21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive. (KJV)
2 Chronicles 6:21
ESV - 21 And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
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God had shown a special interest in the temple that Solomon would build, even from the time that David had originally had the idea to build it to replace the tent-like tabernacle that Israel had used for worship ever since its exodus from Egypt, but was prevented from doing so by God Himself because of the fact that David (even though he was described as a man after God's heart) had shed much blood in his wars against Israel's enemies (2 Samuel 7:12-16; 1 Chronicles 22:6-10). At that time, God had specifically promised David that he would have a son who would be granted peace, and who would be the one to build that temple. Solomon fulfilled this plan when he succeeded David as king of Israel. The temple that he built would become the center of the entire nation's religious life, and would be blessed with the very presence of God Himself, as demonstrated at the time of the temple's dedication by God's glory filling it, and by fire coming down from heaven to consume the burnt offerings and sacrifices that were being made there (2 Chronicles 7:1-2). Because of the temple's importance, and of God's special presence there, Solomon had in mind in his dedicatory prayer those who would desire to go there, but who would be prevented from doing so by distance or other circumstances. In those cases, Solomon wanted to have the act of praying -- whether that prayer would be one of thanksgiving, or of asking for God's forgiveness, blessing, favor, or protection -- while facing in the direction of the temple (wherever the person offering the prayer might be, including even in a foreign land) to have the same significance in God's view as if the person were actually worshiping and praying in the temple itself.
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