2 Paralipomenon vi.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Cloud: literally, “darkness.” (Haydock) — The promise had been made to Moses, Exodus xvi. 10., and xl. 32. (Calmet) — God thus manifested his presence. (Worthington)
Ver. 12. Hands. Such external gestures promote attention in prayer; and hence were much used by holy people, at all times. (Worthington)
Ver. 13. Scaffold, (basim.) The Hebrew (kiyor) is used for “a shell, (concha.; Tirinus) or bowl,” as the throne was probably of the same form, and was placed on a square pedestal, at the higher end of the court of the people, (Calmet) which is here styled the temple, (basilicæ) or “hall,” chap. iv. 9. Septuagint aules. Hebrew chatsar, which denotes that great court where (Haydock) the body of the people stood bare-headed, before the Lord, (Grotius, &c.; chap. xx. 5.) in the open air. (Du Hamel) — We are assured that the king himself never sat in his tribune. (Calmet) — Others reserve that privilege to him alone. (Haydock) — While he addressed the people, he turned towards them.
Ver. 19. End. Temples are erected for the convenience of men. (Calmet) — Solomon hopes that God will reward his good intentions.
Ver. 22. Altar; thus solemnly consenting to be punished by God, if he swear falsely. (Haydock) — This practice was not prescribed by the law, but took place when witnesses could not be procured, or when it was necessary to rely on the word of the accused.
Ver. 28. Blasting, or mildew, (ærugo & aurugo.) The first has the colour of brass, the other of gold. Both have nearly the same import. (Menochius) — One of the terms is rendered, corrupt air; (3 Kings viii. 37.; Calmet) as this is one of the great causes why both plants and animals do not thrive. Septuagint, “corruption of the air and king’s evil, or yellow jaundice:” ikteros. (Haydock)
Ver. 29. Any. Hebrew adds, “man, or thy people.” Septuagint, “and (that is) to thy.” See ver. 32. (Haydock) — Both strangers and Israelites may there sue for mercy, and obtain it. (Calmet) — From this chapter, as well as from many other passages, it is evident that places consecrated to God, are more acceptable to him than other places; (Worthington) and here the prayers of the faithful are sooner heard, as they testify their unity. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 31. Fear thee, being filled with awe at the sight of thy judgments. (Calmet)
Ver. 33. House, that they may know that this is not only called, but is, in effect, the temple of the Lord, where he will display his power and goodness. (Haydock)
Ver. 38. Name. Hence arose the custom of turning towards Jerusalem and the temple, when the Jews poured forth their supplications, in any country, 3 Kings viii. 44.
Ver. 41. Now, therefore. This is taken from Psalm cxxxi. 8, 9, 10., (Menochius) almost word for word. We do not find that Solomon spoke this, 3 Kings. (Calmet) — Place: literally, “rest.” (Haydock) — Come, O Lord, and dwell here. — Strength, by which thy wonders shine forth, and thy enemies are dismayed. The ark is styled the strength of Israel, Psalm lxxvii. 61., and lxii. 3.; and in the parallel passage we read, Thou and the ark of thy sanctification, or sanctuary, which is its highest ornament, and which thou hast sanctified, or required to be treated with respect. — Salvation, or justice, (Psalm cxxxi.) which is the surest method of obtaining happiness.
Ver. 42. Anointed. Cover not with shame the king, whom thou hast appointed, (Haydock) nor reject my prayer. (Tirinus) — Mercies, which thou hast shewn, or rather (Calmet) the acts of virtue which thy servant displayed. (Syriac, &c.) For thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of thy anointed, Psalm cxxxi. In consideration of his merits, grant my request. (Calmet) — Even Solomon, though at this time the object of God’s complacency, disdains not to screen himself under the merits of the departed saints. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Solomon’s blessing and prayer.
1 Then *Solomon said: The Lord promised that he would dwell in a cloud.
2 But I have built a house to his name, that he might dwell there for ever.
3 And the king turned his face, and blessed all the multitude of Israel, (for all the multitude stood attentive) and he said:
4 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who hath accomplished in deed that which he spoke to David, my father, saying:
5 From the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel, for a house to be built in it to my name: neither chose I any other man, to be the ruler of my people, Israel.
6 But I chose Jerusalem, that my name might be there: and I chose David, to set him over my people, Israel.
7 And whereas David, my father, had a mind to build a house to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel,
8 The Lord said to him: Forasmuch as it was thy will to build a house to my name, thou hast done well indeed in having such a will:
9 But thou shalt not build the house, but thy son, who shall come out of thy loins, he shall build a house to my name.
10 The Lord, therefore, hath accomplished his word which he spoke: and I am risen up in the place of David, my father, and sit upon the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised: and have built a house to the name of the Lord God of Israel.
11 And I have put in it the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with the children of Israel.
12 And he stood before the altar of the Lord, in presence of all the multitude of Israel, and stretched forth his hands.
13 For Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, and had set it in the midst of the temple, which was five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high: and he stood upon it: then kneeling down in the presence of all the multitude of Israel, and lifting up his hands towards heaven,
14 *He said: O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven nor in earth: who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:
15 Who hast performed to thy servant David, my father, all that thou hast promised him: and hast accomplished in fact, what thou hast spoken with the mouth, as also the present time proveth.
16 Now then, O Lord God of Israel, fulfil to thy servant, David, my father, whatsoever 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 ways, and walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.
17 And now, Lord God of Israel, let thy word be established which thou hast spoken to thy servant, David.
18 Is it credible then that God should dwell with men on the earth? If heaven and the heavens of heavens do not contain thee, how much less this house, which I have built?
19 But to this end only it is made, that thou mayest regard the prayer of thy servant, and his supplication, O Lord, my God: and mayst hear the prayers which thy servant poureth out before thee.
20 That thou mayst open thy eyes upon this house day and night, upon the place wherein thou hast promised that thy name should be called upon,
21 And that thou wouldst hear the prayer which thy servant prayeth in it: hearken then to the prayers of thy servant, and of thy people, Israel. Whosoever shall pray in this place, hear thou from thy dwelling-place, that is, from heaven, and shew mercy.
22 If any man sin against his neighbour, and come to swear against him, and bind himself with a curse before the altar in this house:
23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do justice to thy servants, so as to requite the wicked by making his wickedness fall upon his own head, and to revenge the just, rewarding him according to his justice.
24 If thy people, Israel, be overcome by their enemies, (for they will sin against thee) and being converted shall do penance, and call upon thy name, and pray to thee in this place,
25 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people, Israel, and bring them back into the land, which thou gavest them, and their fathers.
26 If the heavens be shut up, and there fall no rain by reason of the sins of the people, and they shall pray to thee in this place, and confess to thy name, and be converted from their sins, when thou dost afflict them,
27 Then hear thou from heaven, O Lord, and forgive the sins of thy servants and of thy people, Israel, and teach them the good way, in which they may walk: and give rain to thy land which thou hast given to thy people to possess.
28 *If a famine arise in the land, or a pestilence or blasting, or mildew, or locusts, or caterpillars; or if their enemies waste the country, and besiege the cities; whatsoever scourge or infirmity shall be upon them:
29 Then if any of thy people, Israel, knowing his own scourge and infirmity, shall pray, and shall spread forth his hands in this house,
30 Hear thou from heaven, from thy high dwelling-place, and forgive, and render to every one according to his ways, which thou knowest him to have in his heart: (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)
31 That they may fear thee, and walk in thy ways all the days that they live upon the face of the land which thou hast given to our fathers.
32 If the stranger also, who is not of thy people, Israel, come from a far country, for the sake of thy great name, and thy strong hand, and thy stretched out arm, and adore in this place:
33 Hear thou from heaven, thy firm dwelling-place, and do all that which that stranger shall call upon thee for: that all the people of the earth may know thy name, and may fear thee, as thy people, Israel, and may know, that thy name is invoked upon this house, which I have built.
34 If thy people go out to war against their enemies, by the way that thou shalt send them, and adore thee towards the way of this city, which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built to thy name;
35 Then hear thou from heaven their prayers, and their supplications, and revenge them.
36 And if they sin against thee, *(for there is no man that sinneth not) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them up to their enemies, and they lead them away captive to a land either afar off, or near at hand,
37 And if they be converted in their heart in the land to which they were led captive, and do penance, and pray to thee in the land of their captivity, saying: We have sinned, we have done wickedly, we have dealt unjustly:
38 And return to thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their captivity, to which they were led away, and adore thee towards the way of their own land, which thou gavest their fathers, and of the city, which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built to thy name:
39 Then hear thou from heaven, that is, from thy firm dwelling-place, their prayers, and do judgment, and forgive thy people, although they have sinned:
40 For thou art my God: let thy eyes, I beseech thee, be open, and let thy ears be attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.
41 *Now, therefore, arise, O Lord God, into thy resting-place, thou and the ark of thy strength: Let thy priests, O Lord God, put on salvation, and thy saints rejoice in good things.
42 O Lord God, turn not away the face of thy anointed: remember the mercies of David, thy servant.
1: Year of the World 3001.; 3 Kings viii. 12.
14: 2 Machabees ii. 8.
28: 2 Paralipomenon xx. 9.
36: 3 Kings viii. 46.; Ecclesiastes vii. 21.; 1 John i. 8.
41: Psalm cxxxi. 8.