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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible



In the Hebrew Bible these two books formed a single work but the Greek translation (The Septuagint, or LXX) divided it into two books because of their length and the limitation of the length of the scrolls onto which they were copied.


Jewish tradition attributes the authorship of Chronicles to Ezra saying that wrote of the history of Judah down "unto his time." The Bible doesn’t tell us who wrote Chronicles, but from 1 Chronicles 3:19-21 and 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 it is evident the books could not have been written before Ezra’s time. Therefore, conservative scholarship dates the Chronicles in the latter half of the fifth century B.C., probably between 450-425.


In one quick span, from Adam to Nehemiah, the Chronicles give us the main genealogies of the Israelite nation, and the main events of the Davidic kingdom down to the Babylonian exile. They cover practically the same ground as Second Samuel and the two books of Kings. However, they are not a mere repetition of those books. The first books give us history from the viewpoint of the prophets, while Chronicles give us history from the viewpoint of the priests. The former books look more intently at the political side of things, the Chronicles from God’s view. For example, the revival under Hezekiah is given three verses in Kings, and three chapters in Chronicles.

Six of the nine chapters telling of Solomon’s time are devoted to Temple matters. A.T. Pierson observed:

While much contained in the Books of Kings is repeated or restated in the Chronicles, much is omitted because it is foreign to the author’s purpose. But whatever bears on the temple, its preservation and restoration, the purity of its worship, the regularity and orderliness of its services; whatever makes idolatrous rites or relics hateful, or lifts God to his true throne in the hearts of the people, is here emphasized.


I. Genealogical Material - (chapters 1 - 9)

II. The Rule of David - (chapters 10 - 29)

A. The conquests of David - ch. 10-21

B. Preparations for the Lord’s Temple - ch. 22-29


1. We see the tragic picture of what a man’s unfaithful to God can do to himself and his family (Saul) -- 1 Chronicles 10:13-14.

2. We see that a man’s noble idea can be overruled by God for His purpose (when David wanted to build God a Temple) -- 1 Chronicles 17:1 ff.

3. We see the importance of preparation -- 1 Chronicles 22:2 ff (v 1 Chronicles 22:5).

4. Like David was concerned for the Ark of God, so we should always be concerned for the church of our Lord and its welfare --1 Chronicles 17:1 ff.

5. We see that we mush honor even what we may think are the most insignificant laws of God (cf. ignoring the simple rule about the Levites carrying the ark on their shoulders cost Uzza his life)-- 1 Chronicles 13:7-10; 1 Chronicles 15:2.

6. May we ever worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness, 1 Chronicles 16:29 (see margin notes).

7. No man sins without affecting those around him adversely, 1 Chronicles 21:7, 1 Chronicles 21:14.

8. We should not try to make our sacrifices "cheap" before the Lord -- 1 Chronicles 21:22-25.

9. We are only stewards of what God gives to us -- 1 Chronicles 29:14.

10. Let us never forever that our days on the earth are as a shadow and that there is no abiding -- 1 Chronicles 29:15.

11. Every parent should pray for his children as did David for Solomon, "give ... my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, they testimonies and thy statutes and to do all these things...." 1 Chronicles 29:19.

SERMON from First Chronicles

The Sin of the Census

1 Chronicles 21:1-8


1. David commands Joab and the army to make the census.

2. Joab objects, but does so reluctantly. (9 months, 20 days)

a. In Israel 1,100,000 "valiant men that drew the sword."

b. In Judah 470,000 "valiant men that drew the sword."

(This is a tip-off that it was purely a military census.)

3. God arranges punishment by choice: Three years of famine; or "three months before thy foes"; or three days’ pestilence. (The last was chosen and 70,000 of the valiant men died.)


A. Rejects God’s rule and provision for his own course of action.

B. Comes to rely on material numbers rather than on God -- (Cf. 1 Samuel 17:45-46).

C. Nature of the census considers the people of God to be but units in a military machine.

D. Such a census in a time of peace could mean only a plan for aggressive war. God’s people were to have a home, but not to be marauders. See the punishment-- David’s price was in his army-- that is where he was hit.


A. Just as David was over-confident after his victories we need to beware of consequences of our quick success in the Persian Gulf. In America’s finest hours our reliance was on the greatest of right, rather than on might.

B. On what is America relying today? God or armaments? Are we counting on our "rightness" or our ’right weapons.’ Luke 12:21


A. The church had great power in the days of numerical weakness-- eleven men against the world! (Acts 2)

B. Lost out when she proudly counted emperors and armies in her ranks. Darkest days when she had armies and great political power. (Exodus 23:2)


A. As in first century and restoration movement, we had no power in numbers but depended on the power of the Word-- we know it, believe it, teach it. (Hebrews 4:12)

B. Do we rely on numbers, wealth, buildings, etc, or on the WORD of God; knowing it, believing it, & teaching it?

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Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-chronicles-1.html. 2021.
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