2 Chronicles Chapter 6
The words with which chapter five begins are the same as (1 Kings 7:51). And what is contained in that and chapter six is much the same with (1 Kings 8:1, on which see the notes); The blessing of Solomon on the people of Israel, which is there, is here omitted, and two verses are here added (much the same with Psalm 132:8).
Verses 1-11 (see the note on 1 Kings 8:12-21).
2 Chronicles 6:1 “Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”
The building of the temple not only represented the fulfillment of God’s promises to David but also to Abraham (Gen. 13:14-17). For Solomon to build “I have built an house of habitation” for God, a permanent dwelling place, required that the people fully possess the land.
Solomon had to remind these people, that this smoke and darkness was the presence of the LORD. It had been over 400 years since the LORD had led them through the wilderness, in a smoke by day and a fire by night.
2 Chronicles 6:2 “But I have built a house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.”
It is of great consequence in all our religious actions that we design well, and that our eye be single. If Solomon had built this temple in the pride of his heart, as Ahasuerus made his feast, only to show the riches of his kingdom and the honor of his majesty, it would neither have glorified God nor have turned to his own advantage. But he here declares on what inducements he undertook it, and they are such as not only justify, but magnify the undertaking. The reader will recollect that this whole prayer occurs in (1 Kings chapter 8). And that it has been explained at length in the notes there.
This was Solomon speaking to the LORD. Solomon’s desire was for the LORD to make His home in the temple in Jerusalem. Solomon saw the temple as a permanent dwelling, unlike the tabernacle which moved from place to place.
Verses 3-11: As Solomon blessed the people, he led them in thanking the Lord for His promises “fulfilled” and His power alone (2 Sam. 7:5-16; 1 Chron. Chapter 17). The phrase “with His hands” means “by His power”.
2 Chronicles 6:3 “And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood.”
Reading between the lines, this verse shows us that the face of Solomon had been turned to the symbol of God’s presence, while he addressed to him the words of our second verse, since he now faces round to the assembly of the congregation. What words Solomon used in thus blessing the whole congregation are not given either here or in the parallel.
The dedication of the temple had begun. The people were assembled. Solomon spoke a blessing on the entire congregation. The congregation stood in honor of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 6:4 “And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled [that] which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying,”
The impression one takes, is that the blessing was, in fact, wrapped up tacitly in all that Solomon recounts, when he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel”, etc. However, it is not impossible that, with the variation of the tense in (verse 59), the verses of (1 Kings 8:55 – 61), may contain the substance of it, if not itself.
“Who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David”: R.V. (Revised Version), which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hands fulfilled it.
Solomon began by praising the LORD for keeping covenant with David. He had promised David that his son, Solomon, would build the temple. Now it was a fact. Solomon was overwhelmed by the LORD who does exactly what He says He will.
2 Chronicles 6:5 “Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build a house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:”
“My people Israel out of Egypt.” (Compare 2 Chron. 5:10).
“I chose no city … neither chose I any man”: The tabernacle and all it contained had but travelled from place to place, and rested at temporary halting-places. And from Moses’ time all the leaders of the people Israel had been men in whom vested no permanent and no intrinsic authority (1 Sam. 16:1-15; 2 Sam. 24:18-25).
The Chronicler regards Saul as rejected rather than chosen (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
2 Chronicles 6:6 “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.”
See again references of preceding verses (2 Sam. 7:8; Psalm 78:70).
These are the Words and the exact statement that the LORD had made to David. It is interesting to me, that after over 400 years of living in the Promised Land, the LORD decided to choose a man to lead His people and a city to dwell in upon the earth. Jerusalem would be known as the city of God.
Verses 7-9: Although David was not the one to build the temple, these words would have encouraged him. If one’s dream has been set aside by God, it is not a signal to quit but to continue pursuing Him and whatever good He has waiting in the days ahead (see 2 Sam. 7:2, 10-16; 1 Chron. 22:9-10; 28:2-7.)
2 Chronicles 6:7 “Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.”
Compare (1 Chron. 17:1-2; 22:7).
It was pleasing to God that David wanted to build Him a house. David loved the LORD with all of his heart. God did not allow him to build the house, because he was a bloody king. David loved the LORD so much, however, that he gathered much of the material to finish the work before his death.
2 Chronicles 6:8 “But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build a house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:”
The words with which Solomon celebrates this wondrous evidence of the divine favor, entirely coincide with the narrative in (1 Kings 8:12-21). Except that in (2 Chronicles 6:5), the actual words of Solomon’s speech are more completely given in (1 Kings 8:16). Where the words, “and I have not chosen a man to be prince over my people Israel, and I have chosen Jerusalem that my name might be there,” are omitted.
For the commentary on this address, see at (1 Kings 8:12-21).
2 Chronicles 6:9 “Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.”
“Thou shalt not build”: With stress on the pronoun.
“But thy son”: Hebrew, for thy son; so LXX. Kings, “but;” and so some manuscripts and the Syriac, Vulgate, and Arabic here (otherwise the whole verse is as in Kings).
“He shall build the house for my name”: Thus, one sows and another reaps: and one age begins that which the next brings to perfection. And let not the wisest of men think it any disparagement to them to pursue the good designs which those that went before them had formed. And to build on their foundation.
The LORD counted it as if David had built the temple, because it had been the desire of his heart to do this. God judges the heart of mankind. The temple in the heart of David was built by his son Solomon. Solomon did one of the most spectacular things of his time by the building of the temple, but David got even more credit for the building of it from God, because it was the desire of his heart.
2 Chronicles 6:10 “The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.”
The words with which Solomon celebrates this wondrous evidence of the divine favor, entirely coincide with the narrative in (1 Kings 8:12-21), except that in (2 Chron. 6:5). The actual words of Solomon’s speech are more completely given than in (1 Kings 8:16), where the words, “and I have not chosen a man to be prince over my people Israel, and I have chosen Jerusalem that my name might be there,” are omitted. For the commentary on this address (see 1 Kings 8:12-21).
2 Chronicles 6:11 “And in it have I put the ark, wherein [is] the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel.”
“The covenant of the Lord”: The mosaic law written on tablets of stone (compare 5:10).
Solomon could have boasted of all of the finery that had been put in the temple at his command. His wisdom gave all of the credit for the building of the temple to his father David, and even further to the LORD who kept His Word. Solomon was aware that he was king, because God ordained it. The Ark symbolized the presence of God. The ten commandments represented the covenant God had made with His people.
Verses 12-14 (see note on 1 Kings 8:22-53). As Solomon led his people in prayer, he asked God to help them in many situations:
(1) Crime (verses 22-23);
(2) Enemy attacks (verses 24-25);
(3) Drought (verses 26-27);
(4) Famine (verses 28-31);
(5) Foreigners (verses 32-33);
(6) War (verses 34-35);
(7) Sin (verses 36-39).
Verses 12-39 (see the note on 1 Kings 8:22-53). The closing portion of the prayer (as recorded in 1 Kings), contains a restatement of the fact that Israel was truly God’s special people (compare Exodus 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18). Solomon’s closing benediction on this occasion is also recorded (see the note on 1 Kings 8:54-61).
2 Chronicles 6:12 “And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:”
(Compare 1 Kings 8:22-53).
The whole is given as in Kings, save that one verse (2 Chron. 6:13), is added, and the inspired prayer (2 Chron. 6:40-42), is quite different.
“Stood”: Took his place. It is not implied that he remained standing (compare 1 Sam. 17:51; 2 Chron. 6:3).
“Spread forth his hands”: Towards heaven (Kings). Syriac and Arabic have both.
2 Chronicles 6:13 “For Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,”
When Solomon “kneeled down” in front of all the people and humbly raised “his hands” toward heaven, his posture revealed his understanding that God should be worshiped by all, even the king. Solomon, in an unusually humbling act for a king, acknowledged God’s sovereignty.
This scaffold of brass symbolized judgement. Solomon had bowed on this scaffold and raised both hands to heaven as if to say to the LORD, judge me for our effort of the temple. His bowing and raising of his hands, both showed that he had humbled himself before the LORD. This mighty king was not ashamed to kneel to God before this entire congregation. In the next few verses, we read one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible.
2 Chronicles 6:14 “And said, O LORD God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and [showest] mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:”
“No God like thee”: The quoting of Scripture and the utilizing of language in which the religious feeling of those who have gone before has expressed itself had plainly set in (Exodus 15:11-12; Deut. 7:9).
“In the heaven nor in the earth”: Abridged from “in the heaven above, and upon the earth beneath” (Kings). Syriac, “Thou art the Lord that sittest in heaven above, and Thy will is done on earth beneath;” apparently a curious reminiscence of the Lord’s Prayer.
“Which keepest covenant and showest mercy”: Literally, keeping the covenant and the mercy; i.e., the covenanted mercy (compare Isa. 55:3).
“With thy servant”: Hebrew, for; (so in 2 Chron. 6:16). The verse is word for word as in Kings.
This prayer begins as all prayers to God should, by recognizing the omnipotence of God. He was recognizing God as the self-existent One, the ONLY TRUE GOD.
2 Chronicles 6:15 “Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled [it] with thine hand, as [it is] this day.”
This was thanksgiving to God for the things He had done in the past. This spoke of God keeping His Word always.
2 Chronicles 6:16 “Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.”
“There shall not fail thee”: etc. (see 2 Sam. 7:12; 1 Kings 2:4; 6:12).
“Yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law”: etc. (see Psalm 132:12).
His prayer to God was that the blessings of the covenant would not end with David, but would continue on forever. He was asking that his descendants, as well as David’s, would sit upon the throne of Israel as God had promised if they kept His commandments.
2 Chronicles 6:17 “Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.”
“Let thy word be verified”: Or promise (2 Chron. 6:10; 6:15; see 1 Chron. 17:9-13).
“Unto thy servant David”: Hebrew, to thy servant, to David. Kings, “to thy servant David my father.”
This was a request for God to hear and answer the prayers of the Israelites, just as He had heard and answered David’s prayers. Let them know that you are Truth, as David did.
2 Chronicles 6:18 “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”
Solomon marveled that God would condescend to live there (compare John 1:14; Col. 2:9).
Solomon was praying in praise and wonder at the idea that God would consider to come so near to His people. God did not need the temple for Himself, but the people needed the temple as a physical reminder of “God with us” (Isa. 66:1; Acts 7:49). Later, however, Jeremiah would warn Israel that they could not continue to sin just because God’s temple was in Jerusalem (Jer. 7:4-8).
There was a sudden awareness of the omnipresence of God by Solomon here. He was suddenly aware of the greatness of God that could not be contained by the world that was His creation.
Verses 19-20: Solomon’s prayer that the “eyes” of God “may be open” and that He “hearken unto the prayer” of his servant echoed the words of his father, David (in Psalm 34:15). Solomon and David knew that building a temple did not obligate God to dwell there; however, God honored their sincere worship by filling the temple with His presence and accepting the praise and prayers of the people.
2 Chronicles 6:19 “Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee:”
“Prayer … and to his supplication”: “Supplication” as distinguished from “prayer” is prayer for favor.
2 Chronicles 6:20 “That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.”
“Upon”: Unto or toward. “Day and night” (as in Psalm 1:2). Kings, “night and day” (as in Isa. 27:3); for which the chronicler has substituted a more usual phrase. The Syriac and Arabic follow Kings.
“This house …. the place whereof”: This place (see Exodus 29:43; Deut. 12:5; 14:23; 15:20; 16:2).
“Which thy servant prayeth”: R.V., which thy servant shall pray. Solomon refers in this verse to future prayers, not (as in 2 Chron. 6:19), to the prayer he is now praying.
Solomon believed that God heard David’s prayers and answered them. He also knew that God had answered prayers for him in the past. This was a plea for God to continue hearing his prayers, and the prayers of His people. They would pray toward the temple, because they knew the presence of the LORD was there.
2 Chronicles 6:21 “Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, [even] from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.”
“Hearken to the supplication of thy people”: etc. He asks not that God would help them without their praying for themselves, but that God would help them in answer to their prayers. Even Christ’s intercession does not supersede, but encourages our supplications (2 Chron. 6:21).
“From thy dwelling place, even from heaven”: Here as in (2 Chron. 6:18), Solomon refuses to regard the Temple as Jehovah’s “dwelling place” (compare 2 Chron. 2:6).
Solomon suddenly was aware that he was what he was, because God made him that. He knew that prayer was man’s way of communicating with God. Solomon plead with God to listen to the earnest prayers of His people. He knew that all men sin, so he asked God to forgive His people and answer their prayers.
Verses 22-23: The temple reflected the character of God, and Solomon prayed that the people would too. The church today and God’s people today, as the temple of God (Eph. 2:19-21), and the temple of the Holy Spirit respectively, should reflect God’s justice, mercy, and forgiveness so others may know and worship Him.
2 Chronicles 6:22 “If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house;”
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 a higher 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.
“And an oath be laid upon him to make him swear”: This verse is explained by (Exodus 22:9-11; Lev. 6:1-5). The case of ordeal by self-purgation of oath is supposed. And the oath come. The Septuagint translates here, “and he come and declare by oath,” etc.
2 Chronicles 6:23 “Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.”
“From heaven”: In Kings, we have not the preposition. Perhaps the meaning there is “to heaven,” as in (2 Chron. 6:30). The chronicler has substituted a more ordinary expression, which, indeed, is found in all the versions of Kings. Similarly, in (2 Chron. 6:25; 6:30; 6:33; 6:35; 6:39).
Revised Version: Requiting the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
Now we see specific prayer requests. This was also a recognition that only God Himself, knows who is right in such a situation. Solomon asked God to punish the guilty Himself.
2 Chronicles 6:24 “And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;”
“And if thy people Israel be put to the worse”: See margin. Kings has a different construction, “when thy people Israel are smitten” (compare 2 Chron. 6:26).
Verses 24 (see Lev. 26:3, 17, 33, 40; Deut. 27:7, 27:25; 4:27, 4:29-31; 28:64-68; 30:1-20).
2 Chronicles 6:25 “Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.”
Verse 25 (see Lev. 26:3, 17, 33, 40; Deut. 27:7, 27:25; 4:27, 4:29-31; 28:64-68; 30:1-20).
Revised Version: from heaven (as in 2 Chron. 6:23).
We see a recognition by Solomon of why Israel would lose a war. Their sin would bring defeat upon them. We also see the only solution to this problem was to repent and return to God. Solomon asked God to never weary in forgiving His people, when they repented and asked for forgiveness. We know from these Bible studies that God did answer this prayer, and is even today still answering this prayer. They have sinned and been scattered many times. God had forgiven them, when they repented and gave them back their land.
2 Chronicles 6:26 “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; [yet] if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;”
“No rain”: (see 1 Kings 17:1; Lev. 26:19; Deut. 11:17; 28:23).
“When thou dost afflict them”: Render (with Revised Version manuscript and Peshitta), because thou answerest them. Israel “confesses God’s name” because God answers the prayer of penitence.
2 Chronicles 6:27 “Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.”
Rather, (to), heaven or (in), heaven, as in Kings (compare note on 2 Chron. 6:23). The versions read “from heaven.”
“When thou hast taught them the good way”: Or, seeing thou hast taught them the good way, or instructed them in the knowledge of thyself, and of the worship and service in which thou delightest.
Solomon knew these people were a rebellious people. He also knew that droughts came many times to punish the sins of God’s people. God would withhold the rain to cause them to repent. Solomon asked God to forgive them when they prayed for forgiveness, and let it rain again.
2 Chronicles 6:28 “If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness [there be]:”
“Darth”: R.V. famine (as in 1 Kings).
“Caterpillars”: Rather some kind of locust (see Joel 1:4).
“If their enemies besiege them”: If his enemies (Kings, “enemy”), besiege him (2 Chron. 6:34).
“Whatsoever sore”: R.V. whatsoever plague. “Plague” is used here in the general sense of calamity, as in the phrase “The Ten Plagues of Egypt”.
2 Chronicles 6:29 “[Then] what prayer [or] what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house:”
“His own sore and his own grief”: Kings, “the plague of his own heart.” So Syriac and Arabic. The phrase of the chronicler looks like a gloss on this.
“In this house”: R.V. toward this house.
2 Chronicles 6:30 “Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)”
“Every man”: The man. Distributive use of the article.
“Whose heart thou knowest”: Because thou knowest his heart. So Syriac and Arabic. The Vulgate, “which thou knowest him to have in his heart”.
“The children of men”: All has dropped out. So some manuscripts, Syriac, Arabic, and Kings.
We should know from this prayer, that many problems that come on a land and its people are sent by God Himself. Much of the trouble in our land today is a punishment from God, to cause people to repent. The sin is not the important thing. The repenting is what is important. “Repent” means not only to confess our sins and ask forgiveness, but to walk in the opposite direction than the way that caused the sin.
2 Chronicles 6:31 “That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.”
“To walk in thy ways”: An explanatory remark added by the chronicler.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. We should walk in the ways of the LORD to please God. These Israelites were not always in the way of the LORD. Solomon prayed that they would walk in the ways of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 6:32 “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house;”
“The stranger … come from a far country for thy great Name’s sake”: These two verses, with every clause in them, must be felt most refreshing by every reader. But they ought also to be particularly observed, as both corrective of a common but strictly erroneous impression as to exclusiveness and a genius of bigotry inhering in the setting a part of the Jewish race for a certain purpose in the Divine government and counsel. And also, as revealing very significantly that that setting apart was nothing but a method and means to an end, as comprehensive and universal as the world itself. The analogies, in fact, in the world’s history are linked, in one unbroken chain, to what sometimes seems to a mere reader of the Bible pages as an artificial and somewhat arbitrary decree or arrangement. See, amid many significant parallels (Exodus 22:21; Lev. 25:35; Num. 15:13-17; Deut. 10:19; 31:12).
“But is come”: And shall come.
2 Chronicles 6:33 “Then hear thou from the heavens, [even] from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as [doth] thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.”
“People”: The peoples.
“And fear thee”: Better without and; as in Kings, “that they may fear thee.” So the Syriac.
“May know that this house … is called by thy name”: That it is truly the house of the Almighty Jehovah. Solomon knew that the goodness of God was so immense, that the extending it, how much soever, toward other people, neither would nor could lessen the exercise of it toward Israel (2 Chron. 6:33).
This is almost prophetic that God would send His Son that all who believed might be saved. This is a very strange thing for a Hebrew, to recognize other nations as being under God as well. Solomon was requesting that God would hear the prayers of the heathen people, as well as Israel.
2 Chronicles 6:34 “If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name;”
The temple would be a place where the people of God prepared to “go out to war”. God is a mighty warrior who fought on behalf of His people against their enemies. He continues to do this as He preserves and protects His church from the world’s evil today.
2 Chronicles 6:35 “Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.”
“Maintain their cause”: Render with Revised Version. Maintain their right.
This is a prayer request for God to be with them in battles against their enemies, when they pray for His help.
Verses 36-40: Solomon realized that the people of Israel would sin, for there is no man which sinneth not” (Rom. 3:23). He also recognized that sin brought “captivity” with it. The remedy for sin is to “return” to God with all of one’s heart.
Verses 36-39. – The matter of these verses is given fuller in the parallel (1 Kings 8:46-53). The prayer is remarkable all the more as the last of the whole series, and one so sadly ominous! The last clause of (verse 36), carrying the expression far off, as the alternative of near, throws its lurid glare of unwelcome suggestion on all the rest.
2 Chronicles 6:36 “If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before [their] enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;”
“No man which sinneth not”: The words need the summoning of no biblical parallels, for these are so numerous. But out of the rest emphasis may be placed at least on those furnished by Solomon himself (Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20-21).
“Deliver them over before their enemies”: R.V. deliver them to the enemy (as in 1 Kings).
2 Chronicles 6:37 “Yet [if] they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;”
Compare-margin. If they take it to heart, i.e., repent.
“Turn and pray”: R.V. says turn again, and make supplication (compare 1 Kings).
“We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly”: Compare the same three verbs in (Psalm 106:6; Dan. 9:5). Kings puts the conjunction before the second verb. There is a climax, “we have slipped (or missed the mark), we have done crookedly, we have been godless.”
2 Chronicles 6:38 “If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and [toward] the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:”
“If they return”: (compare Lev. 26:39-41; Deut. 30:1-2). Passages anticipating captivity and also repentance in captivity.
“In the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives”: Kings, “in the land of their enemies who carried them captives.” The Syriac has, “in the cities of their captors who carried them captive.” Perhaps their captivity is a corruption of their captors. Or the relative (’asher), rendered whither, may refer to land, meaning the hostile nation, “in the land of their captivity which carried them captive.”
2 Chronicles 6:39 “Then hear thou from the heavens, [even] from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.”
“Their cause”: Render with R.V. manuscript their right (as in 2 Chron. 6:35).
“And forgive thy people”: This is the first clause of (1 Kings 8:50). And from this point to the end of Solomon’s Prayer, the two texts are wholly dissimilar.
This really did happen and God’s people did pray toward the location of the temple and God did forgive them and brought them back into the land. The Babylonian captivity of Judah was a prime example of this.
Verses 40-42: This information supplements the details given (in 1 Kings 8:62-65 and 8:66).
2 Chronicles 6:40 “Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and [let] thine ears [be] attent unto the prayer [that is made] in this place.”
Let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open”: Compare (2 Chron. 6:20; 7:15; 1 Kings 8:52).
“And let thine ears be attent”: Attentive, listening. The same phrase recurs (2 Chron. 7:15), which is in fact, a repetition of the whole verse in the shape of a Divine promise, Qas‘s‘ûbôth occurs, besides, only in the late Psalm 130:2.
“The prayer that is made in this place”: See margin. “The prayer of this place” is a strange phrase, only occurring here and in (2 Chron. 7:15).
This was a plea for God to pay special attention to His own people when they prayed in the temple Solomon had built for God to dwell in.
Verses 41-42 (see notes on Psalm 132:8-10; 1 Kings 8:54-61).
2 Chronicles 6:41 “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.”
“Arise, O Lord, into thy resting-place”: Thus, he concludes his prayer with some expressions borrowed from one of his father’s Psalms (namely Psalms 132). The whole word of God in general, and the Psalms in particular, are of use to direct us in prayer. And how can we express ourselves in better language to God, than in that of his own Spirit? But these words were peculiarly proper and suitable to be expressed now, because they had a reference to this very occasion on which Solomon used them. And, in quoting them, he prays that God would take and keep possession of the temple for himself. And make it, as it were, his resting-place, where he would continue to dwell.
“Thou, and the Ark of thy strength”: Thou, in and by the Ark, which is the sign and instrument of thy great power, put forth from time to time in behalf of thy people.
“Let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation”: Let them be saved from their sins, restored to thy favor and image, and be encompassed on every side with thy protection and benediction.
And let thy saints rejoice in goodness”: Let them have cause of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the effects of thy goodness imparted to them.
The smoke of the LORD had completely filled the temple. Solomon knew that the presence of the LORD would be ever present in the Most Holy Place in the temple. It would be terrible to have a priest who was not saved. The prayer was that all of those who ministered salvation to others would be saved themselves. The joy of the LORD is the strength of the believer (saint).
2 Chronicles 6:42 “O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.”
O Lord God. The temple invocation is used as in the priest’s blessing (Num. 6:24-26).
“Turn not away the face of thine anointed”: I.e., deny not his request (1 Kings 2:16; Psalm 132:10). “For the sake of David Thy servant, turn not away the face of thine anointed.” The members of the couplet are transposed, and the language of the first is modified by the chronicler, so as to bring in the phrase, “the mercies of David,” that is, Jehovah’s mercies promised to David (Isa. 55:3; Psalm 89:49).
“Remember” (zokrāh). Only here and five times in Nehemiah.
There were many whom God had anointed. This was possibly Solomon speaking of himself. He wanted to remain as faithful to God as he was this day. It could also be a prophetic statement about the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His act of mercy to all mankind that makes salvation available to all who will. In Jesus Christ is fulfilled the everlasting throne of David.
2 Chronicles Chapter 6 Questions
- The LORD had said that He would dwell in the ________ _____________.
- How long had it been, since the LORD had led them through the wilderness?
- Who had built a habitation for the LORD?
- How would the temple differ from the tabernacle?
- What did the congregation do, when Solomon spoke a blessing on them?
- How did Solomon begin?
- What city did God choose to dwell in with His people?
- Who did God say He had chosen to rule His people Israel?
- Jerusalem would be known as the city of ______.
- Who had it in his heart, to build a house for name of the LORD God of Israel?
- Why did God not allow him to build the house?
- How did God grant David’s wish for the temple to be built?
- The ______ symbolized the presence of God.
- What did Solomon stand on before he prayed?
- What did he do when he prayed?
- How should all prayers begin?
- What promise to David does Solomon ask God to keep?
- In verse 18, we find that the __________ of ___________ could not contain God.
- The people pray toward the __________.
- Why do they pray toward that?
- Where did Solomon say was God’s dwelling place?
- Who is the only one who knows the truth in certain situations?
- Why would Israel lose a war?
- What are some of the things God would do to cause His people to repent?
- The ______ of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
- What was strange about a Hebrew recognizing other people?
- Who sins against God?
- What special plea did Solomon make to God about His people?
- Where would the presence of the LORD be in the temple?