2Chronicles 7

 

וּכְכַלּוֹת שְׁלֹמֹה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל וְהָאֵשׁ יָרְדָה מֵהַשָּׁמַיִם וַתֹּאכַל הָעֹלָה וְהַזְּבָחִים וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה מָלֵא   7:1

 אֶת־הַבָּיִת׃

2Chr. 7:1   And as Solomon praying was ending, then the fire came down from the heavens and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

וְלֹא יָכְלוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים לָבוֹא אֶל־בֵּית יְהוָה כִּי־מָלֵא כְבוֹד־יְהוָה אֶת־בֵּית יְהוָה׃   7:2

2Chr. 7:2   And the priests were not able to come in to the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

וְכֹל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל רֹאִים בְּרֶדֶת הָאֵשׁ וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה עַל־הַבָּיִת וַיִּכְרְעוּ אַפַּיִם אַרְצָה עַל־הָרִצְפָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ   7:3

 וְהוֹדוֹת לַיהוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

2Chr. 7:3   And all the children of Israel were looking at the descent of the fire and the glory of the Lord over the house, and they bowed down noses earthward upon the pavement and prostrated themselves and were giving thanks to the Lord that He is good, that His mercy is forever.

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־הָעָם זֹבְחִים זֶבַח לִפְנֵי יְהוָה׃   7:4

2Chr. 7:4   And the king and all the people were offering sacrifice before the Lord.

וַיִּזְבַּח הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת־זֶבַח הַבָּקָר עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁנַיִם אֶלֶף וְצֹאן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף וַיַּחְנְכוּ אֶת־בֵּית   7:5

 הָאֱלֹהִים הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־הָעָם׃

2Chr. 7:5   And the king, Solomon, offered the sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep as the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

וְהַכֹּהֲנִים עַל־מִשְׁמְרֹותָם עֹמְדִים וְהַלְוִיִּם בִּכְלֵי־שִׁיר יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה דָּוִיד הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהֹדֹות לַיהוָה   7:6

 כִּי־לְעֹולָם חַסְדֹּו בְּהַלֵּל דָּוִיד בְּיָדָם וְהַכֹּהֲנִים (מַחֲצֹצְרִים) [מַחְצְרִים] נֶגְדָּם וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֹמְדִים׃

2Chr. 7:6   And the priests were standing according to their function, as well as the Levites with instruments of music of the Lord that David, the king, had made to give thanks to the Lord that His mercy is forever, with the praise of David in their hand, and the priests were trumpeting beside them, as all of Israel were standing.

The error in the parentheses in this verse is similar to the error in 2Chr. 5:13.  The correction is in the brackets.

וַיְקַדֵּשׁ שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת־תּוֹךְ הֶחָצֵר אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי בֵית־יְהוָה כִּי־עָשָׂה שָׁם הָעֹלוֹת וְאֵת חֶלְבֵי הַשְּׁלָמִים   7:7

 כִּי־מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה שְׁלֹמֹה לֹא יָכוֹל לְהָכִיל אֶת־הָעֹלָה וְאֶת־הַמִּנְחָה וְאֶת־הַחֲלָבִים׃

2Chr. 7:7   And Solomon sanctified the center of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for he had prepared there the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings because the brass altar that Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering and the meal offering and the fat.

This verse is similar to 1Kin. 8:64.

וַיַּעַשׂ שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת־הֶחָג בָּעֵת הַהִיא שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עִמּוֹ קָהָל גָּדוֹל מְאֹד מִלְּבוֹא חֲמָת   7:8

  עַד־נַחַל מִצְרָיִם׃

2Chr. 7:8   And Solomon celebrated the feast at that time seven days, and all of Israel was with him, a very great congregation, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt.

Two observations raised by this verse:  First, the distance mentioned here is rather great, encompassing all of the region of Israel.  So we’re talking about a lot of people, a million at a minimum.  Many of the assembled congregation could not have been within easy walking distance of the temple.  And second, what of the seven days?  What was the purpose of the feast?  Was it only to celebrate the bringing of the ark?  Was it an observance of the first day of Tishei?  Why seven days?  These questions don’t have easy answers.

וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי עֲצָרֶת כִּי חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ עָשׂוּ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְהֶחָג שִׁבְעַת יָמִים׃   7:9

2Chr. 7:9   And they observed a solemn assembly on the eighth day, for they attended to the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days.                 [Return to 2Chr. 30:23]

Let’s see if we can figure things out here by consulting the calendar.  First we have the day of solemn rest on the first day of Tishrei, then we have the day of atonement on the tenth day of the month, and this is followed by Succoth on the fifteenth day, and finally by the eighth day of solemn assembly on the twenty-second day.  The eighth day mentioned here must be Shimini Atseret, which is the twenty-second day of the month.  Working backwards, the feast must have been on the preceding seven days, that is, Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles.  Now did the seven days of dedication immediately precede that?  I doubt it.  I believe the first period of seven days was from the first day of the month to the seventh.  Then Yom Kippur was observed on the tenth.  Then Succoth followed on the fifteenth.  This is a different derivation than that found among the sages and scholars.  For one thing, the two seven-day periods have been assumed to be consecutive.  To make this come out right, the first seven days was assumed to have started on the eighth day of the month, not the first, which doesn’t match the calendar .  And Yom Kippur was skipped that year?  Yes, according to the commentators, it was.  To me, this made-up scenario sounds improbable.  I believe this verse speaks for itself.

וּבְיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי שִׁלַּח אֶת־הָעָם לְאָהֳלֵיהֶם שְׂמֵחִים וְטוֹבֵי לֵב עַל־הַטּוֹבָה   7:10

  אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְדָוִיד וְלִשְׁלֹמֹה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַמּוֹ׃

2Chr. 7:10   And on the seventh month's twenty-third day he sent the people to their tents, joyful and glad of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had provided to David and to Solomon and to Israel, His people.

There’s a discrepancy between this verse and 1Kin. 8:66.  Here it says the people were sent away on the 23rd day.  In the former verse it says they were sent away on the eighth day (which would be the 22nd day).

וַיְכַל שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת־בֵּית יְהוָה וְאֶת־בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֵת כָּל־הַבָּא עַל־לֵב שְׁלֹמֹה לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּבֵית־יְהוָה   7:11

  וּבְבֵיתוֹ הִצְלִיחַ׃

2Chr. 7:11   And Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the house of the king, and anything coming to the heart of Solomon to do in the house of the Lord or in his own house he successfully completed.

וַיֵּרָא יְהוָה אֶל־שְׁלֹמֹה בַּלָּיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת־תְּפִלָּתֶךָ וּבָחַרְתִּי בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה לִי לְבֵית זָבַח׃   7:12

2Chr. 7:12   And the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer, and have decided on this place to be a house of sacrifice for Me.”

The Lord is apparently speaking to Solomon in a sleeping vision.  The remaining verses in this chapter are reminiscent of 1Kin. 9:2 to 9:9.

הֵן אֶעֱצֹר הַשָּׁמַיִם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה מָטָר וְהֵן־אֲצַוֶּה עַל־חָגָב לֶאֱכוֹל הָאָרֶץ וְאִם־אֲשַׁלַּח דֶּבֶר בְּעַמִּי׃   7:13

2Chr. 7:13   “If I should shut up the heavens so there would be no rain, or if I should give a command to the locust to devour the land, or should I send a pestilence among My people,

וְיִכָּנְעוּ עַמִּי אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא־שְׁמִי עֲלֵיהֶם וְיִתְפַּלְלוּ וִיבַקְשׁוּ פָנַי וְיָשֻׁבוּ מִדַּרְכֵיהֶם הָרָעִים וַאֲנִי אֶשְׁמַע   7:14

 מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶסְלַח לְחַטָּאתָם וְאֶרְפָּא אֶת־אַרְצָם׃

2Chr. 7:14   and My people, on behalf of whom My name is called, humbled themselves and prayed and sought My ‘face’ and turned from their evil ways, then I would hear from the heavens and grant forgiveness for their sin and heal their land.”

עַתָּה עֵינַי יִהְיוּ פְתֻחוֹת וְאָזְנַי קַשֻּׁבוֹת לִתְפִלַּת הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה׃   7:15

2Chr. 7:15   “Now My ‘eyes’ will be open and My ‘ears’ attentive to prayer of this place.”

וְעַתָּה בָּחַרְתִּי וְהִקְדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת־הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה לִהְיוֹת־שְׁמִי שָׁם עַד־עוֹלָם וְהָיוּ עֵינַי וְלִבִּי שָׁם כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃   7:16

2Chr. 7:16   “Thus now I have chosen and sanctified this house for My name to be there forever, and My ‘eyes’ and My ‘heart’ shall be there all the time.”

וְאַתָּה אִם־תֵּלֵךְ לְפָנַי כַּאֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ דָּוִיד אָבִיךָ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ וְחֻקַּי וּמִשְׁפָּטַי תִּשְׁמוֹר׃   7:17

2Chr. 7:17   “And if you will walk before Me as David, your father, walked, and doing according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and ordinances,

וַהֲקִימוֹתִי אֵת כִּסֵּא מַלְכוּתֶךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר כָּרַתִּי לְדָוִיד אָבִיךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא־יִכָּרֵת לְךָ אִישׁ מוֹשֵׁל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃   7:18

2Chr. 7:18   then I will establish the throne of your kingdom as I covenanted to David, your father, saying, ‘No man of yours shall be cut off ruling in Israel.’”

וְאִם־תְּשׁוּבוּן אַתֶּם וַעֲזַבְתֶּם חֻקּוֹתַי וּמִצְוֺתַי אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיכֶם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים   7:19

 וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתֶם לָהֶם׃

2Chr. 7:19   “But should you turn and forsake My statutes and My commandments that I have set before you, and you go and serve other gods and bow down to them,

Since v. 7:12, the Lord has been speaking to Solomon; thus all the second-person pronouns have been singular.  Here the second-person pronouns become plural.  So it must be assumed that now he is speaking to the people of Israel through Solomon’s dream.  In the next verse the Lord switches to third-person pronouns in referring to Israel.

There’s an ominous note sounded in this verse.  As the Lord is using plural pronouns, He would be addressing the individuals of Israel.  So what does this premise mean?  Is the Lord saying that everyone must follow His ways for Israel not to be punished?  This must be what the chronicler thought.  He has been pretty consistent in his beliefs:  Punishment for evil and reward for good.  Doesn’t that put an immense burden -- an impossible one -- on the entire population?  If the Lord operated this way, there would literally be nothing but punishment.  This can’t be true, although to some it may seem as if that were the way it is.  But there are rewards.  We are living in a time and place in which there are innumerable rewards to individuals and whole groups among the Jews.

וּנְתַשְׁתִּים מֵעַל אַדְמָתִי אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָהֶם וְאֶת־הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר הִקְדַּשְׁתִּי לִשְׁמִי אַשְׁלִיךְ מֵעַל פָּנָי   7:20

 וְאֶתְּנֶנּוּ לְמָשָׁל וְלִשְׁנִינָה בְּכָל־הָעַמִּים׃

2Chr. 7:20   then I will expel them from My ground that I gave them, and I will cast off this house that I sanctified for My name from My presence and designate it as a byword and as a sharp jibe among all the peoples.”

וְהַבַּיִת הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עֶלְיוֹן לְכָל־עֹבֵר עָלָיו יִשֹּׁם וְאָמַר בַּמֶּה עָשָׂה יְהוָה כָּכָה לָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְלַבַּיִת   7:21

 הַזֶּה׃

2Chr. 7:21   And this house, which is so high, shall be so appalling to everyone passing by it that he will say, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and to this house?’”

וְאָמְרוּ עַל אֲשֶׁר עָזְבוּ אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיַּחֲזִיקוּ בֵּאלֹהִים   7:22

 אֲחֵרִים וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם וַיַּעַבְדוּם עַל־כֵּן הֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם אֵת כָּל־הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת׃

2Chr. 7:22    “And they shall say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord, God of their fathers, Who brought them out from the land of Egypt, and prevailed on other gods and bowed down to them and served them; accordingly, He brought upon them all this evil.’”

 

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