Home > Content Index > Books of the Bible > 1 Chronicles > Purpose of Chronicles

What is the purpose of First and Second Chronicles?

purpose of Chroniclesaudio
Question: "What is the purpose of First and Second Chronicles? Why repeat information already recorded in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings?"

Likely written between 450 and 425 BC, 1 and 2 Chronicles includes many lists of genealogies. Further, much of the content covers the same events found in the books of Samuel and Kings. Surely, God had a purpose for inspiring the writing of the Chronicles, even with its similar content.

First of all, not all of the content of the Chronicles is found in Samuel and Kings. In fact, over half of the content of Chronicles is unique. The scope of 1 and 2 Chronicles is very broad, tracing the history of Israel from Adam and Eve until the end of the Babylonian Captivity. Emphasis is given to the tribe of Judah, to whom the books were written, as well as the Levitical priests, who were important in re-establishing worship in Jerusalem. The Davidic Covenant and temple worship are common themes running through the Chronicles.

Ezra the priest and scribe is generally considered the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles. The Babylonian Talmud identifies Ezra by name as the author of these writings. Further, the events of 1 and 2 Chronicles lead up to the events of Ezra and Nehemiah (originally one book in the Hebrew Bible).

Also interesting is the name of 1 and 2 Chronicles in the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament produced around 300 BC). The title translates as “The Books of Things Left Out,” referring to additional details surrounding the historical events recorded in the books of Samuel and Kings. Due to the Judean emphasis of the Chronicles, we learn much more about the southern kingdom of Judah and its kings; the books of Kings contain more detail about the northern kingdom of Israel.

The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were invaluable in the restoration of Judah after their time in Babylon. The remnant returned to a ruined Jerusalem, a destroyed temple, and many other obstacles to their success. They must have felt overwhelmed and forsaken by God. By tracing the history of God’s people, the author of the Chronicles reminded the new generation that God had been their help in ages past. By emphasizing the unconditional Davidic Covenant, he gave them hope for the future. By including the genealogies, he showed them that they were the ones to continue the legacy. In short, the author of the Chronicles showed a despairing people that they had a powerful, faithful God who would strengthen them to rebuild the temple and the city.

Recommended Resource: 1 & 2 Chronicles, NIV Application Commentary by Andrew Hill

More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

Related Topics:

Why are Jesus’ genealogies in Matthew and Luke so different?

What happened during Jesus’ childhood?

What does it mean that Jesus is the son of David?

Where was Joseph when Jesus was an adult?

Is there an error in the counting of the generations in Matthew chapter 1?

Return to:

Questions about 1 Chronicles

What is the purpose of First and Second Chronicles?

Share this page on:

Find Out How to...

Statement of Faith
The Gospel
Crucial Questions
Content Index
Top 20 Questions

Question of the Week

Preferred Bible Version:


Subscribe to our Question of the Week

Get our Questions of the Week delivered right to your inbox!