Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible

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Matthew Henry
Commentary on the Whole Bible (1708)


First Chronicles

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16
  • Chapter 17
  • Chapter 18
  • Chapter 19
  • Chapter 20
  • Chapter 21
  • Chapter 22
  • Chapter 23
  • Chapter 24
  • Chapter 25
  • Chapter 26
  • Chapter 27
  • Chapter 28
  • Chapter 29

  • AN

    EXPOSITION,

    W I T H   P R A C T I C A L   O B S E R V A T I O N S,

    OF THE FIRST BOOK OF

    C H R O N I C L E S.


          In common things repetition is thought needless and nauseous; but, in sacred things, precept must be upon precept and line upon line. To me, says the apostle, to write the same things is not grievous, but for you it is safe, Phil. iii. 1. These books of Chronicles are in a great measure repetition; so are much of the second and third of the four evangelists: and yet there are no tautologies either here or there no vain repetitions. We may be ready to think that of all the books of holy scripture we could best spare these two books of Chronicles. Perhaps we might, and yet we could ill spare them: for there are many most excellent useful things in them, which we find not elsewhere. And as for what we find here which we have already met with, 1. It might be of great use to those who lived when these books were first published, before the canon of the Old Testament was completed and the particles of it put together; for it would remind them of what was more fully related in the other books. Abstracts, abridgments, and references, are of use in divinity as well as law. That, perhaps, may not be said in vain which yet has been said before. 2. It is still of use, that out of the mouth of two witnesses every word may be established, and, being inculcated, may be remembered. The penman of these books is supposed to be Ezra, that ready scribe in the law of the Lord, Ezra vii. 6. It is a groundless story of that apocryphal writer (2 Esdr. xiv. 21, &c.) that, all the law being burnt, Ezra was divinely inspired to write it all over again, which yet might take rise from the books of Chronicles, where we find, though not all the same story repeated, yet the names of all those who were the subjects of that story. These books are called in the Hebrew words of days--journals or annals, because, by divine direction, collected out of some public and authentic records. The collection was made after the captivity, and yet the language of the originals, written before, it sometimes retained, as 2 Chron. v. 9, there it is unto this day, which must have been written before the destruction of the temple. The LXX. calls it a book Paraleipomenon--of things left, or overlooked, by the preceding historians; and several such things there are in it. It is the rereward, the gathering host, of this sacred camp, which gathers up what remained, that nothing might be lost. In this first book we have, I. A collection of sacred genealogies, from Adam to David: and they are none of those which the apostle calls endless genealogies, but have their use and end in Christ, ch. i.-ix. Divers little passages of history are here inserted which we had not before. II. A repetition of the history of the translation of the kingdom from Saul to David, and of the triumph of David's reign, with large additions, ch. x.-xxi. III. An original account of the settlement David made of the ecclesiastical affairs, and the preparation he made for the building of the temple, ch. xxii-xxix. These are words of days, of the oldest days, of the best days, of the Old-Testament church. The reigns of kings and dates of kingdoms, as well as the lives of common persons, are reckoned by days; for a little time often gives a great turn, and yet all time is nothing to eternity.


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    Matthew Henry
    Commentary on the Whole Bible (1708)

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    The Greatest Life
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    He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place he was born. He did none of these things that one usually associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

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     Where I am today, the Pacific Northwest is ablaze with wildfires in every direction. People in Oregon, California, and Washington are evacuating their homes and seeking refuge in cities. Ash is literally raining from the sky, and there are air quality alerts warning people to stay indoors and out of the smoke. 24 people have already died as the fires are wreaking havoc on whole communities. The Bible describes our tongues in the same way—able to wreak havoc and full of death:

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