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WILLIAM DAY CROCKETT, A.M.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
WILLIS JUDSON BEECHER, D.D.
Professor of the Hebrew Language and Literature in the Auburn Theological Seminary
M ANY and many a time during the latter years of my College course, as I had
taken up my Bible for the daily chapter, had I thought of the time in the near future of my Seminary days, when the Book of Books itself would be my constant study. But the ideal was never realized ; for there were ever a hundred other volumes claiming one's attention : Greek and Hebrew, and Theology and History, and Homiletics and Church Polity, and a score of allied subjects besides. And while the Bible was back of them all, while the Bible inspired them all, there was not in my own life the deep, earnest study of God's Word for which I had longed for years. Without doubt, it was all my own fault ; at any rate, the Bible study was not there.
It was at this juncture that the idea came for a Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. I had begun, for my own private Bible study, a Harmony of the Four Gospels. A long walk succeeded the first two hours' work on the Gospel narratives; and with it came the thought : A thousand men have done this work before ; why not accept some of the work that they have done-at least for a while—and try your skill in unplowed fields ? The result of that thought was the conception of the present volume.
Until the completion of the first draft of the manuscript, I was not aware that such a work had ever been undertaken before. Since then I have learned that there are certain works, out of date and out of print, that have embodied the conception, more or less fully. But so far as it has been possible to learn, the present work is the only one of its kind.
The volume as it stands to-day is the outgrowth of its first conception, in its general outline, The six books of the Old Testament that have been used as material, have been subjected to the most careful analysis ; and the result is a “Harmony," divided into five books, under the general name of “The Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel ”—which, by the way, happens to be the title, with the exception of the addition of one letter, of one of the thirty and more Books of Old Testament times now lost to the world—which Books, in their turn, have been, more or less, the original material from which the six books under consideration have been compiled. The question of the compilation or the editing of the said books, however, does not fall within the province of this work.
The result of our study is something more than simply a Harmony of the Books