Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Chronicles

The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book. Like the books of Kings, this is a historical book. However, the books of Kings focused on the northern kingdom, Israel, and this book focuses on the southern kingdom, Judah.

The two books of Chronicles cover about the same time period as 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. For 1 Chronicles this is approximately 1000 to 960 BC. It includes the end of Saul’s reign and takes the reader up to the beginning of the reign of Solomon.

Author of 1 Chronicles

The book does not claim an author, but tradition says that the author was Ezra. Ezra was a priest in the southern kingdom who lived in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:11). The books of Chronicles focus on temple worship, priests and Levites. This fits with the fact that Ezra was a priest. The writing style is very similar to Ezra, who wrote the book bearing his name. The two books of Chronicles are historical books which go up to the time period of the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra reads like a continuation of the book of 2 Chronicles.

Date Written

The author of the book wrote it after the end of the Babylonian Captivity (1 Chronicles 3:19; 6:15; 9:1, 2). The book seems to be a guide to those returning from exile to know how to worship in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem. It was written between 450 and 425 BC. The book of 1 Chronicles covers just 40 years while 2 Chronicles is approximately 424 years. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Chronicles – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 1 Kings – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 1 Kings

The books of first and second Kings were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible, but were later divided into two books: just like the books of Samuel and Chronicles.

First Kings covers about 126 years of Israel’s history. This includes the death of David to the death of Jehoshaphat, or about 960 to 834 BC. This is the period of history in Israel from its greatest glory to its division into two kingdoms which eventually led to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities by the end of the second book of Kings.

Author

The author of the book is unknown but tradition says that it was Jeremiah the prophet. Jeremiah wrote another book bearing his name.

Date Written

The end of the second book of Kings covers the Babylonian captivity and a few years beyond. Its contents end about 586 BC. The book is suspected to have been written sometime between 586 and 540 BC. The book of Jeremiah was written about the same time covering the previous 40 years from 626 to 586 BC. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Kings – Summary of the Book

Bible Study: 2 Samuel – Summary of the Book

Summary of the Book of 2 Samuel

Originally the books of 1 and 2 Samuel were one book. The men who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew to Greek separated the book into two parts. They are two separate books to this day.

The book of 2 Samuel is one of the books of history in the Bible. Like the other books of history, it does not seem to have a targeted audience. It covers a time period of approximately 40 years. This was from the death of Saul until the end of the life of King David.

Author

Tradition held that Samuel wrote the book. However, that is not likely. Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25:1. If Samuel wrote at least part of the books of Samuel, then whoever finished what is now 1 Samuel probably wrote 2 Samuel.

Possible authors are Gad or Nathan (1 Chronicles 29:29). The book could have been finished before the death of David. Even though David did not die until the next book, whoever wrote the first book would have probably included some information about David’s death if his death had happened when the book was written. Continue reading Bible Study: 2 Samuel – Summary of the Book

400 Years of Slavery Foretold

Back before there was a family called the Children of Israel, God told Abram (later Abraham) that the great nation which would come from his family would be slaves for 400 years. In Genesis 15:13 there is a foretelling, or prophecy, that the Children of Israel would be strangers in a strange land. Israel would be afflicted as servants.

Certainly this was not a comforting promise from God to Abram. However, when the Children of Israel were living in bondage in Egypt, they probably took comfort in knowing that God would bring them out of their bondage. Besides the promise of escaping from slavery, God promised to punish the nation which held them. After this punishing, they would leave the land with “great substance.” (Genesis 15:14)

It is true that when the 12 tribes of Israel left Egypt they left with great wealth. In Exodus 12:35, 36 the people of Egypt were willingly giving their riches to their slaves so that they would leave and not need to return. The Bible says that they “spoiled the Egyptians.” Spoiling in the sense that they took all the gold, silver and clothing that the Egyptians would give them.

According to Exodus 12:40 and 41, Israel spent a total of 430 years in the land of Egypt.

There are several verses in the Bible which talk about this 400-430 year time period. Genesis 15:13, 14; Exodus 12:40, 41; Acts 7:6 and Galatians 3:16, 17.