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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

2 Chronicles 7

Verses 2-10

C. The Dedication of the Temple 5:2-7:10

The dedication ceremony consisted of four parts: the installation of the ark, Solomon’s address to the people, Solomon’s prayer, and the celebration of the people.

"There can be little doubt that this ceremony, together with God’s response which immediately follows it, marks one of the major climaxes in the Chronicler’s presentation." [Note: H. G. M. Williamson, 1 and 2 Chronicles, p. 213.]

Verses 1-10

4. The celebration of the people 7:1-10

This celebration consisted of a seven-day dedication of the bronze altar, followed by the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. The very large number of sacrifices Solomon offered seems incredible, but there are records of other large sacrifices such as this one that scholars have discovered from ancient times (cf. 1 Kings 8:63). [Note: Edward Curtis and Albert Madsen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Chronicles, p. 348.]

"The double attestation of the temple, in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 and 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 a, reminds one of the twofold divine endorsement of Jesus, with a voice from heaven at his baptism and a voice from the cloud of glory at his transfiguration (Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7)." [Note: Leslie C. Allen, 1, 2 Chronicles, p. 236.]

This record of the dedication of the temple emphasizes both the importance of the temple and the character of Israel’s God who indwelt it. Solomon reunited the ark, the symbol of God’s grace, and the altar, the symbol of human sacrificial response to that grace. It was now possible for Israel to fulfill the purpose for which God had created her as never before in her history. The temple was the key to this possibility. That is one reason the temple was so important in the national life of Israel.

Verses 11-22

D. God’s Blessings and Curses 7:11-22

God responded to Solomon’s prayer with a special revelation. He promised to grant the petitions of the people, as Solomon had requested, if they manifested a true heart for Him (2 Chronicles 7:12-14). 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 are a short summary of the message of Chronicles. Raymond Dillard argued that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was also a "charter" for the rest of Israel’s history. [Note: Raymond B. Dillard, "Reward and Punishment in Chronicles: The Theology of Immediate Retribution," Westminster Theological Journal 46 (1984):164-72.]

"This verse [2 Chronicles 7:14] is of vital significance for the Chronicler’s theology. Four avenues of repentance are mentioned that will lead God to forgive and restore. Each of these is taken up at appropriate places in the later narrative of Chronicles, often in connection with one of the remarkable interventions of God." [Note: Thompson, p. 43.]

God would establish Solomon’s kingdom if he fully obeyed God’s Word (2 Chronicles 7:17-18). However, if Solomon proved unfaithful, the nation might go into exile, and Israel’s enemies might destroy the temple (2 Chronicles 7:19-22).

This passage shows how to avoid the consequences of disobedience: submit to God, pray, and repent (i.e., change direction, not just feeling; 2 Chronicles 7:14). This remedy is as applicable today as it was in postexilic Israel and in the days of Israel’s monarchy. The promise that God would "heal their land" ties in with His earlier promise to bless the Israelites’ land with rain and fertility if they obeyed His commandments in the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 28:11-12). God has not promised specifically to heal the land of other believers who obey His will for them. However, He has promised to bless generally those who do so (Psalms 1; Matthew 6:33; Galatians 6:7-8; et al.). [Note: See Jonathan G. Taylor, "The Application of 2 Chronicles 7:13-15," Bibliotheca Sacra 168:670 (April-June 2011):146-61.]

"Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple and God’s response to that prayer (2 Chronicles 6:1 to 2 Chronicles 7:22) constitute a kind of ’charter’ for the subsequent history of the nation." [Note: Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard, An Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 199.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-7.html. 2012.