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Chronicles, First And Second Books Of

the name originally given to the record made by the appointed historiographers in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In the LXX. these books are called Paralipomena (i.e. things omitted), which is understood as meaning that they are supplementary to the books of Kings. The constant tradition of the Jews is that these books were for the most part compiled by Ezra. One of the greatest difficulties connected with the captivity and return must have been the maintenance of that genealogical distribution of the land which yet was a vital point of the Jewish economy. To supply this want and that each tribe might secure the inheritance of its fathers on its return was one object of the author of these books. Another difficulty intimately connected with the former was the maintenance of the temple services at Jerusalem. Zerubbabel, and after him Ezra and Nehemiah, labored most earnestly to restore the worship of God among the people, and to reinfuse something of national life and spirit into their hearts. Nothing could more effectually aid these designs than setting before the people a compendious history of the kingdom of David, its prosperity under God; the sins that led to its overthrow; the captivity and return. These considerations explain the plan and scope of that historical work which consists of the two books of Chronicles. The first book contains the sacred history by genealogies from the Creation to David, including an account of David's reign. In the second book he continues the story, giving the history of the kings of Judah, without those of Israel, down to the return from the captivity. As regards the materials used by Ezra, they are not difficult to discover. The genealogies are obviously transcribed from some register in which were preserved the genealogies of the tribes and families drawn up at different times; while the history is mainly drawn from the same document as those used in the books of King. [Kings, First And Second Books Of, BOOKS OF]