2 Chronicles 7:3
And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Upon the pavement.Riçpāh; rendered by the LXX. τὸ λιθόστρωτον, which is the word used in John 19:13; Vulg., “pavimentum stratum lapide.” (Comp. Ezekiel 40:17-18; Esther 1:6, a tesselated pavement.)

And praised.—Gave thanks to Jehovah. The infinitive is here used for the finite form of the verb, as elsewhere.

For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.—See 1Chronicles 16:34-41; 1Chronicles 23:30; 2Chronicles 5:13; 2Chronicles 20:21. The Syriac and Arabic paraphrase, “and they said one to another: Give thanks to the Lord,” &c. There is hardly anything in the section, except this last phrase, which can be said to be characteristic of the style of the chronicler.

2 Chronicles 7:3. The glory of the Lord upon the house — The cloud first came down upon the house, and then entered into the house, and was seen both within it by the priests, and without it by the people; who by this evident token of the divine presence, and the sudden and miraculous descent of the fire, were fully satisfied that it was God’s house, and that he would accept their sacrifices offered there, hear their prayers, and bestow his blessings upon them. They bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement — Fell prostrate upon the ground, thus expressing their awful dread of the divine majesty, their cheerful submission to the divine authority, and the sense they had of their utter unworthiness to enter into his presence. And worshipped and praised the Lord — As they had great reason to do, having seen such manifest tokens of his presence among them. Saying, For he is good, &c. — Thus using the same words in which the priests had just before praised him: a song never out of season, and for which our hearts and tongues should never be out of tune.7:1-22 God's answer to Solomon's prayer. - God gave a gracious answer to Solomon's prayer. The mercies of God to sinners are made known in a manner well suited to impress all who receive them, with his majesty and holiness. The people worshipped and praised God. When he manifests himself as a consuming Fire to sinners, his people can rejoice in him as their Light. Nay, they had reason to say, that God was good in this. It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, but the sacrifice in our stead, for which we should be very thankful. And whoever beholds with true faith, the Saviour agonizing and dying for man's sin, will, by that view, find his godly sorrow enlarged, his hatred of sin increased, his soul made more watchful, and his life more holy. Solomon prosperously effected all he designed, for adorning both God's house and his own. Those who begin with the service of God, are likely to go on successfully in their own affairs. It was Solomon's praise, that what he undertook, he went through with; it was by the grace of God that he prospered in it. Let us then stand in awe, and sin not. Let us fear the Lord's displeasure, hope in his mercy, and walk in his commandments.The fire came down from heaven - As in the time of Moses on the dedication of the tabernacle Leviticus 9:24 The fact is omitted from the narrative of Kings; but omission is not contradiction. 3. all the children of Israel … bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement—This form of prostration (that of lying on one's knees with the forehead touching the earth), is the manner in which the Hebrews, and Orientals in general, express the most profound sentiments of reverence and humility. The courts of the temple were densely crowded on the occasion, and the immense multitude threw themselves on the ground. What led the Israelites suddenly to assume that prostrate attitude on the occasion referred to, was the spectacle of the symbolical cloud slowly and majestically descending upon the temple, and then entering it. The cloud first came down upon the house, and then entered into the house, and was seen both within it by the priests, and without it by the people. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down,.... 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.

And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down] R.V. And all the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down.

praised the Lord] R.V. gave thanks unto the LORD; cp. 2 Chronicles 5:13.Verse 3. - For he is good (so 2 Chronicles 5:13; 1 Chronicles 16:34). Solomon's dedicatory prayer likewise corresponds exactly with the account of it given in 1 Kings 8:22-53 till near the end (2 Chronicles 6:40-42), where it takes quite a different turn. Besides this, in the introduction (2 Chronicles 6:13) Solomon's position during the prayer is more accurately described, it being there stated that Solomon had caused a high stage (כּיּור, a basin-like elevation) to be erected, which he ascended, and kneeling, spoke the prayer which follows. This fact is not stated in 1 Kings 8:22, and Then. and Berth. conjecture that it has been dropped out of our text only by mistake. Perhaps so, but it may have been passed over by the author of the books of Kings as a point of subordinate importance. On the contents of the prayer, which begins with the joyful confession that the Lord had fulfilled His promise to David in reference to the building of the temple, and proceeds with a request for a further bestowment of the blessing promised to His people, and a supplication that all prayers made to the Lord in the temple may be heard, see the Com. on 1 Kings 8:22. The conclusion of the prayer in the Chronicle is different from that in 1 Kings 8. There the last supplication, that the prayers might be heard, is followed by the thought: for they (the Israelites) are Thy people and inheritance; and in the further amplification of this thought the prayer returns to the idea with which it commenced. In the narrative of the Chronicle, on the other hand, the supplications conclude with the general thought (2 Chronicles 6:40): "Now, my God, let, I beseech Thee, Thine eyes be open, and Thine ears attend unto the prayer of this place" (i.e., unto the prayer spoken in this place). There follows, then, the conclusion of the whole prayer - a summons to the Lord (2 Chronicles 6:41.): "And now, Lord God, arise into Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy strength; let Thy priests, Lord God, clothe themselves in salvation, and Thy saints rejoice in good! Lord God, turn not away the face of Thine anointed: remember the pious deeds of Thy servant David." הסדים as in 2 Chronicles 32:32; 2 Chronicles 35:26, and Nehemiah 13:14. On this Thenius remarks, to 1 Kings 8:53 : "This conclusion is probably authentic, for there is in the text of the prayer, 1 Kings 8, no special expression of dedication, and this the summons to enter into possession of the temple very fittingly supplies. The whole contents of the conclusion are in perfect correspondence with the situation, and, as to form, nothing better could be desired. It can scarcely be thought an arbitrary addition made by the chronicler for no other reason than that the summons spoken of, if taken literally, is irreconcilable with the entrance of the cloud into the temple, of which he has already given us an account." Berth. indeed thinks that it does not thence follow that our conclusion is authentic, and considers it more probable that it was introduced because it appeared more suitable, in place of the somewhat obscure words in 1 Kings 8:51-53, though not by the author of the Chronicle, and scarcely at an earlier time. The decision on this question can only be arrived at in connection with the question as to the origin of the statements peculiar to the Chronicle contained in 2 Chronicles 7:1-3.

If we consider, in the first place, our verses in themselves, they contain no thought which Solomon might not have spoken, and consequently nothing which would tend to show that they are not authentic. It is true that the phrase קשּׁבות אזניך occurs only here and in 2 Chronicles 7:15, and again in Psalm 130:2, and the noun נוּח instead of מנוּחה is found only in Esther 9:16-18 in the form נוח; but even if these two expressions be peculiar to the later time, no further conclusion can be drawn from that, than that the author of the Chronicle has here, as often elsewhere, given the thoughts of his authority in the language of his own time. Nor is the relation in which 2 Chronicles 6:41, 2 Chronicles 6:42 stand to Psalm 132:8-10 a valid proof of the later composition of the conclusion of our prayer. For (a) it is still a question whether our verses have been borrowed from Psalm 132, or the verses of the psalm from our passage; and (b) the period when Psalm 138:1-8 was written is so doubtful, that some regard it as a Solomonic psalm, while others place it in the post-exilic period. Neither the one nor the other of these questions can be determined on convincing grounds. The appeal to the fact that the chronicler has compounded the hymn in 1 Chronicles 15 also out of post-exilic psalms proves nothing, for even in that case it is at least doubtful if that be a correct account of the matter. But the further assertion, that the conclusion (2 Chronicles 6:42) resembles Isaiah 55:3, and that recollections of this passage may have had some effect also on the conclusion (2 Chronicles 6:41), is undoubtedly erroneous, for דויד חסדי in 2 Chronicles 6:42 has quite a different meaning from that which it has in Isaiah 55:3. There דּוד חסדי are the favours granted to David by the Lord; in 2 Chronicles 6:42, on the contrary, they are the pious deeds of David, - all that he had done for the raising and advancement of the public worship (see above). The phrase וגו קוּמה, "Arise, O Lord God, into Thy rest," is modelled on the formula which was spoken when the ark was lifted and when it was set down on the journey through the wilderness, which explains both קוּמה and the use of לנוּחך, which is formed after בּנוּחה, Numbers 10:36. The call to arise into rest is not inconsistent with the fact that the ark had already been brought into the most holy place, for קוּמה has merely the general signification, "to set oneself to anything." The idea is, that God would now take the rest to which the throne of His glory had attained, show Himself to His people from this His throne to be the God of salvation, endue His priests, the guardians of His sanctuary, with salvation, and cause the pious to rejoice in His goodness. בטּוב ישׂמחוּ is generalized in Psalm 132:9 into ירנּנוּ. פּני פ השׁב, to turn away the face of any one, i.e., to deny the request, cf. 1 Kings 2:16.

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