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Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Comments for 1 Chronicles

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I. Genealogies, Chapters 19

Chapter 1 This chapter begins abruptly with the genealogy of Adam. There is nothing extant to compare to the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles — the story of man from Adam through David, tribes of Israel, and especially the tribe of Levi through the 70-year captivity (Ezra 2:62). Genesis is the book of the families, and this section of 1 Chronicles selects that which God considers essential to the record leading to Christ (Genesis 5, 10, 11, 16, 21, 25, 29, 36, 46).

Chapter 2 This is the genealogy from Israel through Judah and Jesse to David. Also, the descendants of Caleb are traced to the offspring for whom the cities Bethlehem, Beth-gader and Kirjathjearim are named.

Chapter 3 The line of David is traced through his sons and then Solomon’s line, the royal family, is followed. Verse 17 — see Jeremiah 22:24 in connection with Jeconiah. The line is followed through the 70-year captivity. Verse 19 — see Matthew 1:12 in connection with Zerubbabel who was carried into captivity. Verse 22 — see Ezra 8:2 in connection with Hattush.

Chapter 4 The posterity of Judah through Caleb and Shelah is followed, also the tribe of Simeon.

Chapter 5 The tribe of Reuben is followed to the captivity. Verses 1, 2 — Reuben lost the birthright and it was given to Joseph, not Judah. Judah prevailed and the ruler came from Judah. The tribe of Gad is recorded to the reign of Jotham over Judah and the captivity of the northern kingdom. The reason for the captivity is given in vs. 25, 26.

Chapter 6 The tribe of Levi (family of high priests) is traced through the sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. The official occupation of Aaron and his sons is given in v. 49.

Chapter 7 Gives the genealogies of the tribes of Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim and Asher. These went into Assyrian captivity.

Chapter 8 Traces the genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin, with special reference to Saul and Jonathan.

Chapter 9 Gives the genealogy of the tribe of Levi when it was scattered among the cities of the 12 tribes. Verse 1 is a significant statement in reference to the importance of the genealogies, especially in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, as they relate to the humanity of Christ.

II. Saul’s reign, Chapter 10

Chapter 10 From God’s viewpoint, Saul’s reign was not important. His death is recorded again and the reason for it is given (v. 13).

III. David’s reign, Chapters 1129

A. David’s mighty men, Chapters 11, 12

Chapter 11 While only one chapter is devoted to Saul, the remainder of 1 Chronicles is devoted to the reign of David, and 2 Chronicles is given over to the reign of David’s line. It is easy to see where God placed the emphasis and why. David was not only a man after God’s own heart, but his line is leading to Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. This chapter records again David’s ascension to the throne and catalogs his mighty men (see notes on 2 Samuel 23). These are the deeds that God considered important enough to record twice.

Chapter 12 Records those who came to David during the days of his rejection. Verses 15-18 give the thrilling account of the men who swam over the flooded Jordan River to join the ranks of David and pledge to him their undying allegiance.

B. David and the ark, Chapters 1316

Chapter 13 Repeats David’s attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem on a cart (see 2 Samuel 6). Verse 6 clearly informs us that God did not dwell in a material house “between the cherubim.”

Chapter 14 God prospers David materially, which was the blessing He had promised His earthly people.

Chapter 15 David brings up the ark according to God’s original instructions (v. 2). Verse 29 gives the reason Michal was rejected as being the mother of the royal line.

Chapter 16 God places the emphasis upon the sacrifices that speak of Christ (vs. 1-3). David organizes a choir and writes a psalm of praise for them to sing. David also organizes the priests into courses.

C. David and the temple, Chapter 17

Chapter 17 David’s desire to build God a house delighted the Lord, and He repeats it here. Then God makes a covenant with David (see notes on 2 Samuel 7).

D. David’s wars, Chapters 1820

Chapter 18 David fully organizes his kingdom and expands it to its largest extent and border. Even then, they occupied only 30,000 square miles of the 300,000 square miles God had given them.

Chapter 19 Joab leads a campaign against Ammon and Syria (see notes on 2 Samuel 10).

Chapter 20 Joab takes the city of Rabbah. This was when David committed his sin with Bathsheba. Notice that God does not record it here. When God says He will remember our sins no more, He means it.

E. David’s sin in numbering the people, Chapter 21

Chapter 21 David’s greatest sin in numbering the people is recorded because God permitted him to choose his punishment. Here we see who was the mastermind in promoting this sin of pride (v. 1). (See notes on 2 Samuel 24.)

F. David’s preparation and organization for building the temple, Chapters 2229

Chapter 22 David’s chief ambition was to build the temple. It was his plan and he gathered the materials (read carefully vs. 1-5 and vs. 14-19). The reason God did not permit David to build the temple is clearly stated in vs. 8, 9. The temple should be called David’s temple, not Solomon’s.

Chapter 23 David makes Solomon king and organizes the Levites to serve and sing in the new temple.

Chapter 24 The priests are divided into orders to serve in the temple. Also, the service of the sons of Kohath and Merari is divided.

Chapter 25 The singers and orchestra are organized (v. 1).

Chapter 26 The porters and guards are organized for temple service.

Chapter 27 The tribes of Israel are organized to serve in connection with the temple.

Chapter 28 David encourages the people in building the temple. This reveals the passion of David’s heart (see vs. 2, 3). He gives to Solomon the blueprint for the temple (vs. 11-13) and encourages him to build the temple (vs. 20, 21).

Chapter 29 Notice that David’s final word to the nation had to do with the building of the temple. Indeed, David loved the Lord (vs. 2, 3). Verses 10-19 give David’s great prayer which was evidently used by our Lord in the so-called Lord’s Prayer. This is one of the great prayers of Scripture — it is all-comprehensive, majestic, and filled with adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. It repudiates all human merit, declares human dependence upon God, reveals self-humiliation, confession, and dedication of self, admitting that all belongs to God.
This chapter closes the book of 1 Chronicles with the death of David and ascension of Solomon to the throne.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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