1 Kings 8

The Ark Brought to the Temple

1 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David.
2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark,
4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up,
5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
6 The priests then brought the ark of the LORD’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles.
8 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.
11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;
13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them.
15 Then he said: “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said,
16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’
17 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
18 But the LORD said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name.
19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’
20 “The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven
23 and said: “LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
25 “Now LORD, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’
26 And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.
29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.
30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
31 “When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple,
32 then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.
33 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple,
34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,
36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
37 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come,
38 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple—
39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart),
40 so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.
41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name—
42 for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple,
43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
44 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name,
45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near;
47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’;
48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name;
49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy;
51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.
52 “May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.
53 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign LORD, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”
54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.
55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
56 “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.
57 May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us.
58 May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors.
59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need,
60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.
61 And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”

The Dedication of the Temple

62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD.
63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the LORD: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD.
64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the LORD, and there he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar that stood before the LORD was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings.
65 So Solomon observed the festival at that time, and all Israel with him—a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. They celebrated it before the LORD our God for seven days and seven days more, fourteen days in all.
66 On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the LORD had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

Images for 1 Kings 8

1 Kings 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

The dedication of the temple. (1-11) The occasion. (12-21) Solomon's prayer. (22-53) His blessing and exhortation. (54-61) Solomon's peace-offerings. (62-66)

Verses 1-11 The bringing in the ark, is the end which must crown the work: this was done with great solemnity. The ark was fixed in the place appointed for its rest in the inner part of the house, whence they expected God to speak to them, even in the most holy place. The staves of the ark were drawn out, so as to direct the high priest to the mercy-seat over the ark, when he went in, once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that they continued of use, though there was no longer occasion to carry it by them. The glory of God appearing in a cloud may signify, 1. The darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the light of the gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. 2. The darkness of our present state, in comparison with the sight of God, which will be the happiness of heaven, where the Divine glory is unveiled.

Verses 12-21 Solomon encouraged the priests, who were much astonished at the dark cloud. The dark dispensations of Providence should quicken us in fleeing for refuge to the hope of the gospel. Nothing can more reconcile us to them, than to consider what God has said, and to compare his word and works together. Whatever good we do, we must look on it as the performance of God's promise to us, not of our promises to him.

Verses 22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do in every prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of the truth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues for grace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God's performing his promises, should encourage us to depend upon them, and to plead them with him; and those who expect further mercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promises must be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes and expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and the whole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer's offices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, was continually to be remembered. Under one word, "forgive," Solomon expressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, as all misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the way for the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good. Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition to the teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lord himself to teach the people to profit by all, even by their chastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his own heart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their hands in prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body or mind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seem especially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; our in-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every true Israelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them, and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to his knees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer. After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the general request, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place, now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towards it. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, it shall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God is established and sanctified, the backslider is recovered and healed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourner is comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause of all our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all human happiness.

Verses 54-61 Never was a congregation dismissed with what was more likely to affect them, and to abide with them. What Solomon asks for in this prayer, is still granted in the intercession of Christ, of which his supplication was a type. We shall receive grace sufficient, suitable, and seasonable, in every time of need. No human heart is of itself willing to obey the gospel call to repentance, faith, and newness of life, walking in all the commandments of the Lord, yet Solomon exhorts the people to be perfect. This is the scriptural method, it is our duty to obey the command of the law and the call of the gospel, seeing we have broken the law. When our hearts are inclined thereto, feeling our sinfulness and weakness, we pray for Divine assistance; thus are we made able to serve God through Jesus Christ.

Verses 62-66 Solomon offered a great sacrifice. He kept the feast of tabernacles, as it seems, after the feast of dedication. Thus should we go home, rejoicing, from holy ordinances, thankful for God's Goodness

Cross References 107

  • 1. Numbers 7:2
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 3:3; 2 Samuel 6:17; Revelation 11:19
  • 3. S 2 Samuel 5:7
  • 4. ver 65; S Leviticus 23:36; Nehemiah 8:17; 2 Chronicles 7:8
  • 5. S Leviticus 23:34; S Numbers 29:12
  • 6. Numbers 7:9; S Joshua 3:3
  • 7. S Leviticus 17:4; 1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3
  • 8. 1 Chronicles 15:13
  • 9. S 2 Samuel 6:13; S 2 Chronicles 30:24
  • 10. S Exodus 26:33; S 2 Samuel 6:17; Revelation 11:19
  • 11. S Exodus 26:33
  • 12. S Genesis 3:24; S Exodus 25:18; 1 Kings 6:19,27
  • 13. S Exodus 25:20
  • 14. Exodus 25:13-15
  • 15. S Exodus 16:34; S Exodus 25:16; Hebrews 9:4">Hebrews 9:4; Exodus 24:7-8; Exodus 25:21; Exodus 40:20; Deuteronomy 10:2-5; Hebrews 9:4">Hebrews 9:4
  • 16. S Exodus 16:10; S Leviticus 16:2; Revelation 15:8; Exodus 40:34-35; 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 7:2; Revelation 15:8
  • 18. S Exodus 16:7; S Exodus 29:43
  • 19. S Exodus 40:34; S 2 Samuel 22:10; Psalms 18:11; Psalms 97:2
  • 20. Exodus 15:17; 2 Samuel 7:13; Psalms 132:13; Psalms 135:21; Matthew 23:21
  • 21. S Exodus 39:43; 2 Samuel 6:18
  • 22. 2 Samuel 7:12-13; 1 Chronicles 16:36; 1Ch 29:10,20; Nehemiah 9:5; Luke 1:68
  • 23. S Exodus 3:10
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 12:5
  • 25. S 1 Samuel 9:16; S 1 Samuel 16:1
  • 26. 2Sa 7:4-6,8; Psalms 89:3-4
  • 27. S 1 Samuel 10:7; Acts 7:46
  • 28. 2 Samuel 7:27">2 Samuel 7:27; 1 Chronicles 22:7; Psalms 26:8; Psalms 132:5; 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 17:1
  • 29. S 2 Samuel 7:5
  • 30. S 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 5:3,5
  • 31. S 2 Samuel 7:12
  • 32. 1 Chronicles 28:6
  • 33. S Exodus 9:29; Ezra 9:5
  • 34. S Exodus 9:14; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 7:22
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 7:9,12; Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32; Daniel 9:4
  • 36. S 2 Samuel 7:15; 1 Chronicles 17:23; 2 Chronicles 1:9; 1 Kings 2:4
  • 37. S 2 Samuel 7:25
  • 38. Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24
  • 39. S Deuteronomy 10:14
  • 40. 2 Chronicles 2:6; Psalms 139:7-16; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24
  • 41. ver 52; 2 Kings 19:16; 2 Chronicles 7:15; Nehemiah 1:6; Psalms 5:1; Psalms 31:2; Psalms 102:17; Psalms 130:2; Isaiah 37:17
  • 42. Psalms 28:2; Psalms 138:2; Daniel 6:10
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 11:12; Deuteronomy 12:11; S 2 Samuel 7:13
  • 44. ver 47; Leviticus 26:40; Nehemiah 1:6; Jeremiah 29:12; Daniel 9:4
  • 45. ver 39; Psalms 34:6
  • 46. S Exodus 34:7,9; Leviticus 26:40-42; Psalms 85:2
  • 47. S Exodus 22:11
  • 48. Deuteronomy 25:1; Ezekiel 18:20
  • 49. S Leviticus 26:17; Deuteronomy 28:25
  • 50. Leviticus 26:39
  • 51. Isa 37:1,14,38
  • 52. Leviticus 26:19; S Deuteronomy 28:24; S 2 Samuel 1:21
  • 53. Jeremiah 5:25
  • 54. S Deuteronomy 8:3; S 1 Samuel 12:23; Psalms 25:4; Psalms 94:12
  • 55. Psalms 5:8; Psalms 27:11; Psalms 107:7; Proverbs 11:5; Isaiah 45:13; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 31:21
  • 56. ver 35; 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:1,45; Jeremiah 5:24; Jeremiah 10:3; Jeremiah 14:22; Zechariah 10:1
  • 57. S Leviticus 26:26
  • 58. S Exodus 30:12; S Leviticus 26:25
  • 59. S Deuteronomy 28:22
  • 60. S Exodus 10:13; Psalms 105:34
  • 61. S Exodus 9:29
  • 62. S ver 30
  • 63. Psalms 130:4
  • 64. S Joshua 22:22; S Psalms 44:21; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 11:4; Jeremiah 17:10; John 2:24; Acts 1:24; S Revelation 2:23
  • 65. ver 39-40; Deuteronomy 6:13; Psalms 103:11; Psalms 130:4
  • 66. S Deuteronomy 12:1
  • 67. S Genesis 31:15; Isaiah 56:3,6; Isaiah 61:5
  • 68. 1 Kings 10:1; Isaiah 60:3; Acts 8:27
  • 69. Deuteronomy 3:24
  • 70. S Joshua 4:24; S 1 Samuel 17:46; 2 Kings 19:19
  • 71. Psalms 102:15
  • 72. S Deuteronomy 28:10
  • 73. 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 14:11
  • 74. Psalms 9:4; Psalms 140:12
  • 75. Psalms 130:3; Psalms 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; S Romans 3:9; 1 John 1:8-10
  • 76. Leviticus 26:33-39; S Deuteronomy 4:27; S Deuteronomy 21:10; S Deuteronomy 28:64; 2 Kings 25:21
  • 77. S ver 30; S Leviticus 5:5; Leviticus 26:40; Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 1:6; Jeremiah 14:20
  • 78. Ezra 9:7; Psalms 106:6; Jeremiah 3:25; Daniel 9:5
  • 79. S Deuteronomy 4:30
  • 80. S Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:12-14
  • 81. 1 John 1:8-10; Daniel 6:10
  • 82. Psalms 5:7; Psalms 11:4; John 2:4
  • 83. Deuteronomy 12:11-14; Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 31:8
  • 84. 2 Kings 25:28; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Psalms 106:46; Daniel 1:9
  • 85. S Exodus 34:9; S Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:29; Nehemiah 1:10
  • 86. S Exodus 1:13; Isaiah 48:10; Jeremiah 11:4
  • 87. S ver 29
  • 88. Job 30:20; Psalms 3:4; Psalms 22:2; Psalms 77:1; Psalms 142:1
  • 89. Exodus 19:5; S Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:26-29
  • 90. S Exodus 39:43; Numbers 6:23; ver 14; 2 Samuel 6:18
  • 91. S Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 12:10; Hebrews 4:8
  • 92. S Joshua 21:45; Joshua 23:15; S Jeremiah 29:10
  • 93. S Deuteronomy 4:31; S Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; S Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5
  • 94. S Joshua 24:23; Psalms 119:36
  • 95. S Joshua 4:24; 1 Samuel 17:46
  • 96. S Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Kings 18:39; Jeremiah 10:10-12
  • 97. Deuteronomy 6:5
  • 98. 1 Kings 9:4; 1 Kings 11:4; 1 Kings 15:3,14; 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 20:3; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Chronicles 29:19; 2 Chronicles 16:9; 2 Chronicles 17:6; 2 Chronicles 25:2; Psalms 119:80; Isaiah 38:3
  • 99. S 2 Samuel 6:13; 1 Chronicles 29:21; Ezekiel 45:17
  • 100. Ezra 6:16
  • 101. S Exodus 29:13
  • 102. S Exodus 27:1; 2 Kings 16:14; 2 Chronicles 4:1; 2 Chronicles 8:12; 2 Chronicles 15:8; Ezekiel 43:13-17
  • 103. S 2 Samuel 6:17
  • 104. S ver 2; Leviticus 23:34
  • 105. S Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8; Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3; 2 Kings 14:25
  • 106. S Genesis 15:18
  • 107. S Exodus 18:9

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the introduction of the ark into the temple, 1Ki 8:1-9 of the glory of the Lord filling it, 1Ki 8:10,11 of a speech Solomon made to the people concerning the building of the temple, and how he came to be engaged in it, 1Ki 8:12-21, of a prayer of his he put up on this occasion, requesting, that what supplications soever were made at any time, or on any account, by Israelites or strangers, might be accepted by the Lord, 1Ki 8:22-53, and of his blessing the people of Israel at the close of it, with some useful exhortations, 1Ki 8:54-61, and of the great number of sacrifices offered up by him, and the feast he made for the people, upon which he dismissed them, 1Ki 8:62-66.

1 Kings 8 Commentaries

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