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2 Chronicles 6:24-39

Context

6:24 “If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 1  because they sinned against you, then if they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 2  and pray for your help 3  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. 4 

6:26 “The time will come when 5  the skies 6  are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 7  sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 8  and turn away from their sin because you punish 9  them, 6:27 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 10  you will then teach them the right way to live 11  and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 12 

6:28 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight, and disease, or a locust 13  invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 14  or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 6:29 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 15  as they acknowledge their intense pain 16  and spread out their hands toward this temple, 6:30 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 17  and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of their motives. 18  (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 19  6:31 Then they will honor 20  you by obeying you 21  throughout their lifetimes as 22  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 23  and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds; 24  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. 25  Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 26  obey 27  you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 28 

6:34 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 29  and they direct their prayers to you toward this chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 30  6:35 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 31  and vindicate them. 32 

6:36 “The time will come when your people 33  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 34  come to their senses 35  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 36 , we have done evil!’ 6:38 When they return to you with all their heart and being 37  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, 38  6:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help, 39  vindicate them, 40  and forgive your sinful people.

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

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

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

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

5 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.

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

7 tn Heb “they.”

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

9 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”).

10 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).

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

12 tn Or “for an inheritance.”

13 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.”

14 tn Heb “in the land, his gates.”

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

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

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

18 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.

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

20 tn Heb “fear.”

21 tn Heb “by walking in your ways.”

22 tn Heb “all the days [in] which.”

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

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

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

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

27 tn Heb “fear.”

28 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.

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

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

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

32 tn Heb “and accomplish their justice.”

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

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

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

36 tn Or “done wrong.”

37 tn Or “soul.”

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

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

40 tn Heb “and accomplish their justice.”



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