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Job xix. 24; 1 Kings i. 31 (comp. Hengstenberg, Ewald admits that it is, “notwithstanding its Christol. ii. s. 432 sq.). According to 2 Chron. v. length, a very fine discourse; but belonging, in 12 sq., songs of praise, accompanied by harps and the style of thought, rather to the seventh than psalteries, burst forth, as the priests came out of the eleventh or tenth century," and thinks that the sanctuary
it was most probably composed by the first of Vers. 14–21. And the king turned his face, the so-called elaborators of Deuteronomy. AC &c. Solomon lad spoken the words of vers. 12 cording to Thenius, there is a sketch in the prayer and 13 with his face turned to the temple ; but he to be held as historical, though it be brief; but now turned towards the people who were in the it contains considerable interpolations, as vers. outer court, and who listened standing, i. e., with 44–51; and the frequent coincidence with pas. proper reverence, to the following discourse. This sages in Deut. and Josh., as well as "the style, is a solemn declaration (vers. 15-21) that the tem- which is so often diffuse, verbose, and watery ), ple was undertaken and finished according to Je- denote a more recent working lip." We remark, hovah's word and will. The course of thought is, on the other hand: that the text containing the compared with 2 Chron. vi. 4-11, as follows: " so prayer, in Chron., perfectly coincides with that in long as Israel, after the departure from Egypt, Kings, except in a few particulars; but this proves wandered about, and had not come into possess that it was not taken from the latter, but that both sion of the promised land, Jehovalı had closen no accounts were derived from a common source. So abiding dwelling-place, His habitation was mov- much then is certain, that our writer did not invent able-a tent. But after He had chosen David to the prayer, but found it in the original which he be king, and brought Ilis people by him to the full drew from, and gave it again as the similar text and quiet possession of the promised land, it was of Chron. shows-unaltered. The only question fitting that He, as well as the nation, should have then is, of what date was the common original ? an abiding dwelling-place. Jerusalem being the Chap. xi. 41 names as such the “book of the acts eity of David, and the central point of the king of Solomon," and the chronicler, " the book of Na-' dom promised to him for ever,' Jehovah had than the prophet” (2 Chron. ix. 29). The latter, chosen this very city for His 'everlasting' habita- however, cannot certainly belong to the seventi tion. It was, however, forbidden to my father, Da- century, still less to the time of the captivity; it vid, to execute His purpose, namely, to build an evidently was written, as Bleek justly remarks, house to the name of the Lord, instead of the tent; "in view of tlie state of things, when the temple, according to divine direction, He deputed this the city of Jerusalem, and David's kingdom still work to me, whom Jehovah had already confirmed existed." As to the thoughts,” Thenius admits as his successor. I then, specially commissioned that the verses 27, 28, 41-43, 58, 60, "are fully and empowered to do so, have built this house, worthy of a Solomon," and this without being able and brought into it the ark of the covenant, the to prove that the others are unworthy of them; pledge of the divine gracious presence; and the they are, on the contrary, in fit connection and per. cloud that lias just now filled the house, as once fect harmony with them (for the so-called interpoit did the tent, is the sign that Jehovah will dwell lations of the vers. 44-51, see below, on the place). here.” The promise, the fulfilment of which Solo- We can only conclude that this prayer was of later mon refers to in this discourse, is that of 2 Sam. composition, because of its larmony with some vii. 4–16, comp. with 1 Chron. xxii. 6-11 and xxviii. passages of Deut. and Lev., if these books also 2-7. For the expression: that my name shall be belong to a later period; and this is unproved. there, the pregnant meaning of which we may But with equal propriety, invorsely, we may congather from its constant repetition (vers. 16, 17, clude from the prayer, that these books were 18, 19, comp. 29, 43, 44), see above, on chap. vi. in existence in the time of Solomon, and were Histor. and Ethical, 2, 6. It is worthy of notice known to him as the pupil of a prophet. Finally, that at the beginning and the conclusion of the if the style and composition of the prayer, becanse address (vers. 16 and 21), the building of the tem. they are verbose and watery, prove later working ple is placed in relation to the deliverance from up, this objection rests on purely subjective taste Egypt. Comp. above on chap. vi. 1.
and we have just as good a right to hold, as Ewald Vers. 22-26. And Solomon stood before the does, that it is, “in spite of its length, a very fine altar of the Lord. 2 Chron. vi. 13 mentions that discourse." It is incredible besides, that a disSolomon had a brazen scaffold (1112) made, which course, holding so important a place in Old Testahe mounted, and then knelt down to pray (comp. and falsely put into the mouth of the great king;
ment history, should have been composed later, r. 54); as the text says nothing of its form, we will not decide whether it had, as Thenius thinks, speech were written down and preserved carefully,
we must believe, on the contrary, that if ever : a square support, and a rounded edge. Certainly
it was that one. it was a species of pulpit, not behind, but before the altar of burnt-offering. It does not follow from 23–26, form the introduction to the prayer which
Vers. 23-26. Lord God of Israel, &c. Vers. 72), that Solomon again turned his face to the tem- is united to the speeclı, vers. 15-21, and gires ple (Thenins): it means before, opposite; the peo- praise and thanks to God for having already fulple therefore could not have stood behind him, filled the promise made to David (vers. 23, 24) in which must have happened, had he turned his back so far as the liousc (2 Sam. vii. 5–16) was conto them. The spreading out the hands is a sign cerned, uniting with it the request thai the Lord of praying, just as our folding of the hands is (Ex. would further fulfil it, with regard to the house, ix. 29, 31; Ps. xliv. 21 ; cxliii
. 6; Isai. i. 15; Ixv. i. e., the race of David, and their sitting upon the 2, &c.). Modern criticism has pronounced the dedi-throne of Israel (vers. 25, 26). The address, there cation prayer in its given form, vers. 23–61, to be is no God like Thee, &c., means: not that there is no unauthentic. De Wetto and Stähelin place the god among all those in heaven and earth like Thes, time of its composition in the period of the exile. I but, nothing is like to Thee, who art in heaven
above and on earth below. Jehovah, the God | Kult. i. s. 193). The first of the seven prayers (vers. of Israel, is not compared here with other gods, 31, 32) concerns the observation of the oath as sa. but on the contrary, is described as the only true cred, namely, in cases like those of Ex. xxii. 7-10 God (comp. Deut. iv. 39; Josh, ii. 11; 2 Sam. vii. and Lev. v. 21–24. For ne ne it is ex in 2 22; xxii. 32). He had shown himself such esper Chron. vi. 22 ; it means: the case happening, that cially by His keeping of the covenant, by His mercy (Deut. vii. 9; Dan. ix. 4), and by the fultil. =when (Keil). n $ 891 cannot be translated ;
and the oath comes, as the article is wanting to as in chap. iii. 6. The house, as it now stands, is a witness to His faithfulness to the covenant. Then; all the old translations give: comes and nius remarks on ver. 26: The urgency of the pe- swears. Before the altar, i, e., the place of divino tition is shown by its concise repetition.
witness and presence (Ex. xx. 24). Thou bringest Vers. 27-30. But will God indeed, &c. The his deed upon his head, i. e., thou punishest him for prayer passes, at ver. 27, to its chief object, the his false oath (Ezek. ix. 10). We receive no antemple, with which all the rest of it is occupied. swer from the commentators to the question, why
at the beginning is used here as in 1 Sam. xxix. is the prayer with respect to the oath placed fore8; 1 Kings xi. 22; 2 Kings viii. 13; Jer. xxiii. 18, is as follows: The temple, which is constantly and
most in the seven petitions? Perhaps the reason * merely as an impressive introduction to the interrogatory sentence that leads to the real prayer
impressively exalted in the chapter we are con(Thenius), and is not, therefore, a mere confirming should be deemed holy; but the oath was nothing
sidering, was built to the name of Jehovah, skich particle, as Keil, who connects our verso with ver. 26 instead of with vers. 28–30, repeatedly asserts. the name of that God who had made himself known
more than the calling upon the sacred name; i. e., The petition in ver. 26: that God would indeed keep the house (dynasty) of David on the throne, as a holy God, and who does not allow the misuse was not founded on the fact that the heaven of of his name to go unpunished (according to Eccle. heavens could not contain Him, still less that tem: row ayiov, comp. ver. 11: 8 óuvíwr kai óvouáśwr);
siasticus xxiii. 9, όρκος is equivalent το ονομασία ple. On the contrary, the entire contents of the they swore by the name of God, is an oath-form in following prayer are, that God would liear all the Levit. xix. 12; Deut. vi. 13; x. 20; Isai. xlviii. 1; prayers that should be offered in this place; hence Jerem. xii. 16; xliv. 26. The false oath was a conSolomon very naturally begins with the thought, can the infinite, uncontined Deity really have His temptuous use of the name to which the house was dwelling here? The expression, the heaven and
built; but it was the chief requirement from him heaven of heavens, cau have nothing to do with who stood in the holy place, that he should not
The command to the different heavens taught by Jewish theology
swear falsely, Ps. xxiv. 3, 4. (Schöttgen, hor. hebr. p. 719), but is the description keep the name of God holy, stands also first among of the heavens in their all-embracing extent, as
the commandments of the fundamental law (Ex. Deut. x. 14; Ps. cxv. 16. This is the connection xx. 7), and it is the first of the seven petitions in
the Lord's of vers. 27 and 28: Thou art the infinite God whom
hallowed be Thy name (Matt.
vi. 9). no house built by man can contain, but I beseech Thee to show tlıyself here, as a God who answers smitten down, &c. The second petition concerns
Vers. 33-34. When thy people Israel be prayer. In ver. 28 Solomon prays that God would liear his present prayer, and in vers. 29 and 30 the case of captives, who had, through their guilt, that He would also in the future always hear the merited overthrow, and were led away by their prayers of the king and people in this place. The conquerors; and beseeches Jehovah for ihe return different expressions for prayer in the verses 28– of the people to their native land. To be taken 30 are not very different in their meaning, and are away from the land of promisé, to be separated placed near together here, to describe every kind whose midst Jehovah dwelt, and to live among
from communion with the covenant people, in of prayer. The words, that thine eyes may be open heathens, was the greatest of all misfortunes to an (ver. 29), do not mean that God was besought to watch over the building, and take it under His al. Israelite, and it was very natural to pray against it. mighty protection, but always to see, when any
And confess thy name must be connected with 3; one prayed there, and to hear his prayer, to turn if they, feeling their guilt, acknowledge Thee God, His eyes and ears toward the house (comp. Ps. dwelling and manifesting thyself here; it is not xxxiv. 16). For the placing of the temple and then the same as: praise Jehovah (Gesenius, Wi. heaven (ver. 30) in antithesis, which is done indeed ner). It is unnecessary to seek a direct association through the entire prayer, see above, on chap. vi. of ideas between this second and the first petition. Histor. and Ethic. 2 c. The prayer for forgiveness Thenius says: "The internal welfare of the state is joined to the prayer for hearing, at the conclu- was secured by, fidelity and faith arising from fear sion, as also in vers. 34, 36, 39, 50, because man, of God, but that welfare could be in peril from who is full of sin and guilt, can only hope for the without." Nor is there here a direct reference to acceptance of liis prayer when his sins are for. Lev. xxvi. 17 and Deut. xxviii. 25, as Keil asserts. giren; every answer to prayer rests on the sin Vers. 35-40. When heaven is shut up, &c. pardoning grace of God.
The third petition (vers. 35, 36), and the fourth Vers. 31–32. If any man trespass against, &c. (vers. 37–40), concern divine judgments by means The prayer that God may hear in general is now of long-continued drought and land-plagues. As followed, from ver. 31 on, by prayers for particular the rain, on which the fertility of the soil, and cases, of which there are seven altogether; which therefore all outward prosperity, depended in the is no more remarkable than that the Lord's prayer, East, was a sign of divine blessing (Ezek. xxxiv. Matt. vi. 9 sq., also contains the sacred number 26 sq.), so drought was a sign of curse and punishseven, the number of the covenant (Symb. des Mos. ment (Lev. xxvi. 3, 19; Deut. xxviii. 15, 23; si
17; Am. xlvii. ; Hagg. i. 11). The meaning of ver. of Jehovah upon (by) a thing or person (Numb. vi. 36 is: when the people were brought into the right 27; Deut. xii. 5; xvi. 6; 1 Kings xi. 36, &c.). The way again, by the merited chastisement, then he latter was thus marked as one to whom God rebeseeches God to hear their supplication, and to veals himself (names himself), i. e., manifests and forgive their sin and to send rain again. In ver. communicates himself, so that he stands in union 37 there are coincidences with Lev. xxvi. 25; Deut. and communion with Him (Am. ix. 12, comp. Heng. xxviii. 22; but hunger, plague, blasting, and mil- stenberg, Christologie, iii. s. 231 89). Through the dew are elsewhere mentioned as divine chastise hearing of the prayers which the heathen offered ments (Am. iv. 9, 10; Jerem. xiv. 12; xxiv. 10; here to Israel's God, they as well as Israel were Ezek. vi. 12; xiv. 21). Soon is in apposition (ac- to experience that His name" was there (ver. 16),
i. e., that He manifested and proved himself there cording to Keil), to describe the plague of locusts to be God. The usual translation of the expres(Deut. xxviii. 38); Thenius thinks the copula be. sion, that this house is called by Thy name, or lore it, which the chronicler and the old translations bears Tliy name, is therefore quite wrong. What give, is wanting, and that a worse kind of locust good would it liave done the heathen to know that is meant (Joel i. 4; Ps. lxxviii. 46). 'yo?? name? But the following is equally erroneous:
the house Solomon built was called by Jehovah's is literally: in the land of his gates, which, how. "that Thy name has been invoked upon this temever, gives no sense; it is clear that yoxa must ple (at its dedication), i.e., that this temple has be read (as Bertheau has it), and loyyo be supplied continued help" (Thenius); it was not that the heawith 3, as is clear from Deut. xxviii. 52: "thou thens were to know that the temple had been sol. shalt be besieged in all thy gates, in thy whole emnly cousecrated, but that the God who dwelt land." Thenius unnecessarily reads, according to there would hear their as well as Israel's prayer, the Sept. (év juğ TÜV FÓl.£wv avtūr) noga instead of and that hence He is the only true God" (chap 7783. The words say—when the enemy is in his xviii, 37; Ps. lxv. 3).
Vers. 44–50. If thy people go out, &c. The land, yea, even besieging his well-protected towns. sixth petition (vers. 44, 45), and the seventh (vers. The wasting of the land by locusts was similar 46-50), relate to the conceivable cases, in which to the wasting by hostile armies, that invaded the people cannot pray at Jehovah's house, because the land like locusts (Jud. vi. 5). Which shall they are far from it. The first case is, when the know every man, &c. (ver. 38), i. e., when each one people should be whithersoever Jehovah should send should see the connection between his sin and them, i. e., in war, according to Jehovah's appointthe plague inflicted on him by God, and allow it ment and approbation; they were then to pray toto work out his chastisement” (Bertheau). Ac-wards the city in which the temple was. “The cording to his ways (ver. 39), i. e., by the repentant other case is, if having grievously sinned against heart, shown in all his conduct. Whether this re- Jehovalı, and in consequence, being vanquished pentance is really felt, He alone, who " searches and led away captive to another land, they were the hearts" of the children of men, can know (Jer. then to repent, and direct their prayers towards xvii. 10). The reason of the hearing of prayer is the country, the city, and the house where Jehogiven in ver. 40: continuance in godly fear (comp. vah dwelt. The outward turning was the sign of Deut. iv. 10).
the inward turning to the God of Israel, who as Vers. 41-43. Moreover concerning a stranger, such has His dwelling-place the temple, and is &c. The fifth petition (vers. 41-43) ranks with the a real confession to this God, who never leaves former ones: but not only those belonging to thy His people, if they do not forsake Him. Maintain people Israel, who may call upon Thee here, hear their cause, ver. 45 (comp. Ps. ix. 5; Deut. x. 18). also every stranger who does so; that all people of This presupposes that the war is a just one. The the earth, &c. In the law (Deut. xv. 14-16) it was three expressions for sinning are scarcely to be provided that a stranger, sojourning among the Is- distinguished with precision from each other, as raelites, might sacrifice with them; Solomon goes Keil thinks, but are only meant to include every further, and declares that the great deeds of God conceivable kind of sin. Thenius asserts that the in Israel, the seal and crown of which was the tem- verses 44-51 are a "section added later, perhaps ple as a fixed dwelling-place of Jehovah, were to by the elaborator," for such a petition, which bework out the salvation not only of Israel, but the longs properly to vers. 33, 34, cannot follow ver. conversion of all the nations of the earth. To reach 43; the custom of turning towards Jerusalem is that end may God hear every stranger who comes first mentioned in writings subsequent to the exto this house and calls upon Him for His name's ile (Dan. vi. 11; Ezra iv. 58), and the last petition, sake (i. e., because he had heard of the might and vers. 46-51, was occasioned by the Babylonian capgreatness displayed on Israel, ver. 42). The ex- tivity, just also as the formula of the confession pressions in ver. 42 refer essentially to the wonder- of sin, ver. 47, belonged to a later period (Dan. is. ful exodus from Egypt (Dent. iv. 34; v. 15; Ex. 5; Ps. cvi. 6). On the other hand, both petitions vi. 6), which had reached its climax in the building are exactly in the right place; the five previous of the temple (see above, on chap. vi. 1). The ones refer to cases in which prayer is offered at words in ver. 43: that they may know that this house the temple itself; the last two to cases where the is called by thy name by 87p3), are a therefore follow quite naturally; besides this, thie
praying people cannot come to the temple. They formula that occurs as here and in Jer. vii
. 10, 11, case in ver. 44 is evidently quite different from 14; XXV. 29, about the temple, and about the people that in ver. 33 sq., for in the latter there is an Israel in Deut. xxviii. 10; Isai. iv. 1; lxiii. 19; armed invasion by the enemy, in which some are Jer. xiv. 9; xv. 16; 2 Chron. vii. 14; and is inti- taken prisoners; and in the former (ver. 44) the mately related to the expression, to lay the name people go out to battle under the divine order
Turning towards the temple was a very natural | Peculiarities of the language also point to a relacustom, and mentioned not only in vers. 44 and tively late period of composition (see Bertheau on 48, but in ver. 38, before, and also in Ps. v. 8; the place). This ending in Chron. appears to have xxviii. 2. As the temple, being Jehovah's dwell- | been chosen to form a connecting link with what is ing, was a pattern of the heavens, His real dwell. related immediately afterwards (2 Chron. vii. 1-3), ing-place, it followed that as men stretched out but which is not in our text. their hands to heaven, so they stretched them to Vers. 54–61. And it was so, that when Solowards the temple in prayer; it is, at any rate, im- mon had made an end of praying all this possible to prove that this custom came in first prayer, &c. As the dedication-prayer was preceded after the captivity. The carrying away conquered by an address of greeting to the people (vers. 14nations was "a fundamental maxim of despots 21), so also it was followed by a concluding speech which prevailed in the ancient orient" (Winer, and blessing, which Solomon gave, again standing R.-W.-B. , i. S. 357,
and the writings quoted there); (joyst). He next praises God for having given when therefore Solomon, in counting up the misfortunes and straits in which Israel could fall, rest to his people Israel (ver. 56); for the consethinks lastly of this most grievous case, it is less crated temple, that had been filled with the glory surprising that he should rather than that he should of the Lord (vers. 10-11), was a firm, immovable not have mentioned it, especially since it was re- habitation, and therefore the practical evidence peatedly threatened in the law (Lev. xxvi. 33; that the people had now fully come into their promDeut. xxviii. 25, 36, 64; iv. 27). The petition is ised rest (Deut. xii. 9–10), (see above, on chap. vi. quite general, and there is not the slightest allu- | 1); Solomon, the builder of the temple, was for this sion to any particular captivity. The confession reason named the "man of rest” (1 Chron. xxii. 9). in ver. 47 is by no means of a kind that could have the good word is that which promises blessing (Jer. only been made in exile (comp. Numb. xiv. 40; 1 xxxiii
. 14), as pronounced in Lev. xxxvi. 3 sq., and Sam. vii. 6; Ps. li. 6; xxxii. 5), and we might, in- Deut. xxviii. 1 89. The expression there hath not versely, with more justice maintain that the Jews failed as = fulfilled, often occurs (Josh. xxi. 45; in exile appropriated this most expressive wordxxiii. 14; 2 Kings x. 10). The praise of Jehovah, for the deepest guilt, from the royal prayer (Keil). ver. 56, forms the introduction to vers. 57–61, There are exactly seven petitions, thus giving the which are also blessings and exhortations. In ver. prayer the seal of this significant number; and 58, Solomon wishes for the people, that God might, the last two cannot have been added later, for as heretofore, continue to be with them; in ver. they contain nothing foreign to the other ones, 59, that He would, in answer to the prayer just but on the contrary are very suitable to the former spoken, grant them continued help against their petitions, and in perfect harmony with the imme- enemies. The object of the first wish is stated in diately preceding one (comp. Bertheau on 2 Chiron. ver. 58, that of the second in ver. 60. Nigh, meanvi. 39).
ing that He should always remember these words, Vers. 51-54. For they be thy people, &c. and fulfil them. Day and night, i. e., as each day Vers. 51-52 form the conclusion of the prayer, as should require, Ex. v. 13; xvi. 4. With ver. 60 vers. 23–26, the beginning, to which this conclusion points back. He confidently gives his reason for comp. ver. 43. The bbw, ver. 61, does not mean: hoping for the acceptance of the whole prayer; in friendship with God (Gesenius), nor submissive which reason is the election of Israel out of all (de Wette), nor uprightly (Luther), but: entirely, unnations, to be a peculiar and covenant people. dividedly (comp. chap. xi. 4, 6). The entire conWith ver. 51 comp. Deut. iv. 20. The iron furnace cluding discourse (vers. 54–61) is missing in Chronis not = a furnace of iron, but the furnace in icles, as we remarked; and this concluding portion which the iron is melted, which requires the great- being an integral part of the dedication-solemnity, est heat, therefore glowing furnace. The deliv- the fact is by no means satisfactorily accounted for erance from Egypt is here also looked on as a by saying: that "it is only a recapitulation of the pledge for deliverance from every future distress, preceding lengthy prayer" (Keil). On the other how great soever. The beginning of the prayer, hand, Chron. informs us that immediately after the vers. 28, 29, is taken up again in ver. 52; its close prayer was ended, fire fell from heaven, which conconnection with ver. 51. through nims has this that the glory of the Lord filled the house (2 Chron.
sumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and sense; that it follows from their election to be a vii. 1 sq.). There is no apparent reason why our peculiar people, that Jehovah would also listen, in author, who is otherwise so minute in his account, future, to their prayers. Ver. 53 (comp. Lev. xx. should quite pass over this remarkable and wonder24, 26) is no mere repetition of ver. 51 (Thenius), ful occurrence, if it had been related in his origibut rests upon a broader ground, derived from the nal. Chronicles contradicts itself, inasmuch as it destiny of the nation itself. The peculiar people makes the filling of the house with the glory of the is that which was set apart for Jehovah's service Lord follow upon the prayer, while chap. v. 14, as from among all nations (Numb. viii. 14; xvi. 9), the in our account, ver. 10 sq., makes it precede the holy people, the royal priesthood (Ex. xix. 5, 6). prayer, which indeed the entire contents of the The prayer has quite a different ending in 2 Chron. prayer presuppose. No one will believe that the vi. 41, 42; this, Thenius thinks the original one, glory of the Lord left the house during the prayer, which was not discovered by our author. That and afterwards filled it again. If therefore the ending, however, must not be preferred to that in chronicler has in any place borrowed from later our books, and put in place of the latter; because tradition founded on Lev. ix. 24, it must have been it agrees word for word with Ps. cxxxii. 8–10, re- here. ferring to a period after the captivity, and is evi Vers. 62–66. And the king, and all Israel dently taken from that psalm, not the latter from with him, offered sacrifice, &c. In accordance Chronicles, or from some source common to both. I with the design of the festival, by far the greater
number of sacrifices were thanksgiving, or peace. | month, while 2 Chron. vii. 10 makes it the 23d. offerings, of which the fat only was burnt, and the Yet this is no real contradiction, but only a vague rest used for food (Lev. vii. 11 sq.; Deut. xii. 7). form of speech about a known thing. Solomon The number of animals, in which the Chron. and sent the people away on the 8th day, i. e., in the all the old translations agree, was very large, so that afternoon or evening, of the Azereth of the feast of some have tried to prove that it was exaggerated. tabernacles; so that they began their journey home Thenius reckons that " as it took seven days to offer on the following morning, i. e., on the 23d of the these sacrifices (allowing twelve complete hours to month (Keil). Whether the feast of atonement the sacrificial day), about five oxen and twenty-four (Lev. xxiii. 27), which fell on the 10th of the seventh sheep must have been slaughtered and offered month, was kept, and how, remains uncertain. Old every minute." This calculation, plausible as it commentators say that the dedication rendered it seems, is disproved when we consider what the unusually solemn; others that, as it was a fast day, exact circumstances were here; as Keil on the its observance was for that time omitted. Tenis place has thoroughly done. It was not the king (ver. 60) is here like 2 Sam. xx. 1; Judges vii. 8 alone who sacrificed, but "all Israel with him;"used for home, and David is named instead of Sol. there were sacrificial feasts, during fourteen days, omon (which the chronicler adds), because he was for the great assemblage of all the people from Ha- the originator of the temple-building, and through moth (the northern boundary of Palestine, Numb. him Solomon was enabled to undertake it. xiii. 21; xxxiv. 8) to the river of Egypt (the present el Arisch on the southern frontier, Josh. xv. 4), and whom we may compute at 100,000 men.
HISTORICAL AND ETHICAL Certainly the priests could not possibly have killed so many animals for sacrifice in the time stated, 1. The dedication of the temple is one of the most but according to the law it was the business of important of the facts of the Old Testament histhose offering the sacrifices themselves ; the priests tory, inasmuch as with it and through it, the only had to sprinkle the blood on the altar. This "house" which Solomon built, first became wliat they could easily do, for their number then amounted it was destined for-the dwelling-place of Jehovah, to at least some thousands, as we can judge from and all that the idea of dwelling comprises in it the number of levites (1 Chron. xxiii. 3). With re- (see above, on chap. vi.). The theocratic kingdom, gard to the great number of the sacrifices, it is also and that of Solomon in particular, then reached its expressly remarked in ver. 64, that as they could highest glory. For this reason the feast did not not all be offered on the brazen altar, Solomon (for last only one day, but, like the great feasts that this purpose) hallowed the middle of the court, i. e., were devoted to the remembrance of the equally consecrated it as a place of sacrifice by erecting important facts in the theocratic history (the pass. subsidiary altars. How extraordinarily great the over and tabernacles), continued seven days. This number of sacrifices at that kind of festival was, is why both narratives give such minute accounts even in later times, we learn from an account of of it, and show, by their agreement, that the comJosephus (Bell. Jud. vi. 9, 3), namely, that at a pass- mon source from which they drew had treated the over-feast at Jerusalem, in Nero's time, the priests subject with the same minuteness. V. Gerlach counted no less than 256,000 sacrifices that were justly remarks that: “the solemn event recounted slaughtered and consumed. We are to understand here crowned the work of the establishment of besides the thank-offerings, by the burnt-offerings God's kingdom in Israel, which was begun by and meal-offerings (ver. 64), the daily morning and Samuel and continued by David.” evening sacrifices of the law (Numb. xxviii. 3). The 2. In respect of the act of dedication, it next time and length of the festivity given in vers. 65 strikes us that the king stands at the head of the and 66 are more plainly expressed in the parallel whole ceremony, though it was an essentially re.' passage in 2 Chron. vii. 8–10: “Solomon kept | ligious one. He ordains a special festival, calls all the feast (3ņains, i. e., the feast of the taber- the people to it, and conducts the whole solemnity: nacles, see on ver. 2) at the same time as temple. end--speech, prayer, and blessing. The priests and
He is the author of everything from beginning to dedication, seven days, . . . and on the eighth levites indeed are also busied in it, but they only day they made nysy (as the law commanded, Lev. perform their usual services, and the high-priest is xxiii. 36); for they kept the dedication of the not even named, still less mentioned as the chief altar (in which that of the temple was included), actor on the occasion, performing the dedication. seven days, and the feast (of tabernacles) seven It has been said in explanation, that Solomon stood days. And on the three and twentieth day of at this moment, like Moses, Samuel, and David, as the seventh month he sent the people away." | a direct and divine ambassador, as king, priest, This places the feast of the tabernacles, which ac- and prophet (von Gerlach), or that he had taken cording to the law began on the 15th of the seventh on himself, as an absolute temporal ruler, the funcmonth, after the dedication; and when our text says tions of a priest and prophet (Ewald, Eisenlohr, therefore seven days and seven days, even fourteen Menzel, and others). Both suppositions are, to say days (ver. 65), it can only mean that the dedication the least, unnecessary. The position Solomon took and the feast lasted altogether fourteen days; con- here is thoroughly justified by the nature of the sequently the first immediately preceded the latter, theocratic kingdom, which was not designed to reand did not occupy from the 1st to the 7th day move or displace the divine rule, but rather to exalt (Thenius), but from the eighth to the fourteenth. and execute it. The theocratic king did not take Îhat the dedication lasted fourteen days” is still the place of the God-king, Jehovah, but was his more out of the question (v. Gerlach). The two "servant," and as such, Solomon repeatedly desig. narratives do not, however, perfectly agree, for ver. nates himself here (vers. 25, 28, 29, 52, 59). What 66 says that Solomon sent the people away on the the whole people were to Jehovah, by virtue of the eighth day (of the feast), i. e., on the 22d of the covenant (Ex. xix. 6), was summed up in their king,