New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary

2Ch 6:1 Then Solomon said, Yahweh has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness-
Solomon like David (see on 2 Chron. 3:1; 2 Sam. 16:10) came to assume things about God in order to justify his passion for building a temple. He claims that God “said that He would dwell in the thick darkness”, perhaps alluding to the darkness of the most holy place in which there was no natural light; but actually there’s no record God ever said that. What He said was that He would dwell in the hearts of men and not in a house.

What we say to the Lord Jesus in His ear in the bedroom in the darkness, will be openly spoken by Christ at the judgment (Lk. 12:2,3). God dwells in darkness (Ex. 20:21; 1 Kings 8:12). Speaking in the bedroom in secret with the knowledge we will be openly rewarded is the language of prayer (Mt. 6:6). Our private relationship with the Lord now, praying to Him in our bedroom, meditating about Him there, will then be spoken out loud.

2Ch 6:2 But I have built You a house of habitation, and a place for You to dwell in forever-
Solomon totally misses the point of God's response to David's desire to build Him a house; God would build David a house, involving Him dwelling in the "place" of the humble human heart. And "forever" was conditional upon the obedience of David's son / seed. But here Solomon effectively dictates to God that those promises are now fulfilled in him- because he has built a temple for God.

Ps. 127 is "For Solomon" (v.2 "beloved" = Heb. Jedidah), and warns him that his labour for the temple will be in vain unless God  builds it. The Psalm basically says that God will build Solomon a house in the sense of a family centred in the beloved seed who would die [“sleep”] to enable it; and therefore Solomon should not be so sweating himself day and night to build God a house / temple. This is the very message which God had given David earlier. David and Solomon evidently shelved their knowledge of the fact that Heaven is God's dwelling place. It would seem that Solomon particularly was guilty of a false humility; there is a gross contradiction within his words of 2 Chron. 6:2,18: "I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever... But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built?". This is one of several hints that Solomon felt that the full fulfilment of the Davidic promises was to be found in him (cp. 2 Chron. 6:10). He failed to look forward to the spirit of Christ, instead becoming obsessed with the achievement of his own works. He was largely encouraged in this by David, who seems to have felt that Solomon was the Messiah figure the promises spoke about. Thus Ps.72 is dedicated to Solomon, and yet it speaks clearly of the messianic Kingdom. In the same way as David came to misquote and misapply the promises God made to him, Solomon did likewise. God told David that He did not want a physical house, because He had never commanded this to be done at any time in the past. Solomon misquotes this in 2 Chron. 6:5,6 to mean that God had never asked for a physical house in the past, but now he had asked David's son to build such a house in Jerusalem.

2Ch 6:3 The king turned his face-
From God to the people. The rest of this chapter is therefore Solomon praying facing the people rather than God. He was effectively praying to himself, praying to be seen of men. The Lord's criticism of such prayers seems to have in mind Solomon's example here.

And blessed all the assembly of Israel; and all the assembly of Israel stood-
This blessing of Israel suggests Solomon was acting as the high priest, although he was not of the tribe of Levi. David had done this kind of thing, but from careful reflection upon the spirit of the law, whose letter he says in Ps. 119 he studied constantly. And David came to this sense through careful reflection upon God's grace to him, and through the experience of Uzzah's death as a result of taking 'living the spirit of the law' too far.

2Ch 6:4 He said, Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel, Who spoke with His mouth to David my father and has with His hands fulfilled it saying-
As discussed above, the promises to David were not at all totally fulfilled at that point, just because Solomon had built a temple. They were conditional upon Solomon's obedience to the law, which from a young man he had not shown. We think of his marriage to Rehoboam's Ammonitess mother, and to Pharaoh's daughter . 

2Ch 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth My people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house in, that My name might be there; neither chose I any man to be prince over My people Israel-
This is a typical misrepresentation of God's word. What God had said through Nathan was that He had not chosen anywhere for a temple to be built, but had lived as it were a mobile life in the tent of the tabernacle. And therefore, God would build David a house in the sense of a family of believers sharing David's faith.

2Ch 6:6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there; and have chosen David to be over My people Israel-
Solomon claims that God said: “I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there”. God had chosen no resting place, although it would have been politically convenient for Solomon if the city of Jerusalem as a city was where God had chosen to dwell. And so he kept thinking that way until he persuaded himself that in fact this was what God had said. David had charged Solomon with the words which God had spoken to him about Solomon: “If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul” (1 Kings 2:4). But Solomon subtly changes this when he reminds God of how He had supposedly told David: “There shall not fail thee a man to sit on the throne of Israel; so that they children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me” (1 Kings 8:25). Two things become apparent here:

- The conditionality of the promise to David about Solomon is totally overlooked.  “If thy children…” becomes “so that…”, with the implication that David would always have descendants on the throne who would walk obediently before God. The possibility of personal failure had been removed by Solomon from his own perception of God.

- God’s desire that Solomon should “walk before me in truth” was changed to “walk before me as thou [David] hast walked before me”. This defined walking before God personally as having the relationship with God which your father had. And so often we have made the same mistake. The call to personally follow the Lord has become displaced by a following Him through others.

Notice how Solomon says these words to God Himself. Solomon had persuaded himself that this truly was what God had asked of David and himself, and so he comes out with these words to God.

2Ch 6:7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel-
This much was true, but it is sandwiched between various untruths and misrepresentations. But he misses the point of God's response, that His Name, His personality and character, dwells in persons and not buildings.

2Ch 6:8 But Yahweh said to David my father, Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart-
This is not recorded in the historical account, and given Solomon's tendency to misrepresent God's word we wonder whether this was said by God at all. Because God's response had been that He didn't want a house. He wanted to build a non physical house for David. Those reasons He gave for declining David's offer are not at all in the spirit of what God is now reported to have said.

2Ch 6:9 Nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son who shall come forth out of your body, he shall build the house for My name-
As noted above, this would have been contrary to the spirit of the reasons God gave for declining David's offer. He had explained that He had never asked for any permanent sanctuary to be built for Him, and tent life was His style, as He doesn't live in buildings but in hearts. And instead of building a house for Yahweh, David was instead to focus upon the wonderful grace of Yahweh's plan to turn his Messianic seed and all "in him" into an eternal spiritual house for His abode. Yet Solomon presents God as having been in eager agreement with the idea, but simply had some reservations about David doing it, and instead asked Solomon to build it. That would have been a contradiction of the reasoning God gave for saying He didn't want a physical house built for Him.

2Ch 6:10 Yahweh has performed His word that He spoke; for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Yahweh promised, and have built the house for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel-
The establishment of the promises to David was to be conditional upon David's son walking in God's ways. But now Solomon wrongly presents the promises to David as having come to total fulfilment in him, just because he had built a temple for God. 

Solomon speaks about him being King in Jerusalem (Ecc. 1:1,12; Prov. 1:1) as if this was the ultimate fulfilment of the Davidic promises. Consider the implications of 2 Chron. 1:9: "O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth... give me now wisdom, that I may go out and come in before (i.e. lead) this people". Solomon was asking for wisdom because he thought that he was the Messiah, and he saw wisdom as a Messianic characteristic. He failed to realize that the promises to Abraham and David were only being primarily fulfilled in him (e.g. 1 Kings 4:20); he thought that he was the ultimate fulfilment of them (1 Kings 8:20 states this in so many words). His lack of faith and vision of the future Kingdom lead him to this proud and arrogant conclusion (cp. building up our own 'Kingdom' in this life through our lack of vision of the Kingdom of God).

2Ch 6:11 Therein I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of Yahweh, which He made with the children of Israel-
By saying this, Solomon was careful to omit mentioning that the pit of manna and Aaron's rod were now no longer within the ark. “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb ... the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:9,21). Those tablets, on which were the ten commandments, were the covenant. The old covenant is therefore the ten commandments, including the Sabbath- and this has been replaced by the new covenant, which does not require Sabbath keeping.

2Ch 6:12 He stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands-
Solomon was hardly praying in his closet! It seems the Lord was alluding to Solomon in Mt. 6:6, interpreting what he does here in a very negative light, and a reflection of Solomon's pride rather than his spirituality.

2Ch 6:13 (for Solomon had made a bronze scaffold, five cubits long, five cubits broad and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and on it he stood, and kneeled down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven)-
18 out of 21 occurrences, the Hebrew word translated "scaffold" is translated "laver". The huge podium was perhaps basin shaped. This confirms the suggestion on 2 Chron. 4:15 that the laver with the 12 oxen beneath it was really a statement of Solomon's power over the 12 tribes of Israel, with them serving him and being his power base.

2Ch 6:14 He said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven or on earth; You Who keep covenant and loving kindness with Your servants who walk before You with all their heart-
David spoke of seeking and praising God's grace with his "whole heart" (Ps. 9:1; 119:58; 138:1). Solomon uses the phrase, but speaks of being obedient with the "whole heart" (1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chron. 6:14) and applying the "whole heart" to the intellectual search for God (Ecc. 1:13; 8:9). There is a difference. The idea of whole hearted devotion to God was picked up by Solomon, but instead of giving the whole heart to the praise of God's grace, he instead advocated giving the whole heart to ritualistic obedience and intellectual search for God. This has been the trap fallen into by many Protestant groups whose obsession with "truth" has obscured the wonder of God's grace.

2Ch 6:15 Who has kept with Your servant David my father that which You promised him: yes, You spoke with Your mouth, and have fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day-
He failed to meditate upon the promises beyond what they seemed to offer him in the here and now; and the result was that he felt they were totally fulfilled in him (1 Kings 8:20,24). He dogmatically declared to Shimei: “And King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever” (1 Kings 2:45). And in all this, of course, we see our warning.

2Ch 6:16 Now therefore, Yahweh the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You promised him saying, There shall not fail you a man in My sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children take heed to their way, to walk in My law as you have walked before Me-
He overlooks the condition as being that he personally must be obedient. But he just slightly twists this, to make the conditionality dependent upon Israel's obedience rather than his personal obedience. The promises to David originally focused upon one individual, whom the New Testament interprets as the Lord Jesus. But David in Ps. 89:30; 132:12 and Solomon here and in 1 Kings 8:25 chose to understand the "seed" as the Davidic dynasty down the generations. This loss of focus upon the future Lord Jesus was what led David and Solomon to focus instead upon their own dynasty, rather than upon the future individual son of David who would reign eternally upon David's throne. His personal  immortality came to be interpreted as the eternal continuance of the Davidic dynasty as kings of Israel throughout future generations.

Notice how Solomon says these words to God Himself. Solomon had persuaded himself that this truly was what God had asked of David and himself, and so he comes out with these words to God.

2Ch 6:17 Now therefore, Yahweh the God of Israel, let Your word be verified which You spoke to Your servant David-
Solomon keeps saying that his zealous  work  for the temple was the result of God's promise to David  having  fulfillment  in him (1 Kings 8:24-26), and to some extent  this  was true. David earnestly prayed for Solomon to be the Messianic King (e.g. Ps. 72), and therefore David asked for Solomon to be given a truly wise heart (1 Chron. 29:19). These prayers were answered in a very limited  sense- in that Solomon was given great wisdom, and his Kingdom was one of the greatest  types  of  Christ's future Kingdom. Our prayers for others really can have an effect upon them, otherwise there would be no point in the concept of praying for others. But of course  each individual has an element  of spiritual freewill; we can't force others to be spiritual by our prayers; yet on the other  hand, our prayers can influence their spirituality. David's  prayers for Solomon is the classic example of this. Those  prayers were heard most definitely, in that God helped Solomon marvellously, giving him every opportunity to develop a superb spirituality; but he failed to have the genuine personal desire to be like this in his heart, in his heart he was back in Egypt, and therefore ultimately David's desire for Solomon to be the wondrous Messianic King of his dreams had to go unfulfilled.  

2Ch 6:18 But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain You; how much less this house which I have built!-
It was exactly because of this that God didn't want a physical house built for Him. Yet Solomon has misrepresented God as saying He did want such a house. So these words are fake humility from Solomon, seeking to cover his proud obsession with building projects beneath an appearance of humility.

2Ch 6:19 Yet have respect for the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, Yahweh my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You-
I noted on :3 that Solomon is praying all this facing the people, to be seen of men. This prayer would have been better said facing toward God. His showmanship is apparent.

2Ch 6:20 that Your eyes may be open toward this house day and night, even toward the place where you have said that You would put Your name; to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place-
God never said that. It is Solomon's twist of the word of promise to David, that if his son / seed were obedient, then "He shall build an house for My Name". But that house was to be built up from persons, and had no reference to any physical building; indeed, the very opposite. God's eyes are open upon His children wherever they are, as David had learned whilst far from the sanctuary and on the run from Saul. Nehemiah felt God's eyes were open upon him even when the temple was in ruins (Neh. 1:6).

2Ch 6:21 Listen to the petitions of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they shall pray toward this place. Yes, hear from Your dwelling place, even from heaven; and when You hear, forgive-
The temple and ark are sometimes referred to as the heavens (2 Sam. 15:25 cp. 1 Kings 8:30; 2 Chron. 30:27; Ps. 20:2,6; 11:4; Heb. 7:26). The church is the new temple, and is therefore at times referred to as the heavenlies in the New Testament. But Solomon was not reasoning on this level at this point. Rather was he claiming that the temple building would somehow make prayer more powerful before God. But that is simply untrue; no physical building can act as some kind of mediator between God and man. This is not to say that the faithful did not later pray toward the temple; for both Daniel and Jonah did. But it was not because they thought the temple somehow gave their prayers more power and standing before God because of its existence. For in Daniel's time, and perhaps Jonah's, the temple was in ruins.

2Ch 6:22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath is laid on him to cause him to swear, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house-
God's awareness of who was telling the truth was not, however, predicated upon the altar being situated within a physical building. God's presence and omniscience was not somehow from then on conditional upon the temple.

2Ch 6:23 then hear from heaven, and do, and judge your servants, bringing retribution to the wicked, to bring his way on his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness-
In Prov. 24:24 and other Proverbs, Solomon teaches that this is how men should judge, lest they be cursed. He says that God condemns the wicked but justifies the righteous, and so should we. But by having this position, he shows his total lack of appreciation of God's grace to his father David. For David was worthy of condemnation, but by grace, he the wicked was justified, counted righteous, when he was not (Ps. 32:2 cp. Rom. 4:4-6). This lack of appreciation of grace arose from how it seems Solomon totally whitewashed the sin of his father David with his mother Bathsheba. And it resulted in his lack of grace, and failure throughout Proverbs to appreciate that human behaviour is nuanced, and is not simply divided between spotlessly righteous behaviour and terrible sinfulness.

2Ch 6:24 If Your people Israel be struck down before the enemy because they have sinned against You, and shall turn again and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this house-
Again, Solomon devalues the power of prayerful repentance and confession of God's Name; for he implies that this is made somehow more powerful through praying to the God "in this house". But Solomon is as it were bringing God down from heaven to earth by suggesting He is somehow located "in this house". Whereas He is in heaven, as he contradictorily admits in :25. It was because of this mindset that there was such a collapse of faith in Judah when they saw the temple in ruins. It meant, according to Solomon's logic, the death of God.

Who God is, as expressed in His Name, is an imperative to prepare ourselves to meet Him in judgment. The confession of the Name is paralleled with repentance here. If Israel sin and repent ''and confess Your Name", they will be forgiven. But instead of ''confess thy name'' we expect ''confess their sins: the point being that to confess the name is effectively to confess sins. The name is the characteristics of Yahweh. The more we meditate upon them, the more we will naturally be lead to a confession of our sins, the deeper we will sense the gap between those principles and our own character. Likewise in 2 Chron. 12:6 the statement that ''the Lord is righteous'' is effectively a confession of sin. And thus we are not to bear or take the Name of Yahweh called upon us at baptism in vain- the realty of the implications of the name are not to be lost upon us.

2Ch 6:25 then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land which You gave to them and to their fathers-
See on :24. The restoration to their land was to be because they, or those who remained in the land, would pray to God in the temple (:24). Solomon is hereby assuming that even if Israel sin and go into captivity, the temple will be an eternal house for God which will always be there. He is so very wrong. The temple was not eternal and was destroyed; but the exiles could still pray to God, quite independently of the existence of the temple. The destruction of the temple was for multiple reasons, but perhaps one of them was to rid God's people of these wrong ideas about God's presence in the temple building. And God answers this idea that the temple was to be eternal in 1 Kings 9:7,8.

2Ch 6:26 When the sky is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You; if they pray toward this place, and confess Your name and turn from their sin, when You afflict them-
Solomon inserts parts of his father’s Bathsheba psalms in his prayers for how all Israel could be forgiven if they “confess thy name... when thou afflictest them... saying, We have sinned... forgive thy people... and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed” (1 Kings 8:35,47,50 = Ps. 32:5 etc.). On the basis of David’s pattern, all God’s people can find forgiveness, if they make a like confession. Indeed, this has long been recognized by Jewish commentators; and many of the Psalms understood by them as relevant to the Nazi holocaust are Bathsheba Psalms. “Out of the depths” they cried like David; and at the entrance to Bergen-Belsen it stands written: “My sorrow is continually before me” (Ps. 38:17), in recognition of having received punishment for sin [note how these kind of plaques contain no trace of hatred or calling for Divine retribution upon the persecutors].

But Solomon, as ever, is mixing truth with error. Because the turning again to God was not dependent upon praying towards the temple building. It was to be destroyed, and the direction of their prayers was to be towards "the God of heaven" and not some ghost in a ruined temple. This phrase "the God of heaven" or similar is often found in the restoration histories, indicating that God's people had been forced to learn this lesson.  

2Ch 6:27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel, when You teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land, which You have given to Your people for an inheritance-
The reference to rain was appropriate in the immediate context because as explained on 2 Chron. 5:3, Solomon was speaking in the seventh month of Ethanim, literally, the rain month, and likely the latter rains were pouring down at this time as he was speaking. His implication would be that this rain was part of the promised blessing for obedience because of the temple. Perhaps this was why, as noted on :2, Solomon had purposefully arranged the dedication festival at this time.

2Ch 6:28 If there is famine in the land, if there is plague, blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is-
These things clearly allude to the curses for breaking the covenant in Dt. 28. But those curses were to be lifted by repentance and renewed faithfulness to the covenant, and their lifting was not predicated upon the existence of the physical temple and praying in it or towards it.

2Ch 6:29 whatever prayer and supplication be made by any man, or by all Your people Israel who shall know every man his own plague and his own sorrow of heart, and shall spread forth his hands toward this house-
As Pharaoh’s heart was plagued (Ex. 9:14), so was Israel’s (1 Kings 8:38); as Egypt was a reed, so were Israel (1 Kings 14:15). As Pharaoh-hophra was given into the hand of his enemies, so would Israel be (Jer. 44:30). She would be  “Condemned with the world...”. But the phrase 'spread forth hands' is used often in the Bible, but followed by 'to the Lord'. Solomon is praying with hands spread forth towards heaven; but he is confusing prayer towards God with prayer towards the temple. He is drawing an inappropriate parallel between God and the temple.

Solomon, the man with every available pleasure, laments that his days are full of sorrow and grief and he can't sleep peacefully at night (Ecc. 2:23). Yet Solomon had prayed that when God's people were in grief and sorrow because of their sins, they could pray to God using his temple, and be forgiven and have their grief assuaged. Yet in Ecc. 2:23, Solomon laments that all his days are spent in grief and sorrows (s.w.). The way out of the depression with which he ended his days was repentance and acceptance of God's free grace and forgiveness. But he refused to do this, and turned his heart away from Yahweh.     

We are forgiven on account of the fact we truly sorrow for our sins, knowing them as our own sore and our own grief (2 Chron. 6:29,30). The Lord carried our sorrows, i.e. our sins. It is only these sins, for which we have sorrowed, that He carried. This is why we need to  appreciate that sin is serious.

2Ch 6:30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place and forgive, and render to each man according to all his ways, whose heart You know; (for You, even You only, know the hearts of the children of men;)-
This reference to God dwelling in heaven makes a nonsense of the idea of building a house for God to inhabit on earth. And this was exactly why God had not wanted David to build the temple. So Solomon is here merely giving lip service to these ideas.

Descriptions of God’s dwelling place clearly indicate that He has a personal location: “God is in heaven” (Ecc. 5:2); “He has looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth” (Ps. 102:19,20); “Hear in heaven your dwelling place”. Yet more specifically than this, we read that God has a “throne” (2 Chron. 9:8; Ps. 11:4; Is. 6:1; 66:1). Such language is hard to apply to an undefined essence which exists somewhere in heavenly realms.

Rabshakeh confirmed the threatened destruction of Jerusalem with a letter which Hezekiah took “before the Lord”. His first response was not to turn to Egypt; he’d learnt the wrongness of that. He went to the house of the Lord. Whilst we are always in God’s presence, there is surely a sense in which coming into His presence through prayer is drawing yet closer to Him. And so it was with the special presence of YHWH in the temple at that time. Hezekiah was aware that YHWH ‘dwells between the cherubim” (2 Kings 19:15). Presumably standing before the ark, Hezekiah “spread out” the letter (2 Kings 19:14). The Hebrew word translated ‘spread out’ is the same as that usually used about how the wings of the cherubim were ‘spread out’ over the ark (Ex. 25:20; 37:9). It’s also the word used in Solomon’s prophecy of how repentant people would spread out their hands in the temple at the time of the punishment for their sins, and receive forgiveness and help: “Whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands in this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive” (2 Chron. 6:29,30). And Hezekiah would also have been only too aware of Isaiah’s judgment against Judah of a few years earlier: “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen” (Is. 1:15). But Hezekiah summoned his faith in God’s forgiveness, and spread out his hands as he spread out the letter. He showed his deep repentance, and his faith in forgiveness to such an extent that he was bold enough to ask God for deliverance. Faith in forgiveness of our sins is perhaps one of the hardest things to believe in- strangely enough, seeing that God delights in forgiveness.

2Ch 6:31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways, so long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers-
This is repeating the idea of Ps. 130:4: "There is forgiveness with You, that You mayest be feared". Solomon reasons that the experience of forgiveness [on behalf of his temple] will make the people fear Yahweh. And that is so; if we realize the awesome nature of forgiveness, we will fear / respect the God who grants it on a scale and of a nature so beyond our forgiveness of others. "All the days that they live in the land" could hint that Solomon wrongly thought that the people would live eternally in the land, because he was the Messianic king and the temple had now been built.  

2Ch 6:32 Moreover concerning the foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, when he shall come from a far country for Your great name’s sake and because of Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm; when they shall come and pray toward this house-
The acceptance of the Gentile within the community of Israel was not simply predicated upon the existence of the temple. Ruth was the classic case of coming out of a Gentile country for the sake of Yahweh's Name. And her acceptance was not at all predicated upon any temple building, because there was none in existence at her time. There seems implicit in the reasoning here that the fame of Yahweh's temple would spread to the surrounding nations, and some would wish to come and worship in it. But proselytes were not to be attracted to Yahweh because of any physical temple, but because of who He is- the things implicit in His Name. No matter how cool and slick the external presentation, this is not what legitimately converts people to the true God.    

2Ch 6:33 then hear from heaven, even from Your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to You for; that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as does Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name-
As discussed on :32, God's response to Gentile proselytes, and their turning to Him, is not predicated upon the existence of a physical building. Solomon asks God to answer prayers of Gentiles made toward the temple so that the Gentiles would know that Yahweh's Name was really there- in "this house which I have built". The agenda of Solomon's pride is evident.

His prayer speaks as if the heavens where God lived were actually the temple; he bid men pray towards the temple where God lived, rather than to God in Heaven. Theoretically he recognized the magnitude of God (2 Chron.6:18); yet the vastness of God, both in power and Spirituality, meant little to him; it failed to humble him as it should have done.  It is a feature of human nature to be able to perceive truth and yet act the very opposite. His enthusiasm for his own works lead him to lose a true relationship with God. The idea of salvation by grace became lost on him, loving response to God's forgiveness was not on his agenda, true humility was unnecessary for him, given his certainty that he was King as God intended. He reasoned that God would hear his prayers because they were uttered in the temple of his own hands, rather than because of any personal faith (1 Kings 8:52). Indeed, Solomon legalistically demands that God maintain [as in a court of law] the legal cause or "right" of His people if they pray towards the temple (1 Kings 8:45,49). Legalism and faith are opposed to each other, and Solomon's usage and conception of the temple was legalistic rather than faith based. When dedicating the temple, Solomon asks God to incline the hearts of Israel to be obedient to His commandments (1 Kings 8:57); and whilst God can and does do this, Solomon's implication seems to be that any disobedience would therefore effectively be God's fault for not making His people obedient. He failed to see the need for personal election to obey God's ways.

God said that He accepted the temple not so much as a place to dwell in (as Solomon assumed it was) but as a place facilitating sacrifice, prayer etc., for the glorification of His Name through these things; He emphasized that He dwelt amongst His people (1 Kings 6:13; 2 Chron. 7:12-16). There are several other places where God’s response to Solomon’s words seems to be corrective rather than affirmatory. Thus Solomon says that God will hear the prayers of His people because the temple is called by God’s Name; but God’s response is that “my people, which are called by my name” would pray to Him themselves and be heard, quite apart from the temple (2 Chron. 6:33 cp. 7:14). He sees them as bearing His Name rather than the temple building, as Solomon perceived it. God goes on to parallel the temple and His people in 2 Chron. 7:21,22, saying that if He punishes the temple He will punish the people. Solomon seems to have thought that the temple would still stand favourably in God’s eyes even if the people were punished. The record records that the temple was “perfected” whereas Solomon’s heart wasn’t perfect [s.w.] (1 Kings 11:4 cp. 2 Chron. 8:16).

2Ch 6:34 If Your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name-
Solomon is alluding to Dt. 20:1, but Israel were told that when they went out to battle (s.w.), they were to remember that Yahweh was present with them. Solomon has distorted this idea, by suggesting that Yahweh's presence was specifically in the temple, and the people were to pray towards it there. When in reality, His presence was with His people on the battle front and in their hearts. 

2Ch 6:35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and uphold their case-
"Maintain their cause" is the same phrase translated "do judgment / justice". But Israel were to do justice (Lev. 18:4 and often, as David did, 2 Sam. 8:15), and in response, Yahweh would do justice for them (Dt. 10:18). But Solomon overlooks this conditional aspect in Israel's relationship with God, as he did in his own life. He thought that merely praying to a temple would somehow obligate God to 'do judgment' for His people. This is the mentality of mere religion, and not of relationship with God.

2Ch 6:36 If they sin against You (for there is no man who sins not) and You are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive to a land far off or near-
Solomon often emphasized the importance of keeping ones’ heart (Prov. 2:10-16; 3:5,6; 4:23-5:5; 6:23-26); he had foreseen that the essential sin of God’s people was “the plague of his own heart” (1 Kings 8:46), and he imagined how for this sin God’s people would later pray towards the temple. And yet his wives turned away his heart, for all this awareness that the heart must be kept. It was as if the more he knew the truth of something, the more he wanted to do the very opposite. And this is exactly true of our natures. Perhaps with Solomon he reasoned that in his case, foreign wives wouldn’t turn away his heart. Just as our flesh thinks ‘Yes, but it can’t happen to me’. Perhaps too he reasoned that if the temple somehow could bring forgiveness for the plague of the heart, his heart was incorruptible because of the temple.    

2Ch 6:37 yet if they shall repent themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity saying, We have sinned, we have done perversely, and have dealt wickedly-
Again, Solomon assumes that even if Israel were to go into captivity, the temple would still stand, and prayer toward it would bring the restoration. But the temple was destroyed, so that they would be forced to quit this kind of religious tokenism and turn to God in Heaven with their hearts and souls. Daniel prayed these words (Dan. 9:5), but there was no temple then standing to add efficacy to them. And they were prayed in Ps. 106:6 before any temple stood.

2Ch 6:38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity to where they have carried them captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers and to the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name-
The old covenant clearly taught that all Israel would be exiled from their land if they broke the covenant. Solomon's dedication of the temple seemed to assume that only the wicked would be exiled from the land, and the temple would stand eternally; to express repentance in exile, they just needed to pray towards it. But all Israel were sent into exile, and his temple was razed to the ground. But Solomon's belief that "The upright will dwell in the land; the perfect will eternally remain in it" (Prov. 2:21) meant that he totally refused to accept the extent of judgment predicted in the curses of Dt. 28. All Israel would be exiled from their land. He liked to assume that his Kingdom would eternally endure; because of his lack of faith in the nature of the future Kingdom, and his mistaken imagination that he was the eternal Messianic king. He refused to recognize that his father David in Ps. 72 had wrongly imagined that he would be that eternal king, and disregarded the conditionality of the promises made to him. And God answers this idea that the temple was to be eternal in 1 Kings 9:7,8.

Daniel understood that after 70 years Jerusalem must be restored; but he earnestly prayed for their forgiveness so that this would happen (Dan. 9:2 cp. 19). Perhaps he opened his window and prayed towards Jerusalem exactly because he wanted to fulfil 2 Chron. 6:37,38: “If they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn, and pray unto thee… toward their land… and toward the city which thou hast chosen”. He knew that repentance was a precondition for the promised restoration to occur.

2Ch 6:39 then hear from heaven, even from Your dwelling place, their prayer and their petitions, and uphold their case and forgive Your people who have sinned against You-
When exiled from Absalom, David had prayed toward God's "holy hill" of Zion, and had been regathered there (Ps. 3:4). David had fled Jerusalem and the "holy hill" of the temple mount, which was now under Absalom's control. But he believes Yahweh is still there, present as it were in the temple, and answering his prayer. He perhaps alludes to the promises that if Israel sinned and were exiled, they could always pray to God and hope for regathering to His holy hill (Dt. 30:1-4; Neh. 1:9). Solomon now develops these thoughts further, in teaching that Israel in their dispersion were to pray to God toward Jerusalem, His "holy hill" of Zion (1 Kings 8:48,49). We see therefore how Solomon would have reflected upon his father David's experience; David had prayed towards God's "holy hill" when in exile from it, and had been heard. Solomon may well have been in David's retinue at the time, and would have experienced the wonder of return to Zion because of his father's prayer towards God in Zion.

2Ch 6:40 Now, my God, let, I beg You, Your eyes be open, and let Your ears be attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place-
God's eyes are open upon His children wherever they are, as David had learned whilst far from the sanctuary and on the run from Saul. Nehemiah felt God's eyes were open upon him even when the temple was in ruins (Neh. 1:6). "Attentive" is the word used by Nehemiah in Neh. 1:11 "Lord, I beg You, let Your ear be attentive now to the prayer of Your servant". "Attentive" is s.w. 2 Chron. 6:40; 7:15, where we read of God being "attentive" to prayers offered in the temple. But Nehemiah was praying in exile, not in the temple. The desperation of the situation made him learn a lesson- that God wasn't only accessible in the temple. This may sound obvious to us, but it wasn't for those used to the temple cult. The lesson is that God uses punishments for sin, hard situations, to break our paradigms and lead us to a greater spirituality- if we will follow. S.w. also Neh. 9:34- Israel weren't "attentive" to God's word, but in their time of need they hoped He would be "attentive" to their word of prayer. And He was. His grace isn't 'measure for measure'; He treats us out of proportion to our attentiveness to Him. We must show the same grace.

2Ch 6:41 Now therefore arise, Yahweh God, into Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength-
The same root word for "Noah" is found here, where the ark of God 'rested' or 'Noah-ed' in the tabernacle. When the ark 'rested' on Ararat ['holy hill'] the same word is used (Gen. 8:4). A case can be made that Ararat was in fact Mount Zion, where the ark was later to 'rest' in the temple. The 'resting' of the ark was therefore the fulfilment of God's intention in Noah- God's salvation is described as a "promised rest" (Heb. 4:10,11), and it was prefigured in the final resting of the ark. Thus the final salvation of God is to be understood in terms of God 'resting' with us, in us, within His ark. He labours and struggles too... for us. And those struggles will only be at rest when we are saved in the last day; a Father's eternal struggle for His children. The 'rest' spoken of in Noah's name was thus a rest for God. Noah's going out of the ark into a cleansed, pristine world was therefore symbolic of our going forth into the Kingdom at Christ's return.

Let Your priests, Yahweh God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness-
Solomon prayed to God in the terms and language of his father (2 Chron. 6:41,42 cp. Ps. 132:1,8,9). He was familiar with his father’s Psalms- after all, all Israel sung them. It must have been like being the son of a world-famous singer. The words were even in Solomon’s subconscious it seems, for when he tells his son “Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids” (Prov. 6:4) he is alluding unconsciously, it seems (in that it is out of context) to David’s promise not to give sleep to his eyes until he had found a resting place for the ark (Ps. 132:4).

2Ch 6:42 Yahweh God, don’t turn away the face of Your anointed. Remember Your graces to David Your servant
Solomon's  zealous  organization  of  the  temple worship was an exact  fulfillment  of the order laid down by his father David (1 Kings 7:51; 2 Chron. 7:6; 8:14). Solomon wanted God to bless the temple as a sign of His pleasure with David his father (e.g. 2 Chron. 6:42). Solomon's  personal  enthusiasm for service to God became subsumed by the huge psychological spiritual dominance of his  parents. His zeal for the temple was almost purely a result of living out his father's expectation; he almost admits as much in  1 Kings  8:20: "I  am risen up in  the room of David my father... and have (therefore, in the context) built an house for the  name  of  the  Lord".