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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 7

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 7

2 Chronicles 7:1 "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."

It appears, the offerings had been made and were on the altar of sacrifice. This fire coming down from heaven and consuming the offerings was a manifestation of the presence of God. This was very similar to the fire that descended when Elijah offered on Mount Carmel. This left no doubt in anyone’s mind who God was. This dramatic happening would leave no room for doubt. It would make an everlasting impression on those who saw it. This glory of the LORD was not just in the most holy place, but filled the entire temple.

2 Chronicles 7:2 "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 stand in front of such great presence of God. Everyone, who saw this, fell prostrate to the floor in total worship of God. The LORD was saying in this, I accept this house and will meet with my people here.

2 Chronicles 7:3 "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."

This dramatic appearance of the presence of the LORD brought adoration from the people who saw it. Their statement, for He is good; His mercy endureth forever was spontaneous.

2 Chronicles 7:4 "Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD."

These were in addition to the ones they had already offered, that the fire from heaven devoured. These were peace offerings, which would be eaten by the priests and the people.

2 Chronicles 7:5 "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."

This would have fed hundreds of thousands of people, so this was a tremendous gathering of people to dedicate the temple.

2 Chronicles 7:6 "And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music 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."

This was a tremendous gathering of the people. There was singing and playing of instruments by the people David had set aside for that purpose. This was a very festive celebration. Each of the Levites served in the capacity David had assigned to them in advance. The priests took care of the sacrifices. The singers sang and the musicians played. The trumpets were blown in proclamation of this happening.

2 Chronicles 7:7 "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."

The thousands of animals being sacrificed were more than could be handled in the usual manner, so they sacrificed in the middle of the court, also.

2 Chronicles 7:8 "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."

This dedication of the temple, and the sacrificial feast that went along with it lasted 7 days. Not all of the sacrifices were made on one day. Some sacrifices were made each day.

2 Chronicles 7:9 "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."

The tone of the solemn assembly changed from a festive occasion to a more serious tone. The feasting stopped and this was a more holy day. It was the beginning of the services in the temple for years to come. "Eight" means new beginnings, and symbolized the new day that would begin.

2 Chronicles 7:10 "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."

After the solemn assembly, Solomon sent the people home to their own tents. The people who had seen the presence of God in the temple would have been very happy. There was no doubt in their hearts left, for they had experienced the presence of the One True God. A people are never satisfied, until they are established in fellowship with their God. The temple worship had done just that for them.

2 Chronicles 7:11 "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."

The temple was built long before the house of Solomon. This verse above, seems to be a summation, that Solomon could have whatever he desired for the temple, or for his own house.

2 Chronicles 7:12 "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."

We are not told whether this is a dream, or a night vision. We do know that the LORD let Solomon know that He accepted the temple, and that Solomon’s request in the prayer would be answered, as well. God had chosen this place for the temple, before the death of David.

2 Chronicles 7:13 "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;"

Notice, these things come from God to cause people to repent of their sins.

2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Solomon had asked God to hear their prayers and forgive them, and this was the answer. Notice the big "if". The blessings of God are conditional. The people must repent and turn from their wicked ways, and then the LORD will hear, and will answer their prayers. Our country needs to heed this very Scripture today.

2 Chronicles 7:15 "Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer [that is made] in this place."

2 Chronicles 7:16 "For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually."

God wanted to hear and answer their prayers. He is holy and they must live up to the conditions He had set for that. They must keep His commandments. The effectual fervent prayer of a {righteous man} availeth much. We must stay in right standing with God. They were His children. He wanted to help them. He wanted to be their God, and them to be His people.

2 Chronicles 7:17 "And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;"

2 Chronicles 7:18 "Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man [to be] ruler in Israel."

At the time God spoke this to Solomon, he was a man after God’s own heart. He was observing the statutes of God. God wanted to bless Solomon, and He did bless Solomon until, Solomon sinned with his foreign wives.

2 Chronicles 7:19 "But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;"

2 Chronicles 7:20 "Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it [to be] a proverb and a byword among all nations."

God blesses those who are faithful, and curses those who do not keep His commandments. To worship false gods was committing spiritual adultery. This very thing did happen to the temple that God loved so much. Actually God did not immediately destroy the temple and Jerusalem, until all of the people, themselves, committed spiritual adultery, also. The temple burned during the war with the Babylonians when those of Judah fell to Babylon.

2 Chronicles 7:21 "And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?"

This, too, happened. Those passing by could not believe the ruin that had come to so magnificent a temple. They did hiss as they passed by.

2 Chronicles 7:22 "And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them."

Israel’s and Judah’s disobedience to God brought the wrath of God down upon their heads. He did not destroy them, until they had forsaken Him. Our God is a Jealous God. He would not share His people with false gods.

2 Chronicles 7 Questions

1. When Solomon had made an end of praying, what happened?

2. What other Biblical event did this remind the author of?

3. Where was the glory of the Lord?

4. What did everyone do that saw the glory of God?

5. What two statements did the people make about God?

6. What did the king do, after the appearance of the presence of the LORD?

7. How did they begin to praise the LORD?

8. Why were trumpets blown?

9. Where did Solomon hallow to offer sacrifices, besides the usual places?

10. What kind of offerings were these?

11. How long did they keep the feast?

12. What did he do on the eighth day?

13. How did this differ from the feast?

14. What day of the month did he send the people to their own tents?

15. How were they feeling?

16. A people are never satisfied, until what happens?

17. The _________ was built long before the house of Solomon.

18. How did the LORD appear to Solomon?

19. What did He tell him?

20. Who sends the pestilence in 2 Chronicles 7:13?

21. Quote 2 Chronicles 7:14.

22. What is the Word, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, that is so significant?

23. How do we know God wants to hear them?

24. What was the condition, if Solomon is to be blessed?

25. What did God say would happen, if Solomon turned away to other gods?

26. To worship a false god was __________ __________.

27. When did these things really happen?

Verses 1-3

2Ch 7:1-3

2 Chronicles 7:1-3

FIRE FROM HEAVEN;

THE GREAT FEAST;

GOD WARNS SOLOMON;

THE FIRE FROM HEAVEN

"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 Jehovah filled the house. And the priests could not enter the house of Jehovah, because the glory of Jehovah filled Jehovah’s house. And all the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of Jehovah was upon the house; and they bowed themselves down with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and gave thanks unto Jehovah, saying, For he is good; for his lovingkindness endureth forever."

Other Biblical accounts of fire coming down from heaven to consume sacrifices are: (1) at the Mosaic tabernacle (Leviticus 9:24), (2) before Manoah (Judges 13:20), and (3) at the Davidic altar on Mount Moriah (1 Chronicles 21:26). Curtis (Madsen) believed that the Chronicler "invented" this; but the mystery to this writer is not the the fire from heaven, which is not any more wonderful than a hundred other things recorded in the O.T., but, WHY WOULD ANY SCHOLAR WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE WHAT IS WRITTEN; WASTE A LIFETIME OF STUDY ON WHAT HE THINKS IS A FALSEHOOD? The attention that unbelievers bestow upon the sacred text is a tacit confession that they do believe it. If they think the Bible is false, why do they bother themselves about it? As Shakespeare stated it, "Methinks (he) dost protest too much."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 7:1. When the brazen altar of the tabernacle was first put into service, God started the fire on it miraculously. (Leviticus 9:24.) Now when the new service is offered to God, it is fitting that he indicate his acceptance of it by this demonstration.

2 Chronicles 7:2. The condition was the same as in Ch. 5:14. The splendor of the Lord’s glory was too much for the physical endurance of the priests.

2 Chronicles 7:3. The presence of God’s glory was so bright that all the people saw it. The effect upon them was profound, and they performed the custom of the times under conditions of extreme respect. They became prostrate in the posture of their bodies, and thus worshiped the Lord. But it was not the actions of fanatics under excitement, for they gave a clear and highly appropriate reason for their conduct by saying, "The Lord, his mercy endureth for ever."

Verses 4-7

2Ch 7:4-7

2 Chronicles 7:4-7

SACRIFICES PREPARED FOR THE GREAT FEAST

"Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Jehovah. And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests stood according to their offices; the Levites also with instruments of music of Jehovah, which David the king had made to give thanks unto Jehovah (for his lovingkindness endureth forever), when David praised by their ministry: and the priests sounded trumpets before them; and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of Jehovah; for there he offered the burnt-offerings, and the fat of the peace-offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt-offering, and the meal-offering, and the fat."

Solomon evidently felt free to make any changes in the sacred rituals that came to his mind. The use here of another altar, other than the official one, is only one of many innovations and changes initiated by Solomon. The tremendous numbers of animals sacrificed on this occasion is a problem in the minds of some; but there is no honest device by which men in the 20th century, three thousand years afterward, can make any dependable corrections for what is written. Our comment is simply: "That must have been some big barbecue"!

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 7:4-5. This account is given also in 1 Kings 8:62-66. The gratitude felt for the goodness of God prompted the king and the people to make this vast offering.

2 Chronicles 7:6. The priests did the part exclusively belonging to them, and the other Levites used the instruments of music of the Lord. This is an inspired statement, so we must know that after David had made the musical instruments for religious service, the Lord accepted and blessed them.

2 Chronicles 7:7. The altar of burnt sacrifices originally would take care of all the animals required in the regular or set feasts; also for the occasions of offerings for sins of individuals. But the occasion of this dedication was very special, and an emergency was created. In view of that, Solomon was authorized to use the extra space of the court as a place for the great number of sacrifices.

Verses 8-10

2Ch 7:8-10

2 Chronicles 7:8-10

THE FEAST LASTED THREE WEEKS

"So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away unto their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Jehovah had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people."

Here we have the information that explains the need for the tremendous number of animals sacrificed. The whole nation of Israel, perhaps a million or more, all the way from Hamath to the brook of Egypt attended this celebration; and they had to be fed for almost a month (twenty-three days).

"On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month" (2 Chronicles 7:10). "The seventh month was September/October. The dedication did not take place till after the work was completed (2 Chronicles 7:1) in the eighth month (Oct./Nov.) of Solomon’s eleventh year (960 B.C.). So the temple was not dedicated till eleven months had passed, that is, in 959 B.C., at the time of the annual feast of the tabernacles (cf. 2 Chronicles 7:8-10)." From this it is evident that Solomon delayed the dedication almost a year in order to make it coincide with the annual feast of tabernacles which the whole nation was required to attend, thus assuring the largest possible assembly.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 7:8. Hamath and the river of Egypt were two opposite points on the boundaries of Palestine. This feast had to be celebrated in Jerusalem, but the verse means there were Israelites from all that territory present at the feast.

2 Chronicles 7:9. These activities were special and had some items not provided in the law of Moses. But again we will not forget that a new epoch in the history of the nation is starting, and many things are being done that will not be repeated after the regular establishments of the law are resumed. So in the present verse is seen the duplication of the seven-day period; one for the altar and the other the regular period for the feast that came yearly.

2 Chronicles 7:10. The day of atonement came on the 10th of the month. Add two periods of 7 days each and we have the 24th day of the month. But many of the people had come from a distance (2 Chronicles 7:8) and Solomon released them the day before the expiration of the time so they could go to their homes.

Verses 11-18

2Ch 7:11-18

2 Chronicles 7:11-18

GOD’S RESPONSE TO SOLOMON’S PRAYER

"Thus Solomon finished the house of Jehovah, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of Jehovah, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And Jehovah appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people who are called by name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attentive unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and hallowed this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and mine ordinances; then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I covenanted with David thy father, saying, there shall not fail thee a son to be ruler in Israel."

"Thus Solomon finished ... all that came into Solomon’s heart" (2 Chronicles 7:11). These are the ominous words in the paragraph. Solomon did not do everything according to God’s Word, but according to everything he imagined, being guided, only in the most general sense, by the pattern that David had given him for the temple. Nevertheless, before giving Solomon the stern warning that he deserved, God announced his favorable response to Solomon’s prayer. In a word, it merely stated that God would do the things Solomon had prayed for. Then came the warning.

"Jehovah appeared to Solomon by night" (2 Chronicles 7:12). There is nothing here to indicate that this was some kind of a dazzling personal appearance. The very fact of its having been at night supports the presumption that God appeared unto him in a dream, as he had appeared the first time at Gibeon.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 7:11. House of the Lord means the temple, and the king’s house means the palace. Prosperously effected means he succeeded in accomplishing his plans.

2 Chronicles 7:12. This verse is very informative. When God says he has heard a prayer, he means he has granted it. This idea has been mentioned several times when speaking of the forgiveness of sins in that day. It is important also that God accepted the temple as the place for sacrifice.

2 Chronicles 7:13-16. In this paragraph the Lord repeats some of the things for which Solomon had prayed and promises to grant them.

2 Chronicles 7:17-18. God did not forget his promise to David, that he should have a son to sit on his throne. Neither did he forget the condition on which the promise was made, that the son was to keep the statutes and judgments of the Lord. The difference between the two words is rather technical. The first refers to the formal enactments of the Lord as set ordinances. The second has special reference to the decisions which God makes as occasions require. However, the distinction is so slight that for all practical purposes, whether called by statutes, ordinances, commandments, ordinances, law, or any other equivalent terms, the importance is the same. More than one is sometimes used in one sentence for the purposes of emphasis.

Verses 19-22

2Ch 7:19-22

2 Chronicles 7:19-22

GOD’S WARNING TO KING SOLOMON

"But if ye turn away and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house, which is so high, everyone that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall say, Why hath Jehovah done this unto this land? And they shall answer, Because they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them."

This heavenly warning Solomon ignored and continued to do exactly as he pleased without regard to anything except his conceited opinions; and when he became old, his many pagan wives turned his heart away from the Lord; and he built pagan temples for every one of them. This needs no further comment, except to note that the removal of Israel from Palestine and the destruction of their temple indeed took place, exactly as God had warned.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 7:19. Serve and worship are two more words that are generally used interchangeably, yet have a slight distinction in meaning. The first denotes that the person performs obligations imposed by the gods, and the second refers primarily to the attitude of mind toward them.

2 Chronicles 7:20-21. The things threatened here came to pass, and it is recorded in 2 Kings 25:9. The house was destroyed by the Babylonians and never rebuilt until about 75 years later, which was after the fall of Babylon.

2 Chronicles 7:22. The warnings given out to the people of Israel were so well known that when the calamity came the public understood why it was.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-7.html.
 
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