The books of Chronicles.

Counted among the prophets.


Attributed author(s).
Anonymous.
Johanan the priest.

Text(s) available.
None on site.
CCEL: 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Bible Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible:

1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (Hebrew and English).
2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible:
1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (Latin Vulgate only).
2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS:
1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (Hebrew and English).
2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX:
1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (Greek and English).
2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts:
1 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (polyglot).
2 Chronicles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (polyglot).

Useful links.
1 and 2 Chronicles at the OT Gateway.
1 and 2 Chronicles in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
1 and 2 Chronicles at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to 1 and 2 Chronicles (David Malick).
Outline of 1 and 2 Chronicles (David Malick).
Books of Chronicles (Ralph W. Klein).
A Synopsis of 1 Chronicles (Ralph W. Klein).
Archaeological Anomalies and Anachronisms (Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre).
Echoes of Genesis in 1 Chronicles 4:910 (R. Christopher Heard; in .pdf).
1 Chronicles 9.26-33 (B. Dirksen).
Chronistic Tendency in 1 Chronicles 18.10-11 (B. Dirksen).
Solomon in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Rehoboam in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Abijah (Abijam) in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Asa in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Jehoshaphat in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Hezekiah in Chronicles and Kings (and Isaiah) (Ralph W. Klein).
Manasseh in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Amon to the Exile in Chronicles and Kings (Ralph W. Klein).
Overlaps between Nehemiah, Ezra, Chronicles, and Esdras (David C. Hindley; in .pdf).

The books of Chronicles are counted as historical books in our English Bibles, but in the Jewish scriptures they are among the writings.

The books were originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.


Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).

1 Chronicles.
2 Chronicles.

Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of 1 Chronicles:

Andrew E. Hill writes: "during the last two decades biblical researchers have questioned the literary ties between Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah. Today most Old Testament scholars recognize the unity of the two books of Chronicles but separate them from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, citing thematic differences such as the lack of Davidic messianism, 'second exodus' overtones, and the 'pan-Israelitic' emphasis in the latter. At present it seems best to recognize the books of Chronicles as a unified composition written by an unknown chronicler. Given the writer's pointed interests in the temple and its priestly and levitical personnel, it is likely that he was a priest or Levite employed in the service of the temple. The exact relationship of the Chronicler's writings to the books of Ezra-Nehemiah remains an open question." (A Survey of the Old Testament, p. 217)

Robert North writes: "Two dates are thus favored: ca. 400 and ca. 200. But when we examine them in detail, we find these extremes to be based on strangely identical reasoning. The solid core of Chr-Ezr, whether we call it source material or Frist Chronicler, exhibits a maximum conservatism and unawareness of Seleucid era developments. But to this core everyone admits noteworthy additions. Some exercise their ingenuity in isolating a complete block or actually a book which they call the Second Chronicler, consisting of the whole genealogical vestibule of 1 Chr 1-9 plus long cognate passages from throughout the work (Hänel, Welch). Their ingenuity helps more moderate scholars to recognize the fact of extensive accretion, even though common sense appraisal of the text disinclines them to postulate a single block of interpolated material, or even a single interpolator or time. What we can call the Second Chronicler must really represent a continuing series of recombinations and adaptations from 400 to 170, or even later. Browne's emphasis on the silence about Alexandrinism does not prevent him from postulating minor redactional insertions, which could just as well have been made after Daniel (160), whom he regards as a predecessor of the Chronicler." (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 404)

Roddy L. Braun writes: "While it may not be possible to place the author in a specific historical context, his message to his readers does much to bring to life his audience and the problems that they faced. At the center of his concern is surely the Temple and its worship, and to that end the entire history of the nation is directed. The whole work of David and Solomon, with which no less than twenty-six of the sixty-five chapters of the book are concerned, is directed toward the construction of the Temple. That interest in the Temple itself is maintained throughout the remainder of the book, whether its original conclusion be met in the account of the removal of the Temple vessels (2 Chron. 36:18) or Cyrus's edict to rebuild the Temple (2 Chron. 36:22-23) or the rebuilding of the Temple itself (Ezra 1-6)." (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 343)

Peter Kirby also surveys scholars writing on the book of 2 Chronicles:

James King West writes: "Evaluation of the Chronicler's work hinges largely on a determination of the purpose for which he wrote. As a historian, he has to be relegated to a position inferior to that of the Deuteronomist. This, not simply because he depended so heavily upon the latter's work—the Deuteronomist himself no doubt relied just as heavily upon his own sources—nor because his chronology of the Nehemiah-Ezra era is so hopelessly confusing (and, apparently, confused). The judgment concerns, rather, the transparent techniques by which he rewrote Hebrew history to suit his own theological bias. Of all that transpired prior to David's reign, he found it necesary to show—chiefly through genealogical lists (chs. 1-9)—only how the divine purpose had cenetered first on Israel, then on the pivotal tribes of Judah and Levi. His overriding interest in the Jerusalem temple, especially the Levitical priests and their functions, prompted him to omit crucially significant phases of the Davidic history itself in favor of long, legendary accounts attributing the entire plan of the temple cult to David. So close was David's relationship to Jeruselam that, even though he did not himself erect the temple, in the Chronicler's eyes he became the idealized patron of worship and the supreme symbol of Israel's role as God's holy priesthood. It was this, rather than simply to desire to 'whitewash' David, that led the Chronicler to omit most of the uncomplimentary stories about him recorded in the Deuteronomistic history (and especially the Court History): the bloody intrigues which gave him the kingship, the Bathsheba and Uriah affair, the turbulence that marked the latter years of his reign. By comparison, Saul, who had no connection with Jerusalem or Davidic lineage, is given a light and negative treatment, consisting of a genealogy, an obituary, and the notation that he was unfaithful to Yahweh. His anointing as king is omitted, as if to say that kingship actually began with David. Solomon, however, shares the aura of his father and receives a favorable report. From Solomon and onward, the northern kingdom is all but ignored, as the Chronicler records the successive reigns of the kings in Jerusalem, the fall of the city, and the story of its restoration." (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 426)

Samuel Sandmel writes: "Chronicles was at one time joined to Ezra and Nehemiah. All three books, except for interpolations, were completed and written by the same hand. When Ezra and Nehemiah were detached, they (unlike Chronicles) underwent interpolation in a matter of some importance; this scattered interpolation reflects the interest of the Priest as distinct from the Levite. It will be recalled that there was a stage at which the terms levi and kohen ('priest') were interchangeable; the Levites came to be conceived of as a tribe descended from Levi, a son of Jacob. When Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah was written there had not as yet developed fully the view that one family, that of Aaron and of his descendents of David's time, Zadok, constituted an elite within the Levites. The distinction was interpolated into Ezra and Nehemiah; Chronicles, however, remained Levite rather than Priestly. Ezra and Nehemiah were apparently admitted into the canon before Chronicles. A rounded understanding of the religion of the Chronicler must be deferred until we have looked at Ezra and Nehemiah. Chronicles carries events down to the year 539. Ezra and Nehemiah carry them to about 430 or 398. Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah was written either between 350 and 250, or else about 350, continuing to be added to as late as 250. Ezra and Nehemiah came into the canon because they contain virtually the only data we have on the postexilic period. Chronicles was accepted as an afterthought. It was the centrality of the Temple in Chronicles that preserved it from disappearing during the interval when Ezra and Nehemiah were canonized and Chronicles was not. Since it did not disappear, it too came into the canon as the last book in the Hebrew list. Chronicles, properly assessed, is a useful book, but not an inspiring one." (The Hebrew Scriptures, p. 479)