More genealogies, and it is tempting indeed to skip over them! The beginning of chapter 9, though, reminds us of the purpose of these particular records of names and forebears:
So all Israel was recorded in genealogies, and these are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel. And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith (9:1).
These records of names show the returning exiles their heritage, and also act as a warning that they would be faithful as many of their forefathers were not. Tradition is a great thing if the tradition is great, and can have good effect as long as the lessons learned from it are good. The Israelites’ tradition was on the one hand very great, but on the other hand tarnished. They were to be reminded that they as a people had been called by God and to reflect on their bygone glories as a covenant gift of the glory of God himself, but at the same time also to realize their heritage was far from perfect. There had been a “breach of faith” (9:1). Instead, now, they were to keep faith.
The church too has its histories filled with heroes. It is important, though, that we not idolize them, but keep them in true perspective. We are to learn from their mistakes as much as from their achievements, and so (standing on the shoulders of giants) maintain our own faithfulness in our day and in our age.