Chronicles, (FIRST and SECOND) BOOKS OF, the designation in the English Bible of the last of the historical books of the Old Test. preceding Ezra; but in the Hebrews Scriptures they conclude the entire volume. SEE BIBLE.
I. Name. — The Hebrews call them דִּבדֵי הִיָּמִים (see above), registers of days, and reckon them but one book. The Sept. transitors, who regarded them as two books, used the appellation Παραλειπόμενα, things omitted, as if they were supplementary to the other historical records belonging to the Old-Test. canon. The Vulg. retains both the Hebrews and Greek name in Latin characters, Dabre jammim, or hajamim, and Paralipomenon. Jerome tells us (ad Domnion. et Rogatian.) that in his time they formed only one book in the Hebrews MSS., but had been divided by the Christian churches using the Sept. for convenience, on account of their length. In his Ep. to Paulinus he further explains the name Paralipomenon, and eulogizes the book. The name Chronica, or Chronicorum liber, which is given in some copies of the Vulg., and from which we derive our English name of "Chronicles," seems to be taken from Jerome's saying in his prologus Galeatus, "Dibre hajamim, i.e. words of days, which we may more significantly call the Chronicon of the whole divine history." It was possibly suggested to him by his having translated the Chronica of Eusebius into Latin. Later Latin writers have given them the name of Ephemerides. The division into two books, after the example of the Sept. and later versions, was adopted by Bomberg in his Hebrews Bible, since which time it has been universal.
II. Contents. —
(a.) In 1 Chronicles 1-9 is given a series of genealogical tables, interspersed with historical, geographical, and other notices. These genealogies are not complete: the generations of Adam to Abraham (1Ch 1:1-28); of Abraham and Esau (1Ch 1:28-54); of Jacob and his son Judah (2); of king David (3); of Judah in another line (1Ch 4:1-23); of Simeon (4:2443); of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, with historical and topographical notices (5); two lists of the sons of Levi (1Ch 6:1-30); genealogical registers of Heman and Asaph (1Ch 6:31-43); of Merari (1Ch 6:44-50); of Aaron, with a list of the residences of the Levitical families (1Ch 6:50-81); list of the sons of Issachar (1Ch 7:1-5); of Benjamin and Naphtali (1Ch 7:6-13); of Manasseh (1Ch 7:14-19); of Ephraim, with notices of their possessions (1Ch 7:20-29); of Asher (1Ch 7:30-40); a second list of the descendants of Benjamin, with the genealogy of Saul (8); list of families dwelling at Jerusalem, with intimations of the tribes to which they belonged (9).
(b.) 1 Chronicles 10-29 contains the history of David's reign from the death of Saul, partly agreeing with the account given of him in the books of Samuel, though with several important additions relating to the Levites.
2 Chronicles 1-9 contains the history of Solomon. 2 Chronicles 10-28 furnishes a succinct, account of the kingdom of Judah while Israel still remained, but separate from the history of the latter.
2 Chronicles 29-36 describes the kingdom of Judah after the downfall of Israel, especially with reference to the worship of God.
From this analysis it appears that the Chronicles contain an epitome of sacred history, particularly from the origin of the Jewish nation to the end of the first captivity. Besides important notices of a historical character not found in the other books, there are others of a doctrinal and devotional nature. There is one psalm (1Ch 16:7-36), the first which David assigned for public worship (1Ch 16:7).
III. Diction. — This is such as suits the time immediately subsequent to the Captivity. It is substantially the same with that of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, which were all written shortly after the Babylonish exile. It is mixed with Aramaisms, marking at once the decline of the Jews in power and the corruption of their native tongue. The pure Hebrew had then been. laid aside. It was lost during their sojourn in Babylon. The orthography is characterized by an adoption of the matres lectionis and frequent interchanges of the weak letters, with other peculiarities (see below, § 4).
IV. Age and Author. — Internal evidence sufficiently demonstrates that the Chronicles were written after the Captivity. Thus the history is brought down to the end of the exile, and mention is made of the restoration by Cyrus (2Ch 36:21-22). It is certain that they were compiled after the time of Jeremiah (2Ch 35:25), who lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans. The same opinion is supported by the character of the orthography and the nature of the language employed, as we have already seen, both which are Aramaean in complexion, and harmonize with the books confessedly written after the exile. The Jews generally (unanimously, according to Huet, Demonst. Evangelica, 4:14) ascribe the Chronicles to Ezra (Baba Bathra, f. 15, 100:1). In fact, the internal evidence as to the time when the books of Chronicles were compiled seems to tally remarkably with the tradition concerning their authorship. Notwithstanding this agreement, however, the authenticity of Chronicles has been vehemently impugned by De Wette and other German critics, whose arguments have been successfully refuted by Dahler, Keil, Movers, and others. It has been clearly shown that the attack was grounded not upon any real marks of spuriousness in the books themselves, but solely upon the desire of the critics in question to remove a witness whose evidence was fatal to their favorite theory as to the post- Babylonian origin of the books of Moses. If the accounts in the books of Chronicles of the courses of priests and Levites, and the ordinances of divine service as arranged by David, and restored by Hezekiah and Josiah, are genuine, it necessarily follows that the Levitical law as set forth in the Pentateuch was not invented after the return from the Captivity. Hence the successful vindication of the authenticity of Chronicles has a very important bearing upon many of the very gravest theological questions.
There is particularly the circumstance that these books bring down the genalogy of David (1Ch 3:19, etc.) to a period admitted on all hands to be subsequent to the restoration. Indeed, from the resemblance of several of the names given in that list with some of those in the ancestry of Christ (Lu 3:25-26), the genealogy of David is there brought down to the ninth generation after Zerubbabel (Strong's Harmony and Exposition of the Gospels, p. 17, note m). This passage, however, may have been added by final editors of the sacred canon, traditionally reputed to have been the members of the Great Synagogue (q.v.). That the author was at least a contemporary of Zerubbabel is clear; and to show still more the writer's intimate acquaintance with and interest in him, Shelomith, a daughter of Zerubbabel, is inserted, and numerous details given about the family. The name Hattush (1Ch 3:22) occurs also in Ezr 8:2, as that of a descendant of David who returned with Ezra from Babylon: this would favor the view advanced if the identity could be established; but for this there is no evidence. But a more important note of time is the notice in 1Ch 9:17-18, regarding the Levitical porters, "who hitherto (עדאּהֵנָּה, until now, to the time of the writer) waited in the king's gate;" and of two of which, Akkub and Talmon, mention is made in Ne 12:25-26, as "keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates ... . in the days of Nehemiah, and of Ezra the priest the scribe." These conclusions of date from historical notices are confirmed by various peculiarities of expression and by the whole literary character of the composition. Of the peculiarities marking the late age of the writer is the term בִּירָה (birah, "palace"), applied to the Temple, instead of the old and usual הֵיכָל (heykal). This was an imitation of the great Persian cities, in correspondence with which Jerusalem is conceived of as having its palace, afterwards called Βάρις. SEE BARIS. Another term with which the Hebrews became acquainted in Babylon was בּוּוֹ (buts), byssus, which occurs in none of the older books, notwithstanding the frequent mention of שֵׁשׁ (shesh), or "fine linen," and is found only in 1Ch 4:21; 1Ch 15:27; 2Ch 2:14; 2Ch 3:14; 2Ch 5:12; Es 1:6; Es 8:15; and in a book written in Chaldaea, Eze 27:16 (Eichhorn, Einleitung, § 493). So also the mention of אֲדִרכֹּן (adarkon, "dram," but more correctly daric, 1 (Chronicles 29:7; also Ezr 2:69; Ezr 8:27; Ne 7:70), a Persian coin, the current money of the time. Jahn (Einleitung, § 50) refers to a remark in 2Ch 3:3, that the cubit was after the "first (or old) measure," intimating that a new standard was in use in the time of the writer. The literary character of the work, in general, entirely betokens a period when the language was greatly deteriorated through foreign influences, particularly during the exile, manifesting many peculiarities of style and orthography. Many examples of the latter, as the interchange of aleph with he quiescent, may be seen on comparing the two lists of David's heroes in 1 Chronicles 9 and 2 Samuel 13. With respect, again, to the later books, more particularly that of Ezra, there are many important resemblances, a list of which may be found in Havernick, p. 270.
This determination of the age of the composition narrows the ground of inquiry as to its authorship. The Jewish opinion that Ezra was the author of the Chronicles was universally received down to the middle of the seventeenth century, when it was called in question by the English deistical writer Hobbes, who assigned to it an earlier date. It was Spinoza who first referred it, on the contrary, to a later period than the time of Ezra, bringing it down to the time of the Maccabees, a view adopted in modern times by Gramberg, and partly by De Wette. Carpzov, Eichhorn, Havernick, Welte, and modern writers in general, consider Ezra to be the author. Ewald (Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 2d ed., 1:252) admits that the Chronicles and the book of Ezra are by the same author, and even contends that they originally formed one work, not the production of Ezra himself, but a much later writer. Jahn denies all appearance of similarity between the Chronicles and Ezra, and ascribes the former to some unknown writer at the close of the Captivity.
The identity of authorship of the books of Chronicles and 'Ezra can be established by numerous arguments, besides the marks of similarity in expression already adverted to. The internal relation of the Chronicles and the book of Ezra was early recognized. This is seen from the arrangement of the two adopted by the Sept. different from that of the Jewish canon. Further, the writer of the third (apocryphal) book of Ezra has wrought up the two writings into one. The conclusion of Chronicles and the beginning of the book of Ezra are almost identical in expression, from which it is but reasonable 'to infer that the one was. intended to be a continuation of the other; the one history terminating with the decree for the restoration from captivity, the other narrating how that decree was obtained and how it was carried out. Without this connection the opening words of the book of Ezra must appear exceedingly abrupt, presenting a form of commencement which is in reality only a continuation. (See Ezr 1:1.) The connection thus indicated is further evinced by the style, the manner of narration, and of regarding events from a Levitical point of view, common to the two works; the whole spirit, in fact, and characteristics are identical. Thus the frequent citations of the law, and in similar terms, as כִּמִּשׁפָּט (kam- mishpat), meaning "according to the law of Moses" (1Ch 23:31; 2Ch 35:13; Ezra, 3:4; yet also in Ne 8:18). The descriptions of the sacrificial rites are in the two books very full, and in nearly the same terms (comp. Ezr 2:2-5, with passages like 1Ch 16:40; 2Ch 8:18; 2Ch 13:11); so also the account of the celebration of the passover (Ezr 6:19, etc., and 2Ch 30:27), and the order of the Levites in charge of the Temple (Ezr 3:8-9; 1 Chronicles 33:2, 3). What presents the greatest apparent contrast in the two books is the high priest's genealogy in 1Ch 6:1-15, in the descending line, terminating with the Captivity, and in Ezr 7:1-5, in the ascending line, from that priest himself to Aaron; but a little consideration will reconcile the discrepancy. The two lists are partly parallel, and partly the one is a continuation of the other; as regards the latter point there can be no conflict, and as to the former it will be observed that the list in Ezra is considerably abridged, many links being omitted (Bertheau), and this could the more readily be done if the writer had elsewhere given a complete register. SEE EZRA (BOOK OF).
The only serious objection to their authorship by Ezra is the fact (above noticed) that certain genealogies (e.g. of Zerubbabel (1Ch 3:19-24; comp. that of the high-priests, Ne 12:11) are continued much later than his time; but these few verses may have been inserted by a later hand, without affecting his general authorship, just as the notice of the death of Moses ( Deuteronomy 34) must have been added to the Pentateuch by another hand than his own. SEE CANON (OF SCRIPTURE).
V. Scope and Method. — The books of Chronicles, as compared with those of Kings, are more didactic than historical. The historical tendency is subordinated to the didactic. Indeed, the purely historic form appears to be preserved only in so far as it presented an appropriate medium for those religious and moral observations which the author specially aimed to adduce. Samuel and Kings are more occupied with the relation of political occurrences, while the Chronicles furnish detailed accounts of ecclesiastical institutions. Thus 1Ch 17:11-14, compared with 2Sa 8:12-16, manifests more distinctly the Messianic character of the promises made to David (see Pye, Script. Testimony, 1:171). So, too, in the genealogical table, while no place is given to some of the tribes, as Dan and Asher, that of Judah in the line of David is traced down to the writer's own time (1Ch 1:1-27; 1Ch 2:1,3-15; 1Ch 3), beyond any other historical notice of the O.T., and connecting with the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1). SEE GENEALOGY.
The plan of these books, of which the book of Ezra is a continuation, forming one work, immediately becomes apparent if we consider it as the compilation of Ezra, or some one nearly contemporary with him. One of the greatest difficulties connected with the Captivity and the return must have been the maintenance of that genealogical distribution of the lands which yet was a vital point of the Jewish economy. Accordingly it appears to have been one to which both Ezra and Nehemiah gave their earnest attention, as David, Hezekiah, and other kings had done before them. Another difficulty intimately connected with this was the maintenance of the Temple services at Jerusalem. This could only be effected by the residence of the priests and Levites in Jerusalem in the order of their courses; and this residence was only practicable in case of the payment of the appointed tithes, first-fruits, and other offerings. As soon at these ceased the priests and Levites were obliged to disperse to their own villages to obtain a livelihood, and the Temple services were neglected. But then, again, the registers of the Levitical genealogies were necessary in order that it might be known who were entitled to such and such allowances, as porters, as singers, as priests, and so on, because all these offices went by families: and, again, the payment of the tithes, first-fruits, etc., was dependent upon the different families of Israel being established each in his inheritance. Obviously, therefore, one of the most pressing wants of the Jewish community after their return from Babylon would be trusty genealogical records, and if there were any such in. existence, the arrangement and publication of them would be one of the greatest services a person in Ezra's situation could confer. But further, not only had Zerubbabel (Ezr 3; Ezr 5; Ezr 6), and after him Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezr 2; Ezr 8;
Ne 7; Ne 8), labored most earnestly in the teeth of immense difficulties to restore the Temple and the public worship of God there to the condition it had been in under the kings of Judah, but it appears clearly from their policy, and from the language of the contemporary prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, that they had it much at heart to reinfuse something of national life and spirit into the bosom of the people, and to make them feel that they were still the inheritors of God's covenanted mercies, and that the Captivity had only temporarily interrupted, not dried up, the stream of God's favor to their nation. Now nothing could more effectually aid these pious and patriotic designs than setting before the people a compendious history of the kingdom of David, which should embrace a full account of its prosperity, should trace the sins which led to its overthrow, but should carry the thread through the period of the Captivity, and continue it, as it were, unbroken on the other side; and those passages in their former history would be especially important which exhibited their greatest and best kings as engaged in building or restoring the Temple, in reforming all corruptions in religion, and zealously regulating the services of the house of God. As regards the kingdom of Israel or Samaria, seeing it had utterly and hopelessly passed away, and that the existing inhabitants were among the bitterest "adversaries of Judah and Benjamin," it would naturally engage very little of the compiler's attention. These considerations explain exactly the design of that historical work which consists of the two books of Chronicles and the book of Ezra. For, after having in the first eight chapters given the genealogical divisions and settlements of the various tribes, the compiler marks distinctly his own age and his own purpose by informing us, in 1Ch 9:1, of the disturbance of those settlements by the Babylonish Captivity, and, in the following verses, of the partial restoration of them at the return from Babylon (1Ch 9:2-24); and that this list refers to the families who had returned from Babylon is clear, not only from the context, but from its reinsertion, Ne 11:3-22, with additional matter evidently extracted from the public archives, and relating to times subsequent to the return from Babylon, extending to Ne 12:27, where Nehemiah's narrative is again resumed in continuance with Ne 11:2. Having thus shown the re-establishment of the returned families, each in their own inheritance according to the houses of their fathers, the compiler proceeds to the other part of his plan, which is to give a continuous history of the kingdom of Judah from David to his own times, introduced by the closing scene of Saul's life ( Nehemiah 10), which introduction is itself prefaced by a genealogy of the house of Saul (Ne 9:35-38), extracted from the genealogical tables drawn up in the reign of king Hezekiah, as is at once manifest by counting the thirteen or fourteen generations, from Jonathan to the sons of Azel inclusive, exactly corresponding to the fourteen from David to Hezekiah inclusive. This part of the plan extends from 1Ch 9:35, to the end of the book of Ezra; 1Ch 15-22; 1Ch 22-29; 2Ch 13-15; 2Ch 24-26; 2Ch 29-31; 2Ch 35 are among the passages wholly or in part peculiar to the books of Chronicles, which mark the purpose of the compiler, and are especially suited to the age and the work of Ezra (q.v.).
VI. Sources. — It is evident that the Chronicles were compiled not only from former inspired writers, but, for the most part, from public records, registers, and genealogies belonging to the Jews. That national annals existed there can he no doubt. They are expressly mentioned, as in 1Ch 27:24. They contained an account of the most important events in the history of the Hebrews, and were generally lodged in the tabernacle or Temple, where they could most conveniently be consulted.
The following are the explicit references by the compiler himself to older memoirs or historical works:
(1) The book (דּבָרִים, words or acts) of Samuel the seer, the book of Nathan the prophet, and the book of Gad the seer (1Ch 29:29). This cannot mean the inspired books of Samuel, because they do not contain the entire history of David ("his acts first and last"). It refers to a history of his own times written by Samuel, and to a continuation of it, embracing succeeding times, written ,by Nathan and Gad, from which it is probable that part of the contents of the present books of Samuel was drawn. SEE NATHAN; SEE GAD.
(3) The book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies; or, as De Wette translates it, after the manner of family- registers (2Ch 12:15). SEE SHEMAIAH.
(4) The story, or, rather, the interpretation (מִדרָשׁ, midrash) of the prophet Iddo (2Ch 13:22).
(5) The book of Jehu the son of Hanani, inserted in the bock of the Kings of Israel (2Ch 20:34). SEE JEHU.
(6) The history of Uzziah, by Isaiah the son of Amoz (2Ch 26:22).
(7) The vision of Isaiah the prophet, in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2Ch 32:32). SEE ISAIAH. (See Gesenius's Commentar über den Jesaia; Einleit. § 4.)
(8) The sayings of the seers (2Ch 33:19). SEE HOZAT.
(9) The interpretation of the book of the Kings (2Ch 24:27).
(10) The book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2Ch 16:11; 2Ch 25:26; 2Ch 27:7; 2Ch 28:26; 2Ch 35:27; 2Ch 36:8). This could not have been our present books of Kings, but public annals, because, in several instances where the reader is referred to them for farther information, our books of Kings contain less than what is stated in the Chronicles.
(11) The book of the Kings of Israel (2Ch 20:34).
(12) The words or histories of the Kings of Israel (2Ch 33:18). It is probable that Nos. 10, 11, and 12 refer to the same historical work. SEE KINGS (BOOKS OF).
(13) The Chronicles of King David (1Ch 27:24).
(14) The Lamentations (2Ch 35:25). This, however, has been thought by some not to mean the Lamentations of Jeremiah which we now have, but other Lamentations, composed by the prophet on the death of Josiah, and long since lost. SEE LAMENTATIONS.
In addition to the above avowed documents, the compiler must have had others. Thus the lists of David's heroes (1Ch 11:10-47), of those who came to him at Ziklag (1Ch 12:1-22), of the captarns, princes of the tribes, and officers of David's household (27), the number and distribution of the Levites, and the minute information given respecting divine worship (1 Chronicles 23-26), must have been derived from written sources not included in the book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Some documents are mentioned by the compiler which he did not use. Thus a writing of Elijah, addressed to Jehoram, is spoken of in 2Ch 21:12. SEE ELIJAH.
In 1Ch 1:9, we have only a few references to the origin of the genealogical lists. Throughout most of this portion the compiler relied on registers, which he carefully followed, but does not definitely cite (yet see 1Ch 5:7,17; 1Ch 7:7,9; 1Ch 9:1). Although the genealogies of 1Ch 1:1-2:2, are substantially the same as in Genesis, greatly abridged, and with the omission of nearly all the historical notices, these matters being already so well known as to render repetition unnecessary — a strong, because indirect argument for the authority of the Mosaic writings — yet the greater portion of those which follow is found nowhere else. Even in this abridgment of the older genealogies there is manifested much independence. In proof of this it is only necessary to observe some of the appended notices, e.g.: 1Ch 1:51, "Hadad died also," an addition to Ge 36:39, it being inferred by Hengstenberg (Genuin. of the Pentateuch, 2:245) and others, from the latter passage, that Hadad was still living in the time of Moses. SEE HADAD. After 1Ch 2:2, the genealogical lists are interspersed with fuller details, and the work attains to more completeness and independence.
It has been inquired whether our present books of Samuel and Kings were among the sources whence the Chronicle writer drew his materials? The question is answered in the affirmative by De Wette, Movers, and Bleek; by Hävernick and others in the negative. The first-named critic adduces three arguments in favor of the hypothesis that the parallel accounts were derived from the earlier books, only one of which appears to us valid, viz., the certainty of the Chronist's having known the earlier books. After denying the force of all these arguments, Keil proceeds to adduce some positive grounds against the hypothesis that the books of Kings and Samuel were used as sources. The considerations adduced by him, however, are singularly wanting in validity (Einleitng, p. 480-482, Frcf. 1853). If the compiler of Chronicles knew the canonical books, why should it be thought that he abstained from using them? They would have facilitated his work. The most convincing proof that he both knew and used them is furnished by some forty parallels, which are often verbal. Thus, in 2Ch 1:14-17, there is a paragraph almost verbally coinciding with 1Ki 10:26-29. Again, 1 Chronicles 17 and
18 are in many places verbally parallel with 2Sa 7; 2Sa 8. Compare also 1Ch 19:1-20:1, with 2Sa 10-11; 2Ch 10:1-11:4, with 1Ki 12:1-24; 2Ch 15:16-18, with 1Ki 15:13-15; 2Ch 25:1-4,288, with 2Ki 14:1-6,8-20; 2Ch 33:1-9, with 2Ki 21:1-9; 2Ch 33:21-25, with 2Ki 21:19-26, etc. Nor can all these coincidences be explained by a common use of the older documents, for in many of the passages, evidently abridgments, the compression or selection is identical. SEE SAMUEL (BOOKS OF).
On the other hand, many particulars, more especially in the lives of David and Solomon, recorded in these books, are entirely passed over in the Chronicles, and in their stead are given notices of the state of religion and of public worship.
(1.) The principal omissions in the Chronicles are: The family scene between Michal and David (2Sa 6:20-23); David's kindness to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9); his adultery with Bathsheba (2Sa 11:2-12:25); his son Amnon's defilement of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 14-19); the revolt of Sheba (2 Samuel 20); the delivering up of Saul's sons to the Gibeonites (2Sa 21:1-14); the war with the Philistines (2Sa 21:15-17); David's psalm of thanksgiving, and last words (2Sa 22:1-23:7); Adonijah's attempted usurpation, and the anointing of Solomon (1 Kings 1); David's last will (1Ki 2:1-9); Solomon's throne established by the punishment of his opponents (1Ki 2:13-46); his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter (1Ki 3:1); his wise decision (1Ki 3:16-28); his officers, glory, and wisdom (1 Kings 4); his strange wives, and idolatry (1Ki 11:1-40). The entire omission of the history of the kingdom of Israel, except that it was carried away captive by the Assyrians, as a punishment for its sins (1Ch 5:25-26), is noteworthy (see above, § 5).
(2.) Matter peculiar to the Chronicles. — The list of the heroes who came to David at Ziklag, and of the hosts who came to Hebron to make him king ( 1 Chronicles 12); David's preparation for building the Temple (1 Chronicles 22); the enumeration and order of the Levites and priests
(1 Chronicles 23-26); the order of the army and its captains (1 Chronicles 27); David's directions in public assembly shortly before his death (1Ch 28; 1Ch 29); Rehoboam's fortifications, his reception of the priests and Levites who fled from the kingdom of Israel, his wives and children (2Ch 11:5-23); Abijah's war with Jeroboam (2Ch 13:3-20); the notice of Abijah's wives and children (2Ch 13:21); Asa's works in fortifying his kingdom and his victory over Zerah the Cushite (2Ch 14:3-14); a prophecy of Azariah, which induced Asa to put down idolatry (2Ch 15:1-15); the address of the prophet Hanani (2Ch 16:7-10); Jehoshaphat's endeavors to restore the worship of Jehovah, his power and riches (2Ch 17:2-18:1); his instructions and ordinances as to judgment (2 Chronicles 19); his victory over the Ammonites and Moabites (2Ch 20:1-30); his provision for his sons, and their death by his son and successor, Jehoram (2Ch 21:20); Jehoram's idolatry and punishment (2Ch 21:11-19); the death of the high-priest Jehoiada, and the apostasy of Joash (2Ch 24:15-22); Amaziah's warlike preparations (2Ch 25:5-10); his idolatry (2Ch 25:14-16); Uzziah's wars, victories, and forces (2Ch 26:6-15); Jotham's war with the Ammonites (2Ch 27:4-6); Hezekiah's reformation and passover (2Ch 29:3-31:21); his riches (2Ch 32:17-30); Manasseh's captivity, release, and reformation (2Ch 33:11-17).
(3.) Matter more fully related in Chronicles. — The list of David's heroes (1Ch 12:11-40), of which the names (1 Chronicles 42-47) are wanting in 2Sa 23:8, etc.; the removal of the ark from Kirjath- jearim to Mount Zion (1Ch 13; 1Ch 15:2-24; 1Ch 16:4-43; comp. with
2 Samuel 6); the candlesticks, tables, and courts of the Temple (2Ch 4:6-9; comp. with 1Ki 7:38-39); the description of the brazen scaffold on which Solomon knelt (2Ch 6:12-13, with 1Ki 8:22); in Solomon's prayer, the passage 2Ch 6:41-42, from Ps 132:7-9; the mention of the fire from heaven consuming the burnt-offering (2Ch 7:1, etc.); the enlargement of the divine promise (2Ch 7:12,16, with 1Ki 9:3); Shishak's invasion of Judaea; the address of the prophet Shemaiah (2Ch 12:2-8, with 1Ki 14:23); Amaziah's victory over the Edomites (2Ch 25:11-16, with 2Ki 14:7); Uzziah's leprosy; its cause (2Ch 26:16-21, with 2Ki 15:5); the passover under Josiah (2Ch 35:2-19, with 2Ki 22:20, etc.).
(4.) Other peculiarities distinguishing the book of Chronicles, and fitting it for the altered circumstances in the time of its composition, are the substitution of modern and more common expressions for such as had become unusual or obsolete (comp. in the original 1Ch 10:12, with 1Sa 31:12; 1Ch 15:29, with 2Sa 6:16, etc.), particularly the substitution for the old names of places, those which were in use in the writer's own day; thus, Gezer (1Ch 20:4), instead of Gob (2Sa 21:18); Abel Maim, Abel on the water [Merom] (2Ch 16:4), 'instead of Abelbeth-Maachah (1Ki 15:20). So also the omission of geographical names which had become unknown, or had ceased to be of interest, as Helam (2Sa 10:16-17), omitted in 1Ch 19:17; so also Zair (2Ki 8:21; comp. with 2Ch 21:9). See particularly 2Sa 24:4-8, compared with 1Ch 21:4. There is also the endeavor to substitute more definite expressions for such as were indefinite, and so possibly ambiguous (as 2 Chronicles 38:3; comp. with 2Ki 16:3; 2Ch 24:24, with 2Ki 22:16).
Other lists occur in Chronicles, which are given with considerable extension or in a different connection in the earlier books, e.g. the ancestors of David, 1Ch 2:10-12; comp. Ru 4:19-22. Still other lists are peculiar to the Chronicles, as 1Ch 2:18-53; 1Ch 3:16-24; 1Ch 4:2-23,34-43; 1Ch 5; 1Ch 5:26; 1Ch 6:1-34. These latter genealogies are obviously transcribed from some register, in which were preserved the genealogies of the tribes and families drawn up at different times. This appears from the very different ages at which different genealogies terminate, indicating of course the particular reign when each was drawn up. Thus, e.g. the line of the high-priests (1Ch 6:1-15) must have been drawn up during the Captivity; that in 1Ch 6:50-53, in the time of David or Solomon; those of Heman and Asaph, in the same chapter, in the time of David; that of the sons of Zerubbabel (1Ch 3:19-24) as late at least as the close of the canon, and so on.
The same wide divergence in the age of other materials embodied in the books of Chronicles is also apparent. Thus the information in 1 Chronicles 1, concerning the kings of Edom before the reign of Saul, was obviously compiled from very ancient sources. The same may be said of the incident of the slaughter of the sons of Ephraim by the Gittites, 1Ch 7:21; 1Ch 8:13; and of the account of the sons of Shela, and their dominion in Moab, 1Ch 4:21-22. The military census, of the tribes of Issachar, Benjamin, and Asher, in 1 Chronicles 7, evidently formed part of the returns made to David (2Sa 24:9). The curious details concerning the Reubenites and Gadites in 1 Chronicles 5, must have been drawn from contemporary documents, embodied probably in the genealogical records of Jotham and Jeroboam, while other records used by the compiler are as late as after the return from Babylon, such as 1
Chronicles 9:2 sq.; 2Ch 36:20 sq.; and others, as 150201> Ezr 2; Ezr 4:6-23, are as late as the time of Artaxerxes and Nehemiah. Hence it is further manifest that the books of Chronicles and Ezra, though put into their present form by one hand, contain, in fact, extracts from the writings of many different writers, which were extant at the time the compilation was made. For the full account of the reign of David, he made copious extracts from the books of Samuel the seer, Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer (1Ch 29:29). For the reign of Solomon he copied from "the book of Nathan," from "the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite," and from "the visions of Iddo the seer" (2Ch 9:29). Another work of Iddo supplied an account of the acts, and the ways, and sayings of king Abijah (2Ch 13:22); while yet another book of Iddo concerning genealogies, with the book of the prophet Shemaiah, contained the acts of king Rehoboam (2 Chrpnicles12:15). For later times the "Book of the kings of Israel and Judah" is repeatedly cited (2Ch 25:26; 2Ch 27:7; 2Ch 32:32; 2Ch 33:18, etc.), and "the sayings of the seers," or perhaps of Hozai (33:19); and for the reigns of Uzziah and Hezekiah "the vision of the prophet Isaiah" (26:22; 32:32). In other cases, where no reference is made to any book as containing farther information, it is probable that the whole account of such reign is transcribed. Besides the above-named works, there was also the public national record, called "book of the Chronicles" (סֵפֶר דִּברֵי הִיָּמִים), mentioned in Ne 12:23, from which doubtless the present books took their name, and from which the genealogies and other matters in them were probably derived, and which are alluded to as having existed as early as the reign of David, 1Ch 27:24. These "Chronicles of David" (רַּברֵי הִיָּמַים לִמֶּלֶך רָּוַיר) are probably the same as those (the דִּברֵי דָוִיד) above referred to, as written by Samuel, Nathan, and Gad. From this time the affairs of each king's reign were regularly recorded in a book called at first "the book of the acts of Solomon" (סֵפֶר דִּברֵי שׁלמֹה, 1Ki 11:41), by the name of the king, as before of David, but afterwards in both kingdoms by the general name of chronicles, as in the constantly-recurring formula, "Now the rest of the acts (דּבָרִים) of Rehoboam, Abijam, etc.; Jeroboam, Nadab, etc., are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah" or "of Israel" (1Ki 14:28; 1Ki 15:7, etc.)? This continues to the end of Jehoiakim's reign, as appears from 2Ki 24:5; 2Ch 36:8. It was doubtless from this common source that the passages in the books of Samuel and Kings identical with the books of Chronicles were derived. All these several works have perished, but the most important matters in them have been providentially preserved to us in the Chronicles.
VII. Discrepancies and Contradictions. — The credibility of the books of Chronicles has been greatly contested by rationalistic writers, but by none with more tenacity than De Wette, first in his Beiträge zur Einleitung (Halle, 1806, 1:1-132), and subsequently in the successive editions of his Einleitung, where he has brought together every sort of difficulty and alleged contradiction, many of which rest only on assumptions which would not be tolerated if applied to any other than a Biblical writer. It indeed cannot be denied that many difficulties do exist in this portion of Scripture, and not a few apparent contradictions between its statements and those of the other historical books, particularly as regards proper names and numbers; but these, even if they cannot be satisfactorily explained, scarcely warrant calling in question the sincerity or the credibility of the writer. Thus, for instance, it is objected that 1Ch 2:6 is a false combination of 1Ki 5:11 [4:31]; but nothing is more common than the recurrence of the same names in different families and tribes, and at different periods; and although Hävernick unnecessarily admits that some of the names in the two passages are identical, it would certainly indicate rare confusion on the part of the writer of the Chronicles to bring together times and persons so far apart from one another. Ethan the Ezrahite, of the family of Merari (1Ch 6:29 ), was one of David's masters of song (1Ch 15:17), and the author of Psalm 89. Heman, also an Ezrahitc, and author of Psalm 88, was a leader of David's sacred choir (1Ch 15:17), and it is utterly inconceivable that persons, as it would appear, so well known to the writer of the Chronicles, should so inconsiderately be reckoned among the posterity of Judah, and assigned to a time so long antecedent to that of David. SEE HEMAN.
There are, however, real difficulties, particularly in the genealogical tables, and also in various numerical statements, and these, it may be supposed, arose in a great measure from corruption of the text; for it is in such cases that there is the greatest facility for the rise and the perpetuation of false readings, the context affording little aid for their detection, or rectification if detected. The text of the Chronicles furnishes many instances of such corruptions, although in several cases, where it differs from the corresponding passages in the books of Samuel and of Kings, it is just as possible that it shows the true reading. A remarkable case is 1Ch 6:13 , "And the sons of Samuel, the first-born Vashni and Abiah," comp. with 1Sa 8:2, "Now the name of his first-born was Joel, and the name of his second Abiah." It is easy to see how this contradiction has arisen. The name Joel had fallen out of 1Ch 6:13, and some transcriber, seeing the necessity for some name after "the first-born," transformed, והִשֵּׁנִי (ve-hash-sheni), "and the second," into a proper name, Vashni. The mistake is as old as the Sept. — ὁ πρωτότοκος Σανὶ καὶ Αβιά. The Syriac and Arabic read as in Samuel (Jour. of Sac. Lit. April, 1852, p. 198).
(1.) Passages where the readings in Chronicles are obviously corrupt; sometimes the work itself showing the erroneousness of the reading, e.g. 2Ch 3:15; 2Ch 4:5, compared with 1Ki 7:15,26, etc.
(2.) Passages where the correct reading is that of the Chronicles. The father of Amasa is designated in 1Ch 2:17, "Jether, the Ishmaelite;" in 2Sa 17:25, "Ithra, an Israelite." Examples of numerical statements: 1Ch 18:4, compared with 2Sa 8:4; 1Ch 19:18, comp. with 2Sa 10:18; 1Ch 21:12, with 2Sa 24:13; 2Ch 3:15, and 1Ki 7:16, with 2Ki 25:17, where the height of the "chapiters" on the brazen pillars, as given in the first two passages, is confirmed by Jer 52:22; 2Ch 9:25, compared with 1Ki 4:26; 1Ch 11:11, compared with 2Sa 23:8; 2Ch 26:1,3,8, etc. comp. with 2Ki 15:1,6, etc.
(3.) Passages where the correct reading is doubtful: 2Ch 2:2,17 , comp. with 1Ki 5:18 ; 2Ch 8:10, comp. with 1Ki 9:23; 2Ch 8:18, comp. with 1Ki 9:28, etc. (On the numerical discrepancies, see Reinke, Beiträge zur Erklärung des alt. Testamentes, I, i.) SEE NUMBER. In Movers, Kennicott, and Gramberg, others may be found which are injudiciously brought forward as truly at variance; yet 2Ch 8:18, compared with 1Ki 9:28; 1Ch 21:5, comp. with 2Sa 24:9, where the numbers of Judah are different, and other places that might be quoted, present contradictions which evince that the text is corrupt. It is well known, although the cause has not fully hitherto been ascertained, that the text of the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles is in a worse condition than that of the other inspired writings. Jerome (Praef. ad Paral.) speaks of the Greek text of Chronicles as being hopelessly confused in his days, and assigns this as a reason why he made a new translation from the Hebrew. Many of the names and words that are differently written should be referred to this head. Some omissions and some interpolations also belong to it. But the principal contradictions relate to numbers. These seem to have been expressed in various ways; and copyists, having different methods of marking them, were naturally exposed to errors. Sometimes numbers were designated by letters, occasionally by ciphers, and again they were marked by words. SEE ABBREVIATION.
(4.) Passages erroneously regarded as contradictory: Between 2Ch 28:20, and 2Ki 16:20, there is no contradiction, as they relate to different stages of the war; and it is quite possible that the mercenary Tiglath-pileser from an ally became an opponent; a fact even intimated in 2Ki 16:18, by Ahaz's removal of a gallery, which might afford access to an enemy. Between 1Ch 11:23, "An Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high, and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam," and 2Sa 23:21, "An Egyptian, a goodly man, and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand," there is no contradiction; the one passage being more specific, but still in accordance with and its purport implied in the other. The Egyptian's noticeable appearance was his stature, with which also his spear corresponded. 2Ch 34:3-7, places the reformation under Josiah in the twelfth year of his age, while 2Ki 22:3, assigns to it the eighteenth; the former referring only to the beginning of the work, while the other passage points to some great progress in it, the rooting out of idolatry, as is required by 2Ch 35:19. Many other passages, which are usually adduced under this head, do not belong to it: e.g. 2Ch 9:25, compared with 1Ki 4:26; 2Ch 22:2, with 2Ki 8:26; 1Ch 21:1, with 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:5, with 2Sa 24:9; 1Ch 21:25, with 2Sa 24:24; 2Ch 13:2, with 1Ki 15:10; on the true mode of harmonizing which we refer to Davidson's Sacred Hermeneutics, p. 544-554, where they are resolved. A large class of the discrepancies in question, affecting the ages and reigns of the kings, is due simply to the mode of reckoning either (a) according to the civil as distinct from the sacred year, or (b) according to dates of association with the respective fathers on the throne (Meth. Quart. Rev., Oct. 1856, p. 619 sq., where all these are reconciled). SEE CHRONOLOGY.
Many less important deviations are here passed over, as being referrible to the arbitrary choice of the compiler, such as omissions, additions, difference of order, change of style, etc. Most or all of the real difficulties, with respect to facts, will be examined under the several articles to which they relate. Many of the obscurities, and not a few discrepancies, are apparently insoluble, owing to the loss of the original data, which alone could serve to explain them. These are more numerous and formidable, perhaps, in the Chronicles than in any other book of Scripture; yet the discrepancies, even were there no satisfactory solution, cannot greatly affect the character of the writer of the Chronicles; for the probability as regards correctness will be found on the part of the later writer, who, having the earlier works before him, would not unnecessarily, in matters of fact and plain numerical statements, where differences and contradictions were so easily discernible, vary from. the earlier accounts favored by the authority arising from age and prior acceptance. There can be no question, moreover, that many of the discrepancies are owing to the fault of copyists, while in some they are the result of the different views and designs of the respective writers, or the brevity of their statements. In proof, however, of the accuracy of the Chronicles, the following particulars are worthy of consideration:
a. The writer is exceedingly definite in his statements. Thus the time when it occurred to David to build the Temple of the Lord is indicated (2Sa 7:1), "It came to pass when (כִּי) the king sat in his house," etc., but more definitely stated in 1Ch 17:1 (כִּאֲשֶׁר), "as soon as he sat," etc. (see Hengstenberg, Christol. 1:144, Berlin, 1854); while the omission of the words," and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies," removes the chronological difficulty in that statement. Of his accuracy, again, in the genealogical notices, the following example may suffice. In 1Ch 2:16, mention is made of two sisters of David, Abigail and Zeruiah, the latter of whom was the mother of Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, who: are never designated after their father, but always after their more illustrious mother (2Sa 2:18; 2Sa 21:17, etc.). Amasa is referred to as a blood relation of David (2Sa 19:14); according to 2Sa 17:25, Amasa was a son of Abigail, and she sister of Zeruiah, the mother of Joab; but the daughter of Nahash, not positively of Jesse, and thus perhaps only the half-sister of David. SEE NAHASH; Therefore it is that, in the genealogy of Jesse (1Ch 2:13-17), she is not styled his daughter, but only referred to as the sister of David; a distinction which does not at first sight strike the reader, and the force of which could not indeed be learned without the information furnished in the book of Samuel. So also 2Ch 7:7-10 explains the abbreviated statement (1Ki 8:65), and the otherwise contradictory expression "the eighth day," 1Ki 8:66 — a proof how many of the discrepancies arise simply from the brevity of the statement.
b. The scrupulous exactness with which the writer excerpts from the original documents is vouched for by the fact of his sometimes retaining the very words," although involving expressions no longer applicable to his own time — a practice which, strange to say, has furnished ground to, assail his accuracy. Thus the Simeonites are said to possess the seats of the Amalekites in Mount Seir, dwelling there "unto this day" (1Ch 4:42-43), although, long prior to the composition of the history, they had been removed from all their possessions. So also, in the account of the removal of the ark to Solomon's Temple, it is added, "and there it is unto this day" (2Ch 5:9).
c. But of more importance is the indirect confirmation given to several statements in the Chronicles by other passages of Scripture. Thus Hezekiah's preparations in fortifying Jerusalem when threatened by Sennacherib — his stopping the fountains and "the brook that ran through the midst of the land" (2Ch 32:1-6), are fully confirmed by Isa 22:8-11. Again, Ps 48:13, etc., probably refers to the victory of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20). A further reference to this victory of Jehoshaphat is found in Joel 4 ; the prophetic vision resting on this history, which is thus the foundation of the divine judgment on the enemies of the theocracy. (See Hävernick, Einleitung, II, 1:216.) In the reign of Jehoram the Philistines and Arabians invaded Judah, plundered the royal palace, and carried away the king's sons and wives (2Ch 21:16-17). To this incident the prophet Joel refers (Joel. 4:, 5, 6), where the Philistines are threatened for their plundering of the Lord's property and sale of the Israelitish captives; the same also in Am 1:6. The Philistines again, in the time of Ahaz, invaded the south of Judah, and took several important cities (2Ch 28:18). With this agrees the prophecy of Isa 14:28-32, which again finds its fulfillment in 2Ki 18:8.
It is important also to notice how the Chronicles form a commentary on various passages of the other books, and evince the accuracy of such statements as at first sight seem to contain discrepancies. Thus, in 2Sa 7:5, no reason is assigned why David should not build the house of the Lord; and in 1Ki 5:17 , in the message of Solomon to Hiram, an external reason only is assigned, as the heathen prince could not comprehend the deeper one. This, however, is given in David's communication first to Solomon (1Ch 22:8), and afterwards to Israel in assembly (1Ch 28:3). The addition, "But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there" (2Ch 6:6, comp. with 1Ki 8:16), is exceedingly important: the choice of Jerusalem, as the center of the theocracy, was dependent on the choice of David to be ruler over Israel — the one was included in the other (2 Samuel 7). The truthfulness of the history may be said to be even attested by the names of the exiles born shortly before the restoration, from their so naturally reflecting the hopes which about that time must have been strongly entertained. Thus 1Ch 3:19-20: Hananiah (Jehovah's grace); Berechiah (Jehovah's blessing); Hasadiah (Jehovah's mercy); and Jushabhesed (mercy's return).
VIII. Exegetical Helps. — The principal works introductory to these books specially are: Dahler, De lib. Paralipomenôn auctoritate (Argent. 1819, 8vo); Gramberg, Die Chronik nach ihrem geschichtl. Charakter (Halle, 1823, 8vo); Movers, Unters. üb. d. Chronik (Bonn, 1834, 8vo); Keil, Versuch üb. d. Chronik (Berl. 1833, 8vo); also De Wette, Hist.-krit. Unters. üb. d. Bucher d. Chronik, in his Beitr. zur Kritik des A. T. 1:1-152; and against this, Hertz's Vers. z. Vertheid. d. Chronik (Altona, 1822, 8vo). Compare the Einleitungen of De Wette, Eichhorn, Jahn, Hävernick, Keil, and especially Bleek (1860); also Davidson in Horne's Introduct. (new ed. 2:673-688); finally, the remarks by Gesenius, Gesch. d. hebr. Sprache (Lpz. 1815). SEE INTRODUCTION.
Express commentaries on Chronicles are few and defective; in the following list, the most valuable are indicated by an asterisk [*] prefixed: Jerome, Quaestiones (in his Opp. [Spuria], 3:789); Theodoret, Quaestiones (Opp. 1, pt. 1); Procopius, Scholia (in Opp. 8:1); Maurus, Commentarii (Opp.); Rashi and Kimchi's Commentaries (in Buxtorfii Biblia Hebr. 4); Sarcer, Commentarius (Basil, 1560, 4to); Strigel, Commentarius (Lips. 1583, 1591, fol.); *Lavater, Commentarius (Ziir. 1573; Heidelberg, 1599, fol.); Leonhart, Hypomnemata (Erf. 1608, 1614, 8vo); Serrarius, Conmentaria (Mogunt. 1609-10, 2 vols. fol.); Sanctius, Commentarii (Antw. 1624; Lyons, 1625, fol.); Bonfrore, Commentarius
(Tornaci. 1643, 2 vols. fol.); Jackson, Annotationes (Cambr. 1646, 2 vols. 4to); Beck, Paraphsrasis Chaldaica cum notis (Aug. Vind. 1680, 4to); Wilkins, Rabbi Josephi Parsaphr. Chald. (Cantab. 1717; Amsterd. 1725, 4to); Corn. a Lapide, Lib. Paralip, (in his Commentaria); Michaelis and Rambach, in the Annotationes in Hagiogr, 3:245 (Hal. 1720); *Horsley, Notes (in the Bibl. Crit. 1); Jeitteles, תִּרגּוּם (Vienna, 1815, 8vo); Weisse, תִּרגּוּם (Prague, 1836, 8vo); Kenigsfeldt, Annotationes (Havn. 1839, 8vo); *Bertheau, Die Bücher der Chronik erklärt (Lpz. 1854, 8vo, being Lief. 15 of the Exeg. IHandb.; also in English, Edinburgh, 1857, 8vo); Rahmer, Commentar (Thorn, 1866, 8vo, vol. 1). SEE COMMENTARY.