Saturday, May 16, 2009

1 Chronicles 1-5; Luke 4:1-39

1 Chronicles 1-5

Considered by some to be the most boring part of the Bible, the genealogies of 1 Chronicles set the context for the history of Israel. In a certain sense, 1 Chron 1-9 parallels Genesis-1 Sam 8 in a tightly condensed fashion, accomplished through the use of genealogies. Chapter 1 covers the primeval history down through the end of the patriarchal period, including the "off" lines of Ishmael and Esau. Chapter 2 gives the descendants of Judah, including the line of David. Chapter 3 continues the line of David down to the postexilic era. Chapters 4-5 summarize the descendants of Judah, Simeon, Reuben, Gad, and one-half of Manasseh. They are probably given in this order because Judah was the tribe from which the kings would come, the territory of Simeon fell within the bounds of the territory of Judah (see Joshua 15 and 19), and the other three tribes were the tribes that settled east of the Jordan.

All of these long-forgotten names tells us that God does not forget his own (2 Tim 2:19), and that he was faithful to fulfill his promises to the patriarchs.

Luke 4:1-39

The order of the temptations in Luke is different from that in Matthew. The latter seems to be the order of occurrence (notice the use of the conjunctions in Matthew), and brings the focus to the issue of Christ's kingship, an important consideration in Matthew. Luke's order brings the focus to the prophetic test of obedience, again in character with the themes of the book.

Luke's account of Jesus' ministry then begins with him in the synagogue, reading from the book of the prophets, showing himself to be the fulfillment, and drawing a pointed parallel between himself and Elijah and Elisha. The account then speaks of Jesus casting out demons and healing the sick, emphasizing by means of these miracles his prophetic authority.

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