2 Chronicles 5-7
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Dedication of the Temple. 1 (A)When all the work undertaken by Solomon for the house of the Lord was completed, he brought in the votive offerings of David his father, putting the silver, the gold, and other articles in the treasuries of the house of God. 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the Israelites, to Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the City of David, which is Zion. 3 All the people of Israel assembled before the king during the festival of the seventh month.[a] 4 (B)When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the Levites[b] took up the ark; 5 and they brought up the ark and the tent of meeting with all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. The levitical priests brought them up.
6 King Solomon and the entire community of Israel, gathered for the occasion before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen too many to number or count. 7 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place: the inner sanctuary of the house, the holy of holies, beneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, covering the ark and its poles from above. 9 The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary. (They cannot be seen from outside, but they remain there to this day.)[c] 10 There was nothing in the ark but the two tablets which Moses had put there at Horeb when the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they went forth from Egypt.
11 When the priests left the holy place (all the priests who were present had purified themselves regardless of the rotation of their various divisions), 12 the Levites who were singers, all who belonged to Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and brothers, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets.
13 When the trumpeters and singers were heard as a single voice praising and giving thanks to the Lord, and when they raised the sound of the trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments to “Praise the Lord, who is so good, whose love endures forever,” the cloud filled the house of the Lord.(C) 14 The priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.(D)
1 (E)Then Solomon said:
“The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud;
2 I have built you a princely house,
the base for your enthronement forever.”
3 (F)The king turned and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while the whole assembly of Israel stood. 4 He said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth spoke a promise to David my father and by his hand fulfilled it, saying: 5 Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of any tribe of Israel for the building of a house, that my name might be there; nor have I chosen any man to be ruler of my people Israel; 6 but now I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name may be there, and I have chosen David[d] to rule my people Israel. 7 When David my father wished to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, 8 the Lord said to him: In wishing to build a house for my name, you did well. 9 But it is not you who will build the house, but your son, who comes from your loins: he shall build the house for my name.
10 “Now the Lord has fulfilled the word he spoke. I have succeeded David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord has said, and I have built this house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 I have placed there the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the Israelites.”
Solomon’s Prayer. 12 (G)Then he stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and stretched forth his hands. 13 [e]Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, which he had placed in the middle of the courtyard. Having ascended it, Solomon knelt in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and stretched forth his hands toward heaven. 14 He said: “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth; you keep the covenant and love toward your servants who walk before you with their whole heart, 15 the covenant that you kept toward your servant, David my father. That which you promised him, your mouth has spoken and your hand has fulfilled this very day. 16 And now, Lord, God of Israel, keep toward your servant, David my father, what you promised: There shall never be wanting someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your descendants keep to their way, walking by my law, as you have. 17 Now, Lord, God of Israel, may the words which you spoke to David your servant be confirmed.
18 “Is God indeed to dwell with human beings on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house which I have built! 19 Regard kindly the prayer and petition of your servant, Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you. 20 May your eyes be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have decreed your name shall be; listen to the prayer your servant makes toward this place. 21 Listen to the petition of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer toward this place. Listen, from the place of your enthronement, heaven, and listen and forgive.
22 “If someone sins against a neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, and comes and takes the oath before your altar in this house, 23 listen in heaven: act and judge your servants. Condemn the wicked, requiting their ways; acquit the just, rewarding their justice. 24 When your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and then they turn, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this house, 25 listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave them and their ancestors. 26 When the heavens are closed so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, but they pray toward this place and praise your name, and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27 listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. (For you teach them the good way in which they should walk.) Give rain upon this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage.
28 “If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or locusts swarm, or caterpillars; when their enemies besiege them at any of their gates; whatever plague or sickness there may be; 29 whatever prayer of petition any may make, any of your people Israel, who know affliction and pain and stretch out their hands toward this house, 30 listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement, and forgive. Render to each and all according to their ways, you who know every heart; for it is you alone who know the heart of every human being. 31 So may they revere you and walk in your ways as long as they live on the land you gave our ancestors.
32 “To the foreigners, likewise, who are not of your people Israel, but who come from a distant land for the sake of your great name, your mighty hand and outstretched arm, and come in prayer to this house, 33 listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may revere you as do your people Israel, and may know that your name has been invoked upon this house that I have built.
34 “When your people go out to war against their enemies, by whatever way you send them, and they pray to you toward the city you have chosen and the house I have built for your name, 35 listen from heaven to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause. 36 When they sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to an enemy, so that their captors carry them off to another land, far or near, 37 and they have a change of heart in the land of their captivity and they turn and entreat you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,’ 38 if with all their heart and soul they turn back to you in the land of those who took them captive, and pray toward their land which you gave their ancestors, the city you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name, 39 listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement, to their prayer and petitions, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40 Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears be attentive to the prayer of this place. 41 And now:
“Arise, Lord God, come to your resting place,
you and your majestic ark.
Your priests, Lord God, will be clothed with salvation,
your faithful ones rejoice in good things.
42 Lord God, do not reject the plea of your anointed,
remember the devotion of David, your servant.”(H)
1 (I)When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 But the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.(J) 3 All the Israelites looked on while the fire came down and the glory of the Lord was upon the house, and they fell down upon the pavement with their faces to the earth and worshiped, praising the Lord, “who is so good, whose love endures forever.” 4 The king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord.(K) 5 King Solomon offered as sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred twenty thousand sheep.(L)
End of the Dedication. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests were standing at their stations, as were the Levites, with the musical instruments of the Lord which King David had made to give thanks to the Lord, “whose love endures forever,” when David offered praise through them. The priests opposite them blew the trumpets and all Israel stood.(M)
7 Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the court facing the house of the Lord; he offered there the burnt offerings and the fat of the communion offerings, since the bronze altar which Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat.(N)
8 On this occasion Solomon and with him all Israel, a great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival for seven days.(O) 9 (P)On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the feast[f] for seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he dismissed the people to their tents, rejoicing and glad of heart because of all the blessings the Lord had given to David, to Solomon, and to his people Israel. 11 (Q)Solomon finished building the house of the Lord, the house of the king, and everything else he wanted to do in regard to the house of the Lord and his own house.
God’s Promise to Solomon. 12 The Lord appeared to Solomon during the night and said to him: I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for my house of sacrifice. 13 If I close heaven so that there is no rain, if I command the locust to devour the land, if I send pestilence among my people, 14 if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land. 15 Now, therefore, my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place; 16 now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart shall be there always.
17 As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, doing all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and ordinances, 18 I will establish the throne of your kingship as I covenanted with David your father when I said, There shall never be wanting someone from your line as ruler in Israel. 19 But if ever you turn away and forsake my commandments and statutes which I set before you, and proceed to serve other gods, and bow down to them, 20 I will uproot the people from the land I gave and repudiate the house I have consecrated for my name. I will make it a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21 And this house which is so exalted—every passerby shall be horrified and ask: “Why has the Lord done such things to this land and to this house?” 22 And the answer will come: “Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they embraced other gods, bowing down to them and serving them. That is why he has brought upon them all this evil.”
- 5:3 Festival of the seventh month: feast of Booths (Tabernacles); cf. notes on 7:9–10; 1 Kgs 8:2.
- 5:4 The Levites: the parallel passage in 1 Kgs 8:3 reads “the priests”; but in 2 Chr 5:5 the Deuteronomic expression “levitical priests” is used, as it is in 23:18; 30:27.
- 5:9 They remain there to this day: the Chronicler must have copied this notice from his source (1 Kgs 8:8), losing sight of the fact that there was no ark in the Temple of his own day. (According to 2 Mc 2:4–8, the ark of Solomon’s Temple was concealed by Jeremiah at the time of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.)
- 6:6 Jerusalem…David: Ps 132:11, 13 puts in parallel the Lord’s choice of David and Zion, the royal house of David and the mountain in Jerusalem as the site for the Lord’s house.
- 6:13 This verse has no equivalent in 1 Kgs 8:22–23, the Chronicler’s source. Solomon is depicted as praying on “a bronze platform…in the middle of the courtyard” because in the time of the Chronicler only priests were permitted to pray before the altar.
- 7:9–10 The feast: Booths, celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and followed by a solemn octave lasting through the twenty-second day (Lv 23:33–36; Nm 29:12–35); the people are therefore sent home on the twenty-third day of the month (v. 10). The festival (v. 8) marking the dedication of the altar and of the Temple was held during the seven days prior to the feast of Booths, i.e., from the seventh to the fourteenth day of the seventh month. According to 1 Kgs 8:3, 65–66 the dedication of the Temple was celebrated concomitantly with the seven days of the feast of Booths, after which the people were dismissed on the eighth day.