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The two Books of Chronicles are very similar in many ways. They cover the same historical ground all the way from Saul to Zedekiah. Then are the Chronicles a duplication of Kings? Emphatically, no. Greek translators gave Chronicles the title, “Things Omitted,” which is a good title, but not adequate. Chronicles include more than that which is omitted in the other historical books. Actually Chronicles is another instance of the law of recurrence or recapitulation. The policy of the Holy Spirit in giving the Word of God is to give a great expanse of truth, to cover a great deal of territory, then come back and select certain sections which He wants to enlarge upon. It is as if the Spirit of God takes up a telescope, looks out over the landscape for us, then takes a particular portion of it and puts it under the microscope and lets us look at it in detail. This is what is happening in 1 and 2 Chronicles.
We have seen the law of recurrence or recapitulation in operation before. In Genesis, the second chapter goes back over the seven days of creation, and lifts out one thing: the creation of man. For us, that is very important since we are members of Adam’s race. Also the Book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy means a “second law”) is more than a repetition of the Law. Rather it is an interpretation of the Law in the light of forty years’ experience with it in the wilderness.
Now we will see in the Chronicles that God goes over the ground which He had covered in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings in order to add details and to emphasize things which He considers important. Let me give you some examples of this. The emphasis in 1 Chronicles is David, and the emphasis in 2 Chronicles is David’s posterity. The northern kingdom is practically ignored when the division occurs between the northern and southern kingdoms. Chronicles does not record David’s sin. Why? Well, God so completely forgave it that He does not even mention it again. When God forgives, He forgets. In Kings the history of the nation is given from the standpoint of the throne; in Chronicles it is given from the standpoint of the altar. In Kings the palace is the center; in Chronicles the temple is the center. Kings gives us the political history of the nation, while Chronicles gives the religious history. Chronicles is the interpretation of Kings. All through the Books of Kings we noted the phrase, “Is it not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?” Chronicles, you see, is the interpretation of Kings. Also Kings gives us man’s viewpoint while Chronicles gives us God’s viewpoint.
Ezra is probably the writer of the Chronicles. There is a striking similarity in style and language to the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Evidently Chronicles was written during the Babylonian captivity. The two Books of Chronicles not only constituted one book in the original, but apparently also included Ezra and Nehemiah. This lends support to the Jewish tradition of the authorship of Ezra.
(McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible Commentary, Vol. 14: 1 & 2 Chronicles. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991.)