Paralipomenon (Chronicles), Books of

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Paralipomenon, or, first and second Chronicles, are the names given to the two books, originally one, that recount the history of the chosen people from a postexilic viewpoint, tracing it from Adam to the Edict of Cyrus in 538 b.c., but concentrating mostly on the history of the Judean monarchy. Palestinian Jews (and Hebrew printed Bibles) called these books (sēper ) dibrê hayyāmîm, a title idiomatically equivalent to "annals" or "happenings of the times." Greek-speaking Jews in their Septuagint (followed by the Vulgate and some modern editions) referred to these books by the name παραλειπόμενα, which the Fathers of the Church understood as designating the books' content, "things omitted" (from previous Biblical histories). Some scholars, however, prefer to translate παραλειπόμενα as "things transmitted." St. Jerome, in his Prologus galeatus, says that these books are a "chronicle of the whole of divine history," with which phrase the modern appellation of these books, Chronicles, agrees. For these books themselves, see chronicler, biblical.

[n. j. mceleney]