Like I said yesterday, the first nine chapters of this book are ‘he begat that guy’.
Historically, it’s important because when Chronicles was written was the post-exile period. The Jews had moved back to Palestine from Babylon and they were trying to reconnect with their culture and national identity. Having even mythological or incomplete genealogies helped them rebuild that sense of Jewishness. You could point to the ‘historical’ record and say, “Yep, we’re descendants of that guy.”
Adam and Eve had sex and she had kids and their kids had sex with each other (Ewww…) and they had kids that weren’t inbred mutants somehow, and so on and so forth until Abraham was born.
Abraham had lots of sex with Sarah and his sex slaves and had kids and they had kids and so on and so forth.
Here’s the twelve patriarchs of Israel. Hey, remember how Judah thought he had sex with a prostitute, but it was really his daughter in law? We do. Here are their descendants.
And here’s David’s family.
Here’s the record of David’s kids, including the kingly lineage.
Here’s some more people you don’t care about and don’t know… Well, I guess Jabez is here, but he’s mostly famous because some Evangelical wrote a book about a one-sentence prayer he said as if it were a profound revelation/magic formula.
The Reubenites, the Gadites, the Manassehites… hey, they were real screw ups who deserved to be carried away by Assyria, am I right?
Here’s the line of the priests which will now be super-important because they will be in charge.
You know Asher and Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi. Beriah and Serah and Heber and Hotham, but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?
The Benjamites and Saul’s family.
People from Jerusalem… and Saul’s family again.
Saul and Jonathan die again. The Philistines loot his corpse and put his head on a pike in their Temple. The men of Jabesh-gilead steal his body back again.
Saul dies because he didn’t genocide good enough, and because he consulted with a witch instead of with God, except Saul did try to inquire of the Lord, but the Lord wouldn’t answer him, so kind of a dick move, God.
David is made king again. He captures Jerusalem again. Here’s a list of his mighty men again.
Here are the people who joined David before he was cool.
Here’s the story of God killing Uzzah again for the dreaded crime of trying to keep the ark from falling off a cart. That evil bastard.
David marries more women again and then he goes out and defeats the Philistines again.
David moves the ark again, this time the right way, with lots of animal killing to keep God happy. David dances naked in front of the ark again and his first wife, Michal thinks he’s an idiot again.