Faithfulness of God: Devotional Studies in I Chroniclesby Cyril J. Barber
Old Testament books were often known to the ancient Hebrews by their opening line. For instance, Genesis (origin) starts with the words, "In the beginning" ... the story of the creation of our world and the first inhabitants. Exodus (going out) begins, "And these are the names of ..." those who left Egypt and the oppression of slavery. Just so, Chronicles begins, "The annals of the days;" that is, these are the stories of God's Chosen People. It is believed that Ezra authored the book although his name is not attached to it. A descendant of Aaron and a man known for his scholarship, Ezra "set his heart to teach God's laws and judgments in Israel." Born in exile, Ezra led a group of his countrymen back to Jerusalem where the priests had allowed the land and the temple to fall into disrepair, and the law of God into disrepute. The people respected him and he was soon made chief judge in the land.
Nehemiah, the governor of Judah at that time, collected valuable books. His library became so extensive that he turned it into a national library containing works of antiquity, historical books concerning the kings and prophets, and the writings of David and other kings. Ezra had access to all of these books which provided more than enough to form the basis of the Chronicles. In this book, world history and the story of God's people are combined to present the full picture of the history of mankind from God's point of view. The book does not claim to be a complete history of man, but rather a selective history emphasizing spiritual and moral lessons which teach and encourage readers. To study this book is to join the long line of people who through the centuries have been blessed by the wealth of knowledge it contains.
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