Who was the author? The so-called "chronicler" does not identify himself, but tradition holds that Ezra authored the book.
What is the book? 1 Chronicles is the first half of what was originally one book that is a sermon of sorts about the past for the people who returned from exile in Babylon.
Where was it written? If Ezra is indeed the author, the account was most likely written back in Jerusalem or Judah.
When was it written? A usual date for Chronicles is 430 B.C., right at the end of the period covered by the Old Testament.
Why? The chronicler appears to be interpreting Israel's history to show the restored community that despite differences between their lives before the exile and their lives after the exile that there is continuity with the past.
How? In Chronicles as a whole, the chronicler shows how the Temple signifies continuity with the past, how God's gracious election further shows His gracious purposes, how the law and the prophets are a major focus of covenant life, how there has been immediate retribution for unfaithfulness, how there was still hope for the Messiah, how God was concerned with all Israel (not just Judah), how God has always been interested in His people, and how statements by past leaders reinforce those points. Specifically in 1 Chronicles, those emphases are made in the events from creation through David's reign.
For further reading on the book of 1 Chronicles:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume III: I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted August 1985. (This volume has 255 pages specifically on 1 Chronicles.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume I, The Historical Books of the Old Testament: Genesis to Esther. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1923. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 42 pages on 1 Chronicles.)