- A. Adam to Israel (1:1–2:2)
- B. Israel's Sons (2:3–9:1)
- 1. Judah (2:3–4:23)
- 2. Simeon (4:24–43)
- 3. Transjordanian tribes (5:1–26)
- 4. Levi (6:1–81)
- 5. Six tribes (7:1–40)
- 6. Benjamin (8:1–40)
- 7. Conclusion (9:1)
- C. The Postexilic Community (9:2–44)
The extent of these genealogies suggests their significance for the chronicler. These nine chapters set the stage for the drama to unfold. The author tells, in capsule form, the story of God's people from creation until the postexilic period. The chronicler begins to expound God's election and care of Israel that he will emphasize in the following survey of the nation's history. With stress upon God's longstanding relationship to his people, the chronicler prepares his readers to understand the narrative and the call to those who are part of this heritage to be obedient to God's Word.
The vertical dimension of the genealogies stresses the unbroken strand of God's chosen people. Ch. 1 tells of God's election beginning with Adam and extending to Jacob/Israel. The middle section, chs. 2-8, enlarges the circle by including representatives of Israel's twelve sons. Finally, ch. 9 encircles the postexilic community. A horizontal dimension is shown by “an effort to include within the family of Israel all who could mount any legitimate claim to participation” (Williamson, 38). The chronicler integrates persons from all of the original tribes despite the fact that his audience was composed of returnees to Judah. This is an inclusive view of God's people. He places people who joined the nation through intermarriage and reprobate Israelites alongside more faithful people. The author seems more concerned with painting a broad picture of all Israel than with the issue of strict purity or fitness for inclusion. This interest with the whole people of God continues in the ensuing narrative.