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In this chapter is an account of the Lord’s acceptance of the sacrifices offered at the dedication of the temple by fire, to the great surprise and encouragement of the people, ( 2 Chronicles 7:1-7), and of the feast kept on that account, and the feast of tabernacles, ( 2 Chronicles 7:8-12), and of the Lord’s appearance to Solomon, giving an answer to his prayer, ( 2 Chronicles 7:13-22).
Ver. 1 . Now when Solomon had made an end of praying , etc.] The prayer recorded in the preceding chapter: the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices ; which was the token God gave of his acceptance of them, of which there had been several instances before, ( Leviticus 9:24), ( Kings 18:38 1 Chronicles 21:26), and the glory of the Lord filled the house ; the glory of the Shechinah of the Lord, as the Targum, (see 1 Kings 8:11).
Ver. 2 . And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord , etc.] They went in to carry the ark thither, but not being able to stand to minister, they came out, and could not reenter: because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house ; both the holy place, and the holy of holies, (see 1 Kings 8:10,11).
Ver. 3 . And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down , etc.] From heaven upon the sacrifice, and consumed it, which was all visible to the eye; or it may be this was a distinct fire from the former, since it seems to have come down upon the house, and so may denote a bright, shining, glorious light; the same with what follows: and the glory of the Lord upon the house ; for not only the house was filled with the glory, but there was a bright stream of light and glory over it, very dazzling and surprising: they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement ; of the great court, where they were assembled: and worshipped and praised the Lord : worshipped him by praising him: saying, for he is good ; in his nature, promises, and blessings; is good, and does good: for his mercy endureth for ever ; this was the close of their song of praise.
Ver. 6 . And the priests waited on their offices , etc.] Performed them, some in offering sacrifices, others in blowing trumpets, as it may be explained from the latter part of the verse: the Levites also with instruments of music of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord ; under a divine direction, on which the Levites played to the songs of praise offered to the Lord, and by which they made music sacred to him: because his mercy endureth for ever ; which, as it was the close of their songs of praise, was the cause of them: when David praised by their ministry ; the songs sung being composed by him, and the instruments they played upon being of his invention, and used by his order: and the priests sounded trumpets before them ; or rather over against them, that is, over against the Levites, as they were singing and playing on the instruments of music: and all Israel stood ; while this sacred and delightful service was performing, they both stood up, and stood by the priests and Levites, and joined with them in praising the Lord.
Ver. 7-10. Moreover, Solomon hallowed the middle of the court , etc.] From hence, to the end of ( 2 Chronicles 7:10) is the same with ( Kings 8:64-66), only mention is made in ( 2 Chronicles 7:9) of the dedication of the altar, as if distinct from the dedication of the house, and hallowing the middle of the court, (see Numbers 7:10) in imitation of which the Heathens dedicated their altars, in which they used ashes and water, as Pausanias relates, and had also feasts, as here, at the dedication of their temples f24 , in which they have been imitated by Christians; and many of our country feasts, as they are called, were first kept at the dedication of churches to such and such a saint.
Ver. 12-22. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night , etc.] From hence, to the end of the chapter, much the same things are related as in ( 1 Kings 9:2-9), excepting ( 2 Chronicles 7:13-15) which contain an answer to the particular requests made by Solomon in case of a famine or pestilence, that when the people of Israel should humble themselves in prayer and supplication, the Lord would be attentive to them, and forgive them, ( 2 Chronicles 6:26-30) and which is given as a specimen, and as encouragement to expect the same treatment in all other cases mentioned in Solomon’s prayer, they so behaving.