This first book and the next following are with the Hebrews but one book, yet it was of old times divided into two books, and is called by the Hebrews The words of days, by the Greeks Paraleipomena, and by us The books of the Chronicles. The words of days, that is, of times, that is, such in which anything worthy of observation and remembrance has occurred from time to time in the Church of God, in the lands and cities of Israel. The Greeks call these books Paraleipomena, that is, things passed by or omitted, because in them several things are related, which being passed over or omitted in the previous books of the Holy Scripture, yet are indeed worthy to be recorded, and to be communicated to the church of God. We call them The books of the Chronicles, as they are also called by the Latinists and other nations, that is, Descriptions of times, because in them there are several memorable things briefly related, which were done in ancient times. The person who compiled and gathered together what is contained in these books is not certainly known, but it is thought that Ezra wrote the same, and left it to the church of God, making use for that purpose not only of the five books of Moses, but also of the books and writings left by several prophets who lived before him, and largely put down in writing the most remarkable accounts of their times, but have not come to our or to our forefathers’ hands. What is said concerning the gathering of these Chronicles of the Bible out of the writings of the other prophets, that appears from this that in these books it is said every time thus: The rest of his words, or acts, are written in the book of Gad, of Iddo, Isaiah, etc. As touching this first books of the Chronicles, in the first nine chapters are described the pedigrees and genealogies of many of the forefathers from Adam unto Abraham, and then Abraham’s posterity by Jacob, divided into several tribes, which is not so amply and fully written in any of the previous books. Thereafter is described in this book the reign of king David, and how he before his death, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, ordered all things most fitly, both in church and commonwealth; as also the great provision which he left behind for the building of the temple, which Solomon his son was to build in Jerusalem, to the honor and for the pure worship of the only true God of Israel. So that this first book of the Chronicles, from the beginning of the world until the reign of Solomon, is, as it were, a brief relation of things that have occurred, according to the computation of some, in the space of 2985 years.
In this first book of the Chronicles is briefly set forth unto us the beginning of the church of God, and how it was kept after the flood and preserved in the house and posterity of Shem, and onward in the house and family of Abraham, particularly in the posterity of Abraham, from Jacob unto David, out of whose posterity JESUS CHRIST was to be born, as was promised and assured to him.