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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

2 Chronicles 5

 

 

Verse 1

V.

(1) Thus.—And. This verse is identical with 1 Kings 7:51. (The chronicler has made three slight corrections of the older text.)

Brought in all the things . . . dedicated.—Brought in the holy (or hallowed) things of David his father. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 18:11; 1 Chronicles 26:26-28.)

The implements.—Or, vessels. The word all is omitted by some MSS., and by the LXX., Syriac, and Arabic. “The holy things of David” are identical with “the silver and the gold and the vessels.”

THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE (2 Chronicles 5:2 to 2 Chronicles 7:22).

1. 2 Chronicles 5:2-14.

NATIONAL CEREMONY OF THE TRANSFER OF THE ARK INTO THE TEMPLE.
(Comp. 1 Kings 8:1-11.)

The chapter is an almost literal duplicate of the parallel text. The desire to explain and abridge accounts for such variations as are not due to the transcribers.


Verse 2

(2) The chief of the fathers.—Rather, the chiefs of the clans (father-houses). Vulg., “capita familiarum;” LXX., τοὺ ς ἠ γουμένους πατριῶν.

Elders . . . heads.—Or, sheikhs . . . ameers.

Zion.—Syr. and Arab., Hebron.

In the feast which was in the seventh month.—Heb., in the feast; that (is) the seventh month. The words “in the month of Ethanim” (Kings) have been accidentally omitted before the expression rendered “in the feast.” The Authorised version suggests another mode of emending the text. (Comp. Nehemiah 8:14.) Syr., “in the month of the fruits (’ebbô) of the feast of Tabernacles; that is the seventh month.” The LXX. had the present faulty Hebrew.


Verse 4

(4) The Levites.—Kings has the priests; and so Syr. and Arab, here; but LXX. and Vulg., Levites. The latter term, as the tribal name, may of course be used to include the priests or Aaronites, as well as their inferior brethren. 2 Chronicles 5:7 shows that the priests are intended here.


Verse 5

(5) These did the priests and the Levites bring up.—Heb., the priests the Levites (which some explain “the Levitical priests,” as in Joshua 3:3) brought them up. But some Hebrew MSS. LXX., and Syriac, read “the priests and the Levites;” Arab., “the Levites and the priests;” and Vulg., “the priests with the Levites.” Above all, 1 Kings 8:4 has, “And the priests and the Levites brought them up.” It appears, therefore, that the conjunction is rightly supplied by the Authorised Version.


Verse 6

(6) Assembled.—(Nô‘ad, to meet at an appointed time and place, Exodus 25:22). Not the same word as in 2 Chronicles 5:2-3 (qâhal), of which the root meaning is probably to call together.

Before the ark.—By the omission of a single Hebrew word [’ittô] before this phrase, the whole form of the sentence is altered from that of Kings. There we read “(were) with him before the Ark sacrificing,” &c.

Sacrificed.—Were sacrificing.

And the priests . . .—The verse is wholly identical with 1 Kings 8:6 (see Notes there).


Verse 8

(8) For the cherubims spread forth their wings.—Rather, And the cherubim were spreading forth wings. Kings has for (kî); making the sentence an explanation of the last clause of 2 Chronicles 5:7.

Covered.—Kings has the technical term for the cherubim “covering” the ark (Exodus 25:20; 1 Chronicles 28:18). In Hebrew writing, the difference is marked by the transposition of a single letter. Perhaps, therefore, our present reading is a clerical error.


Verse 9

(9) And they drew out . . . were seen.—Rather, And the staves were so long that the tips of the staves were seen. &c.

From the ark.—1 Kings 8:8, “from the Holy Place.” So the LXX. and four Hebrew MSS. The priests in the great hall could see the tips of the staves projecting within the Holy of Holies; but persons outside (“without”) of the great hall could not see them.

And there it is unto this day.—And it (the ark) remained there unto this day. So Vulg., “fuit itaque arca ibi.” LXX., Syr., Targ., Arab., They—i.e., the poles were there; and so some Heb. MSS., and 1 Kings 8:8. This is no doubt right. A letter has fallen out of the Hebrew text. That the chronicler has preserved this remark without modification to suit altered circumstances, and indeed that the compiler of Kings did the same long before him, is a striking instance of the way in which Oriental historiographers are content to borrow with literal exactitude from the works of predecessors, even in cases where such borrowing appears to the modern mind infelicitous.


Verse 10

(10) Put therein.—Heb., which Moses put—in Horeb. Kings is fuller and clearer: which Moses placed there in Horeb. The chronicler has substituted “put” for “placed;” perhaps remembering Exodus 40:20 : “And he put the testimony into the ark.” The word shâm, “there” or “therein,” has fallen out of the text.

When the Lord made a covenant.—Which (the two Tables i.e., the Covenant) the Lord covenanted with the sons of Israel. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 6:11 : “the Ark wherein is the covenant of the Lord,” 1 Kings 8:21.)


Verse 11

(11) For all the priests.—From this point to “for his mercy endureth for ever,” 2 Chronicles 5:13, the narrative is peculiar to the chronicler. He has characteristically inserted between the two halves of the short verse (1 Kings 8:10) a long parenthesis, dwelling upon the Levitical ministrations.

That were present.—That could be found. So Vulg. (Comp. 2 Kings 19:4.)

Were sanctified.—Had sanctified (or purified) themselves, for the purpose of taking part in the ceremony (1 Chronicles 15:12).

And did not then wait by course.—They had not to observe courses (1 Chronicles 24). Not merely the class of priests then on duty, but all the classes indiscriminately took part in the solemnity.


Verse 12

(12) All of them of Asaph . . . brethren.—Heb., to all of them, to Asaph, to Heman, &c., &c., and to their sons, and to their brethren. This use of the particle le (to, for) is characteristic of the chronicler, whose style in these verses stands in marked contrast with the former part of the chapter. As to the Levitical guilds of musicians, comp. 1 Chronicles 25:1-7; 1 Chronicles 15:16, seq.

Arrayed in white linen.—1 Chronicles 15:27.

Having cymbals and psalteries and harps.—With cymbals and nebels and kinnors (harps and lutes, or guitars). (See 1 Chronicles 15:28.)

Stood at the east end of the altar.—Were standing east of the altar.

And with them . . . trumpets.—And with them priests, to a hundred and twenty, were trumpeting with trumpets. (See 1 Chronicles 15:24.)

An hundred and twenty.—Thus five to each of the twenty-four classes of the priests.

The mark of parenthesis should be cancelled.


Verse 13

(13) It came even to pass . . . thanking the Lord.—And the trumpeters and the minstrels were to sound aloud, as one man, with one sound, in order to praise and thank the Lord. This ends the parenthesis-

Their voice with the trumpets.—Rather, A sound with trumpets, &c.

And praised the Lord, saying, For he is good.—For this common liturgical formula see 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Chronicles 16:41.

That then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord.—Omit that (1 Kings 8:10). “Then the cloud filled the house of the Lord.” The LXX. reads, “with the cloud of the glory of the Lord; “the Vulg. simply, “so that the house of God was filled with a cloud.” (The Syriac and Arabic omit 2 Chronicles 5:12-13.) The unpointed Heb. text might be rendered, “the house was filled with the cloud of the house of the Lord;” but the Authorised Version is preferable; the phrase, “the house of the Lord,” being added as a sort of climax. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 4:21, ad fin.) So Reuss, “Le temple se remplit d’une nuée, le temple de l’ Eternel.” The emphatic word is Jehovah, of whose presence the bright cloud was the standing token.


Verse 14

(14) House of God.—Kings, “house of the Lord.” See 1 Kings 8:11, and 2 Chronicles 7:2, infra.

Stand to minister.—Take their places, or approach to minister (2 Chronicles 6:12). The Syriac adds here, “Ended is the first half of the Chronicles.” Before 2 Chronicles 6 it writes, “The second half of the Book of Chronicles.”

 


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Bibliography Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 5:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-chronicles-5.html. 1905.

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