2 Chronicles 7

2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 7

Fire from Heaven

      • When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices, and the glory of Yahweh filled the temple. The priests were not able to go into the house of Yahweh because the glory of Yahweh had filled Yahweh’s house. When all the Israelites saw the fire come down and the glory of Yahweh on the temple, they knelt down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and gave thanks to Yahweh saying, “He is good. His steadfast love endures forever.”

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “An addition to 1 Kings 8. A parallel with David (see 1 Chron 21:26) and Moses is intended here: just as divine fire consumed the burnt offering in the newly erected Mosaic tabernacle, and the ‘glory of the Lord’ was visible to the people (see Lev 9:23-24), the fire…from heaven that consumed the sacrifice signaled acceptance of the temple and the priests’ ministry there, while the glory of the Lord appeared on the temple, and the people worshiped.”

        • Guzik remarks, “This is one of the remarkable instances in the Old Testament of God sending fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice. It was a dramatic and visible proof of God’s approval, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.” Guzik goes on to cite this interesting detail from Trapp, “This fire was kept alive till the captivity of Babylon: and after that, it was said to have been miraculously renewed [in the days of the Maccabees].”

The Dedication of the Temple

      • Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Yahweh. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. In this manner the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood in their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who had the musical instruments used for praising Yahweh. (These were the ones David had made for giving thanks to Yahweh and which he used when he offered praise saying, “His steadfast love endures forever.”) Across from the Levites, the priests were blowing trumpets while all of Israel were standing. Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of Yahweh’s house and offered the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings there because the bronze altar that Solomon had made wasn’t big enough to accommodate all those offerings. So Solomon and all of Israel with him- a vast assembly including people from Lebo Hamath all the way to the Wadi of Egypt- observed the festival at that time for 7 days. They held a sacred assembly on the 8th day, because they had dedicated the altar for 7 days, and then celebrated the festival for 7 more days. Solomon sent the people home on the 23rd day of the 7th month. They left rejoicing and with happy hearts because of the good Yahweh had done for David, Solomon, and His people Israel.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible notes, “The offering of sacrifices was essential to dedicate the dwelling of the Most High on earth; the sacrifices also provided food for the people during the fifteen days of celebration. The numbers of animals sacrificed match those found in 1 Kgs 8:63. The Lebo-hamath in the north and the brook of Egypt in the south marked the boundaries of Israel as promised to the patriarchs (Gen 15:18; Num 34:5, 8; Josh 15:4)…”

        • HCSB clarifies, “What apparently happened was that the dedication of the temple occurred before the Festival of Booths, from the eighth to the fourteenth of the month. Then the Festival of Booths began on the fifteenth day of the month, lasting until the twenty-second day…”

Yahweh’s Response to Solomon

      • After Solomon finished building Yahweh’s house and the king’s house, and had accomplished all of his plans for Yahweh’s house and the king’s house, Yahweh appeared to Solomon at night and said to him:

        • I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house where sacrifices are to be made. When I close up the sky so that it doesn’t rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among My people, if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray, seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear them from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. My eyes will be open and My ears will be attentive to prayer from this place. Now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that My name may be there forever- My eyes and My heart will be there forever. As for you, if you will walk before Me like your father David did, obeying all My commands and keeping My statutes and ordinances, then I will establish your royal throne as I promised your father David when I said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

          • NLT Illustrated Study Bible says, “These verses refer directly to Solomon’s prayer (see 6:26, 28, 40). God outlined for Solomon the requirements for rescue from judgment. In Solomon’s prayer, each case had been addressed separately; in the Lord’s answer, the required response is developed more generally and comprehensively. The people need humility, repentance, seeking the Lord, and prayer in order to be healed from their distresses.”

        • ESV Study Bible adds, “God’s purpose above all is to forgive his penitent people and heal their land. The specific vocabulary of this verse (humble themselves, pray, seek, turn) describes different aspects of heartfelt repentance and will recur throughout chs 10-36. ‘Heal their land’ includes deliverance from drought and pestilence as well as the return of exiles to their rightful home (6:38). For the Chronicler, this includes the restoration of the people to their right relationship with God (cf Jer 25:5; 26:3). The invitation to prayer and repentance (v. 14) is sealed with the strong assurance of God’s presence and attention in the temple. A summons to Solomon to be obedient to the Law of Moses as the grounds for establishing his throne…Messianic hopes for the continuation of the Davidic line continued to be affirmed in the Chronicler’s time, even though the last Davidic king had been deposed in 586 BC.”

        • HCSB continues, “See Mc 5:2. This was a reaffirmation of God’s promise to David spoken by Nathan (2 Sm 7:12-16). This centered the hope of Israel on the dynasty of David for succeeding generations. In the exilic and postexilic ages, the expectation of a coming Messiah came into sharper focus, commencing with Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s vision of a Messiah who would combine the traits of a king and a priest (Jr 33:14-18; Ezk 46:1-8; Zch 4:1-14; 6:13).”

        • However, if you or your people ever turn away from Me, abandon My statues and My commands that I have given you, and go serve and worship other gods, then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them, I will abandon this house that I have consecrated for My name, and I will make you a proverb and object of ridicule among all the nations. As for this house, which was once exalted, it will become a heap of rubble. Everyone who passes by it will be appalled and say, ‘Why did Yahweh do such a thing to this land and to this house?’ Others will then answer, ‘Because they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods- worshiping and serving them. That is why He brought all this disaster on them.’”

          • ESV Study Bible notes, “The statement if you turn aside and forsake my statutes is addressed to the people (‘you’ in v. 19 is plural…) While the temple signified God’s will to forgive and restore, the stubborn rejection of his statutes and commandments would lead to God’s rejection of both people and temple (see Deut 29:24-28). The decisive factor, as shown throughout the rest of the book, is whether the call to repentance is heeded.”

          • With regard to the plural “you,” HCSB adds, “The Lord is not referring just to Solomon or even to his generation, but to their descendants.”

          • NLT Illustrated Study Bible says, “Despite its magnificence, the Temple did become an object of mockery and ridicule when the people of Israel turned away from the Lord; the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.”

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