These are notes collected from studying with Matt Lantz, Matt Roefer, Chris Maybury, and Brad Holda. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
The Bible as God’s Word and Man’s Word
and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and returned to Lehem (now the records are ancient).1 Chron. 4:22
“Now the records are ancient”…shows the human side to Bible writing (at least in 1 Chron)…namely that they were using old records to get the information for the genealogies. And it seems like the writer is pointing out that it’s tough to make out all the info on the records they were using.
This seems similar to Luke 1:1-4 where he said he consulted many sources to ensure the accuracy. All the while God oversaw all the writing and preserved it and inspired it faithfully so that “every word” and “all Scripture” is simultaneously Gods very words; He is the author! Fully God and fully man.
Along with all their villages that were around these cities as far as Baal. These were their settlements, and they kept a genealogical record.1 Chron. 4:33
“They kept a genealogical record”— goes with what I said above. They were using records kept by their forefathers.
Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many children, nor did all their clan multiply like the men of Judah.1 Chron. 4:27
The power of multiplication! Think of all that came through Judah as they multiplied faithfully.
Firstborn & Inheritance
Wow – I totally missed this from my previous times of reading the Bible:
Reuben was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel”1 Chron. 5:1
This is pulling from some different strands all at once.
First, notice Deut. 21:15-17 (this is KEY):
15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, 16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. 17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.Deut. 21:15-17
Oh man, there’s so much I’d love to unpack here…but let me just say this. God allowed (because of the hardness of their hearts) for a man to have multiple wives. He must give a DOUBLE PORTION to his firstborn (whether he feels like it or not!!).
BUT…in the case of Jacob, it got switched (and 1 Chron. 5:1 explains):
- Leah gave Jacob his firstborn son (Reuben).
- Rachel’s firstborn son was Joseph.
According to Deut. 21:15-17, Reuben would normally get the double portion. But when we look at the 12 tribes of Israel we realize that Joseph got the double portion (both of his sons got a portion of the land…so, in effect, Joseph had 2 portions of land).
Why? Again, 1 Chron. 5:1 explains. It is referring to the incident in Genesis 35:22:
Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubineGen. 35:22
Because of this sexual flagrant offense, Reuben lost his birthright as firstborn. So instead it was transferred over to Joseph.
OK…hope you followed all that. It was exciting for me to learn at least!!
Prodigal Son & Inheritance
One final note…
I think it also illuminates the parable of the Prodigal Son a bit. The firstborn son was to get a double portion of inheritance. But it seems like the father split the inheritance evenly between the 2 sons: “he divided his property between them” (Luke 15:12). That would only happen, it seems, if there was sin on the part of the firstborn (like in 1 Chron 5:1).
WELL…you can imagine how enraged that might have made the firstborn son (a.k.a. Pharisee) who thought he was so pious. It’s like Jesus is showing in that parable that both sons were sinful by dividing the inheritance. Certainly that’s the feel you get at the end of the parable (notice that the Father had to approach both sons to try to bring them back to the house). But the firstborn “pharisee” thought he was righteous where the other son wasn’t, and didn’t recognize that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23)
A theme in 1 Chron. is how the “seed” is passed down from generation to generation.
That is, who is your father, who is their father, etc.? I often think of this in terms of Luke 8:11 – “the seed is the word of God”, and Acts 12:24 – “the word of God grew and multiplied”.
In other words, ultimately, how are we doing at receiving, sharing, and multiplying the seed of God’s word from one generation to another. It seems that’s the most important thing in God’s economy (I think also of 1 Cor. 4 where Paul said he knows there’s only 1 thing he will be judged by: how faithful was he to steward Christ’s gospel?)
Another theme of 1 Chronicles is the land being allotted to the people. A lot is about area won or gained. You even see the names of ancestors match the names of territories (because those people gained that land, and it was later named after them). I think there is a lot here to consider (not saying I see all the connections or even close–I don’t!)
I was thinking about how every word of the Lord is so important and we don’t want to miss any of it… if He chose to write it/inspire it then it’s important and if this is what we get as the canon as the inspired and inherent word of God we better take it all in and take it all seriously.
It’s interesting to me along those lines in just going through 1 & 2 Samuel + Kings and now Chronicles how much the life and story of David is highlighted. Of course it’s the lineage of Christ and there is so much to learn from his life. When you think about how much time is actually devoted to just his life and kingship alone though it makes me think I should study his life even more and really aim to learn from him and his life/successes/failures.
1 Chronicles has A LOT written concerning the time that David was king. The priests, musicians, cabinet, doorkeepers, David’s family, etc. all seem meticulously recorded. This speaks 3 things to me:
- Every word in the Bible is written by God for a reason. And over and over that reason points to different layers of Christ and The Gospel. In the case of David, he is a CLEAR type of King Jesus who would come (born of his line). The NT, in fact, begins and ends with Jesus seen as David’s successor (“the son of David”). So I think a lot of this points to the King of Kings who would begin a kingdom that never ends–and we have been redeemed to participate in.
- I also have been thinking about the value in writing down the legacy of God’s works. Lots of the Bible was written around the time of Moses, David, and Jesus. This shows how important these times are for God. This also shows that they saw the importance of those events during the time of, and recorded faithfully while they lived at those times. It stirs me up in writing things down that may help me and others know and remember God’s faithfulness more and more.
- Very practical point: David was really good and taking care of what God gave him. Whether it was shepherding sheep, or shepherding a kingdom, at various points we see how David takes efforts to ensure things were well taken care of under his watch. I think his ensuring records were so meticulous while he was king speaks to that (kind of reminds me of Joseph in Gen. 41:49)
Something that really hit me was 1 Chronicles 29: 10 – 13. It’s the prayer David gave to the assembly as he was making an offering of his goods to have Solomon make the temple. I recommend reading it and meditating on it. It seems almost like a psalm.
David’s Sacrificial Leadership
I have been really touched by David FIRST making great personal sacrifice toward building the temple, then asking the people to give as they are compelled (see 29:1-5). The result? “the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work.” (1 Chron. 29:6).
This is an amazing and God-honoring leadership model:
- Make personal sacrifice yourself
- Ask other leaders to contribute as they want
- Lastly, look to non-leaders to contribute
- Don’t ask others you lead to do things you have not done (or are not truly willing to do) yourself.
I’ve been rolling 1 chron 25 1-8 in my head for a few days and am curious what you guys think. Specifically, the musicians are the only ones who are said to have prophesied out of the levites. Also it mentions them prophesying with their instruments. What does that mean compared to prophesying with words? And in verse 2 and 4 it says, “….., who prophesied under the direction of ……” What does it mean to do it under direction, isn’t it just something that comes from the Lord? Or is this more affirming a name it claim it perspective?
I think of it like Elisha saying, “bring me the musician” when he was asked to prophesy (2 Kings 3, maybe?)…somehow, God uses music to assist in helping the prophetic gift “flow” more freely. Like 1 Cor 14 where Paul connects praying with singing, and both done in the Spirit (and understanding). Does that answer?
But why only the musicians? The gift of prophecy is only for them? And how can you direct someone to prophecy?
I think the bit about “prophesying with their instruments” is what I was answering. That is, they prophesied as normal, but did it with the background of music. If that makes sense.
Clearly these weren’t the only prophets (and David knew that when assigning their roles). Nathan, for instance, is a famous prophet in the time of David. But these were people set apart within the priests to use music and prophesy as the Spirit leads.
I’m making a total guess here, but I could imagine the role going something like this “you all are assigned to worship and praise the Lord with music…also, to listen to what the Lord is saying and speak it forth in your songs as prophecy”.
It reminds me of the picture of Saul rolling around and prophesying naked. He was joining the group of prophets who were participating in worshiping the Lord and would prophesy as the Lord inspired them (though many of those prophecies were never recorded).
I also wonder if they are using “prophecy” in a looser way than we use it. Maybe something more equivalent to what we’d say as “Spirit-led ministry”.