Lessing, R. Reed & Andrew E. Steinmann. Prepare the Way of the Lord: An Introduction to the Old Testament. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2014. Chapter 13, “Chronicles” pp. 231-242..
Lessing notes that Chronicles has often been dismissed as an afterthought. However, in recent times with more attention, scholars are finding an interesting literary style and a “unique theological outlook” (Lessing 2014, 231). The author is unidentified, clearly at a late date due to the information recorded. There is mention of a coin which was initially made in 515 BC (Lessing 2014, 231), as well as a genealogy which pushes the time to about 400 BC (Lessing 2014, 232). The vocabulary and theology are consistent throughout. This points to one author (Lessing 2014, 232). Because of the amount of time recorded there is evidence of extensive research. Many of these sources are referred to in the text. Lessing considers the speculation of the Chronicler being the author of Ezra/Nehemiah as unlikely, preferring to leave the identity unknown (Lessing 2014, 234).
Lessing notes that, in comparison to Samuel and Kings, the text of Chronicles does not appear to refer to the Masoretic Text, but more likely to a text similar to that used for the Septuagint (Lessing 2014, 235). This text is also in evidence in some of the Qumran scrolls. The book is very selective in choice of material used. “Some go so far as to call Chronicles a ‘utopian’ view of Israel’s past, not because it paints Israel’s past as uniformly good, but because it presents an unrealistic and idealized view of Israel’s heritage in order to present a specific theological and social agenda for the post-exilic community in Jerusalem and Judah (Lessing 2014, 236). Lessing sees these ideas as based entirely on speculation. More likely, the author laid more emphasis on the factos which he considered more important (Lessing 2014, 237).
Among the most important themes, Lessing notes the worship a nd praise of God (Lessing 2014, 239). Kings and others are evaluated based on their willingness to worship God. Prophets and prophecy also are featured in Chronicles (Lessing 2014, 240). The prophets have more of a role in interpreting Scripture and writing than in doing things, as they do in Samuel and Kings.
Chronicles is emphatic about God’s work to retain a line of David which would eventually lead to the Messiah (Lessing 2014, 241). The text also has a fairly direct relationship between sin and punishment, obedience and blessing (Lessing 2014, 241).