May 20





Author: Though he is not mentioned by name, historically authorship of 1 and 2 Chronicles has been attributed to Ezra (who also wrote the book of Ezra).  There is no question that he used various sources in compiling the expansive history that is provided, including prophetic records of Samuel (1 Chronicles 29:29), Isaiah (2 Chronicles 32:32), and others (2 Chronicles 9:29; 12:15; 20:34; 33:19).  However, the primary source was a book called “the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel” (2 Chronicles 16:11; 25:26).  This book is not included in our Bible (the canon).  It was likely an earlier record that we no longer have.


Time written: Judah (southern kingdom) was taken into exile by Babylon in two different deportations…609 and 586 B.C.  Ezra wrote 1 and 2 Chronicles after his return to Palestine from exile.


Timeline of the Old Testament

The following timeline of the Old Testament has been compiled with the assumption that the genealogies are literal and complete. If so, God created the world about 6000 years ago. All years are approximate.

Creation to the Flood

  • Creation: 4000 B.C. (we don't know how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden before their exile.)
  • Adam: 4000 B.C. – 3070 B.C. (Genesis 2:7; 5:5)
  • Methuselah: 3350 B.C. – 2350 B.C. (Genesis 5:21; 5:27)
  • Noah: 2950 B.C. – 2000 B.C. (Genesis 5:29; 9:29)
  • Flood: 2350 B.C. (Genesis 6-9)
  •       Note that Methuselah died a very short time before the Flood. It is possible that his name, literally "death/spear/violence – bring," was the prophecy "his death shall bring." His death certainly did herald a significant event.

The Flood to Abraham

  • Flood: 2350 B.C. (Genesis 6-9)
  • Tower of Babel: 2250 B.C. (Genesis 11:1-9)
  • Egypt founded: 2170 B.C.
  • Abraham: 2165 B.C. – 1990 B.C. (Genesis 11:26; 25:8)
  •       The genealogies in the Old Testament show that Noah died while Abraham's father was living. Noah's father, Lamech, was born about eighty years before Adam died. It's very possible that the story of creation could have been passed on through very few steps.

Abraham to the Exile in Egypt

The Exile in Egypt to the Monarchy

The Unified Monarchy


  • Israel, the Northern Kingdom: 930 B.C. – 725 B.C.


  • Elijah serves as Prophet: circa 870 B.C.
  • Obadiah serves as Prophet: circa 845 B.C.
  • Elisha serves as Prophet: circa 840 B.C.
  • Jonah serves as Prophet: circa 780 B.C.
  • Hosea serves as Prophet: circa 760 B.C.
  • Assyria destroys Israel: 725 B.C. (2 Kings 17)


  • Judah, the Southern Kingdom: 930 B.C. – 590 B.C.


    • Joel serves as Prophet: circa 825 B.C.
    • Amos serves as Prophet: circa 750 B.C.
    • Micah serves as Prophet: circa 725 B.C.
    • Isaiah serves as Prophet: circa 690 B.C.
    • Zephaniah serves as Prophet: circa 640 B.C.
  • Judah is under tribute to Assyria – 627 B.C.


    • Nahum serves as Prophet: circa 625 B.C.
    • Habakkuk serves as Prophet: circa 620 B.C.
  • Babylon destroys Nineveh (capital of Assyria) – 612 B.C.


    • Josiah is killed by the king of Egypt while attempting to support Assyria – 609 B.C.
    • Jehoiakim is made king of Judah and is a vassal to Egypt – 609 B.C.
    • Babylon defeats advancing Egyptian forces at the Battle of Carchemish …then enters Palestine and takes Daniel and others hostage – 605 B.C.
  • Jehoiakim sides with sides with Egypt in attempted revolt against Babylon – 601 B.C., and is killed – 598 B.C.


  • Jeremiah serves as Prophet: circa 600 B.C.
  • Babylon conquers Judah and takes a second group of people into exile: 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25)
  •       After being ruled by judges for 400 years, the nation of Israel only lasted about 165 more years united under one king. The Northern Kingdom of Israel so rebelled against God that it was only another 200 years before the Assyrians destroyed them. The Southern Kingdom of Judah managed to last about 340 years before the Babylonian captivity.

Exile in Babylon

    • Babylonian Empire: 1984 B.C. – 539 B.C.
    • Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon: 605 B.C. – 562 B.C.
    • Daniel taken to Babylon: 605 B.C. (Daniel 1)
    • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survive the fiery furnace: 595 B.C. (Daniel 3)
    • Daniel's confrontation with Belshazzar: 539 B.C. (Daniel 5)
    • Persian Empire: 539 B.C. – 330 B.C.
  • Persia conquers Babylon – 539 B.C.


    • Cyrus King of Great Persian Empire: 576 B.C. – 530 B.C.
  • Cyrus allows the Jews to start returning to Jerusalem: 536 B.C.


  • Temple Rebuilt: 530 B.C. – 515 B.C. (Ezra)
  • Haggai serves as Prophet: circa 525 B.C.
  • Zechariah serves as Prophet: circa 525 B.C.
  • Xerxes (Ahasuerus) King of Persia: 485 B.C. – 465 B.C. (Esther)
  • Esther becomes Queen: 475 B.C.
  • Esther saves the Jews: 470 B.C.
  • Ezra serves as Priest: 460 B.C. – 430 B.C.
  • Nehemiah Governor of Jerusalem: 460 B.C. – 430 B.C.
  • Malachi serves as Prophet: circa 440 B.C.
  •       Jeremiah was right—from the fall of Judah to the first refugees returning to Jerusalem was about seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11). But the Old Testament timeline doesn't tell the whole story. Not all the Jews left, and there are still small pockets of Jews in such places as Iran and India.

The Intertestamental Period

    • Alexander the Great reigns in Greece: 336 B.C. – 323 B.C.
  • Judea ruled by the Greek Empire: 330 B.C. – 308 B.C.


    • Judea ruled by Egypt: 308 B.C. – 195 B.C.
    • Judea ruled by Syria: 195 B.C. – 130 B.C.
    • Maccabean Revolt: 164 B.C. – 63 B.C.
  • Judea ruled by the Roman Empire: 65 B.C. – 70 A.D.


    • Julius Caesar rules Roman Empire: 46 B.C. – 44 B.C.
    • Herod the Great reigns as King of the Jews: 37 B.C. – 4 B.C.


  •       Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament have much to say about the timeline between Malachi and the birth of John the Baptist. Most of what we can gather from this period comes from the Apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees as well as secular historical records.


Content: Originally, 1 and 2 Chronicles were one book.  They were divided sometime around 180 B.C.  The book’s Hebrew title means, “the words (affairs) of the days,” meaning that this was a record of the history of Israel from Adam to the exile in Babylon and Cyrus’ decree that allowed the Jews to return to Palestine.


Perspective: Ezra was a priest who helped to lead a group of exiles back to Jerusalem (Palestine) from Babylon, in 458 B.C.  He was intent on building a true spiritual foundation for the people once they arrived.  It appears that in order to strengthen their sense of racial and religious purity, the proper role of the law, the Temple and the priesthood…Ezra wrote this history of Israel.  He focuses only on the Kings of Judah and excludes Israel except in cases where it is necessary to the understanding of Judah’s history.  The reason is because Ezra viewed Israel as having been disobedient to God.  His emphasis was on the rich heritage of the faithful people of God and the blessing that they received as the covenant people.  The proof of this blessing is dramatically seen in their return to the Promised Land.

The first eight chapters of 1 Chronicles is a genealogy of the Israel from Adam to Saul.  1 Chronicles 9 is a record of those who returned to Palestine from the exile in Babylon (cf. Nehemiah 11:3).  These names were gathered from, “the Book of the Kings of Israel” (9:1).  This was not 1 and 2 Kings…but rather, the official court records and registers that we no longer have.  Then, 1 Chronicles 10 through 2 Chronicles 36 covers the same historical timeframe that 1 and 2 Kings cover.


Genealogy from Adam to Saul

-------                                          1 Chronicles 1-8

List of those who returned from exile

-------                                          1 Chronicles 9

The reigns of David and Solomon

1 Kings 1-11                                     1 Chronicles 10-2 Chronicles 9

The divided Kingdom

1 Kings 12-2 Kings 28                    2 Chronicles 10-36


A comparison of 1 and 2 Kings with 1 and 2 Chronicles:

The perspectives from which the books of Kings and Chronicles tell the story of the history of Israel are quite different.  A very good introduction and explanation of these differences is found at:


1 Chronicles 1-2


Genealogies from Adam to David                      1 Chronicles 1-8    


1 Chronicles 1:1-27-A genealogical record from Adam to Abraham.

1 Chronicles 1:28-54-A genealogical record from Abraham to Jacob (Israel, :34).

1 Chronicles 2:1-55-A genealogical record from Jacob (Israel) to David.


  1. "The principle design of the writer appears to have been this: to point out, from the public registers, which were still preserved, what had been the state of the different families previously to the captivity, that at their return they might enter on and repossess their respective inheritances. He enters particularly into the functions, genealogies, families, and orders of the priests and Levites; and this was peculiarly necessary after the return from the captivity, to the end that the worship of God might be conducted in the same was as before, and the by the proper legitimate persons." (Clarke)

David Guzik :: Study Guide for 1 Chronicles,


Prayer: Lord, in these chapters of 1 Chronicles there is a message of hope.  When we have sinned and our sin has taken us far away from You…Your promises are not invalidated and they never fail.  You had promised Your people that even though they would sin and would be removed from the land…one day, they would return, again.  And they did.  Just as You promised.  It gives me hope to know this.  Hope that when I sin and my sin takes me far away from my fellowship with You…You are still sovereign and Your promise to keep me secure in my relationship with You will never be invalidated, or fail.

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