J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)
That Chronicles is a gathering up of fragments that remain I long ago noticed, besides its Judah and Davidical character as contrasted with Israel - very likely by Ezra, a priest or by a Levite. They take up the remnant that returned, but go back as far as possible to its connection with their original history.
1 Chronicles 2
It is to be noticed that though Jehovah was known, the name did not in general enter into the habits of popular thought till it was a national God, and then it did, and this is a proof of the antiquity of the Pentateuch. The names are not compounded with Elohim, but with El.
Further, there is no evidence in Chronicles of any names compounded with the name of Jehovah or Jah before that name was taken in covenant by God. The earliest is that of "the sons of Ethan; Azariah," verse 8. In what generation he was is not shown; Ethan was in the same generation with Achan's grandfather, and Achan was in Canaan, so that Azariah was quite probably after the Exodus. The notion that genealogies give all the steps is notoriously unfounded, and in Chronicles it is merely the gathering up of memorials. In this case it is more than probable he does not say "the son of Ethan" but "the sons" - Azariah was the only one who represented the family.
There is no proof that Caleb was the son of Hezron, son of Pharez; if it was the same Caleb as in Numbers, he was the son of Jephunneh. One thing is certain, the Hezron in question died in Canaan in Caleb Ephratah, and it was after this that Abiah bore a son. Hence we see there were no early names in Chronicles with "jah"; Abijah was the grandson of one who died in Canaan. In general the names are after the Exodus. Carmi and Hur are given as sons of Judah because they were directly descended from him, for they were clearly not his sons, nor was Shobal; verse 50 shows that Shobal was at least great-grandson of Judah's grandson, and Reaiah was his son, i.e., there were at least six generations.
The notion of some that the name "Jehovah" began with Samuel is, upon the face of it, the most improbable possible. It is supposing that the nation had no name for its God at all - a thing the most unlikely, and the most unlikely at that time, and if they had not a divine revelation. A nation without any name for its God is incredible in those days.
204 - 7. Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah.
- 42. Caleb is here clearly of the race of Judah.
1 Chronicles 3
- 21. The sons of Rephaiah are either stocks apart as constantly given in Chronicles, or connected with the preceding royal race through daughters or unnamed sons of one or another branch; and this is confirmed by Hattush, grandson of one of them, coming up with Zerubbabel. So that they were anterior in date, as a genealogy, to Zerubbabel's coming up - collateral branches of the royal race with Zerubbabel - sons of some of Salathiel's sons or others.
1 Chronicles 9
The beginning of this chapter shows the services of these genealogies, used to link the two, though imperfect. Compare Nehemiah 7:63-65.
- 1. We shall not understand Chronicles till we see it the re-establishment of the remnant, but connecting it with the old things. We see, too, if the source be ascertained, passing over generations is as nothing in the genealogy.
- 11. Note "House of God" is used in Chronicles in the historical part, though "House of Jehovah" in editorial, so to speak. In Kings it is "House of Jehovah." Daniel says "House of God."
- 35-41. This is taken up again from chapter 8:29-38, to carry on the former history beginning with Saul's death, and begins the history with recurring again to the family of Saul. The porters and singers were Levites of a particular category. It all clearly refers to the return from captivity. Chronicles and Nehemiah are distinct lists, perhaps using some like sources, made at different times.
205 1 Chronicles 10
- 4. Does this dying word say anything for Saul: "uncircumcised"?
1 Chronicles 11
- 1. There is no "then." Simply it was some years after - nearly seven. This is often the case in Old and New Testaments so that there is no mark of time.
These names are, excepting Abishai, the captains of the courses each month, only Dodai is given not Eleazar son of Dodo.
- 36. Here the lists seem to diverge from those in 2 Samuel 23.
- 39. Here they seem to correspond again.
- 42. These from Zabad are all added.
1 Chronicles 12
- 23. Compare chapters 11 and 1.
1 Chronicles 16
- 22. We have the joy of faith, see Psalm 105. The Psalm goes on then with the famine in Abraham's time and its consequences. Egypt and God's government up to the land not the subject here.
The Psalm 96, but not so definitely, is the bringing in the First-begotten. It is Jehovah's claim and title here, and that over all the earth which He will assume in judgment but for the world's joy.
- 34. After past and future are sung past faithfulness and power to come. His unchangeable mercy to His people is declared, and then the repentance and final consequent blessing - the first and last verses of Psalm 107.
As regards the presence of a testimony on mount Zion before the establishment of Israel in settled peace royally from God in this chapter, we have the first part of Psalm 105 - the part that recognises the pilgrim character, and certain promises without condition given to Abraham or the Fathers, and their position in the midst of kings. This was the basis of their position - these were the promises they were to remember. All the dealings of deliverance in Egypt are no more recorded here, as their faults in the accompanying Psalm 106. God remembered Abraham in Egypt - they were called upon to remember him now. Jehovah had remembered His covenant. His judgments were now in all the earth. It is a call to Israel to get upon their true ground of the ancient promises and seek Jehovah; the ark of the covenant being now not established in the Temple but by the faithfulness of God in the midst of His believing ones. Psalm 95 was different - it was a moral summons to Israel in general not to harden their hearts while it was called "to-day"; but Psalm 96 here follows, which is the appeal to a new song for all the earth on the ground of Jehovah's glory. They are called to come up and appear before Him, then giving up the gods of the nations; next is the well-known formula of "His mercy endureth for ever" established by faith here, verse 41, enjoyed in 2 Chronicles 6:3, recognised by Nehemiah, owned in the manifestation of glory in 2 Chronicles 7:3, and recalled and applied to Israel's circumstances in different Psalms in the acknowledgment of all their failures. Psalm 106 their bringing back, and the dealings with them, from all lands, in the recognition of this day that the Lord has made for them, and of Messiah, then more widely to the Creator of all things, God of gods, Lord of lords, that redeemed by judgment His people from the place of their captivity, that guided them, put them in possession in spite of all obstacles; who remembered them when fallen and redeemed them and provides for all; Psalm 136. But it is particularly, it seems to me, Psalm 106 that is taken up here, i.e., half Psalms 105, 96 and 106.
206 1 Chronicles 29
- 22. The first time I suppose was in 1 Chronicles 22, or it is a wholly new sentence.