Solomon having ended his prayer, the fire of the Lord comes down from heaven and consumes the offerings, 2 Chronicles 7:1. The people and the priests see this, and glorify God, and offer sacrifices, 2 Chronicles 7:2-4. Solomon offers twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep; and the priests and Levites attend in their offices, 2 Chronicles 7:5, 2 Chronicles 7:6. He keeps the feast seven days, and the dedication of the altar seven days, and dismisses the people, 2 Chronicles 7:7-11. The Lord appears unto him by night, and assures him that he has heard his prayer, 2 Chronicles 7:12-16; promises him and his posterity a perpetual government, if they be obedient, 2 Chronicles 7:17, 2 Chronicles 7:18; but utter destruction should they disobey, and become idolaters, 2 Chronicles 7:19-22.
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.The fire came down - The cloud had come down before, now the fire consumes the sacrifice, showing that both the house and the sacrifices were accepted by the Lord.
And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.
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.
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.The king and all the people offered sacrifices - They presented the victims to the priests, and they and the Levites slew them, and sprinkled the blood: or perhaps the people themselves slew them; and, having caught the blood, collected the fat, etc., presented them to the priests to be offered as the law required.
And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.Twenty and two thousand oxen, etc. - The amount of all the victims that had been offered during the seven days of the feast of tabernacles, and the seven days of the feast of the dedication.
And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.
Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.
Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.The entering in of Hamath - "From the entrance of Antioch to the Nile of Egypt." - Targum.
And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.On the three and twentieth day - This was the ninth day of the dedication of the temple; but in 1 Kings 8:66 it is called the eighth day. "The meaning is this," says Jarchi: "he gave them liberty to return on the eighth day, and many of them did then return: and he dismissed the remainder on the ninth, what is called here the twenty-third, reckoning the fourteen days for the duration of the two feasts; in all, twenty-three."
The Targum paraphrases this verse thus: "The people departed with a glad heart, for all the good which God had done to David his servant, on whose account the doors of the sanctuary were open and for Solomon his son, because God had heard his prayer, and the majesty of the Lord had rested on the house of the sanctuary and for Israel, his people, because God had favourably accepted their oblations, and the heavenly fire had descended, and, burning on the altar, had devoured their sacrifices."
Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.
And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.The Lord appeared to Solomon - This was a second manifestation; see 1 Kings 9:2-9 (note), and the notes there. The Targum says, "The Word of the Lord appeared to Solomon."
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;Or if I send pestilence - "The angel of death." - Targum.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.Now mine eyes shall be open - It shall be pleasing to me in the sight of my Word, that I should incline mine ear," etc. - Targum.
For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;
Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.There shall not fail thee a man - This promise was not fulfilled, because the condition was not fulfilled; they forsook God, and he cut them off, and the throne also.
But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.Then will I pluck them up by the roots - How completely has this been fulfilled! not only all the branches of the Jewish political tree have been cut off, but the very roots have been plucked up; so that the day of the Lord's anger has left them neither root nor branch.
And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?Shall be an astonishment - The manner in which these disobedient people have been destroyed is truly astonishing: no nation was ever so highly favored, and none ever so severely and signally punished.
And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.Because they forsook the Lord - While they cleaved to God, the most powerful enemy could make no impression on them; but when they forsook him, then the weakest and most inconsiderable of their foes harassed, oppressed, and reduced them to bondage and misery. It was by no personal prowess, genuine heroism, or supereminent military tactics, that the Jews were enabled to resist and overcome their enemies; it was by the Divine power alone; for, destitute of this, they were even worse than other men.