1 Kings 8
Solomon assembled all of the elders of Israel to bring the Ark up from David’s tent and place it in the new Temple in the seventh month. The people gathered for the Dedication of the Temple for seven days, followed by the seven day Feast of Tabernacles.
Solomon’s address to the elders of Israel and his prayer at the dedication of the Temple
This address and prayer at the dedication of the physical Temple also applies to the zealous faithful New Covenant Spiritual Israel, who are in the spiritual sense the Temple, the dwelling place of God.
Please read every line and every word, and deeply consider the meaning of these profound words; both in the physical and in the spiritual sense. Every word applies to those called out to have an opportunity to have a part in the spiritual New Covenant Temple of God.
I will not comment over much on these awesome words which should be self-explanatory; I only ask that people consider their application to the called out of the New Covenant and not simply read over them as some kind of dry ancient history, to be read and not understood in the spiritual sense.
1 Kings 8:1 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.
8:2 And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
8:3 And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 8:4 And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.
Huge numbers of animals were sacrificed as the Ark was brought up into the Temple.
8:5 And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
The ark was placed under the cherubim in the Most Holy Place.
8:6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. 8:7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
The carrying staves [poles] were removed and kept in the Most Holy Place so that the ends would not protrude through the curtain.
8:8 And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day [the day this was written].
In the Ark were the two tablets of stone, Aaron’s rod that budded and a pot of manna.
Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
1 Kings 8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
Then the cloud of glory [the Shekinah of the Holy Spirit of God’s presence] came down and filled the whole Temple.
8:10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 8:11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.
The Temple in spite of its glory was nothing but physical stone, wood and metal; It was the glory of the Eternal’s presence that made the Temple glorious.
We have forgotten this lesson and we look to our organizations, leaders and our own ways as spiritually glorious; no longer understanding that it is our God and the whole Word of God that are the glory of the people of God!
The Spirit of God is the glory that shines in his people, if we are zealously faithful to God and his whole Word to keep it. We have no glory in ourselves if we depart from a passionate zeal to live by every Word of God!
Solomon’s address to physical Israel should be taken seriously by every one of spiritual Israel.
The Temple was merely the dwelling place of God; It was the God who dwelt there that was glorious and made the Temple glorious and not the physical building itself, which was merely physical.
Let us not glory in our own ways; but let us glory in every Word of God, to love it and to enthusiastically keep it. Like the physical Temple, we are only the spiritual Temple [dwelling place] of God as long as we are zealously obedient to every Word of God.
Therefore let us follow the words of Solomon and turn away from our idols of men, to seek the glory of the Eternal, to seek his mercy and to keep his every Word faithfully.
Solomon addresses the elders of Israel.
8:12 Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 8:13 I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.
The people stood out of respect
8:14 And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)
8:15 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, 8:16 Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.
8:17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 8:18 And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. 8:19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.
8:20 And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 8:21 And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.
Solomon’s prayer to God.
8:22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands [in supplication] toward heaven:
8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: 8:24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.
8:25 Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.
8:26 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.
8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? 8:28 Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day: 8:29 That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.
8:30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.
If the called out of spiritual Israel go astray and then sincerely repent and cry out to the Eternal: God will forgive them and accept them!
Brethren, if we fall into great tribulation it is God’s merciful correction for our sins; therefore let us quickly and wholeheartedly repent and our Gracious Father will forgive and accept us.
8:31 If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house: 8:32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
8:33 When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: 8:34 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.
8:35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: 8:36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.
8:37 If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; 8:38 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: 8:39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) 8:40 That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.
8:41 Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake; 8:42 (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; 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.
Remember that when we steadfastly battle against sin, if we rely on our mighty God, he will go before us and deliver us.
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: 8:45 Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
If we sin and we are corrected for our sins, and if we then sincerely and wholeheartedly repent; our God will deliver us.
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; 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; 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: 8:49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 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:
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: 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.
Consider that spiritual Israel has also been called out and separated from sin, and if we will look to God we will also be forgiven.
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.
Solomon had prayed to God kneeling before the altar with his hands lifted up to heaven in supplication, as the elders stood before God.
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.
The day will come when the chosen resurrected of spiritual Israel and ultimately all of mankind, will echo the following blessing and praise the Eternal.
8:55 And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 8:56 Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, [and to spiritual New Covenant Israel at the resurrection to spirit] 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. 8:57 The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: 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.
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: 8:60 That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.
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.
8:62 And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD. 8:63 And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep.
So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD. 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 [grain] offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brasen 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 Dedication of the Temple lasted for seven days and included the fast of repentance on the Day of Atonement; and another seven days for the Feast of Tabernacles; and at the end of the Eighth Day Feast the people were sent home.
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.
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.