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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

2 Chronicles 7

 

 

Verses 1-22

GOD'S GLORIOUS ANSWER

(vv.1-3)

God wonderfully demonstrated His approval of the temple and of Solomon's prayer by sending fire from heaven to consume the burnt offering and the sacrifices (spoken of in ch.5:6), and filled the temple with His glory (vv.1-2). When the children of Israel saw this. they were prostrated in lowly worship, praising the Lord, and particularly emphasising "For He is good, for His mercy endures forever" (v.3). This was a wonderful beginning of a new era in Israel's history, though it is sorrowful that the freshness of joy in the Lord very soon wore off, so that both Solomon and Israel departed far from their early condition.

THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE

(vv.4-11)

The Lord had accepted the offerings without number (ch.5:6;7:1) by sending fire to consume them, and now in order to dedicate the temple Solomon and the people offered 22,000 bulls and 20,000 sheep. The priests would have abundant work to do with these offerings, and the Levites accompanied this by playing musical instruments that David had introduced when offering praise to the Lord (v.6).

Since the copper altar was not large enough to accommodate all the offerings, Solomon consecrated the middle of the court in front of the temple, to offer the burnt offerings (v.7).

Keeping the feast for a full week, they ended this with a special assembly on the eighth day before Solomon sent the people to their homes on the 23rd day of the seventh month (v.16). This feast therefore (the Feast of Tabernacles) pictured the coming glory of the millennial blessing of Israel, though the joy at that time, great as it was, did not last long compared to the joy of the Lord's reign in the millennium.

Though they were long in building, both the temple and the house of Solomon were eventually finished (v.11). The work was not in vain, as is sometimes the case with those who have not before counted the cost, but what God builds is always perfectly finished. The temple pictures the Father's house in glory, while Solomon's house is a picture of the Church in her condition and circumstances on earth, where God's order is to be maintained among His saints.

THE LORD'S SECOND APPEARANCE TO SOLOMON

(vv.12-22)

The Lord had first appeared to Solomon (ch.1:7) to offer him what he might ask. Now He appears to assure him that He has heard his prayer and to encourage him to put God first in the rule of his kingdom. This was the same night after the dedication, and the Lord sought to impress on Solomon the importance of single hearted obedience to His Word. He had chosen the temple for Himself as a house of sacrifice and He would have special consideration for those who looked toward the temple.

The Lord then spoke of specifically answering Solomon's prayer in regard to His governmental chastening of Israel by His withholding rain or sending locusts or pestilence. If Israel would humble themselves and pray, seeking God's face, turning from the evil of their ways, then God would indeed hear from heaven, forgive them and heal their land (vv.13-14).

God affirms again that He had both chosen and sanctified the temple. that is, He had set it apart for Himself, that His name might be there forever, His eyes and His heart there perpetually (v.16). Yet after this the temple was destroyed and there has been no temple in Jerusalem for centuries! Why is this? Because Israel was guilty of themselves desecrating the temple. Though it was rebuilt in the days of Ezra, then destroyed again and rebuilt by Herod, the Lord Jesus declared before His crucifixion, when His disciples showed him the buildings of the temple, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:1-2). This was fulfilled before long, and Israel has been without any temple for nearly 2000 years!

But God anticipated all this even in 2 Chronicles 7:1-22, for he speaks conditionally to Solomon in verse 17 and the verses following. "As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all the I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David. But if Solomon turned away, forsaking the commandments of the Lord and serving and worshipping other gods, he could expect God's serious judgment in uprooting Israel from the land, casting the temple out of His sight, making it a proverb and byword among all the nations.

Was such a warning necessary for Solomon? Absolutely so! For he very soon fell into the trap of marrying many women of foreign nations and adopting the false worship of their various idols (1 Kings 11:1-8). Eventually the judgment of God fell on Israel for this: their land became desolate, their temple was destroyed and the people taken captive by the Babylonians. Then indeed everyone who observed the ruin of the land and the temple were astonished and questioned why the Lord had done this after expressing His approval of the house and greatly blessing Israel (v.21).

Solomon was warned then that the answer would be, "Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity upon them" (v.22). Yet Second Chronicles does not speak of Solomon's shameful failure in turning from the Lord as does 1 Kings, for Chronicles emphasises the grace of God rather than His government as in the books of Kings.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/2-chronicles-7.html. 1897-1910.

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