Understanding Samuel/Kings vs. Chronicles

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by Ben Mordecai, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. Ben Mordecai

    Ben Mordecai Puritan Board Freshman

    What are the best materials for learning about the differences between the Samuel/Kings perspectives and the Chronicles perspectives of the same events from a reformed, confessional perspective? Especially regarding minor differences between the two accounts, like numbers in one account compared to another.
  2. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

  3. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    In the Hebrew order of the OT, Samuel/Kings are part of the early prophets, Chronicles is part of the Writings.
  4. Adam Olive

    Adam Olive Puritan Board Freshman

    Kings explains to Israel-in-exile why they are there. (e.g. particular emphasis on wicked kings and Elijah's ministry)
    Chronicles is written to Israel-returned-from-exile to encourage them to restore temple worship and trust in the LORD in face of their enemies. (particular emphasis on kings who restored temple worship and trusted the LORD e.g. Jehosophat's singing against the enemies).
    I suggest reading: Levin, Yigal. "Who Was the Chronicler's Audience? A Hint from His Genealogies." Journal of Biblical Literature 122, no. 2 (2003): 229-45
  5. Adam Olive

    Adam Olive Puritan Board Freshman

    Further evidence for my previous post ...
    Kings ends with the faint hope of Jehoaichin in exile
    Chronicles ends with the return of the exiles under Cyrus
  6. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Adam is on the right track here. Samuel/Kings answers the basic question, "How did it come to this (the exile)?" Chronicles answers a quite different question: "Are we who have returned from exile still the people of God at all?" This difference in time perspective (while certainly not a contradiction by any means), and the difference in the pastoral needs of the audience, help to explain why the Chronicler is consistently more positive in his assessment, even about some of the worst kings (like Manasseh). The Chronicler assumes the material in Samuel/Kings, while offering a complementary perspective.
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Also, take note in terms of Chronicles of "what" is the central character (in more-or-less a literal, and literary, sense), namely the Temple. To the end of 1Chr., there is a tremendous emphasis (there's nothing like it in 2Sam) on David's preparation for building the Temple. The Solomonic construction at the start of 2Chr. largely parallels 1Ki., but you may discern some additional material there as well.

    You could say that in Chronicles, you find a literary combination of King and Priest. This compares well with finding in Sam-Kin a literary combination of King and Prophet. It all furthers a Messianic hope for a summary fulfillment uniting all the OT themes.
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Isn't one account given from the perspective of men, while the other is from the perspective of God?
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