It is human nature to believe that there has to be more, that life cannot simply be that you’re born and you die. For those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to live in an era when everything around us can be explained scientifically, it is perhaps hard to understand what it must be like to live where nothing is explicable and where every natural occurrence is terrifying.
People created gods because they needed explanations, and because some people in their society were more powerful or perhaps had more goats than the others. So they led and the rest followed. If one of those people had some sort of explanation for what happened, that person was seen as having special powers. And those powers had to have come from the gods. Anyone who displayed those powers without having the social position to back their ability, was seen as a witch or a wizard, and the powerful ones were seen to be in contact with the gods.
This is so obvious in the Bible. All the people who are said to be able to speak to God, whether it was Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David or one of his descdendants; they and their families stood out. In the growing social order it became necessary to write down the names of these people, and to create not only strong connections with their present social position, but also with the past, thus the genealogies of the characters were created.
Both books of Chronicles are nothing more than a record of king’s lists and, typical of the early first millenium BCE, long records of numbers of people slain and cities vanquished.
That the hardships and bad turns of events are blamed on the people themselves, is typical of superstitious societies. Whenever things were going smoothly, God’s hand is seen as rewarding them for obeying his rules.
The laws described previously are not different from those contained in the laws of other societies, particularly that of Hammurabi, king of the Hittties. I find it ironic that the stele on which the code was written by Hammurabi, whose city-state was destroyed, should have survived and is still available to be studied today. Yet the law of Moses, said to have been written on tablets throughout the lands of Israel and Judah, disappeared. The only copies that survive are the ones that were copied and recopied over the 3,000 years since they were first written down.
So, who copied whose law? Did the Israelites copy the laws of Hammurabi, written down in ca 1790 BCE and still available for scrutiny in the Louvre in Paris? Or, did an obscure sheep herder from an obscure village in southern Canaan climb a mountain and obtain the law chiselled onto a pair of stone tablets from an invisible God, almost 700 years later? Read about Hammurabi here.
On the lists of Adam begat Seth ,who begat and so on, in Chronicles and the long history of genocide, war-mongering, and mass slaughter of animals, read the Wikipedia article.
Then look through the names in the Sumerian kings’ list.
Did the great kingdoms of Israel and Judah really exist? Or, were they merely the meanderings of the minds of the priests of a group of rebellious desert dwellers who were determined to improve themselves and their living conditions when they returned to their homes, armed with the stories they’d plagiarised during their stay in Babylon?
One last word on this. I think that the writers would have given their history far more credibility if they had not given in to including these two books in the collection. They do nothing to validate their antiquity and everything to prove that they are trying too hard to prove something that is simply is an attempt at metaphor, or merely mendaciousness.