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2 Chronicles 6-9

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Introduction

We closed last week talking about the temple’s completion.
Solomon brought the things David dedicated into the sanctuary (5:1). Then he assembled all Israel to accompany the ark into the temple with great celebration. They could not even keep count of all of the sacrifices that were being made at this time as the ark was being brought into the temple along with the tabernacle of Moses and what it contained.
The whole celebration reached its climax as a cloud - the glory of the LORD - entered the temple as it did when Moses built the tabernacle.
God has kept his promise to David that his son was going to build the temple, and the LORD showed how pleased he was with these events by coming to dwell in the temple in the cloud. It is now in Jerusalem where the king, the ark, and the temple are all brought together, and Jerusalem is the place where God’s worship will now be centered. This is just a great time in Israelite history.
is fulfilling His covenant with David, and he is showing that this is the place where He desires His worship to be centered.

Chapters 6-9

Now as we come to chapters 6-9, we see the ceremonies to dedicate the temple.

Now that God has taken up residence in his house, Solomon responds in praise and prayer. His words fall into three parts:
a) prayer of response to the cloud of God’s glory (vv. 1–2);
b) testimony about God’s faithfulness to David’s house (vv. 3–11);
c) dedicatory prayer for the temple (vv. 12–42).
The first two sections look backward, praising God for keeping two promises—to dwell with his people (vv. 1–2; cf. e.g. ; ) and to establish Solomon on David’s throne (vv. 3–11; cf. ; ; ). The third looks forward to the prayers to be offered in and towards the temple.
So let’s look at the chapter in a little more detail. First, verses 1 and 2. These two verses are Solomon’s response to the appearance of the divine glory in the shape of a dark cloud. The cloud formerly had appeared at Sinai (; ; ). So Solomon is seeing that God now dwells, not in a place of total darkness that no one can approach or die such as Mount Sinai. All could come to the temple where God dwelt to find mercy from the LORD and worship him.
In verse 3, Solomon addresses the whole assembly of Israel before he offers his prayer of dedication for the temple. He blesses the LORD in the hearing of the people for His keeping of the promises he made to His father David. The promise to David is certainly the focus since Solomon mentions his father 6 times in these verses.
These two verses are Solomon’s response to the appearance of the divine glory in the shape of a dark cloud. The cloud formerly had appeared at Sinai (; ; ).
These verses reflect on the immediately preceding event, when God had demonstrated his approval of the king’s relocation of the ark in the new temple. The Lord’s words that he mentions, about dwelling “in a dark cloud,” refer to God’s presence on the top of Mount Sinai, shrouded in a cloud (; )
“Since the day I brought my people Israel out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city to build a temple in among any of the tribes of Israel, so that my name would be there, and I have not chosen a man to be ruler over my people Israel. But I have chosen Jerusalem so that my name will be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” ()
Now, with the completion of the temple, it was clear that God had chosen Jerusalem as the place for his Name to be, and David (and his dynasty) was appointed to rule God’s people forever.
Now this is not to say that there were not conditions to God remaining in the temple and David having a descendant on the throne. Solomons dedication prayer in verses 12-42 show that even at this time, Solomon knew that God’s people needed to be faithful to the covenant they made to God in order to remain in the land. Solomon talks about sin and captivity in his prayer and praying towards Jerusalem where the LORD put His name. He also talks about the condition regarding the promise to David that David’s descendants were required to obey GOd’s law if they wanted to remain on the throne (vs16)..
So with this said, the prayer in verses 12-42 is amazing. Unfortunately we don’t have the time to look at it in great detail. But you see in this prayer a king who knew the Lord wanted to bless His people and show mercy to His people.
In the first section of this prayer (verses 12-18), Solomon praises the LORD for fulfilling His promises and being willing to in a small way dwell among His people. Solomon understands God’s presence at the temple is just a thread of His presence and majesty. No temple or place on earth or in the creation could contain him.
The second section of this prayer (verses 19-42) focuses on requesting that God hear from Heaven the prayers that are offered towards Jerusalem and the temple and be willing to show mercy to His people as they return to Him.
Verses 19-21 — Request that God hears Solomons prayers offered towards the temple as well as a general request for the same for all of Israel.
Verses 22-23 — when a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath, he is to go to the altar in the temple. Taking an oath was a solemn act ordinarily accompanied by a self-maledictory curse. Lifting the hand toward heaven was the common gesture while making the oath (; ).
Verses 24-25 — When Israel loses in battle because they have sinned against the LORD and they return to God and pray for mercy
Then we have Solomon asking for God to hear the prayers of Israel as they respond positively to judgments that the LORD sends on the land. Verses 26-27, the LORD not allowing rain to come upon the land.
Verse 28 — Solomon refers to famine, pestilence, blight or mildew, locust, enemies besieging them while they are suffering plagues that were sent by the LORD.
Verses 32-33 — Solomon even asks that the LORD hear the prayers of foreigners who fear Him and pray towards Jerusalem. He asks the LORD to answer so the LORD would be glorified among the nations.
Verses 34-35 — When they pray as they go out to battle
Verses 36-39 — Solomon focuses a good section of HIs prayer on those who are taken into captivity because of sin and the people responding to the LORD in prayer and repentance. It is no surprise that the Chronicler recorded this part of the prayer for the captives who returned to Jerusalem. He in this is reminding them of the LORD’s mercy towards them in bringing them back into the land - back to where He placed His name.
This chapter shows us the central significance of the temple for post-exilic Israel.
First, the temple was a symbol of God’s sovereign rule promised to David’s family. By preserving Solomon’s request for God to go on keeping his promise to David (6:16–17), the Chronicler was giving a clear signal that even in his day, David’s kingdom still had a future.
Second, the temple was a reminder to the scattered post-exilic community, whether they were near to or far from Jerusalem (cf. v. 36), that it was God’s earthly dwelling-place and constituted a permanent invitation to confident prayer. The joining of these elements together amounts to a permanent invitation to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.

2 Chronicles 7

When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests were not able to enter the LORD’s temple because the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. 3 All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the LORD came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the LORD:

For he is good,

for his faithful love endures forever.

“When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests were not able to enter the LORD’s temple because the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD. 3 All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the LORD came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the LORD:
For he is good, for his faithful love endures forever.”
The LORD knows how to answer prayer! God answers Solomon’s prayer to hear him and Israel by showing that He did just that. He heard them and responded by burning up the sacrifices on the alar.
for his faithful love endures forever.
Chapter 7 is not only central to the message of Chronicles, but it is also one of the most important chapters in the Old Testament. It offers hope to any who call on the name of the Lord, even if they have incurred God’s wrath, because God’s desire is for full reconciliation. The overall theme of the chapter is given in verses 12-16, and this section contains one of the best-known verses in Chronicles (v. 14).
First, the temple was a symbol of God’s sovereign rule promised to David’s family. By preserving Solomon’s request for God to go on keeping his promise to David (6:16–17), the Chronicler was giving a clear signal that even in his day, David’s kingdom still had a future.
The chapter is in two sections, both of which are about answered prayer. The genuineness of God’s promise about forgiveness and healing (vv. 11–22) is confirmed and preceded by a very public and dramatic reply to Solomon’s prayer (vv. 1–10; cf. 14–22).
Second, the temple was a reminder to the scattered post-exilic community, whether they were near to or far from Jerusalem (cf. v. 36), that it was God’s earthly dwelling-place and constituted a permanent invitation to confident prayer. The joining of these elements together amounts to a permanent invitation to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.
But God here, in answering Solomon’s prayer, shows how attentive he was to Solomon’s words. He answers Solomon’s prayer in reverse order. In verses 12-16, He answers the section regarding Israel praying towards Jerusalem in times of repentance when God sends his plagues and judgments upon the people for their sins. Then in verses 17-19, he responds to the section of Solomon’s prayer about the promise He has given to David, and he includes a strong warning for Solomon and the descendants of David and Israel if they do not continue to follow His laws.
Let’s go ahead and read the Lord’s response:
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him:
I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice. [13] If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, [14] and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. [15] My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place. [16] And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there at all times.
[17] As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and ordinances, [18] I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel.
[19] However, if you turn away and abandon my statutes and my commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and bow in worship to them, [20] then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for my name I will banish from my presence; I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. [21] As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say: Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple? [22] Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and bowed in worship to them and served them. Because of this, he brought all this ruin on them. ()
Once again, there are some great applications and reasons for hope for those who returned from captivity in this response from the LORD. But this is also a key passage in this book. It is a pattern for Israel to remember, and we see instances within this book that Kings trusted in this promise of the LORD (compare 6:24-25 with (Jehoshaphat) or 6:36–39 with (Manasseh’s repentance))
with or vv. 36–39 with )
(cf. e.g. vv. 24–25 with or vv. 36–39 with )
There are also some practical applications for us also.
A passage like this shows that we should be praying for our leaders and for the people of our nation… But the main emphasis of our prayers needs to show, not our concerns for comfort and prosperity (that is not promised to us or to this nation), but for the souls of the lost people in our country and for the spread of the Gospel. That is what we see in this passage. We need to pray for all in our country so we can live before our authorities with godliness, dignity, and humble submission. But not only these things, Paul says that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
God cares about the details of His peoples’ prayers… It is really cool to compare Solomon’s prayer in ch6 to God’s answer here in ch7. I just gave a few examples in this lesson… You see how God heard every word of Solomon’s prayer. He heard Him and wanted to respond to the prayer of His servant. Examples like this show that God does indeed listen to the prayers of His people… He attentively listens to every word that His people pray…
God cares about the details of His peoples’ prayers… It is really cool to compare Solomon’s prayer in ch6 to God’s answer here in ch7. I just gave a few examples in this lesson… You see how God heard every word of Solomon’s prayer. He heard Him and wanted to respond to the prayer of His servant. Examples like this show that God does indeed listen to the prayers of His people… He attentively listens to every word that His people pray… (see parallels below).
exemplifies a pattern of God’s mercy to those who humble themselves and repent. We see all through scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, how God is willing to show mercy to those who repent and seek Him… God is willing to show mercy to even you and to me if we are willing to see our sin against Him, leave that sin, and confess our sin to Him.
· exemplifies a pattern of God’s mercy to those who humble themselves and repent. We see all through scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, how God is willing to show mercy to those who repent and seek Him… God is willing to show mercy to even you and to me if we are willing to see our sin against Him, leave that sin, and confess our sin to Him.
Parallels between chs 6&7:
6:19 to 7:12
6:26 to 7:13
6:28 to 7:13
6:24-26 to 7:14
6

The final section of Solomon’s reign (chs. 8–9) concentrates on the theme of praise for all that God has done for Solomon (see especially 9:8). This unit is clearly connected with the opening section about Solomon (), both of which deal with Solomon’s achievements and reputation that came to Him through the LORD’s blessing during his 40yr reign.
The final section of Solomon’s reign (chs. 8–9) concentrates on the theme of praise for all that God has done for Solomon (see especially 9:8). This unit is clearly connected with the opening section about Solomon (), both of which deal with Solomon’s achievements and reputation. The chief difference is that whereas the earlier chapters describe Solomon’s preparations in response to God’s revelation at Gibeon, now that work is fulfilled. The real subject of chapters 8–9, therefore, is what God achieved through Solomon, rather than Solomon’s own achievements.
We are told in verse one that these events followed the building of the temple. The details of chapter 8, concern people and building work in Israel, while chapter 9 is about Solomon’s external reputation and wealth.
both of which deal with Solomon’s achievements and reputation that came to Him through the LORD’s blessing.
The details of chapter 8, concern people and buildings in Israel, while chapter 9 is about Solomon’s external reputation.
Chapter 8 falls into three main categories:
vv. 1–6 Solomon’s building work. He built storage cities and military strongholds. (Hamath - see ) The whole land is included (v. 6b: cf. 7:8), particularly the north-west border with Tyre (v. 2), the north-east area adjoining Syria (vv. 3–4), and the south-east (vv. 5–6a). We do also see in v3 that Solomon, after the temple was built, was involved in some military campaigns.
The whole land is included (v. 6b: cf. 7:8), particularly the north-west border with Tyre (v. 2), the north-east area adjoining Syria (vv. 3–4), and the south-east (vv. 5–6a).
vv. 7–11 Role of foreigners in Solomon’s kingdom. Just as we are told in reference to preparing for the temple, Solomon put the foreigners who were still in the land to forced labor. This continued beyond the temple project. Early in his reign (), Solomon had married a daughter of “Pharaoh.” But despite the attendant prestige and political advantages, such marriages introduced foreign idolatries and, eventually, apostasy into Israel (11:1–4). At this point Solomon still retained enough spiritual sensitivity to keep her residence out of “places” made “holy.”
vv. 12–16 Temple ceremonies and personnel. Solomon was careful to maintain the organization of the priests, Levites, musicians, and others, in their twenty-four respective “divisions,” as these had been developed by David (; cf. 26).
Solomon was careful to maintain the organization of the priests, Levites, musicians, and others, in their twenty-four respective “divisions,” as these had been developed by David (; cf. 26).
Then the chapter closes in vv 17-18 with a summary of Solomon’s dealings w/ foreign rulers, which will continue into ch9. In the last couple verses of ch8, we have Hiram, King of Tyre sending ships containing experience seamen to retrieve a substantial amount of gold from Ophir for Solomon. These ships came to Solomon at Ezion-Geber, a major Israelite seaport along the shores of the Red Sea in the land of Edom.
We also have some information about what they brought on these ships in 9:10-11.

Then we see another foreign leader come to visit Solomon: the Queen of Sheba. (sheba was located at the southwestern point of the Arabian peninsula - modern day Yemen)
at the southwestern point of the Arabian peninsula
Jesus spoke of “Solomon in all his splendor” (), and documents his glorious rule with a series of historical illustrations: the visit he enjoyed from the queen of Sheba (vv.1–12); the revenue he obtained, together with the shields, throne, and other luxury items that this produced (vv.13–21); and the extent of the fame and power that he achieved (vv.22–28). The chapter concludes with a summary of his reign as a whole.
Jesus spoke of “Solomon in all his splendor” (), and documents his glorious rule with a series of historical illustrations: the visit he enjoyed from the queen of Sheba (vv.1–12); the revenue he obtained, together with the shields, throne, and other luxury items that this produced (vv.13–21); and the extent of the fame and power that he achieved (vv.22–28). The chapter concludes with a summary of his reign as a whole.
The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to test Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem with a very large entourage, with camels bearing spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones.
The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to test Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem with a very large entourage, with camels bearing spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones.
The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to test Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem with a very large entourage, with camels bearing spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones.
The things that she witnessed “took her breath away” (4). What she witnessed regarding Solomon and his kingdom was greater than what she had been told by others. She repeats the words of Hiram from chapter 2 when she says, “Because your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, he has set you over them as king”
She gives Solomon gifts in v9 — 4 1/2 tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones.
Verses 13-18 give a summary of the prosperity the LORD blessed Solomon with. Gold was in such abundance, silver was not needed in Israel (20). He surpassed all of the kings of the world in riches and wisdom.
The chapter closes by bringing Solomon’s life and reign to a close.
_____ ______ _______ ________ _______ _________ ________ ________
This chapter brings to a close the second main section of the Chronicles account. The first was . The second was the reigns of David and Solomon, which had the focus of God making and keeping His promises to David and blessing His two kings to build His temple. The final section of the book (), will now give an account of how the rest of the descendants of David lived up to the standard of David and how they are in regards to their faithfulness to God and His temple.
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