History of Religions 1
February 22, 2014
The focus of this paper is on the Bible book of 1 Chronicles chapter 16 verses 8. Most of the research was based upon the King James Bible and academic sources. The research gives an insight to the entire book of chronicles by attempting to decipher the writer or chronicler through the assessment of writing style, and epoch. The stories of King David are alluded to as recorded in the books of Samuel and Kings and are alluded to in the second person. Ultimately the verse under study is expounded to extract its lessons and implications; and even how it could be applicable to today’s lifestyle in general.
“Give Thanks unto the lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people”.
“The chronicler” as scholars have long referred to the author of this book is anonymous. Jewish tradition speculates that Ezra could have written 1 and 2 Chronicles. But nothing within the text provides a definitive clue as to who the compilers of these materials are. Several indications throughout the book reveal the author’s reliance on a variety of source materials. Whoever the author was, he was a meticulous historian who carefully utilized official and unofficial documents. The time frame covered in 1 Chronicles mirrors parts of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings. The chronicler focused on David’s reign in 1 Chronicles, including and omitting different events recorded in the other biblical histories, so that his document recorded those events significant to his purpose. For instance, 1 Chronicles does not include David’s adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), which was a well-known fact even before the chronicler began his work and so it did not bear repeating.
Chronicles was most likely written during the time of Ezra or Nehemiah, while the Jews were dispersed throughout Persia but some may have returned to Israel. Archaeological evidence supports this premise. “Fragments of an actual manuscript of Chronicles found at Qumran makes a date in the Persian period (538–333 BC) almost certain in Chronicles, the history of Israel is told through a priestly perspective. The chronicler devoted significant attention to proper worship of Yahweh and adherence to the regulations of his law. The author included David’s decisions on the proper manner in which to undertake moving the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 13, 15–16) and detailed descriptions of its return to Jerusalem. The chronicler even highlighted one of David’s psalms (16:8–36). First Chronicles is notoriously difficult to date, though it is clearly later than Israel's return from exile in Babylon. Since the list in 1 Chronicles 3:19-24 extends David's genealogy to the sixth generation after Zerubbabel, who is dated to 520 B.C.E. (Haggai 1:1), this sixth generation would be sometime after 400 B.C.E. Thus, many scholars date 1 Chronicles to the first half of the fourth century (ca. 350 B.C.E.). It is significant that David's first act following his anointing as king is his transfer of the ark to the recently captured city of Jerusalem. This is at odds with the parallel in 2 Samuel 6, where David first needed to rebuild Jebus into Jerusalem and defeat the Philistines before he could transfer the ark to the Holy City. By placing the building of the palace and the defeat of the Philistines after the transfer of the ark, the Chronicler casts David in a new light. Unlike Saul, whose unfaithfulness had resulted in his neglect of religious duties, David's very first act as king demonstrated his pious concern for the symbol of God's presence. In fact, the account opens with an explicit statement of guilt. While in 2 Samuel David's building activities and military success paved the way for the transfer of the ark, the Chronicler claims that David's success in these matters indicates God's favorable response to his concern for the ark.
In addition to the Chronicler's juxtaposition of