Paralipomenon

Article

The name of two books of the Bible which, from the Hebrew title, are also known as Chronicles. The two books really form a single work; this was divided into two by the Septuagint translators, that is those who first rendered the Hebrew Bible into Greek. The title of the books also comes from the Septuagint, being a transliteration ot a Greek word meaning “things left out.” The translators seem to have regarded Paralipomenon as a supplement to the books of Samuel and Kings. The view is hardly correct, since Paralipomenon repeats matter contained in these other books when it serves the author’s purpose.

The book is anonymous; but from very close resemblances of thought and style, it is judged to come from the same author as Esdras and Nehemias, – a single book, too – which continues its narrative. The writer belonged, most likely, to the beginning of the Greek period in Jewish history, opened by the victories of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. The list of the high priests is brought down to Jeddoa (2 Esdras 12:11), who according to Josephus was a contemporary of Alexander. The aim of this author of Paralipomenon was to encourage his fellow-countrymen to be faithful to the Law, particularly to the prescriptiQns regarding worship in the Temple of Jerusalem. This aim determines the choice of his materials. The connection of the tribes of Israel, especially of those of Juda, Benjamin, and Levi, which comprised most of the nation after the Exile, with Israel, Isaac, and Abraham, is brought out by the genealogies which occupy the first nine chapters. In this matter special attention is given to the priests and Levites (1 Paralipomen 6). Chapters 10-29 of 1 Paralipomenon contain the history of David, dwelling particularly on what he did to establish and foster the worship of God, and to prepare for the building of the Temple.

The second book relates the history of Solomon, the builder of the Temple, and of his successors in Juda down to the Exile. The kings who were faithful to God, namely, Solomon, Asa, Josaphat, Joas, Ezechias, and Josias, are given the greater part of 2 Paralipomenon as David is given the greater part of 1 Paralipomenon. The author restricts himself chiefly to what is of a nature to make his readers understand that the fortunes of the country depend on faithfulness in the service of God.

MLA Citation

  • “Paralipomenon”. New Catholic Dictionary. Saints.SQPN.com. 12 June 2010. Web. 22 July 2014. <http://saints.sqpn.com/paralipomenon/>