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FRAMEWORKS: 2 Chronicles

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Chronicles 7: Dedication of the temple & a serious warning

 

[Introductory Notes: The temple building has been finished and the glory of the Lord fills it [ch.6 & v.1]. Now Solomon and his people offer sacrifices to dedicate the Temple to the Lord, following which the Lord comes to Solomon at night and lays down conditions for blessing and a strong warning against disobedience.

The tragedy is played down in Chronicles by the recorder but is seen in the stark contrast between 1 Kings 10 – the visit of the Queen of Sheba, seen here in chapter 9 – and 1 Kings 11 displaying Solomon's incredible folly in going after the gods of his many wives, which receives the Lord's rebuke and division of the kingdom. After a reign of immense blessing, the sinfulness of [all] mankind is revealed in this man. What a tragic warning to all!]

 

PART ONE: v.1-10: Dedication of the Temple

 

v.1-3 The Presence & Power of God comes

v.1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

v.2  The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.

v.3  When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord , saying,

‘He is good;
     his love endures for ever.'

 

v.4-7 Solomon's dedication of the temple

v.4  Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord .

v.5  And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God.

v.6  The priests took up their positions, as did the Levites with the Lord 's musical instruments, which King David had made for praising the Lord and which were used when he gave thanks, saying, ‘His love endures for ever.' Opposite the Levites, the priests blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing.

v.7  Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord , and there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat portions.

 

v.8-10 The Celebration continues for three weeks

v.8  So Solomon observed the festival at that time for seven days , and all Israel with him – a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt.

v.9  On the eighth day they held an assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days more.

v.10  On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel.

 

PART TWO: v.11-22: The Lord appears to Solomon

 

v.11 The Lord comes to Solomon

v.11  When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace,

 

v.12-14 The Lord's ‘formula' for dealing with sin

v.12  the Lord appeared to him at night and said:

‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.

v.13  ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,

v.14   if my people, who are called by my name, will [i] humble themselves and [ii] pray and [iii] seek my face and [iv] turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

v.15,16 This place where God receives their prayers

v.15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

v.16  I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there for ever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

 

v.17-21a Conditions of blessing and a serious warning

v.17  ‘As for you, if [i] you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and [ii] do all I command, and [iii] observe my decrees and laws,

v.18  [Then] I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, “You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.”

v.19 But if [i] you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and [ii] go off to serve other gods and worship them,

v.20  then [i] I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and [ii] will reject this temple which I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

v.21  [iii] This temple will become a heap of rubble.

 

v.21b,22 The world will see and know

All who pass by will be appalled and say, “Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?”

v.22  People will answer, “Because they have forsaken the Lord , the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshipping and serving them – that is why he brought all this disaster on them.”'

   

Continue to Ch.8