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2 Chronicles 7

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven 1  and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the Lord’s splendor filled the temple. 7:2 The priests were unable to enter the Lord’s temple because the Lord’s splendor filled the Lord’s temple. 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire come down and the Lord’s splendor over the temple, they got on their knees with their faces downward toward the pavement. They worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, 2  “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!”

7:4 The king and all the people were presenting sacrifices to the Lord. 7:5 King Solomon sacrificed 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Then the king and all the people dedicated God’s temple. 7:6 The priests stood in their assigned spots, along with the Levites who had the musical instruments used for praising the Lord. 3  (These were the ones King David made for giving thanks to the Lord and which were used by David when he offered praise, saying, “Certainly his loyal love endures.”) 4  Opposite the Levites, 5  the priests were blowing the trumpets, while all Israel stood there. 7:7 Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that is in front of the Lord’s temple. He offered burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, 6  and the fat from the peace offerings there, because the bronze altar that Solomon had made was too small to hold all these offerings. 7  7:8 At that time Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated a festival for seven days. This great assembly included people from Lebo Hamath in the north to the Brook of Egypt in the south. 8  7:9 On the eighth day they held an assembly, for they had dedicated the altar for seven days and celebrated the festival for seven more days. 7:10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month, Solomon 9  sent the people home. They left 10  happy and contented 11  because of the good the Lord had done for David, Solomon, and his people Israel.

The Lord Gives Solomon a Promise and a Warning

7:11 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, and accomplished all his plans for the Lord’s temple and his royal palace, 12  7:12 the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: “I have answered 13  your prayer and chosen this place to be my temple where sacrifices are to be made. 14  7:13 When 15  I close up the sky 16  so that it doesn’t rain, or command locusts to devour the land’s vegetation, 17  or send a plague among my people, 7:14 if my people, who belong to me, 18  humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, 19  and repudiate their sinful practices, 20  then I will respond 21  from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 22  7:15 Now I will be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place. 23  7:16 Now I have chosen and consecrated this temple by making it my permanent home; 24  I will be constantly present there. 25  7:17 You must serve me as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 26  7:18 Then I will establish your dynasty, 27  just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor ruling over Israel.’ 28 

7:19 “But if you people 29  ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, 30  and decide to serve and worship other gods, 31  7:20 then I will remove you 32  from my land I have given you, 33  I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, 34  and I will make you 35  an object of mockery and ridicule 36  among all the nations. 7:21 As for this temple, which was once majestic, 37  everyone who passes by it will be shocked and say, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 7:22 Others will then answer, 38  ‘Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors, 39  who led them out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. 40  That is why he brought all this disaster down on them.’”

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1 tn Or “the sky.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

2 tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “and the priests were standing at their posts, and the Levites with the instruments of music of the Lord.”

4 tn Heb “which David the king made to give thanks to the Lord, for lasting is his loyal love, when David praised by them.”

5 tn Heb “opposite them”; the referent (the Levites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tc The Hebrew text omits reference to the grain offerings at this point, but note that they are included both in the list in the second half of the verse (see note on “offerings” at the end of this verse) and in the parallel account in 1 Kgs 8:64. The construction וְאֶת־הַמִּנְחָה (vÿet-hamminkhah; vav [ו] + accusative sign + noun with article; “grain offerings”) was probably omitted accidentally by homoioarcton. Note the וְאֶת (vÿet) that immediately follows.

7 tn Heb “to hold the burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.” Because this is redundant, the translation employs a summary phrase: “all these offerings.”

8 tn Heb “Solomon held the festival at that time for seven days, and all Israel was with him, a very great assembly from Lebo Hamath to the wadi of Egypt.”

9 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Solomon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn The words “they left” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn Heb “good of heart.”

12 tn Heb “and all that entered the heart of Solomon to do in the house of the Lord and in his house he successfully accomplished.”

13 tn Heb “I have heard.”

14 tn Heb “temple of sacrifice.” This means the Lord designated the temple as the place for making sacrifices, and this has been clarified in the translation.

15 tn Or “if.”

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

17 tn Heb “the land,” which stands here by metonymy for the vegetation growing in it.

18 tn Heb “over whom my name is called.” The Hebrew idiom “call the name over” indicates ownership. See 2 Sam 12:28.

19 tn Heb “seek my face,” where “my face” is figurative for God’s presence and acceptance.

20 tn Heb “and turn from their sinful ways.”

21 tn Heb “hear.”

22 sn Here the phrase heal their land means restore the damage done by the drought, locusts and plague mentioned in v. 13.

23 tn Heb “my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place.” Note Solomon’s request in 6:40.

24 tn Heb “for my name to be there perpetually [or perhaps, “forever”].”

25 tn Heb “and my eyes and my heart will be there all the days.”

26 tn Heb “As for you, if you walk before me, as David your father walked, by doing all which I commanded you, [and] you keep my rules and my regulations.”

sn Verse 17 is actually a lengthy protasis (“if” section) of a conditional sentence, the apodosis (“then” section) of which appears in v. 18.

27 tn Heb “I will establish the throne of your kingdom.”

28 tn Heb “there will not be cut off from you a man ruling over Israel.”

29 tn The Hebrew pronoun is plural, suggesting that Solomon and all Israel (or perhaps Solomon and his successors) are in view. To convey this to the English reader, the translation “you people” has been employed.

30 tn Heb “which I placed before you.”

31 tn Heb “and walk and serve other gods and bow down to them.”

32 tn Heb “them.” The switch from the second to the third person pronoun is rhetorically effective, for it mirrors God’s rejection of his people – he has stopped addressing them as “you” and begun addressing them as “them.” However, the switch is awkward and confusing in English, so the translation maintains the direct address style.

33 tn Heb “them.” See the note on “you” earlier in this verse.

34 tc Instead of “I will throw away,” the parallel text in 1 Kgs 9:7 has “I will send away.” The two verbs sound very similar in Hebrew, so the discrepancy is likely due to an oral transmissional error.

tn Heb “and this temple which I consecrated for my name I will throw away from before my face.”

35 tn Heb “him,” which appears in context to refer to Israel (i.e., “you” in direct address). Many translations understand the direct object of the verb “make” to be the temple (NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV “it”).

36 tn Heb “and I will make him [i.e., Israel] a proverb and a taunt,” that is, a proverbial example of destruction and an object of reproach.

37 tn Heb “and this house which was high/elevated.” The statement makes little sense in this context, which predicts the desolation that judgment will bring. Some treat the clause as concessive, “Even though this temple is lofty [now].” Others, following the lead of several ancient versions, emend the text to, “this temple will become a heap of ruins.”

38 tn Heb “and they will say.”

39 tn Heb “fathers.”

40 tn Heb “and they took hold of other gods and bowed down to them and served them.”

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