Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 7

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

The fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering. Every act of worship was accompanied by sacrifice. The preternatural stream of fire kindled the mass of flesh, and was a token of the divine acceptance of Solomon's prayer (see the notes at Leviticus 9:24; 1 Kings 18:38).

The glory of the Lord filled the house - i:e., the cloud, which was the symbol of God's presence and majesty, filled the interior of the temple (Exodus 40:35).

Verse 2

And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house.

The priests could not enter. Both from awe of the miraculous fire that was burning on the altar, and from the dense cloud that enveloped the sanctuary, they were unable for some time to perform their usual functions (see the notes at 1 Kings 8:10-11). But afterward, their courage and confidence being revived, they approached the altar, and busied themselves in the offering of an immense number of sacrifices.

Verse 3

And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. All the children of Israel ... bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement. This form of prostration-namely, that of lying on one's knees with the forehead touching the earth-is the manner in which the Hebrews, and Orientals in general, express the most profound sentiments of reverence and humility. The courts of the temple were densely crowded on the occasion, and the immense multitude threw themselves on the ground. What led the Israelites suddenly to assume that prostrate attitude on the occasion referred to, was the spectacle of the symbolical cloud slowly and majestically descending upon the temple, and then entering it.

Verse 4

Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.

Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices. Whether the individual worshippers slaughtered their own cattle, or a certain portion of the vast number of the Levitical order in attendance performed that work, as they sometimes did, in either case the offerings were made through the priests, who presented the blood and the fat upon the altar (see the notes at 1 Kings 8:62-64).

Verse 5

And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The ceremonial of dedication consisted principally in the introduction of the ark into the temple, and in the sacrificial offerings that were made on a scale of magnitude suitable to the extraordinary occasion. All present-the king, the people, and the priests-took part, according to their respective stations, in the performance of the solemn service. The duty, of course, devolved chiefly on the latter, and hence, in proceeding to describe their several departments of work, the historian says generally, "the priests waited on their offices." While great numbers would be occupied with the preparation and offering of the victims, others sounded with their trumpets, and the different bands of the Levites praised the Lord with vocal and instrumental music, by the 136th Psalm, the oft-recurring chorus of which is, "for His mercy endureth for ever."

Verse 6

And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 7

Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.

Solomon hallowed the middle of the court. On this extraordinary occasion, when a larger number of animals was offered than one altar and the usual place of rings to which the animals were bound would admit of, the whole space was taken in that was between the place of rings and the west end of the court to be used as a temporary place for additional altars. On that part of the spacious court holocausts were burning all round.

Verse 8

Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.

Solomon kept the feast seven days. The time chosen for the dedication of the temple was immediately previous to the feast of tabernacles (see the notes at 1 Kings 8:1-12). That season, which came after the harvest, corresponding to our September and October, lasted seven days, and during so prolonged a festival there was time afforded for the offering of the immense sacrifices enumerated. A large proportion of these were peace offerings, which afforded to the people the means of festive enjoyment.

All Israel ... from the entering in of Hamath - i:e., the defile at Lebanon.

Unto the river of Egypt - i:e., Rhinocorura, now el-Arish, the south boundary of Palestine.

Verse 9

And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 10

And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.

On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month. This was the last day of the feast of tabernacles.

Verse 11

Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 12

And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.

The Lord appeared to Solomon by night - (see the notes at 1 Kings 9:1-9.) The dedication of the temple must have been an occasion of intense national interest to Solomon and his subjects. Nor was the interest merely temporary or local. The record of it is read and thought of with an interest that is undiminished by the lapse of time. The fact that this was the only temple of all nations in which the true God was worshipped, imparts a moral grandeur to the scene, and prepares the mind for the sublime prayer that was offered at the dedication. The pure theism of that prayer-its acknowledgment of the unity of God, as well as of His moral perfections providence and grace-came from the same divine source as the miraculous fire. They indicated sentiments and feelings of exalted and spiritual devotion, which sprang not from the unaided mind of man, but from the fountain of revelation. The reality of the divine presence was attested by the miracle, and that miracle stamped the seal of truth upon the theology of the temple worship.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-7.html. 1871-8.
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