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- 1 Chronicles
by Thomas Coke
THE FIRST BOOK of the CHRONICLES.
THE ancient Hebrews made but one book of the Chronicles, which they called הימים דברי dibrei hayamim, "The words of the days;" that is, diaries or journals; and they supposed these books to have been taken from the ancient Chronicles of the kings of Judah and Israel, which are so often referred to in these and the books of Kings. The LXX intitle them, the books of παραλειπομενων, that which is omitted; thereby signifying, that this work is a kind of supplement to the other books of Scripture; and, indeed, we find many particulars here which are omitted elsewhere. The writer of these books is not well known. They are generally attributed to Ezra, who is thought to have written them after the return from the captivity, assisted by the prophets Haggai and Zachariah. Compare the last verses of the second book of Chronicles with the beginning of Ezra. The design of the author certainly was to write, not a regular history, but a kind of supplement to the other books. It is remarkable, that he sometimes conceals the dishonour of the saints of God. He mentions not the fact of David with Uriah, nor the idolatry of 2 Samuel 24:02 Samuel 24:0; 2 Samuel 24:0 reckons four battles; 1 Chronicles 20:0 but three. That wherein David came not off with honour is omitted,—the encounter of David and Ishbi-benob. St. Jerome, speaking of these books, says, that it is a folly to pretend to have a true idea of the sacred writings without them; because in almost every chapter we meet with anecdotes omitted in the books of Kings; and a great variety of circumstances related in the Gospel are herein illustrated and explained. The first book contains a kind of recapitulation of the Sacred History, by genealogies from the beginning of the world to the death of David, in the year of the world 2299. And the second contains the history of the kings of Judah, and of those of Israel in part, from the beginning of the reign of Solomon alone, to the return from captivity in the year 3468. Speaking of the difference of names, &c. found in these books, Calmet remarks very judiciously, that it is not extraordinary that books which have passed through so many hands for so many ages should have suffered some alterations in dates and numbers. In copies of books so ancient, and written in a language so little known, we may certainly rather wonder that there are so few mistakes, than that there are any. See Calmet's Preface, and Le Clerc's Sentimens de quelques Theologiens, &c.
the Second Week of Advent