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2 Chronicles 5:2--6:42

Context
Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple

5:2 Then Solomon convened Israel’s elders – all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families – in Jerusalem, 1  so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David 2  (that is, Zion). 3  5:3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king during the festival 4  in the seventh month. 5  5:4 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the Levites lifted the ark. 5:5 The priests and Levites carried the ark, the tent where God appeared to his people, 6  and all the holy items in the tent. 7  5:6 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered. 8 

5:7 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its assigned 9  place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place under the wings of the cherubs. 5:8 The cherubs’ wings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles. 10  5:9 The poles were so long their ends extending out from the ark were visible from in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. 11  They have remained there to this very day. 5:10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. 12  (It was there that 13  the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt.)

5:11 The priests left the holy place. 14  All the priests who participated had consecrated themselves, no matter which division they represented. 15  5:12 All the Levites who were musicians, including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives, wore linen. They played cymbals and stringed instruments as they stood east of the altar. They were accompanied by 120 priests who blew trumpets. 5:13 The trumpeters and musicians played together, praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they loudly praised the Lord, singing: 16  “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!” Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 17  5:14 The priests could not carry out their duties 18  because of the cloud; the Lord’s splendor filled God’s temple.

6:1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 6:2 O Lord, 19  I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 6:3 Then the king turned around 20  and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 21  6:4 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled 22  what he promised 23  my father David. 6:5 He told David, 24  ‘Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. 25  Nor did I choose a man as leader of my people Israel. 6:6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place to live, 26  and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 6:7 Now my father David had a strong desire to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 27  6:8 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 28  6:9 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 29  6:10 The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor of the Lord God of Israel 6:11 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with the Israelites.”

6:12 He stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 6:13 Solomon had made a bronze platform and had placed it in the middle of the enclosure. It was seven and one-half feet 30  long, seven and one-half feet 31  wide, and four and one-half feet 32  high. He stood on it and then got down on his knees in front of the entire assembly of Israel. He spread out his hands toward the sky, 6:14 and prayed: 33  “O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth! You maintain covenantal loyalty 34  to your servants who obey you with sincerity. 35  6:15 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David; 36  this very day you have fulfilled what you promised. 37  6:16 Now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 38  provided that your descendants watch their step and obey my law as you have done.’ 39  6:17 Now, O Lord God of Israel, may the promise you made to your servant David be realized. 40 

6:18 “God does not really live with humankind on the earth! 41  Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 6:19 But respond favorably to 42  your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer 43  the desperate prayer 44  your servant is presenting to you. 45  6:20 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live. 46  May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place. 47  6:21 Respond to the requests of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 48  Hear from your heavenly dwelling place and respond favorably and forgive. 49 

6:22 “When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, 50  6:23 listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 51 

6:24 “If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 52  because they sinned against you, then if they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 53  and pray for your help 54  before you in this temple, 6:25 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors. 55 

6:26 “The time will come when 56  the skies 57  are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 58  sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 59  and turn away from their sin because you punish 60  them, 6:27 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 61  you will then teach them the right way to live 62  and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 63 

6:28 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight, and disease, or a locust 64  invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 65  or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 6:29 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 66  as they acknowledge their intense pain 67  and spread out their hands toward this temple, 6:30 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 68  and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of their motives. 69  (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 70  6:31 Then they will honor 71  you by obeying you 72  throughout their lifetimes as 73  they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.

6:32 “Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your great reputation 74  and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds; 75  they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 6:33 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 76  Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 77  obey 78  you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 79 

6:34 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 80  and they direct their prayers to you toward this chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 81  6:35 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 82  and vindicate them. 83 

6:36 “The time will come when your people 84  will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry at them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their land, whether far away or close by. 6:37 When your people 85  come to their senses 86  in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray 87 , we have done evil!’ 6:38 When they return to you with all their heart and being 88  in the land where they are held prisoner and direct their prayers toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, 89  6:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help, 90  vindicate them, 91  and forgive your sinful people.

6:40 “Now, my God, may you be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place. 92  6:41 Now ascend, O Lord God, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength! May your priests, O Lord God, experience your deliverance! 93  May your loyal followers rejoice in the prosperity you give! 94  6:42 O Lord God, do not reject your chosen ones! 95  Remember the faithful promises you made to your servant David!”

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

3 tn Heb “Then Solomon convened the elders of Israel, the heads of the tribes, the chiefs of the fathers belonging to the sons of Israel to Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David (it is Zion).”

4 sn This festival in the seventh month was the Feast of Tabernacles, see Lev 23:34.

5 sn The seventh month would be September-October in modern reckoning.

6 tn Heb “the tent of assembly.”

sn See Exod 33:7-11.

7 tn Heb “and they carried the ark of the Lord…. The priests and the Levites carried them.”

8 tn Heb “And King Solomon and all the assembly of Israel, those who had been gathered to him, [were] before the ark, sacrificing sheep and cattle which could not be counted or numbered because of the abundance.”

9 tn The word “assigned” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

10 sn These poles were used to carry the ark. The Levites were to carry it with the poles on their shoulders. See Exod 25:13-15; 1 Chr 15:15.

11 tn Heb “they could not be seen outside.”

12 sn Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai (cf. Exod 3:1).

13 tn Heb “in Horeb where.”

14 tn Heb “and when the priests went from the holy place.” The syntactical relationship of this temporal clause to the following context is unclear. Perhaps the thought is completed in v. 14 after a lengthy digression.

15 tn Heb “Indeed [or “for”] all the priests who were found consecrated themselves without guarding divisions.”

16 tn Heb “like one were the trumpeters and the musicians, causing one voice to be heard, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, and while raising a voice with trumpets and with cymbals and with instruments of music, and while praising the Lord.”

17 tn Heb “and the house was filled with a cloud, the house of the Lord.”

18 tn Heb “were not able to stand to serve.”

19 tn The words “O Lord” do not appear in the Hebrew text, but they are supplied in the translation for clarification; Solomon addresses the Lord in prayer at this point.

20 tn Heb “turned his face.”

21 tn Heb “and he blessed all the assembly of Israel, and all the assembly of Israel was standing.”

22 tn The Hebrew text reads, “fulfilled by his hand,” but the phrase “by his hand” is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

23 tn The Hebrew text reads, “promised by his mouth,” but the phrase “by his mouth” is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

24 tn Heb “saying.”

25 tn Heb “to build a house for my name to be there.” Here “name” is used by metonymy for the Lord himself, and thus the expression “to be there” refers to his taking up residence there (hence the translation, “a temple in which to live”). In this case the temple is referred to as a “house” where the Lord himself can reside.

26 tn Heb for my name to be there.” See also the note on the word “live” in v. 5.

27 tn Heb “and it was with the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.”

sn On the significance of the Lord’s “name,” see the note on the word “live” in v. 5.

28 tn Heb “Because it was with your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was with your heart.”

29 tn Heb “your son, the one who came out of your body, he will build the temple for my name.”

30 tn Heb “five cubits.” Assuming a cubit of 18 inches (45 cm), the length would have been 7.5 feet (2.25 m).

31 tn Heb “five cubits.”

32 tn Heb “three cubits.” Assuming a cubit of 18 inches (45 cm), the height would have been 4.5 feet (1.35 m).

33 tn Heb “said.”

34 tn Heb “one who keeps the covenant and the loyal love.”

35 tn Heb “who walk before you with all their heart.”

36 tn Heb “[you] who kept to your servant David my father that which you spoke to him.”

37 tn Heb “you spoke by your mouth and by your hand you fulfilled, as this day.”

38 tn Heb “there will not be cut off from you a man from before me sitting on the throne of Israel.”

39 tn Heb “guard their way by walking in my law as you have walked before me.”

40 tn Or “prove to be reliable.”

41 tn Heb “Indeed, can God really live with mankind on the earth?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course not,” the force of which is reflected in the translation “God does not really live with mankind on the earth.”

42 tn Heb “turn to.”

43 tn Heb “by listening to.”

44 tn Heb “the loud cry and the prayer.”

45 tn Heb “praying before you.”

46 tn Heb “so your eyes might be open toward this house night and day, toward the place about which you said, ‘My name will be there.’”

47 tn Heb “by listening to the prayer which your servant is praying concerning this place.”

48 tn Heb “listen to the requests of your servant and your people Israel which they are praying concerning this place.”

49 tn Heb “hear and forgive.”

50 tn Heb “and if the man who sins against his neighbor when one takes up against him a curse to curse him and the curse comes before your altar in this house.”

51 tn Heb “and you, hear [from] heaven and act and judge your servants by repaying the guilty, to give his way on his head, and to declare the innocent to be innocent, to give to him according to his innocence.”

52 tn Or “are struck down before an enemy.”

53 tn Heb “confess [or perhaps, “praise”] your name.”

54 tn Heb “and they pray and ask for help.”

55 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 31, 38).

56 tn Heb “when.” In the Hebrew text vv. 26-27a actually contain one lengthy conditional sentence, which the translation has divided into two sentences for stylistic reasons.

57 tn Or “heavens” (also in v. 12). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

58 tn Heb “they.”

59 tn Heb “confess [or perhaps, “praise”] your name.”

60 tn The Hebrew text reads “because you answer them,” as if the verb is from עָנָה (’anah, “answer”). However, this reference to a divine answer is premature, since the next verse asks for God to intervene in mercy. It is better to revocalize the consonantal text as תְעַנֵּם (tÿannem, “you afflict them”), a Piel verb form from the homonym עָנָה (“afflict”).

61 tn The present translation understands כִּי (ki) in an emphatic or asseverative sense (“Certainly”). Other translation have “indeed” (NASB), “when” (NRSV), “so” (NEB), or leave the word untranslated (NIV).

62 tn Heb “the good way in which they should walk.”

63 tn Or “for an inheritance.”

64 tn Actually two Hebrew words appear here, both of which are usually (but not always) taken as referring to locusts. Perhaps different stages of growth or different varieties are in view, but this is uncertain. NEB has “locusts new-sloughed or fully grown”; NASB has “locust or grasshopper”; NIV has “locusts or grasshoppers”; NRSV has “locust, or caterpillar.”

65 tn Heb “in the land, his gates.”

66 tn Heb “every prayer, every request for help which will be to all the people, to all your people Israel.”

67 tn Heb “which they know, each his pain and his affliction.”

68 tn The words “their sin” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarification.

69 tn Heb “and act and give to each one according to all his ways because you know his heart.” In the Hebrew text vv. 28-30a actually contain one lengthy conditional sentence, which the translation has divided up for stylistic reasons.

70 tn Heb “Indeed you know, you alone, the heart of all the sons of mankind.”

71 tn Heb “fear.”

72 tn Heb “by walking in your ways.”

73 tn Heb “all the days [in] which.”

74 tn Heb “your great name.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor (thus the translation here, “your great reputation).

75 tn Heb “and your strong hand and your outstretched arm.”

76 tn Heb “and do all which the foreigner calls to [i.e., “requests of”] you.”

77 tn Heb “name.” See the note on “reputation” in v. 32.

78 tn Heb “fear.”

79 tn Heb “that your name is called over this house which I built.” The Hebrew idiom “call the name over” indicates ownership. See 2 Sam 12:28.

80 tn Heb “When your people go out for battle against their enemies in the way which you send them.”

81 tn Heb “toward this city which you have chosen and the house which I built for your name.”

82 tn Heb “their prayer and their request for help.”

83 tn Heb “and accomplish their justice.”

84 tn Heb “they”; the referent (God’s people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

85 tn Heb “they”; the referent (God’s people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

86 tn Or “stop and reflect”; Heb “bring back to their heart.”

87 tn Or “done wrong.”

88 tn Or “soul.”

89 tn Heb “your name.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor (thus the translation here, “your honor).

90 tn Heb “their prayer and their requests for help.”

91 tn Heb “and accomplish their justice.”

92 tn Heb “May your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.”

93 tn Heb “be clothed with deliverance.”

94 tn Heb “and may your loyal ones rejoice in good.”

95 tc Heb “do not turn away the face of your anointed ones.” Many medieval Hebrew mss, as well as the ancient versions, read the singular, “your anointed,” which would probably refer to Solomon specifically, rather than the people.



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