2 Chronicles Chapter 7 to 8 : Easy-to-Read Version
The Temple Dedicated to the Lord
7 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from the sky and burned up the burnt offering* and the sacrifices.* The Glory of the Lord* filled the temple.* 2The priests could not enter the Lord’s temple because the Glory of the Lord filled it. 3All the people of Israel saw the fire come down from heaven. The people of Israel also saw the Glory of the Lord on the temple. They bowed their faces down low to the ground on the pavement. They worshiped and thanked the Lord. They sang the song, The Lord is good. His kindness continues forever.* 4Then King Solomon and all the people of Israel offered sacrifices* in front of the Lord. 5King Solomon offered 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep. The king and all the people made the temple* of God holy. It was to be used only for worshiping God. 6The priests stood ready to do their work. The Levites also stood with the instruments of the Lord’s music. These instruments were made by King David to give thanks to the Lord. The priests and Levites were singing, Praise the Lord because his love continues forever.* The priests blew their trumpets as they stood across from the Levites. And all the people of Israel were standing. 7Solomon made the middle part of the yard holy. That yard is in front of the Lord’s temple.* That is the place where Solomon offered burnt offerings* and the fat of the fellowship offerings. Solomon used the middle of the yard because the bronze altar* he made could not hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat. There were many of those offerings. 8Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the feast for seven days. There was a very large group of people with Solomon. Those people came from the entrance of the town of Hamath and all the way to the Brook of Egypt. 9On the eighth day they had a holy meeting because they had celebrated for seven days. They made the altar* holy and it was to be used only for worshiping the Lord. And they celebrated the feast for seven days. 10On the 23rd day of the seventh month Solomon sent the people back to their homes. The people were very happy and their hearts were full of joy, because the Lord was so good to David, to Solomon, and to his people Israel.
The Lord Comes to Solomon
11Solomon finished the Lord’s temple* and the king’s house. Solomon had success in finishing all the things he planned in the Lord’s temple and in his own house. 12Then the Lord came to Solomon at night. The Lord said to him, “Solomon, I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for myself to be a house for sacrifices.* 13When I close the sky so there is no rain, or I command the locusts to destroy the land, or I send sicknesses to my people, 14and if my people who are called by my name become humble and pray, and look for me, and turn away from their evil ways, then I will hear them from heaven. And I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land. 15Now, my eyes are open, and my ears will pay attention to the prayers prayed in this place. 16I have chosen this temple, and I have made it holy so that my name will be here forever. Yes, my eyes and heart will always be here in this temple. 17“Now you, Solomon, if you live in front of me the same way your father David lived, and if you obey all I have commanded, and if you obey my laws and rules, 18then I will make you a strong king and your kingdom will be great. That is the agreement I made with David your father. I told him, ‘David, you will always have a man in your family that will be a king in Israel.’ 19“But if you do not obey my laws and commands that I gave you, and if you worship other gods and serve them, 20then I will take the people of Israel out from my land that I gave them. And I will leave this temple* that I have made holy for my name. I will make this temple something that all the nations will speak evil about. 21Every person who passes by this temple that was so highly honored will be surprised. They will say, ‘Why has the Lord done this terrible thing to the land and to this temple?’ 22Then people will answer, ‘Because the people of Israel refused to obey the Lord, the God their ancestors* obeyed. He is the God that led them out of the country of Egypt. But the people of Israel accepted other gods. They worshiped and served idol gods. That is the reason the Lord made all these terrible things happen to the people of Israel.”
burnt offering(s) Gifts to God. Usually these were animals that were killed and completely burned on the altar. sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually, it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar. Glory of the Lord One of the forms God used when he appeared to people. It was like a bright shining light. The Lord … forever See Psalms 118 and 136. Praise the Lord … forever See 1 Chron 16:41, Ps. 118 and 136. altar(s) A stone table or a stand for offering sacrifices. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually, it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar. ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.
8 The time it took Solomon to build the Lord’s temple* and his own house was 20 years. 2Then Solomon built again the towns that Hiram gave him. And Solomon allowed some of the people of Israel to live in those towns. 3After this Solomon went to Hamath of Zobah and captured it. 4Solomon also built the town of Tadmor in the desert. He built all the towns in Hamath to store things in. 5Solomon built again the towns of Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon. He made those towns into strong forts. Those towns had strong walls, gates, and bars in the gates. 6Solomon also built again the town of Baalath and all the other towns where he stored things. He built all the cities where the chariots* were kept and all the cities where the horse riders lived. Solomon built all he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and in all the country where he was king. 7–8There were many strangers left in the country where the people of Israel were living. There were the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Solomon forced all those foreigners to be slave workers. Those people were not from the people of Israel. Those people were the descendants* of the people that were left in the land and not yet destroyed by the people of Israel. This still continues today. 9Solomon did not force any of the people of Israel to be slave workers. The people of Israel were Solomon’s fighting men. They were the commanders of Solomon’s army officers. They were commanders of Solomon’s chariots* and commanders of Solomon’s chariot drivers. 10And some of the men of Israel were leaders of Solomon’s important officials. There were 250 of those leaders to supervise the people. 11Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the house he built for her. Solomon said, “My wife must not live in King David’s house because the places where the Box of the Agreement* has been are holy places.” 12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings* to the Lord on the Lord’s altar.* Solomon built that altar in front of the temple* porch. 13Solomon offered sacrifices* every day the way Moses commanded. Sacrifices were to be offered on Sabbath days,* on the New Moon* celebrations, and on the three yearly holidays. The three yearly holidays were the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Shelters. 14Solomon followed his father David’s instructions. Solomon chose the groups of priests for their service. Solomon also chose the Levites for their duties. The Levites were to lead the praise and help the priests from day to day to do the things that needed to be done in the temple service. And Solomon chose the gatekeepers by their groups to serve at each gate. This is the way David, the man of God, instructed. 15The people of Israel did not change or disobey any of Solomon’s instructions to the priests and Levites. They did not change any of the instructions, even in the way they should keep the valuable things. 16All Solomon’s work was done. It was well planned from the day the Lord’s temple* was begun until the day it was finished. So the Lord’s temple was finished. 17Then Solomon went to the towns of Ezion Geber and Elath. Those towns were near the Red Sea in the country of Edom. 18Hiram sent ships to Solomon. Hiram’s own men sailed the ships. Hiram’s men were skilled at sailing on the sea. Hiram’s men went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir* and brought back 17 tons of gold* to King Solomon.
temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. descendants A person’s children and their future families. Box of the Agreement The box containing the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them and the other things that proved God was with the people of Israel during their time in the Sinai Desert. Also called “The Ark of the Covenant.” burnt offerings Gifts to God. Usually these were animals that were killed and completely burned on the altar. altar(s) A stone table or a stand for offering sacrifices. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually, it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar. Sabbath day(s) Saturday. A special day of rest and worship for the Jews. New Moon This was the first day of the Hebrew month. There were special meetings on these days to worship God. Ophir A place where there was much gold. Today no person knows where Ophir really was. 17 tons of gold Or “15,300kg.” Literally, “450 talents.” In today’s money that would be more than $13,000,000.