1 Kings Chapter 8 Second Continued
1 Kings 8:43 “Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as [do] thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.”
The prayer of the stranger.
“And do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for”: Which were consistent with the will of God and his glory, and for the good of the stranger. This is more absolutely and unconditionally expressed than the requests for the Israelites. It is not desired that he would do by them according to their ways, and if they turned from their sins, or knew the plague of their hearts. The reason of which is supposed to be, because the Israelites knew the will of God, when the strangers did not. And therefore, it is desired that, notwithstanding their ignorance, and their non-compliance with the divine will, through that, they might be heard and answered.
“That all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel”: Might know him to be a God, hearing and answering prayer, forgiving sin, and bestowing favors, which might lead them to fear him and his goodness, as Israel did.
“And that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name”: That he dwelt in it, granted his presence, heard and received the supplications of men, answered their requests, and accepted of their sacrifices here. Solomon seems to have had knowledge of the calling of the Gentiles, and to desire it.
We know that people did come to see the magnificent temple that Solomon had built to the name of the LORD. The queen of Sheba is a very good example of that. I believe this is much more far-reaching than that, and is speaking of the Gentiles who look to the LORD and believe in His name. Solomon is praying for the salvation of the whole world in this. It is speaking prophetically of the following Scripture.
Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;”
1 Kings 8:44 “If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and [toward] the house that I have built for thy name:”
In a foreign country, threatening to invade them, or having trespassed on their borders, or some way or other infringed on their liberties and privileges, and so given them just occasion to go to war with them.
“Whithersoever thou shalt send them”: This case supposes their asking counsel of God, or having a direction and commission from him by a prophet, or some other way, to engage in war with the enemy.
“And shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house I have built for thy name”: For, notwithstanding the justness of their cause, and having a warrant from God to go to war, yet they were to pray to him for success when at a distance, even in a foreign land, and about to engage the enemy. And this they were to do, turning their faces towards the city of Jerusalem, and the temple there. Declaring thereby that their dependence was upon the Lord that dwelt there, and their expectation of victory was only from him.
1 Kings 8:45 “Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.”
“And maintain their cause”: Do them justice, and avenge their injuries, as the Targum; let it appear that their cause is right, by giving them victory.
This is just asking God to be with His people in battle, as long as they pray and ask for His help.
Verses 46-47: The Bible states frequently that no one exists “who does not sin”: (Psalm 14:1, 3; 53:1, 3; Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 3:12, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10). Sin is the universal condition of a fallen human race.
“Done wrong” is the phrase from which iniquity is derived, and it means “twisted or distorted.”
1 Kings 8:46 “If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;”
The same persons when they were gone forth to battle, not observing the divine commands as they should.
“For there is no man that sinneth not”: Such is the depravity of human nature, the treachery of the heart, and the temptations of Satan, of which Solomon had early notice, and was afterwards still more confirmed in the truth of (Eccl. 7:20).
“And thou be angry with them”: For their sins, and resent their conduct.
“So as to deliver them to the enemy”: So that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy.
“Far or near”: As into Assyria or Babylon, whither they were carried.
1 Kings 8:47 “[Yet] if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;”
Or, “return to their heart”; remember their sins, the cause of their captivity, and reflect upon them.
“And repent of them, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives”: Though and while they are in such a state.
“Saying, we have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness”: “Which phrases include all their sins, with all the aggravated circumstances of them, and their sense of them, and contrition for them.
This part of the prayer is speaking prophetically again, about the children of Israel falling into idolatry. They will lose their battle and be carried into the land of their captors. Specifically, those from Jerusalem who do not die in the battle will be carried to Babylon. They do repent, and God does return them to their land after about 70 years of captivity.
1 Kings 8:48 “And [so] return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:”
In the most sincere and cordial manner, with great ingenuity and uprightness; the Targum is, “return unto thy worship, relinquishing false worship they had given into, and serve the Lord in the best manner they could.
“In the land of their enemies, which led them away captive”: “And so at a distance from that temple, and the service of it, which led them away captive.
“And pray unto thee towards the way of their land”: (see Dan. 6:10).
“Which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name”: There is apparently a climax here, “land,” “city,” “house.”
In the land of their enemies, they will be like slaves. It is much easier to repent and turn to God, when you are in terrible trouble. This is asking the LORD to hear them in their distress and help them.
1 Kings 8:49 “Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,”
For their deliverance out of captivity: and maintain their cause; plead it, and do them justice, avenge their injuries, and deliver them.
1 Kings 8:50 “And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:”
By returning them to their own land; by which it would appear that the Lord had forgiven their trespasses, as well as by what follows.
“And give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them. For it is in the power of God to work upon the affections of men, and dispose their minds to use his people well, and to pity them under their distresses, as the Chaldeans did the Jews in Babylon (Psalm 106:46).
They had been a sinful people, when God heard their cry from Egypt and saved them. They became the wife of God on the trip across the wilderness. They belong to God. They are God’s people even though they have sinned. Solomon wants God to forgive them again and again, as He has already done. They will be freed from Babylon and come back to their homeland.
1 Kings 8:51 “For they [be] thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:”
Whom the Lord had chosen above all people to be a special people to him. And to be his portion and possession (see Deut. 7:6).
“Which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron”: Hard and cruel bondage in Egypt (See Deut. 4:20).
1 Kings 8:52 “That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.”
That is, attentive to it, meaning himself and his present supplication”: Or any other he should hereafter put up in this place.
“And unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call unto thee”: At any time, and upon any account; so far as may be agreeable to his will, make for his glory, and their good (see Deut. 4:7).
1 Kings 8:53 “For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, [to be] thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.”
By his choice of them in his own mind, by the redemption of them out of Egypt, by the peculiar laws he gave them, and by the special blessings he conferred upon them.
“As thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord our God”: It was he that spake this to Moses, and by him to the people (Exodus 19:5). And it was he that did it, namely, separate them from all nations, to be his people and peculiar treasure. In this and the two preceding verses, Solomon makes use of arguments taken from what the people of Israel were to the Lord, and he had done for them, to engage him to hearken to their supplications. And here ends his long prayer (in 2 Chron. 6:1), some things are added at the close of it, and some omitted.
Our children never stop being our children, even when they are disobedient. God’s Israel never stops being His, because they have disobeyed and been unfaithful. Israel belongs to God. Physical and spiritual Israel belongs to God. They are the chosen.
Verses 54-61: Solomon arose to pronounce a benediction on the people. His words were substantially a brief recapitulation of the preceding prayer in which he affirmed the faithfulness of the Lord to Israel (verse 56), and exhorted Israel to faithfulness to the Lord (verses 57-61).
In doing so he praises “God” for giving “rest unto his people” (verses 54, 56; Deut. 12:9-25). However, due to Israel’s sin that rest was incomplete (Psalm 95:7-11), and would be entered into only through the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Hebrews Chapters 3-4). Solomon again invokes God’s continued presence with His people (verses 57-58), working out His good pleasure through them to all men (verses 59-61). And closes his prayer with a challenge to Israel to “be perfect with the Lord,” that is fully and wholly committed to His person and standards (Matt. 5:48) for a growing spiritual maturity. The chronicler reports that Solomon’s prayer and benediction were greeted with the coming of fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice on the altar (2 Chron. 7:1-3).
1 Kings 8:54 “And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.”
In which he was a type of Christ, praying and interceding for his people before the golden attar (Rev. 8:3).
“He arose from before the altar of the Lord”: The altar of burnt offering, over against which he was.
“From kneeling on his knees”: Upon the brazen scaffold (see 2 Chron. 6:13), in which posture he was during this long prayer.
“With his hands spread up to heaven”: Which gesture he had used in his prayer and now continued in blessing the people.
This prayer had been humbly given to God on Solomon’s knees, while lifting his hands into the air praising God.
1 Kings 8:55 “And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,”
To bless the congregation was the special duty and privilege of the priests (see Num. 6:23-27). But throughout the whole of this narrative the king, and the king alone, is conspicuous. It is, however, to be noted that Solomon’s words here are not strictly of blessing, but rather of praise and prayer to God, and exhortation to the people.
Verses 56-61: Solomon’s “purpose statement” (in verse 60), teaches the true motivation behind prayer: that the knowledge of God will spread throughout the earth. God’s design was for Israel and its king to attract the nations, pointing them to His glory. Similarly, God’s people today should be a “city on a hill” whose light reflects the glory of God (Matt. 5:14-16).
1 Kings 8:56 “Blessed [be] the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”
A land of rest; and rest in the land from all enemies (see Deut. 12:9).
“There hath not failed one word of all his good promises, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant”: So, Joshua observed a little before his death (Josh. 23:14), to which Solomon seems to have respect. And who lived to see a greater accomplishment of the gracious promises of God, and his faithfulness therein. Both in the times of his father David, and his own.
Notice the blessing is directed to the LORD. Solomon tells them God has kept His promise.
1 Kings 8:57 “The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:”
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and those that came out of Egypt. And especially that entered into the land of Canaan under Joshua, and subdued it. As the Lord had been with them to guide and direct them, protect and defend them, succeed and prosper them, so Solomon desires he might be with them. Nothing is more desirable than the presence of God. Solomon could not have prayed for a greater blessing for himself and his people. The Targum is, “let the Word of the Lord our God be for our help, as he was for the help of our fathers”.
“Let him not leave us, nor forsake us”: This was no doubt a prayer of faith, founded upon a divine promise (Joshua 1:5).
This is a request to the LORD for himself and the people.
1 Kings 8:58 “That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.”
By his Spirit, to love, fear, and serve him; to attend to his worship, word, and ordinances.
“To walk in all his ways”: He has prescribed and directed to.
“And to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers”: All his laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial.
Notice in this, Solomon requests the LORD to cause them to turn their hearts to Him. If their hearts are stayed upon God, they will walk in His ways and keep His commandments. God had given them His law. It is up to them to keep it.
1 Kings 8:59 “And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:”
At this time.
“Be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night”: Be continually remembered and regarded by him that so gracious answers, might always be returned to those who supplicated in this place.
“That he maintain the cause of his servant”: Of himself and his successors in the throne that they may continue to possess it in peace, to the glory of God, and the good of the people.
“And the cause of his people Israel at all times”: That their rights and privileges might be continued, and they supported in them; and both his cause and theirs be regarded.
“As the matter shall require”: As they should stand in need of assistance, direction, and protection.
1 Kings 8:60 “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD [is] God, [and that there is] none else.”
By chastising the people of Israel when they sinned. By bearing and answering their prayers when they prayed unto him; by forgiving their sins, and delivering them out of their troubles; by maintaining their cause, and protecting them in the enjoyment of their blessings.
“And that there is none else”: No God besides him; all being else fictitious deities, or nominal ones as he only is the one living and true God.
The prayers of Solomon, and in fact the prayers of all who put their trust in God, are at the throne of God continually. Solomon hopes that this temple will be a lighthouse to the world. That those that are in darkness will see the Light and come to it.
1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”
Sincere in their love to him, united in their worship of him, and constant in their obedience to him.
“To walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day”: As they did that day, neither king nor people having as yet fallen into idolatry, but showing by their then present appearance a zeal for God, his house, and worship.
Solomon and all these people had very good intentions this day. At this moment, they had experienced the presence of Almighty God. This is a prayer for God to keep him and the people as they were this day.
Verses 62-66: The dedication ends with many special sacrifices. All of this took place at the Feast of Tabernacles (verse 2), which was lengthened to two weeks to make this a double festal period.
(See 2 Chron. 7:1-10).
1 Kings 8:62 “And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD.”
“Offered sacrifice”: To complete the temple’s dedication, Solomon led the people in offering peace offerings to the Lord (Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-21), in which they consumed 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep (verse 63). Although the number of sacrifices offered seems high, it was in keeping with the magnitude of this event. Obviously, the single bronze altar could not accommodate such an enormous number of sacrifices. Solomon first had to consecrate the entire middle courtyard, the one directly in front of the temple (verse 64). After consecrating the court, Solomon probably had a series of auxiliary altars set up in the court to accommodate all the peace offerings.
The sacrifices were shared by all.
1 Kings 8:63 “And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.”
Part of which belonged to the offeror, and with those Solomon feasted the people all the days of the feast of the dedication, if not of tabernacles as well. For the number was exceeding large, as follows.
“Two and twenty thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep”: Which, as suggested, might be the number for all the fourteen days. Nor need it seem incredible, since, as Josephus says, at a Passover celebrated in the times of Cestius the Roman governor, at the evening of the Passover. In two hours’ time, 256,500 lambs were slain; however, this was a very munificent sacrifice of Solomon’s, in which he greatly exceeded the Heathens. Whose highest number of sacrifices were hecatombs, or by hundreds, but his by thousands.
“So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord”: Devoted it to divine and religious worship by these sacrifices: hence in imitation of this sprung the dedication of temples with the Heathens. The first of which among the Romans was that in the capitol at Rome by Romulus; the rites and ceremonies used therein by them may be read in Cicero, Livy, Tacitus, and others.
There were so many animals offered because all would partake of the meat, after the fat had been burned. Even though this speaks of Solomon offering this, it means them all. He was representing all of them in the sacrifice.
1 Kings 8:64 “The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that [was] before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brazen altar that [was] before the LORD [was] too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.”
The court of the priests that was before the Holy Place, adjoining to it, in which was the altar of burnt offering. This, or, however, the middle part of it, he sanctified for present use, to offer sacrifices on, for a reason hereafter given.
“For there he offered burnt offerings and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings”: Which was the reason why the middle of the great court was for this time set apart for this service.
This is speaking of the court of the priests. The magnitude of the offerings must have a large place. The brazen altar could not have handled it all.
1 Kings 8:65 “And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, [even] fourteen days.”
“Entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt”: “The entrance of Hamath” was located about 20 miles south of Kadesh on the Orontes River and was the northern boundary of the land promised to Israel (Num. 34:7-9; Josh. 13:5). “The river of Egypt” is to be equated with Wadi El-Armish in the northeastern Sinai, the southern boundary of the land promised to Israel. These locations show that people from all over Israel attended the dedication of the temple.
It seems the feast and the dedication of the temple continued for 14 days. There were people from all Israel there. For all good purposes, all Israel celebrated in this.
1 Kings 8:66 “On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.”
Worship should end on a positive note of joyfulness, praise and thankfulness to God for all His “goodness.”
This eighth day is speaking of the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles. It is interesting that “eight” means new beginnings. This is a new beginning for all Israel. They are joyful, because the LORD is with them and they have a place of central worship.
1 Kings Chapter 8 Continued Questions
1. Who is a good example of a stranger, who came to see the magnificent temple?
2. Who do the children of Israel fall captive to, later?
3. Why should God forgive them?
4. When Solomon stopped praying, what did he do?
5. The blessings Solomon spoke were directed to the _______________.
6. What would cause them to walk in the ways of God?
7. Where do our prayers go?
8. Who sacrificed?
9. How many sheep were sacrificed?
10. How long did the feast and the dedication last?
11. What does the number “eight” symbolize?