Sunday School Bible Survey:      I CHRONICLES

Theme: Sovereignty of God in human history

Key verses: "Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all" (I Chron. 29:11, 12).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
The two books of Chronicles (like the two books of Kings) are but one book in the Jewish canon. Together they cover the period from the death of Saul to the captivities. They were written probably during the Babylonian captivity, and are distinguished from the two books of the Kings in a fuller account of Judah, and in the omission of many details. The blessing of Godís earthly people in connection with the Davidic monarchy is probably the typical significance of these books.

First Chronicles is in three parts:

  1. Official genealogies (1:1—9:44).
  2. From the death of Saul to the accession of David (10:1—12:24).
  3. From the accession of David to his death (13:1—29:30).

Excluding the genealogies (Chapters 1-9) the events recorded in First Chronicles cover a period of 41 years (Ussher).

John Phillips' outline for I & II Chronicles:


  1. The Royal Line
  1. Adam to Noah (1:1-4)
  2. Shem to Abraham (1:24-28)
  3. Abraham to Israel (1:34)
  4. Israel to Jesse (2:1-12)
  5. David to Zedekiah (3:1-24)
  1. The Related Lines
  1. Japheth to Ham (1:5-23)
  2. Ishmael (1:29-33)
  3. Esau and Edom (1:35-54)
  4. Jesse and Caleb (2:13-55)
  5. Other tribes (4:1—9:44)


  1. The Throne of David (I Chron. 10-29)
  2. The Temple of Solomon (II Chron. 1-9)
  3. The Testimony of History (II Chron. 10-36)


  1. First Chronicles 27:24 refers to "the chronicles of king David." King David dominates the book of I Chronicles, and the book ends with his death.
  2. Merrill F. Unger said, "The name Chronicles comes from Jerome" (Introductory Guide to the Old Testament).
  3. First and Second Chronicles were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible. They were written after the captivity in Babylon was over.
  4. The books of I & II Kings were written from the viewpoint of the prophets. The books of I & II Chronicles were written from the viewpoint of the priests.
  5. Unger wrote, "They constitute an interpretative history of the Jerusalem priesthood and its growth and development under the Davidic dynasty...Great prominence is accordingly given to priestly genealogies, to the tribes faithful to the Davidic throne and to those kings who were favorable to the true worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem. Special emphasis is accorded David and Solomon because of their paramount role in establishing the temple service. Saul and the kings of Northern Israel are passed over as being in the unfaithful line and extraneous to the author's purpose. The history of Elijah and Elisha, featured in the books of Kings because of their importance in the development of prophetism, is omitted in Chronicles as being unconnected with the development of the priestly cult."
  6. We cannot be sure who wrote the books of I & II Chronicles. Tradition says that Ezra is the author, but the Bible does not say.
  7. Eric W. Hayden wrote, "Our present title Chronicles was given in the fourth century but the Hebrew title was originally 'Word of Days,' 'Journals' or 'Events of the Times...The Greek translators gave it the title 'Omissions,' holding that in I and II Chronicles we have facts of history not mentioned in the books of Samuel and Kings, thus making the books of Chronicles a kind of supplement" (Preaching Through the Bible).
  8. First and Second Chronicles contain some important information not given in I & II Kings. For example, we would not know about King Manasseh's repentance if it were not for the account given in II Chronicle 33:11-20.
  9. The great revival under King Hezekiah is given only a few verses in II Kings 18, but it is given three chapters in II Chronicles (chapters 29—31).
  10. First Chronicles 1 begins with the chronology of man from Adam down through the three sons of Noah. It follows the line of Shem through to Abram, "the same is Abraham" (1:27).
  11. It follows the line of Abraham through Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau (1:28—2:2).
  12. The first nine chapters are mostly genealogies.
  13. The prayer of Jabez is found in I Chronicles 4:9, 10.


  1. These books were written after the Babylonian captivity. The remnant returned to desolate land with no throne and no temple. Everything was in ruins.
  2. The people that returned to Jerusalem were commissioned to rebuild the city and rebuild the temple. These books were written in order to encourage them in the work of rebuilding.


  1. First Chronicles is a history book, and the theme is the sovereignty of God in human history.
  2. It is impossible to properly study history and not see the hand of God. This comes through very clearly in I & II Chronicles.
  3. Kings in the days of King David had absolute power. But David acknowledged the greater authority of God (I Chron. 29:11, 12).
  4. David declared that God "reignest over all" (I Chron. 29:12). God reigns over the world He has created.
  5. Acts 7:49, 50 says, "Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?"
  6. Against the backdrop of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and other Gentile nations, the books of I & II Chronicles record the history of Israel and Judah.
  7. John Phillips wrote, "Overruling the passions and powers of men, immutable in His counsels, invincible in His purposes, from generation to generation pursuing His eternal purposes all down the years, God cannot be dethroned. This is the message of Chronicles, and it is as valid today as when it was written" (Exploring the Scriptures).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —