Greetings everyone. I apologize for not being online the past few weeks. I recently sustained serious injury to my hands and thus anything manual is extremely painful (if not impossible). If I regain full use of one or both hands is not known at the present time. I am not sure if (or when) I will able to return to blogging. I appreciate your readership, support and prayers in the past, in the present and in the future. Until we meet again, thank you.
Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. If you were compiling a family tree, how would you decide who gets included and who doesn’t? Would you include pirates and other “low-lifes”? Or would you skip them to highlight some moral purpose?
2. What family embarrassments would give you pause if you were to share that “tree” with your study group?
3. Why does the chronicler always call Jacob by his “other name” (verse 34)?
4. This section includes some “firsts” for women in the book of Chronicles. Let’s see if you genealogy sleuths can find the first mention . . .
- of a woman?
- of a daughter?
- of a grandmother?
5. What political leader (town or movement) takes on the name of a woman? Why are their names omitted?
6. What developments in the institution of marriage does chapter 1 recount? What happened to Hagar (verse 29; see Genesis 21)? What happened to Sarah (verse 34; see Genesis 23)? What happened to Keturah (verses 32 and 33; see Genesis 25:1 – 4)?
7. From the list of Abraham’s sons (verses 28 – 34), who seems to be regarded as the most important personalities? Why are they so vital?
8. In verses 35 – 54 (also Genesis 36:10 – 14, 20 – 43), why is such unusual detail devoted to people and places having little role in Israel’s development?
9. Will the real “Timna” please stand up (verses 36, 39, 51)? Is “she” a wife of Eliphaz? Or is “he” his son? And what kind of mother was she if her son’s tribe (the Amalekites) become Israel’s chief enemy (see 1 Samuel 15)?
10. What is significant about the kings mentioned here (verses 44 and following)?
11. What does Esau’s lineage tell us about God’s care for His people?
12. Of all the people groups (teams, families, associations) you belong to, which two most define who you are? Which one helps you decide which downtown agency to help with Thanksgiving meals? Which will help you decide what neighborhood to live in? Or how much income to declare on your income tax forms? Which groups influence your choice of clothes, hairstyle, leisure pursuits?
13. How might the strange listing of the Edomites make you think twice about which people you view as offensive, unattractive, outside your circles?
14. Do you think marriage was taken more seriously in Abraham’s day than today? Why or why not? Today we have ways of dissolving marriages which insure that the parties of a previous marriages are cared for. By today’s standard of equal rights, would Abraham’s efforts to provide for Hagar have passed muster? If the exile Hagar and her brood had moved next door to you, would you or your church be ready to assist her? Why or why not?
Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
Please note that I have already written 85 posts covering 1st and 2nd Chronicles. You can review them in the Bible book index (on the right of this page). Therefore, we will begin our study of the New Testament soon.
Jewish tradition suggests Ezra is the author/compiler of 1st and 2nd Chronicles. It would have been consistent with his role as a scribe.
An important part of any nation’s history is the preservation of national archives. Genealogical records are particularly vital to the division and ownership of property, to marriages and inheritances, to right of office and to royal privilege. Although they don’t make particularly exciting reading, their importance to the nation at this time cannot be overstated. So don’t get lost in the hundreds of names. For each post (daily reading) ask,
- “why was this included?”
- “what did it mean to the original audience (the Israelites who had returned from exile in Babylon)?”
- “how did it encourage them as they made a new beginning?”
1. What kind of lists do you depend on (grocery, telephone, Christmas, “to do”, etc.) to keep your life organized and efficient?
2. What changes would be forced upon you if one of your most used lists were lost forever?
3. Genealogies often introduce stories. But in Chronicles, genealogies seem to be the story. What do you think is the purpose behind these lists?
- to trace one’s family tree and the property won?
- to value the struggles of bygone days?
- to see God guiding His chosen through thick and thin, heroism and villainy?
4. The purpose of the chronicler may be gleaned from the selective ways lists are edited. Already in verse 1, some “glaring omissions” are evident. Which ones can you find?
5. The chronicler highlights past events by arranging “linear genealogies” (a list devoted to a single line from ancestor to descendant) and “segmented genealogies” (a list tracing several lines of descent from a common ancestor). Where do you see the two kinds of lists here?
6. Why so few names without any description? What major events are brought to mind by merely listing names associated with the events?
7. Who is Nimrod (verse 10; see Genesis 10:8 – 12)? Why might Nimrod be closely connected with a bunch of “ites” (tribal groups)?
8. What strange events are linked with Peleg’s era (verses 19 and 20; see Genesis 10:21 – 11:9)?
9. What troubles and triumphs of history are embraced here? What kind of God (yet unnamed) is implicit in this narrative?
10. Which of those listed were “household names” to you?
11. Likely some important names listed here are virtual unknowns. For example, Seth. Like a substitute player, he takes the field in a world burned by murder and greed (see Genesis 4:25). Yet through him, God establishes a chosen nation! For all who live fairly humble, nondescript lives, why should we think our life still counts for something?