Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.The words with which Solomon celebrates this wondrous evidence of the divine favour, 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 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 on 1 Kings 8:12-21.
But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood.
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,
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 an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:
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.
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.
And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel.
And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: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.
For Solomon had made a brasen 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,
And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:
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.
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.
Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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;
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.
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;
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.
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;
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.
If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be:
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:
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:)
That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.
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;
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.
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;
Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
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;
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;
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:
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.
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.
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.
O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.