Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Chronicles 21

1 - Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to take a census of Israel.

2 - David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, "Go, count Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know how many there are."

3 - Joab said, "May the LORD make his people a hundred times as many as they are. But, my lord the king, aren't they all my lord's servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel?"

4 - Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, then came to Jerusalem.

5 - Joab gave up the sum of the census of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew a sword; and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew a sword.

6 - But he didn't count Levi and Benjamin among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab.

7 - God was displeased with this thing; therefore he struck Israel.

8 - David said to God, "I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly."

9 - The LORD spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,

10 - "Go and speak to David, saying, 'The LORD says, "I offer you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you."'"

11 - So Gad came to David, and said to him, "The LORD says, 'Take your choice:

12 - either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of The LORD, even pestilence in the land, and The LORD's angel destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.'"

13 - David said to Gad, "I am in distress. Let me fall, I pray, into The LORD's hand; for his mercies are very great. Don't let me fall into man's hand."

14 - So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.

15 - God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was about to destroy, the LORD saw, and he relented of the disaster, and said to the destroying angel, "It is enough. Now withdraw your hand." The LORD's angel was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 - David lifted up his eyes, and saw The LORD's angel standing between earth and the sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.

17 - David said to God, "Isn't it I who commanded the people to be counted? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O the LORD my God, be against me, and against my father's house; but not against your people, that they should be plagued."

18 - Then The LORD's angel commanded Gad to tell David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

19 - David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in The LORD's name.

20 - Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

21 - As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.

22 - Then David said to Ornan, "Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar to the LORD on it. You shall sell it to me for the full price, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people."

23 - Ornan said to David, "Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes. Behold, I give the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal offering. I give it all."

24 - King David said to Ornan, "No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price. For I will not take that which is yours for The LORD, nor offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing."

25 - So David gave to Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.

26 - David built an altar to the LORD there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on The LORD; and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering.

27 - Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.

28 - At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

29 - For The LORD's tabernacle, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.

30 - But David couldn't go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of The LORD's angel.

1 Chronicles Images and Notes

The Books of 1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 28:9 - And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
1 Chronicles 28:10 - Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do [it].

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Chronicles
Hebrew Name - Divrei Hayamim "Words of the Days"
Greek Name - Paralipomenon (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Ezra (According to Tradition)
Date - From 4004-536 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Chronicles - The reign of King David
Theme of 2 Chronicles - The history of the Southern Kingdom of Judah
Types and Shadows - In Chronicles Jesus is the builder of the house of God

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ark Relief at Capernaum Synagogue

Close up of the Sculptured Block of the Ark at Capernaum

The ancient Ark of the covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.

Summary of The Books of Chronicles

The English version of the Bible places the books of Chronicles after Kings, but in the Hebrew text they are placed at the very end of the Old Testament. (See this chart of Old Testament books in Hebrew order). The books of Chronicles were originally one book, as in the case of Samuel and Kings. The Hebrew title is translated the "words of the days", yet the word Chronicles is mainly adopted by a theologian named Jerome who thought that they ought to bear the title from the Greek word for time which is "Chronos". This title created a distraction from the true meaning and purpose of this wonderful book. The main purpose of Chronicles was to form a genealogical description of the 12 tribes of Israel from the earliest recorded time. This was very important considering that there was a mixed multitude that had returned from Babylon, and it was also important to determine the lineage of Judah, and to reestablish the functions and order in which each individual tribe was required to perform.

The author of Chronicles has a fervent desire to make the people of Israel aware of the true glory of their kingdom, realizing that it traces back to David and Solomon. There is nothing that would impress upon them a greater understanding than taking them back through a detailed history of their kingdom, with all of its glory and prosperity and also the horrible sin that led to the captivity and the downfall of the theocracy. The author of Chronicles had a constant focus on the Temple which had been destroyed and the dynasty of King David. There is hardly any mention of the northern kingdom of Israel, it is mainly concerned with Judah and the events in connection with King David, and the building of the Temple. Solomon is not necessarily a huge focus other than his preparations for building the Temple and its dedication. The worship of the Temple is paramount and the functions of the Levites as well. The Kings of Judah are stressed with great importance as well as the idolatry that seduced the people of God.

Hebrew tradition credits Ezra has the author of the books of Chronicles, in the beginning of the books trace the genealogical records all the way back to Adam which took place in approximately 4004 BC. The book concludes with the Jews in Babylon after the captivity.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon During the Book of Chronicles
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon (Click to Enlarge)

The contents of the books of Chronicles may be outlined as follows:

Outline of the Books of Chronicles

1 Chronicles

I. Genealogical Matters (1 Chronicles 1-9) These genealogies begin with Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1) and are brought up to the time of the writer (1 Chronicles 9). It is surprising to note the large number of historical incidents mentioned in connection with the individuals named in these lists. Many of these are taken from other Old Testament scripture, but some find their origin elsewhere (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10, 38-43).

II. The Reign of David (1 Chronicles 10 -29)

1) The last days and death of Saul and the early reign of David (1 Chronicles 10-12).
2) The return of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13-16). Included in this section is the account of the misfortune of Uzzah, who was killed when he reached forth to save the ark from falling (1 Chronicles 13).
3) David purposes to build the temple but is forbidden because of the great amount of bloodshed to which he has been a party (1 Chronicles 17).
4) The account of David's conquests (1 Chronicles 18-20).
5) The census and the plague (1 Chronicles 21).
6) David's preparations for building the temple (1 Chronicles 22). Although David was himself forbidden to build a temple for God, he set about to collect the necessary materials for such a temple, that the task of his son Solomon might be easier.
7) Designation of the duties of the Levites (1 Chronicles 23).
8) Organization of the government (1 Chronicles 24).
9) David's last words and his death (1 Chronicles 28-29).

2 Chronicles

III. The Reign of Solomon (2 Chronicles 1-9) This section includes the further preparation, the building and the dedication of the Temple, as well as various other activities of Solomon.

IV. The History of Judah to Its Fall (2 Chronicles 10 -36)

1) The revolt of the ten tribes and the reign of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10-12).
2) The reign of Abijah (2 Chronicles 13).
3) The reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16). This was a period of prosperity in Judah as Asa instituted a number of moral and religious reforms, establishing himself as a servant of the Lord.
4) The reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17-20). This king was also diligent in his efforts to serve God. He made considerable efforts to acquaint his people with the Law.
5) The reigns of Jehoram and Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 21:122:9).
6) The reign of Athaliah, the only queen of Judah (2 Chronicles 22:10-23:21).
7) The reign of Joash (2 Chronicles 24). Ascending to the throne at the age of seven, Joash, advised by the high priest Jehoida, brought about the restoration of true worship. After Jehoida's death, however, Joash himself slipped into the worship of idols.
8) Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz (2 Chronicles 25-28).
9) The reign of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32). After beginning his rule with a great religious restoration, Hezekiah helped his nation to regain a measure of power and glory.
10) Manasseh and Amon (2 Chronicles 33).
11) The reign of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34-35). In the eighteenth year of a reign that began when he was only eight years old, Josiah began the most sweeping religious reforms which Judah had ever known. During the renovation of the temple, the "book of the Law" was found, encouraging the people greatly in this time of revival.
12) The last days of Judah (2 Chronicles 36). After a brief reign by Jehoahaz, the throne was taken by Jehoiakim, who reigned for eleven years. During this period he was a vassal alternatively to Egypt and Babylon. In an effort to revolt against the Babylonian rule, he lost his life. He was succeeded by Jehoiachin, who reigned only three months, after which he was carried to Babylon, where he lived a number of years. The last of the Judean kings was Zedekiah. Nebuchadnezzar had already plundered Jerusalem of much of its treasures and a considerable number of its most promising men. This took place in two raids, in 606 and 597 BC. In 586 BC, during the reign of Zedekiah, the Babylonians struck once again, this time leaving none but the poorest class of people to remain in Jerusalem. Five years later, the Babylonians came to collect about 750 more captives, even after a number, including Jeremiah, had fled to Egypt (Jeremiah 43).

Quick Reference Maps - 1 Chronicles

The Empire of David and Solomon during the Chronicles
The Period of the Kings
The Empire of David and Solomon
The Kingdom of David
Solomon's Temple Illustration
Chart - The House of the LORD
Ophir and Tarshish
Israel and Judah During the Time of Rehoboam
Samaria
Zaraphath and Mount Carmel
Ramoth Gilead

The First Day. Light.

1 Chronicles Resources

Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon
The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity

More About the Book of 1 Chronicles
More About the Book of 2 Chronicles
1 Chronicles in the Picture Study Bible
2 Chronicles in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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