Talmud canonised it as part of Scripture. By definition, therefore, it was composed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
However, Chronicles seems to be little more than a combination of long lists of names and royal records of events, most of which have already been enumerated in the Books of Samuel and Kings, or so it seems on the surface.
Upon closer examination, the Book is even more mystifying. Many of the names in the genealogical lists are different from those found in the other Hebrew Scriptures. Not all the events of the earlier books are recorded here; many that are found here do not appear earlier; and often details are different. It is beyond the scope of this work to deal specifically with these problems, but a general view of Chronicles is offered here.
The focus of Chronicles is to serve as the prelude to the eventual Kingdom of the Messiah, who would be a descendant of King David and was found in the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. As such, the book deals primarily with the Davidic dynasty. Indeed, much of the information about such great kings of Judah, such as Hezekiah and Josiah comes from Chronicles.
This explains a striking difference between the respective endings of the Books of Kings and Chronicles. Kings culminates with the destruction of the First Temple and the exile from Jerusalem. Chronicles ends with the return of the Jews from Babylonian exile, and even though the second commonwealth was but a pale shadow of the future redemption offered by the coming of Jesus, it kept Jewish hopes alive and proved that the prophecies of an end to the Babylonian exile were not in vain. And if those prophecies were fulfilled, then the people know that the future prophecies of the coming of Messiah and the ultimate consummation of all things will equally be fulfilled.
The Introduction covers both books.
There are three mind maps providing the structure for each of the three major sections of Chronicles that may prove useful for study. They are: Generations – Adam to King Saul, United Kingdom – David and Solomon and The Kings of Judah – Decline Towards Exile.
There is some supplementary material for the two books.
Following the reign of King Solomon Israel divided into two kingdoms, then kings ruled simultaneously in the northern and southern kingdoms. In the north the kings of Israel reigned and in the south it was the kings of Judah. For an evaluation of each king as to whether they were good, evil or a mixture then click here. Although Chronicles deals exclusively with the kings of Judah, there is interaction between north and south; therefore both lists are included for the purpose of comparison.