In the Hebrew text, Chronicles is at the end of the Old Testament or the very last book of writing, because Chronicles is a retelling of Israel’s monarchy in light of the return from Babylonian exile in 539 BC. Its message is a strong theological statement that claims, despite experiencing God’s punishment through exile, that the God of Israel’s ancestors (those living before the exile) is still with God’s people after the exile. Whatever else may have changed, Yahweh is still Israel’s God. By recording Israel’s history differently from what we read in Samuel/Kings, Chronicles makes a theological point. For example, when compared to Samuel/Kings, Chronicles has its own unique theology that includes things like: a diminishment of David’s sins, an emphasis on unity among the Israelites, an emphasis on the temple and on Solomon’s role in building it, and a theology of “immediate retribution” (not being held responsible for the sins of the ancestors but only for one’s own actions).
Today, 1 Chronicles begins with nine chapters of names in order to connect postexilic Israel to its pre-exilic glory days. For postexilic Israelites, the genealogy made a vital point: it traced Israel’s history from the postexilic period all the way back to Adam. Chronicles is a postexilic rewriting of Israel’s entire history to remind the Israelites that they are still the people of God—regardless of all that has happened, and regardless of how much they deserved every bit of misery they had received.