Part 1: The Literary and Historical Nature of Chronicles
Someone had to do it. Chronicles is one of the last bastions of unexplored biblical territory. It has been lurking on the edges of the canon for thousands of years. Being ever the contrarian, I will deal with it.
Why this historical lack of interest in a biblical book? Besides being one of the last Old Testament books written or compiled, it’s title is off-putting: it is sepher hay-yammim in Hebrew, or “Day Book,” or “Chronicles of the days,” suggesting royal archives of inconsequential stuff. The title in the Septuagint is even worse: there, it is paraleipomenon, “Things Omitted,” presumably addenda of stuff left out of Samuel and Kings. It has not been considered a primary sourcebook for either the history or the theology of ancient Israel, and until recent years, scholars have relegated it to the extreme sidelines of biblical inquiry.