This article is part of the Christ in All of Scripture series.
Preparing God’s People
As the last books in the Hebrew Old Testament, the books of 1–2 Chronicles prepare God’s people for the arrival of Jesus. This preparation begins with genealogies. But these genealogies are not random, wandering collections of paternity records. Rather, they represent the carefully crafted lens through which we observe the one plan of God’s redemption. They teach us to rest in the unwavering commitment of God to fulfill all of his covenant promises.
At the end, we are then left waiting for the true and better Priest King of Israel to come and restore all things.
The genealogies in 1 Chronicles give attention to each of the tribes of Israel, but clearly focus on two tribes: Judah (1 Chron. 2:3–4:23 [110 verses]) and Levi (1 Chron. 6:1–81). They focus on the tribes of Judah and Levi to identify the royal and priestly lines of Israel, searching for a rightful king and priest for God’s people. The genealogies in Matthew (and Luke) find what Chronicles was searching for: Jesus, the true King (Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rev. 19:16) and Priest (Heb. 4:14; 5:5–6; 8:1) for God’s people.
The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible features 375,000+ words of gospel-centered study notes, book introductions, and articles that explain passage-by-passage how God’s redemptive purposes culminate in the gospel and apply to the lives of believers today.
The summary of the history of Israel that follows the genealogies is shaped by the emphases of the genealogies—kingship and priesthood— expressed through Israel’s inheritance of the land and worship in the temple. The presentations of David and Solomon focus on the building of the temple in Jerusalem. But we quickly encounter royal infidelity and idolatry, eventually resulting in the forfeiture of the land and the destruction of the temple. At the end, we are then left waiting for the true and better Priest King of Israel to come and restore all things.
This article is adapted from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. Browse other articles in this series via the links below.
Genesis • Exodus • Leviticus • Numbers • Deuteronomy • Joshua • Judges • Ruth • 1–2 Samuel • 1–2 Kings • 1–2 Chronicles • Ezra • Nehemiah • Esther • Job • Psalms • Proverbs • Ecclesiastes • Song of Solomon • Isaiah • Jeremiah • Lamentations • Ezekiel • Daniel • Hosea • Joel • Amos • Obadiah • Jonah • Micah • Nahum • Habbakuk • Zephaniah • Haggai • Zechariah • Malachi
Matthew • Mark • Luke • John • Acts • Romans • 1 Corinthians • 2 Corinthians • Galatians • Ephesians • Philippians • Colossians • 1 Thessalonians • 2 Thessalonians • 1 Timothy • 2 Timothy • Titus • Philemon • Hebrews • James • 1 Peter • 2 Peter • 1–3 John • Jude • Revelation