History of a nation: the foundation of a nation

Cover to Cover

Reading: 1 Chronicles 1:1-3:24

Focus: 1 Chronicles 3:1-3:24

Disclaimer: this article is merely a reflection within the contexts of the Biblical world. It does not take into account the modern day arguments for and against the claims of modern day Israel and its associated land. The author makes no statement about the current modern day situation and has no intention to define or comment upon current events.

Throughout the world, nations have their founding story. Australia, as it is known today, was founded in 1788 with the landing at Botany Bay. The United States of America, was declared independent from the British Empire on July 4, 1776. On the other hand, you have the ancestral founding stories of the ancient kingdoms, the Aborigines of Australia have their founding story—the Dreaming. The Ancient Roman Empire had the founding story of Romulus and Remus. Each has their story of their origins, which they lay claim as their rights to the land they come from.

The story of Israel is no different. The book of Chronicles begins with an extensive genealogy of its people. Starting with Adam, it traces the Israelite ancestry all the way down to the royal line in the Exile. The lineage of David is given particular attention with a whole chapter dedicated to his ancestry. Anyone with even a basic understanding of Jewish history will realise the significance of David and his ancestry and appreciate the space that is dedicated here to him.

While one may not appreciate each person at the beginning of Chronicles, as one progresses through Chronicles and parallels found in the books of Samuel and Kings, one begins to see how the pieces fit in the greater history of Israel. The record of the kings gives the basis for which the people of Israel lay claim to their land even though, most would agree, this was compiled during the period of the Exile. Nonetheless, here we have a compiled record drawing the kings of Judah all the way back to Adam, the first man, the one created by God.

What we will come to appreciate is that from the Israelite point-of-view, this is God’s grand design. A fulfilment of His promises to His people. Yes, within the period of the Exile, they may have been dislodged from their land but they still had a claim to the land because of God’s promises fulfilled, in this case, the establishment of the Davidic line. What the Israelite misses out on though is where this is all heading. It doesn’t point towards the establishment of another physical kingship in Israel, rather it is heading towards the day where the crown will come to rest upon the head of One and no one will succeed Him for He reigns supreme and forever more. The One is no other than the King Jesus, born of the line of David to which all Israel awaits…

Where Israel’s founding story implies God as its beginning in creation of Adam, it also ends with God in the person and work of Jesus, the Messiah, the fulfilment of the Davidic promise that for all time, one born of David would sit upon the throne. That, my friend, is simply amazing and breath-taking to comprehend.

Next Reading: 1 Chronicles 4:1-6:47