1 Chronicles 9:1–44

Read the passage.

Having established the forefathers of the whole nation of Israel before the exile, the Chronicler now tells of those who returned to take possession of the land. Specifically, he talks of those who were first to be permitted to come back by Cyrus in order to rebuild the temple. Not only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, representing the southern kingdom, but also Ephraim and Manasseh representing the northern kingdom of Israel which was exiled by Assyria earlier. In addition, the priests, the Levites, and the temple servants returned.

Again, we see the focus on establishing the legitimacy of the recombined kingdom of Israel and proper temple worship. Both the clergy and the laity are linked to the norms established by David and the prophet Samuel before him. Even the relatively mundane positions of the doorkeepers and the bakers of the showbread are listed, to show that no aspect of temple life has been neglected.

Now that the geographical and genealogical details of the returned exiles have been established, the Chronicle turns to historical matters, beginning with the united monarchy. However, the purpose of this writing is to encourage the people with good examples of faithfulness to the Lord because He had been faithful to bring them back to the Land of Promise. Because of that, there’s not much that can be said from Saul’s life and reign that fits with that purpose. So, he only gets his genealogy listed again, to establish a point in time for the beginning of the monarchy.

Proper worship in spirit and truth is what You deserve, both for who You are and for what You have done.

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