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10 And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work
The temple being built and furnished for God, we have here, I. Possession given to him by bringing in the dedicated things, v. 1, but especially the ark, the token of his presence. v. 2-10. 11. Possession taken by him, in a cloud, v. 11-14. For if any inan open the door of his heart to God, he will come in. Rev, 3. 20. HUS "all work that Solomon made for the
that he was to make for king Solomon for the houses of the LORD was finished: and Solomon
brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
12 To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters, which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the pillars; - 13 And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
14 He made also bases, and slavers made he upon the bases;
15 One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
16 The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon, for the house of the LORD, of "bright brass.
17 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the "clay-ground between Succoth and Zeredathah. 18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.
19 And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the show-bread was set;
20 Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner, before the oracle, of pure gold;
21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect** gold:
22 And the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.
• or, bowls.
of that one which was in the tabernacle, v. 7. The written word is a lamp and a light, shining in a dark place. In Moses's time, they had but one candlestick, the Pentateuch; but the additions, which, in process of time, were to be made of other books of scripture, might be signified by this increase of the number of the candlesticks. Light was growing. The candlesticks are the churches, Rev. 1. 20. Moses set up but one, the church of the Jews; but, in the Gospel temple, not only believers, but churches, are multiplied.
2. There were ten golden tables, (v. 1 ;) tables whereon the show-bread was set, v. 19. Perhaps every one of the tables had twelve loaves of show-bread on it. As the house was enlarged, the housekeeping was. In my Father's house there is bread enough for the whole family. To those tables belonged a hundred golden basins, or dishes; for God's table is well furnished. 3. There was a golden altar, (v. 19,) on which they burned incense. It is probable that this was enlarged in proportion to the brazen altar. Christ, who, once for all, made atonement for sin, ever lives, making intercession, in virtue of that atone
V. 11-22. We have here such a summary, both of the brass work and the gold work of the temple, as we had before, (1 Kings 7. 13, &c.) in which we have nothing more to observe, than, (1.) That Huram the workman was very punctual: he finished all that he was to make, (v. 11,) and left no part of his work undone. Huram his father, he is called, v. 16. Probably, it was a sort of a nickname by which he was commonly known, Father Huram; for the king of Tyre called him Huram Abi, my father; in compliance with whom Solomon called him his; he being a great artist, and father of the artificers in brass and iron. He acquitted himself well, both for ingenuity and industry. (2.) Solomon was very generous. He made all the sels in great abundance, (v. 18,) many of a sort, that many hands might be employed, and so the work might go on with expedition; or that some might be laid up for use when others were worn out. Freely he has received, and he will freely give. When he had made vessels enough for the present, he would not convert the remainder of the brass to his own use; it is devoted to God, and it shall be used for him.
2 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 Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion
3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king, in the feast which was in the seventh month.
4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
5 And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
6 Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
9 And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle, but they were not seen without. And 'there it is unto this day.
2. But it was fit that the ark should be brought in with great solemnity; and so it was. All the other vessels were made new, and larger, in proportion to the house, than they had been in the tabernacle; but the ark, the mercy-seat and the cherubims, was the same; for the presence and the grace of God are the same in little assemblies that they are in large ones, in the poor condition of the church, that they are in its prosperous estate; wherever two or three are gathered together in Christ's name, there is he as truly present with them, as if there were two or three thousand. The ark was brought in, attended by a very great assembly of the elders of Israel, who came to grace the solemnity; and a very sumptuous appearance, no doubt, they made, v. 2—4. It was carried by the priests, (v. 7,) brought into the most holy place, and put under the wings of the great cherubim which Solomon had set up there, v. 7, 8. There they are unto this day; not the day when this book was written after the captivity, but when that was written, out of which this story was transcribed. Or they were there (so it might better be read) unto this day, the day of Jerusalem's deves-solations, that fatal day, Ps. 137. 7. The ark was a type of Christ, and, as such, a token of the presence of God. That gracious promise, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, does, in effect, bring the ark into our religious assemblies, if we by faith and prayer, put that promise in suit; and this we should be most solicitous and earnest for; Lord, if thy presence go not up with us, wherefore should we go up? The temple itself, if Christ leave it, is a desolate place, Matt. 23. 38.
ttor, bowls. a 1 Kings 7.51. b 1 Chr. 22. 14. e 1 Kings 8.1, &c. d Num. 10. 33, 36. 2 Sam. 6. 12. f Ps. 2. 6. 87. 2. 132. 13-17. g c. 7. 8-10. A Ps. 132 8. i Ex. 37. 7-9. Heb. 9. 4, 5. k Ex. 37. 3-5. . or, they are there, a 1 Kings 8. 8.
not add to the holiness; for it was the temple that sanctified the gold, Matt. 23. 17. See how just Solomon was both to God and to his father. Whatever David had dedicated to God, however much he might have liked it himself, he would by no means alienate it, but put it among the treasures of the temple. Those children that would inherit their godly parents' blessing, must religiously pursue their pious intentions, and not defeat them. When Solomon had made all the vessels of the temple in abundance, (ch. 4. 18,) many of the materials were left, which he would not convert to any other use, but laid it up in the treasury for a time of need. Dedicated things must not be alienated. It is sacrilege to do it.
3. With the ark they brought up the tabernacle, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, v. 5. They were not alienated, because they had been dedicated to God; not altered or melted down for the new work, because there was no need of them: but they were carefully laid up as monuments of antiquity; and, probably, as many of the vessels as were fit for use, were still used.
10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses 'put therein at Horeb, *when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place; (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:"
12 Also "the Levites, which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets ;)
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one Psound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For the is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
The glory of the Lord, in the vehicle of a thick cloud, having filled the house which
proves the and addresses to as a now, a
Solomon built, by which God manifested his presence there, he immediately im manner, nigh at hand. I. He makes a solemn declaration of his intention in
building this house, to the satisfaction of the people, and the honour of God, both
which he blessed, v. 1-11. 11. He makes a solemn prayer to God, that he would
please graciously to accept and answer all the prayers that should be made in or toward that house, v. 12-42. This whole chapter we had before, with very little variation, 1 Kings 8. 12-53, to which it may not be amiss here to look back.
7 Deut. 10. 2—5. or, where. ↑ found. m c. 35. 4. n1 Chr. 25. 1. 1 Chr. 15. 24. Ps. 68. 25. P Rev. 5. 8-14 91 Chr 16. 34-41. Ps. 136. Ex. 40. 35. c. 7. 2. Ez. 10. 4. Rev. 15.8. a 1 Kings 8. 12, &c. b Lev. 16. 2.
4. This was done with great joy. They kept a holy feast upon the occasion, (v. 3,) and sacrificed sheep and oxen without number, v. 6. Note, (1.) The establishment of the public worship of God, according to his institution, and with the tokens of his presence, is, and ought to be, matter of great joy to any people. (2.) When Christ is formed in a soul, the law written in the heart, the ark of the covenant settled there, so that it becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost, there is true satisfaction in that soul. (3.) Whatever we have the comfort of, we must, by the sacrifices of praise, give God the glory of, and not be straitened therein; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. If God favour us with his presence, we must honour him with our services, the best we have.
V. 11-14. Solomon, and the elders of Israel, had done what they could to grace the solemnity of the introduction of the ark; but God, by testifying his acceptance of what they did, put the greatest honour upon it. The cloud of glory that filled the house, beautified it more than all the gold with which it was overlaid, or the precious stones with which it was garnished; and yet that was no glory, in comparison with the glory of the Gospel dispensation, 2 Cor. 3. 8-10. Observe,
HEN "said Solomon, The LORD hath said that
2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
3 And the king turned his face, and blessed 'the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood:
4 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying,
5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
8 But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:
9 Notwithstanding, thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.
10 The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised,' and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel:
11 And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the
I. How God took possession of the temple; he filled it with a cloud, v. 13. 1. Thus he signified his acceptance of this temple to be the same to him, that the tabernacle of Moses was, and assured them that he would be the same in it; for it was by a cloud that he made his public entry into that, Ex. 40. 34. 2. Thus he considered the weakness and infirmity of those to whom he manifested himself, who could not bear the dazzling lustre of the divine light, it would have overpowered them; he therefore spreads a cloud upon it, Job 26. 9. Christ revealed things unto his disciples as they were able to bear him, and in parables, which wrapped up divine things as in a cloud. 3. Thus he would affect all that worshipped in his courts with holy reverence and fear. Christ's disciples were afraid when they entered into a cloud, Luke 9, 34. 4. Thus he would intimate the darkness of that dispensation, by reason of which, they could not steadfastly look to the end of those things which were now abolished, 2 Cor. 3. 13.
II. When he took possession of it. 1. When the priests were come out of the holy place, v. 11. This is the way of giving possession. All must come out, that the rightful owner inay come in. Would we have God dwell in our hearts? We must leave room for him; let every thing else give way. We are here told, that upon this occasion the whole family of the priests attended, and not any one particular course; all the priests that were present, were sanctified, (v. 11,) because there was work enough for them all, when such a multitude of sacrifices were to be offered, and because it was fit that they should all be eyewitnesses of this solemnity, and receive the impressions of it. 2. When the singers and musicians praised God, then the house was filled with a cloud. This is very observable; it was not when they offered sacrifices, but when they sang the praises of God, that God gave them this token of favour; for the sacrifice of praise pleaseth the Lord better than that of an or
Ps. 18. 11. Nah. 1. 3. Heb. 12. 18. c Num. 6. 23-27. d Neh. 8. 5. Luka 1. 68-70. f Deut. 12. 5, 11. g c. 12. 13. A 1 Chr. 28. 4. i 2 Sam. 7. 2, 6c. 1 Chr. 28. 2, &c. & 1 Chr. 29. 23. 1 Chr. 17. 11. c. 5. 7, 10.
or bullock, Ps. 69. 31. All the singers and musicians were employed, those of each of the three families; and, to complete the concert, one hundred and twenty priests, with their trumpets, joined with them, all standing at the east end of the altar, on that side of the court which lay outmost toward the people, v.12. And when this part of the service began, the glory of God appeared. Observe, (1.) It was when they were unanimous, when they were as one, to make one sound. The Holy Ghost descended on the apostles, when they met with one accord, Acts 2.1. Where unity is, the Lord commands the blessing. (2.) It was when they were lively and hearty, and lifted up their voice to praise the Lord. Then we serve God acceptably, when we are fervent in spirit, serving him. (3.) It was when they were, in their praises, celebrating the everlasting mercy and goodness of God. As there is no one saying oftener repeated in scripture than this, His mercy endureth for ever, (twenty-six times in one psalm, Ps. 136, and oftener elsewhere,) so there is none more signally owned from heaven; for it was not the expression of some rapturous flights that the priests were singing when the glory of God appeared, but this plain song, He is good, and his mercy endureth for ever. This should endear those words to us. God's goodness is his glory, and he is pleased when we give him the glory of it.
III. What was the effect of it. The priests themselves could not stand to minister, by reason of the cloud, (v. 14,) which, as it was an evidence that the law made men priests that had infirmity, so as (Bishop Patrick observes) it was a plain intimation that the Levitical priesthood should cease, and stand no longer to minister, when the Messiah should come, in whom the fulness of the Godhead should dwell bodily. In him the glory of God dwelt among us, but covered with a cloud. The Word was made flesh; and when he comes to his temple, like a refiner's fire, who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? Mal. 3. 1, 2.
NOTES TO CHAPTER VI.
V.1-11. It is of great consequence, in all our religious actions, that we design well, and that our eye be single. If Solomon had built this temple in the pride of his heart, as Ahasuerus made his feast, only to show the riches of his kingdom, and the honour of his majesty, it would not have turned at all to his account. But he here declares upon what inducements he undertook it, and they are such as not only justify, but magnify, the undertaking.
1. He did it for the glory and honour of God; this was his highest and ultimate end in it. It was for the name of the Lord God of Israel, (v. 10,) to be a house of habitation for him, v. 2. He has indeed, as to us, made darkness his pavilion, (v. 1 :) but let this house be the residence of that darkness; for it is in the upper world that he dwells in light, such as no eye can approach. 2. He did it in compliance with the choice God had been pleased to make of Jerusalem, to be the city in which he would record his name; (v. 6,) I have chosen Jerusalem. A great many-stately buildings there were in Jerusalem for the king,
covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel.
12. And he stood before the altar of the LORD, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands,
13 (For Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,)
14 And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and showest mercy unto thy servants that walk before thee with all their hearts:
15 Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.
16 Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before
17 Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
18 But will God in very deed dwell with "nien on the earth? Behold," heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
19 Have respect, therefore, to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee:
20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.
21 Hearken, therefore, unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they
n 1 Kings 8. 22, &c. the length thereof, &c. o Neh. 8. 4. P Ex. 15. 11. De ut. 4. 39. 7. 9. 9 Neh. 1. 5. Dan. 9. 4. r1 Chr. 22.9. a ver. 4. 7. 12-16. 1 Kings 2. 4. 6. 12. ta man be cut of. u Ps. 132. 12. 29. 45, 46. Pa. 68. 18. to c. 2. 6. Is. 66. 1. Acts 7. 49. z Ps. 121. 4. Spray. y c. 30. 27.
v Ex. or, in.
his princes, and the royal family. If God choose that place, it is fit that there be a building for him, which may excel all the rest. Were men thus honoured there, let God be thus honoured. 3. He did it in pursuance of his father's good intentions, which he never had an opportunity to put in execution. It was in the heart of David my father, to build a house for God; the project was his, be it known, to his honour, (v. 7,) and God approved of it, though he permitted him not to put it in execution; (v. 8,) Thou didst well that it was in thine heart. Temple work is often thus done; one sows, and another reaps, (John 4. 37, 38;) one age begins that which the next brings to perfection; and let not the wisest of men think it any disparagement to them, to pursue the good designs which those that went before them have laid, and to build upon their foundation. Every good piece is not an original.
4. He did it in performance of the word which God had spoken. God had said, Thy son shall build the house for my name; and now he had done it, v. 9, 10. The service was appointed him, and the honour of it designed him, by the divine promise; so that he did not do it of his own head, but was called of God to do it. It is fit that he who appoints the work, should have the appointing of the workmen; and those may go on in their work with great satisfaction, who see their call to it clear.
V. 12-42. Solomon had, in the foregoing verses, signed and sealed, as it were, the deed of dedication, by which the temple was appropriated to the honour and service of God. Now here he prays the consecration prayer, by which it was made a figure of Christ, the great Mediator, through whom we are to offer all our prayers, and to expect all God's favours, and to whom we are to have an eye in every thing wherein we have to do with God.
We opened the particulars of this prayer, 1 Kings 8. and therefore shall now only glean up some few passages in it which may be the proper subjects of our meditation.
I. Here are some doctrinal truths occasionally laid down. As, 1. That the God of Israel is a Being of incomparable perfection. We cannot describe him; but this we know, there is none like him in heaven or in earth, v. 14. All the creatures have their fellow-creatures, but the Creator has not his peer. He is infinitely above all, and over all, God blessed for ever. 2. That he is, and will be, true to every word that he has spoken; and
shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling-place, even from heaven, and when thou hearest, forgive.
22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and "an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house;
23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.
24 And if thy people Israel be "put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;
25 Then "hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.
26 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;
27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.
28 If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore, or whatsoever sickness, there be;
29 Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house;
30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwellingplace, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men :)
all that serve him in sincerity, shall certainly find him both faithful and kind. Those that set God always before them, and walk before him with all their hearts, shall find him as good as his word, and better; he will both keep covenant with them, and show mercy to them, v. 14. 3. That he is a Being infinite and immense, whom the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain, and to whose felicity nothing is added by the utmost we can do in his service, v. 18. He is infinitely beyond the bounds of the creation, and infinitely above the praises of all intelligent creatures. 4. That he, and he only, knows the hearts of the children of men, v. 30. All men's thoughts, aims, and affections, are naked and open before him; and, however the imaginations and intents of our hearts may be concealed from men, angels, and devils, they cannot be hid from God, who knows not only what is in the heart, but the heart itself, and all the beatings of it. 5. That there is no such thing as a sinless perfection to be found in this life; (v. 36,) There is no man which sinneth not; nay, which doeth good and sinneth not; so he writes, agreeable to what he here says, Ec. 7. 20.
II. Here are some suppositions or cases put, which are to be taken notice of. 1. He supposes that if doubts and controversies arose between man and man, both sides would agree to appeal to God, and lay an oath upon the person whose testimony must decide the matter, v. 22. The religious reverence of an oath, as it was ancient, so, it may be presumed, it will continue as long as there are any remains of conscience and right reason among men. 2. He supposes that though Israel enjoyed a profound peace and tranquillity, troublesome times would come. He did not think the mountain of their prosperity stood so strong but that it might be moved; nay, he expected sin would move it. 3. He supposes that those who had not called upon God at other times, yet, in their affliction, would seek him early and earnestly. "When they are in distress, they will confess their sins and confess thy name, and make supplication to thee." Trouble will drive those to God, who had said to him, Depart, v. 24, 26, 28. 4. He supposes that strangers would come from afar to worship the God of Israel, and to pay homage to him; and this also might reasonably be expected, considering what worthless things the gods of the nations were, and what proofs the God of Israel had given of his being Lord of the whole earth. III. Here are petitions very pertinent.
31 That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.
32 Moreover concerning the 'stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched-out arm; if they come and pray in this house;
33 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from 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, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
34 If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name;
35 Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain "their cause.
36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and "they carry them away captives unto a land far off
37 Yet if they "bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;
38 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity,
God's Answer by Fire.
whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:
39 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling-place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their **cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer 40 Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes that is made in this place.
41 Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting 'place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness."
anointed: remember the mercies of David thy 42 O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine
In this chapter we have God's answer to Solomon's prayer, I. His public answer by fire from heaven, which consumed the sacrifices, v. 1, with which the priests and people were much affected, v. 2, 3. By that token of God's acceptance, they were encouraged to continue the solemnities of the feast for fourteen days, and Solomon was encouraged to pursue all bie designs for the honour of God, v. 4-11. I. His private answer by word of month, in a dream or vision of the night, v. 12-22. Most of these things we had before, 1 Kings 8. and 9.
WOW when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire 'came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house.
p Jer. 29. 12-14. g Dan. 6. 10. r Dan. 9. 16-19.
1. That God would own this house, and have an eye to it, as the place of which he said that he would put his name there, v. 20. He could not, in faith, have asked God to show such peculiar favour to this house above any other, if he himself had not said that it should be his rest for ever. The prayer that will speed, must be warranted by the word. We may therefore with humble confidence pray to God to be well pleased with us in Jesus Christ, because he has declared himself well pleased in him; This is my beloved Son; but he says not now of any house, This is my beloved place."
faction of all the Lord's people. Let thy saints rejoice in goodness, that is, in the goodness of thy house, Ps. 65. 4. Let all that come hither to worship, like the eunuch, go away rejoicing. He pleads two things, v. 42. [1.] His own relation to God: "Turn not away the face of thine anointed. Lord, thou hast appointed me to be king, and wilt not thou own me?" [2.] God's covenant with his father: Remember the mercies of David thy servant. The piety of David toward God, so some understand it, so the word sometimes signifies, his pious care of the ark, and concern 2. That God would hear and accept the prayers which should which were mercies to him, his great support and comfort in all for it. See Ps. 132. 1, 2, &c. Or, the promises of God to David, be made in, or toward, that place, v. 21. He asks not that God his troubles. We may plead, as Solomon does here, with an should help them, whether they prayed for themselves or no, but that God would help them, in answer to their prayers. Even that he should reject us and our prayers; but we come in the eye to Christ. We deserve that God should turn away our face, Christ's intercessions do not supersede, but encourage, our sup- name of the Lord Jesus, thine anointed, thy Messiah, so the plications. He prays that God would hear from his dwelling-word is; thy Christ, so the LXX. Him thou hearest always, place, even from heaven; that is his dwelling-place still; not and wilt never turn away his face. We have no righteousness this temple; and thence help must come. When thou hearest, of our own to plead, but, Lord, remember the mercies of David forgive. Note, The forgiveness of one sin, is that which makes thy servant. Christ is God's Servant, (Is. 42. 1,) and is called way for all the other answers to our prayers, Removendo pro- David, Hos. 3. 5. Lord, remember his mercies, and accept of hibens-The evil which it drives away, it keeps away. us on the account of them. Remember his tender concern for his Father's honour, and man's salvation, and what he did and suffered from that principle. Remember the promises of the everlasting covenant, which free grace has made to us in Christ, and which are called the sure mercies of David, Is. 55. 3, and Acts 13. 34. This must be all our desire, and all our hope, all our prayer, and all our plea, for it is all our salvation.
3. That God would give judgment according to equity, upon all the appeals that should be made to him, v. 23, 30. This we may, in faith, pray for, for we are sure it shall be done. God sitteth on the throne, judging right.
4. That God would return in mercy to his people, when they repented and reformed, and sought unto him, v. 25, 27, 38, 39. This we also may, in faith, pray for, building upon the repeated declarations God has made of his readiness to accept penitents.
5. That God would bid the strangers welcome to this house, and answer their prayers, (v. 33;) for if there be in duty, why should there not be in privilege, one law for the stranger, and one born in the land, Lev. 24. 22.
6. That God would, upon all occasions, own and plead the cause of his people Israel, against all the opposers of it, (v. 35,) maintain their cause; and again, v. 39. If they be the Israel of God, their cause is the cause of God, and he will espouse it. Lastly, He concludes this prayer with some expressions, which he had learned of his good father, and borrowed from one of his psalms. We had them not in the Kings, but here we have them, v. 41, 42. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; and how can we express ourselves in better language to God, than that of his own Spirit? But these words were of use, in a special manner, to direct Solomon, because they had reference to this very work, that he was now doing. We have them, Ps. 132. 8-10. He prays, (v. 41,) (1.) That God would take possession of the temple, and keep possession; that he would make it his resting-place. Thou and the ark; what will the ark do without the God of the ark? Ordinances without the God of the ordinances? (2.) That he would make the ministers of the temple public blessings, clothe them with salvation, that is, not only save them, but make them instrumental to save others, by offering the sacrifices of righteousness. (3.) That the service of the temple might turn abundantly to the joy and satis(990)
NOTES TO CHAPTER VII.
V. 1-11. Here is,
Solomon's prayer. I. The gracious return which God immediately made to The fire came down from heaven, and consumed the sacrifice, v. 1. In this way, God testified his acceptance of Moses, (Lev. 9. 24,) of Gideon, (Judg. 6. 21,) of David, (1 Chr. 21. 26,) of Elijah, (1 Kings 18. 38:) and, in general, to accept the burnt-sacrifice, is, in the Hebrew phrase, to turn it to ashes, Ps. 20. 3. The fire came down here, not upon the killing of the sacrifices, but the praying of the prayer. This fire intimated that God was, 1. Glorious in himself: for our God is a consuming Fire, terrible even in his holy places, This fire breaking forth (as it is probable) out of the thick darkness, made it the more terrible, as on mount Sinai, Ex. 24. 16, 17. The sinners in Zion had reason to be afraid at this sight, and to say, Who among us shall dwell near this devouring fire? Is. 33. 14. which might justly have consumed them, fastened upon the And yet, 2. Gracious to Israel; for this fire, sacrifice which was offered in their stead, and consumed that; by which God signified to them, that he accepted their offerings, and that his anger was turned away from them. Let us apply this, (1.) To the sufferings of Christ; when it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put him to grief, in that he showed his good will to men, having laid on him the iniquity of all. His death was our life, and he was made sin and a curse, that we might inherit righteousness and a blessing. That sacrifice
3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.
5 And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.
6 And the priests waited on their offices; the Levites also with instruments of music of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.
7 Moreover, Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt-offerings, and the fat of the peace-offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt-offerings, and the meat-offerings, and the fat. 8 Also, at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.
9 And in the eighth day they made a solemn fassembly; for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
10 And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month, he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart, for the goodness that the LORD had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.
11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD,
d 1 Chr. 16. 41. c. 20. 21. P. 103. 17. 136. 1. Heb. 7. 21, 25. e 1 Chr. 15. 16. Ps. 87.7. • hand. fc. 5. 12. g Josh. 13. 3, 5. † restraint. h 1 Kings 9, 1, &c. i Deut. 12. 5. c. 6. 26, 28. Ps. 107. 34.
was consumed, that we might escape: Here am I, let these go away. (2.) To the sanctification of the Spirit, who descends like fire, burning up our lusts and corruptions, those beasts that must be sacrificed, or we are undone; and kindling in our souls a holy fire of pious and devout affections, always to be kept burning on the altar of the heart. The surest evidence of God's acceptance of our prayers, is the descent of this holy fire upon us; Did not our hearts burn within us? Luke 24. 32. As a further evidence that God accepted Solomon's prayer, still the glory of the Lord filled the house. The heart that is thus filled with a holy awe and reverence of the divine glory, in consequence of God's manifesting himself in his greatness, and (which is no less his glory) in his goodness, is thereby owned as a living temple.
II. The grateful return made to God for this gracious token of his favour.
1. The people worshipped and praised God, v. 3. When they saw the fire of God come down from heaven thus, they did not run away affrighted, but kept their ground in the courts of the Lord, and took occasion from it, (1.) With reverence to adore the glory of God; they bowed their faces to the ground, and worshipped, thus expressing their awful dread of the Divine Majesty, their cheerful submission to the Divine Authority, and the sense they had of their own unworthiness to come into God's presence, and their inability to stand before the power of his wrath. (2.) With thankfulness to acknowledge the goodness of God; even then when the fire of the Lord came down, they praised him, saying, He is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. That is a song never out of season, and for which our hearts and tongues should be never out of tune. However it be, yet God is good. When he manifests himself as a consuming Fire to sinners, his people can rejoice in him as their Light. Nay, they had reason to say that in this, God was good; It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, but the sacrifice in our stead, for which we are bound to be very thankful.
2. The king and all the people offered sacrifices in abundance, v. 4, 5. With these they feasted this holy fire, and bade it welcome to the altar. They had offered sacrifices before, but now they increased them. Note, The tokens of God's favour to us should enlarge our hearts in his service, and make us to abound therein more and more. The king's example stirred up the people. Good work is then likely to go on, when the leaders of a people lead in it. The sacrifices were so numerous, that the altar could not contain them all; but rather than any of them should be turned back, (though we may suppose the blood of them all was sprinkled upon the altar,) the flesh of the burnt-offerings, and the fat of the peace-offerings, were burned in the midst of the court, (v. 7,) which Solomon either hallowed for that service, or hallowed by it. In case of necessity, the pavement might be an altar.
and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.
12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people ;
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble 'themselves, and pray," and seek "my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer, that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
17 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;
18 Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not "fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a by-word among all nations.
upon whom my name is called. Jam. 4. 10. m Acts 9. 11. n Is. 45. 19, Lam. 3, 40, 41. o Is. 59. 20. pc. 6. 27, 30. § to the prayer of this place. I be cut off to thee. 7 Lev. 26. 14, &c. Deut. 28. 36.
3. The priests did their part, they waited on their offices; and the singers and musicians on theirs, (v. 6,) with the instru ments that David made, and the hymn that David had put into their hand, as some think it may be read, meaning that, I Chr. 16. 7. Or, as we read it, when David praised by their ministry. He employed, directed, and encouraged, them in this work of praising God; and therefore their performances were accepted as his act, and he is said to praise by their ministry.
4. The whole congregation expressed the greatest joy and satisfaction imaginable. They kept the feast of the dedication of the altar seven days, from the second to the ninth; the tenth day was the day of atonement, when they were to afflict their souls for sin, and that was not unseasonable in the midst of their rejoicings; on the fifteenth day began the feast of tabernacles, which continued to the twenty-second, and they did not part till the twenty-third. We must never grudge the time that we spend in the worship of God, and communion with him; nor think it long, or grow weary of it.
5. Solomon went on in his work, and prosperously effected all he designed, for the adorning both of God's house and his own, v. 11. Those that begin with the service of God are likely to go on successfully in their own affairs. It was Solomon's praise, that what he undertook he went through with, and it was by the grace of God that he prospered in it.
V. 12-22. That God accepted Solomon's prayer, appeared by the fire from heaven. But a prayer may be accepted, and yet not answered in the letter of it; and therefore God appeared to him in the night, as he did once before, (ch. 1. 7,) and after a day of sacrifice too, as then; and gave him a particular answer to his prayer. We had the substance of it before, 1 Kings 9. 2-9.
1. He promised to own this house for a house of sacrifice to Israel, and a house of prayer for all people, Is. 56. 7. v. 12, 16, My name shall be there for ever, that is, แ There will I make myself known, and there will I be called upon." 2. He promised to answer the prayers of his people, that should at any time be made in that place, v. 13-15. (1.) National judgments are here supposed, (v. 13;) famine and pestilence. By the locusts devouring the land, may be meant enemies as greedy as locusts, and laying all waste. (2.) National repentance, prayer, and reformation, are required, v. 14. God expects that his people, who are called by his name, if they have dishonoured his name by their iniquity, should honour it by accepting the punishment of their iniquity. They must humble themselves under his hand, must pray for the removal of the judgment, must seek the face and favour of God; and yet all this will not do, unless they turn from their wicked ways, and return to the God from whom they have revolted. (3.) National mercy is then promised; that God will forgive their sin, which brought the judgment upon them, and then heal their