2 Chronicles 2:6
But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) But who is able.—Literally, who could keep strength? (See 1Chronicles 29:14.)

The heaven . . . cannot contain him.—This high thought occurs in Solomon’s prayer (1Kings 8:27; 2Chronicles 6:18).

Who am I then . . . before him?—That is, I am not so ignorant of the infinite nature of Deity, as to think of localising it within an earthly dwelling. I build not for His residence, but for His worship and service. (Comp. Isaiah 40:22.)

To burn sacrifice.—Literally, to burn incense. Here, as in 2Chronicles 2:4, used in a general sense.

2 Chronicles 2:6. But who is able to build him a house — No house, be it ever so great, can be a habitation for him. Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him — Nor does he, like the gods of the nations, dwell in temples made with hands. When, therefore, I speak of building a great house for the great God, let none be so foolish as to imagine that I mean to include or comprehend God within it, for he is infinite. Who am I, then, that I should build him a house — He looked upon himself, though a mighty prince, as utterly unworthy of the honour of being employed in this great work. Save only to burn sacrifice before him — As if he had said, We have not such low notions of our God as to suppose we can build a house that will contain him: we only intend it for the convenience of his priests and worshippers, that they may have a suitable place wherein to assemble and offer sacrifices and prayers, and perform other religious duties to him. Thus Solomon guards Hiram against any misapprehension concerning God, which his speaking of building him a house might otherwise have occasioned. And it is one part of the wisdom wherein we ought to walk toward them that are without, in a similar manner carefully to guard against all misapprehension which anything we may say or do may occasion concerning any truth or duty of religion.2:1-18 Solomon's message to Huram respecting the temple, His treaty with Huram. - Solomon informs Huram of the particular services to be performed in the temple. The mysteries of the true religion, unlike those of the Gentile superstitions, sought not concealment. Solomon endeavoured to possess Huram with great and high thoughts of the God of Israel. We should not be afraid or ashamed to embrace every opportunity to speak of God, and to impress others with a deep sense of the importance of his favour and service. Now that the people of Israel kept close to the law and worship of God, the neighbouring nations were willing to be taught by them in the true religion, as the Israelites had been willing in the days of their apostacy, to be infected with the idolatries and superstitions of their neighbours. A wise and pious king is an evidence of the Lord's special love for his people. How great then was God's love to his believing people, in giving his only-begotten Son to be their Prince and their Saviour.Save only to burn sacrifice before him - Solomon seems to mean that to build the temple can only be justified on the human - not on the divine - side. "God dwelleth not in temples made with hands;" He cannot be confined to them; He does in no sort need them. The sole reason for building a temple lies in the needs of man: his worship must he local; the sacrifices commanded in the Law had of necessity to be offered somewhere. 2Ch 2:3-10. His Message to Huram for Skilful Artificers.

3-6. Solomon sent to Huram—The correspondence was probably conducted on both sides in writing (2Ch 2:11; also see on [407]1Ki 5:8).

As thou didst deal with David my father—This would seem decisive of the question whether the Huram then reigning in Tyre was David's friend (see on [408]1Ki 5:1-6). In opening the business, Solomon grounded his request for Tyrian aid on two reasons: 1. The temple he proposed to build must be a solid and permanent building because the worship was to be continued in perpetuity; and therefore the building materials must be of the most durable quality. 2. It must be a magnificent structure because it was to be dedicated to the God who was greater than all gods; and, therefore, as it might seem a presumptuous idea to erect an edifice for a Being "whom the heaven and the heaven of heavens do not contain," it was explained that Solomon's object was not to build a house for Him to dwell in, but a temple in which His worshippers might offer sacrifices to His honor. No language could be more humble and appropriate than this. The pious strain of sentiment was such as became a king of Israel.

The heaven of heavens cannot contain him: when I speak of building a great house for our great God, let none be so foolish to think that I mean to include or comprehend God within it, for he is infinite.

To burn sacrifice before him, i.e. to worship him there where he is graciously present. But who is able to build him an house,.... Suitable to the greatness of his majesty, especially as he dwells not in temples made with hands:

seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain him? see 1 Kings 8:27,

who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him? since God was an immense and infinite Being, be would have Hiram to understand that he had no thought of building an house, in which he could be circumscribed and contained, only a place in which he might be worshipped, and sacrifices offered to him.

But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn {b} sacrifice before him?

(b) That is, to do the service which he has commanded, signifying that no one is able to honour and serve God in the perfection his majesty deserves.







2 Chronicles 2:5
Top of Page
Top of Page