Week 34: 1 Chronicles

Prepare these questions for Sunday, November 17, 2013.

After the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem (586 BC or so) the Jewish people were scattered. The nation of Israel had broken into two pieces (Israel and Judah-we read about it in 1 Kings) and Israel had already been scattered among foreigners, but Judah (and the city of Jerusalem) was still Jewish. With the defeat by the Babylonians, there was no longer a center of Jewish culture, religion, or politics. They Babylonians eventually got beat up by the Persians and the Persians allowed conquered people to return to their homelands because it made them less likely to rebel. SO, the Jews went back to Jerusalem, but they felt really bad about themselves. Chronicles (1 and 2 together) seems to be an attempt to remind the Jewish people of their culture and history and to reconnect them to their faith. It retells their history so many of the stories will be familiar from your earlier reading.

1. Chapters 1-9 give a detailed genealogy of the tribes and leaders of the Israelites. Why would that be important to retell at this moment in Jewish history, after the exile and subsequent return to Jerusalem?

2. Chapter 10 very bluntly tells the end of King Saul's life. Why does the author say Saul died and why do you think the writer included that statement in his retelling of the story?

3. Most of the chapters from 11 on tell of King David's life and accomplishments. This time, however, the story focuses on David's military prowess and success. Why would this version of David's life be so focused on his kingship and not on the other details of his life that are so famous? (friendship with Jonathon, relationship with Bathsheba, etc.)

4. David wanted to build a new temple for God, but he passed the job on to his son, Solomon. What was the reasoning for this decision and what does that tell you about how the Israelites viewed the temple?

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