The Events of the Days

The Books of I and II Chronicles, like Kings and Samuel, were originally one book. The Hebrew title for the book (“Dibre Hayyamim“) is often translated “The events (or annals) of the days.” We like the fact that the Septuagint calls it “the things omitted,” as that seems the very best description – for it contains much that Samuel and Kings do not.  But the overriding message throughout the book is the faithfulness of God to his covenant with His people through the house of David.

English: Table of nations according to genesis...

English: Table of nations according to genesis 10 Nederlands: Volkerenlijst naar genesis 10 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Chronicles 3:17-24 contains the names of a list of descendants of David that is at least 5 generations beyond the exile, and so it seems reasonable to date the beginning of the writings to at least 400 B.C., and possibly a few decades afterward. With the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, the Davidic kingdom was overthrown, and there was no longer a nation of Judah. Babylon, however, fell to the Persians in 538 B.C., and after the decree of Cyrus, the returning exiles (with much help from Ezra and Nehemiah) eventually got the temple rebuilt, as well as the walls around Jerusalem. But where did that leave God’s people if there was no more monarchy of David’s house? What was God’s plan, and where did that leave the covenant made to David in 2 Samuel 7?

This is the main purpose of the Book of Chronicles – to reinforce faith in the promise of the Davidic throne through a clear and precise record of the nation’s history from the perspective of the remnant of the southern kingdom and its rulers. As the book was written, a start in rebuilding had been made in the temple and in Jerusalem, but the people must not repeat the mistakes of the past. And so those who had not been there must learn all about it.

The genealogy of the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles begins in verses 1-3 of chapter one – from Adam to Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth. From here, it begins to read very much like what we know now as “The Table of Nations” in Genesis 10. Verses 5-24 give us the sons of each of Noah’s sons, etc. down to Abraham, and thus the names of nations – many of which are very familiar to us now through geography, history, and other biblical reference, such as Canaan, Egypt, Cush, and Uz (from Job).

Verses 28-54 give us the generations from Abraham to Jacob (Israel), but only Jacob’s brother Esau is the focus of the genealogical record from verse 35 onward in this chapter. Jacob’s descendants will be covered at great length beginning in chapter 2. These 29 verses are all devoted to the nation of Edom, which Esau fathered, many of which would be bitter enemies with Israel and Judah in times to come.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Psalm 89:27-52 – Will You Hide Yourself Forever?

In this second half of Psalm 89, it quickly becomes apparent that it must indeed have been written after the exile and the capture and deportation of king Jehoiachin. Where we pick up verse 27, the psalmist is still writing a rather long section that is quoting God – His promise and covenant with David (2 Samuel 7), as well as His warning to Solomon of what will happen if David’s heirs stray from Him (1 Kings 9).

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. A...

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos. According to 1 Kings 1:39, Solomon was anointed by Zadok. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The psalmist is “reminding” the Lord of His promises, yet he acknowledges that the heirs to David’s throne did exactly what the Lord warned against. Still, he seems to be faltering in his confidence that God is going to keep His covenant with David alive now.  Verses 38-45 in particular accentuate that sentiment, and verse 39 specifically says so, saying “You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust.” The latter part of that verse obviously refers to Jehoiachin’s fate.

Verse 46 is where the psalmist specifically acknowledges that the things that have happened are a result of God’s wrath against His unfaithful people: “How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?” Verses 50-51 do indeed suggest a time before the Lord dealt with the Edomites and the others who betrayed Israel, as it speaks of all of the nations that now mock them.

In verse 49, the psalmist questions the Lord earnestly about when the end of His anger will come: “Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?” He ends his prayer with “Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Psalm 89:1-26 – You Rule the Raging of the Sea

We will take up the first half of this rather long psalm today through verse 26. It is a community lament that many scholars attribute to the time after the fall of Jerusalem and the capture of king Jehoiachin. There is nothing in the text that this blogger can see to really confirm that, and a time that late for the writing of the entire psalm seems somewhat problematic. Adam Clarke suggested that a better translation would have been that it was for “the instruction of Ethan the Ezrahite.” So, the writer certainly could have adapted an earlier song of Ethan’s for this psalm.

 

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spi...

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) or follower, gouache on board, 9 1/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.1 x 16.9 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We have stated before that the superscriptions at some of the Bible’s headings are not of the inspired word, and in many cases their application can be considered dubious. Still, those of a factual, rather than an interpretative nature have proven to be pretty reliable over time. In this superscription, the “maskil” is stated to be of “Ethan the Ezrahite.” He was probably a musician for corporate worship, and is probably the same one that is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:5-6, and certainly the same as mentioned in 1 Kings 4:29-31, where it was said of Solomon that he was wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite. Pretty impressive to have your wisdom compared to that of Solomon.

 

The chapter begins with praise for the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord to His people and to the promises He made to David (verses 1-4). Verses 5-13 are beautiful poetry offering praise to the mighty power of God over all things. “Rahab” in verse 10 does not refer to the woman who helped the Israelite spies in Joshua 2. It is a term that is ascribed to Egypt (and to monsters of the sea); and if one substitutes the work Egypt for Rahab in that verse, it makes sense.

 

Verses 14-18 praise God for being the strength and glory of His people. Verses 18-26 exalt God for choosing David, giving him strength and might over his enemies, and making the point that just as God had said that David was a man after His own heart, David would be faithful to the Lord, as shown in verse 26 below. It is very much a celebration of the throne and the line of David. But as we will see when we pick the chapter back up, there is more. Of David, it refers to God as saying (very much in the manner in which David wrote):

 

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

 

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

___________________

 

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.