Bible Readings for November 14th
Because 1 Chronicles represents a re-telling of the story of the people of God up to this point, David plays a critical, central role right from the very beginning. After one chapter to sum up the genealogy from Adam to Abraham, and then from Abraham to Jacob, the author of 1 Chronicles shifts immediately to the genealogy leading up to David in 1 Chronicles 2. In today’s reading from 1 Chronicles 3, then, the narrator lists out the descendants from David. Then, in 1 Chronicles 4, the tribe of Judah becomes the first tribe whose genealogy is recorded in this book.
Now, there isn’t much narrative drama or tension in the genealogies here if we read them on their own, isolated from the rest of the story of the Bible. On the other hand, when we compare the re-telling of Israel’s history here with the histories we have already read, we start to find some interesting tidbits. For example, consider how much of the story of the Bible up to this point centered upon Moses, and yet, we do not encounter the name of Moses at all in the books of Chronicles until 1 Chronicles 6, when his name shows up twice in the genealogies, mentioned almost in passing. After that, his name shows up only a sprinkling of times, and typically in reference to the law—for example, “as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD” (1 Chron. 15:15).
But whereas the story of Moses dominated the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy, David is the one who takes center stage early and often in the books of Chronicles. In fact, the only place in the books of Chronicles where the name of Moses does play a significant role is in 1 Chronicles 23, where we read about how David reshapes the worship established through the word of Moses. Even where Moses is significant, he is overshadowed by David.
What we are starting to see right from the outset of the Chronicles, then, is that the way forward for Israel’s future has less to do with strict law-keeping and more to do with a new Davidic figure who would appear. Of course, Yahweh had promised David explicitly that he would establish David’s throne forever (2 Sam. 7:16), and Chronicles is written to reflect that reality. Israel was never able to redeem herself through observance of the law, so that the nation will need a Savior who can secure redemption for her, on her behalf—a king in the line of David. Even in the genealogies, this promise begins to unfold, and as we will see as we continue to read through the Chronicles, David’s story will take an even greater role to point forward to the Root of David and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ himself (Rev. 5:5).
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.