Heidegger's Bible Handbook: 1 Chronicles: Uses of the Book

4. Its use shown, also in the weighty words of Jerome.



Now, the use of the books is manifest. Namely, because the genealogies of the old Israelite tribes and families were not a little confused under the captivity, the Author for the use of the Jews searched out and set them down with great deal of study, with the Holy Spirit as his guide, both so that the nations joined to the Israelites by marriage might be distinguished from them: and so that the Israelite tribes themselves might afterwards preserve themselves in their certain families. These books are of great advantage to us at the present day, so that we might discern in the open light, as it were, the family of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who had to be born of the Fathers, even indeed of the seed of Abraham and David. Moreover, it is agreeable to express the usefulness of these books in the words of Saint Jerome, ad Paulinum Presbyterum, chapter 7: The book of Chronicles, that is, the epitome of the Old Testament, is of such importance and value, that without it, if one should wish to arrogate to himself a knowledge of the Scriptures, he would make a laughing stock of himself. Indeed, by the individual names and the juxtaposition of words, histories passed over in the books of Kings are related, and innumerable questions of the Gospel are explained. For, could one rightly understand a number of the arguments of the Psalms, predictions of the Prophets, and many books of the New Testament, unless he had a comprehension of the history contained in these books? How great a light, I ask, would be shed upon the oracles of the Prophets, if from these books and the books of Kings we should learn of what sort were the Kings, in whose times they flourished: or how and when did those things happen, concerning which they prophesied? Also, you will not sufficiently understand the Books of Kings without help of these, etc.