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2Ch 6:1-41. SOLOMON BLESSES THE PEOPLE AND PRAISES GOD.
1. The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness--This introduction to Solomon's address was evidently suggested by the remarkable incident recorded at the close of the last chapter: the phenomenon of a densely opaque and uniformly shaped cloud, descending in a slow and majestic manner and filling the whole area of the temple. He regarded it himself, and directed the people also to regard it, as an undoubted sign and welcome pledge of the divine presence and acceptance of the building reared to His honor and worship. He referred not to any particular declaration of God, but to the cloud having been all along in the national history of Israel the recognized symbol of the divine presence (Ex 16:10; 24:16; 40:34; Nu 9:15; 1Ki 8:10, 11).
13. Solomon had made a brazen scaffold--a sort of platform. But the
Hebrew term rendered "scaffold," being the same as that used to
designate the basin, suggests the idea that this throne might bear some
resemblance, in form or structure, to those lavers in the temple, being
a sort of round and elevated pulpit, placed in the middle of the court,
and in front of the altar of burnt offering.
18-21. how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant--No person who entertains just and exalted views of the spiritual nature of the Divine Being will suppose that he can raise a temple for the habitation of Deity, as a man builds a house for himself. Nearly as improper and inadmissible is the idea that a temple can contribute to enhance the glory of God, as a monument may be raised in honor of a great man. Solomon described the true and proper use of the temple, when he entreated that the Lord would "hearken unto the supplications of His servant and His people Israel, which they should make towards this place." In short, the grand purpose for which the temple was erected was precisely the same as that contemplated by churches--to afford the opportunity and means of public and social worship, according to the ritual of the Mosaic dispensation--to supplicate the divine mercy and favor--to render thanks for past instances of goodness, and offer petitions for future blessings (see on 1Ki 8:22). This religious design of the temple--the ONE temple in the world--is in fact its standpoint of absorbing interest.
22. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house, &c.--In cases where the testimony of witnesses could not be obtained and there was no way of settling a difference or dispute between two people but by accepting the oath of the accused, the practice had gradually crept in and had acquired the force of consuetudinary law, for the party to be brought before the altar, where his oath was taken with all due solemnity, together with the imprecation of a curse to fall upon himself if his disavowal should be found untrue. There is an allusion to such a practice in this passage.
38. If they return to thee . . . in the land of their captivity . . . and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers--These words gave rise to the favorite usage of the ancient as well as modern Jews, of turning in prayer toward Jerusalem, in whatever quarter of the world they might be, and of directing their faces toward the temple when in Jerusalem itself or in any part of the holy land (1Ki 8:44).
41. arise, O Lord God into thy resting-place--These words are not found
in the record of this prayer in the First Book of Kings; but they occur
which is generally believed to have been composed by David, or rather
by Solomon, in reference to this occasion. "Arise" is a very suitable
expression to be used when the ark was to be removed from the
tabernacle in Zion to the temple on Mount Moriah.
42. turn not away the face of thine anointed--that is, of me, who
by Thy promise and appointment have been installed as king and ruler of
Israel. The words are equivalent in meaning to this: Do not reject my
present petitions; do not send me from Thy throne of grace dejected in
countenance and disappointed in heart.