1 Kings 8:23-53

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.”

1 Kings 8:23-53 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 8

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 8:23-53 In-Context

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.”
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:

Cross References 56

  • 1. S Exodus 9:14; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 7:22
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 7:9,12; Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32; Daniel 9:4
  • 3. S 2 Samuel 7:15; 1 Chronicles 17:23; 2 Chronicles 1:9; 1 Kings 2:4
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 7:25
  • 5. Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 10:14
  • 7. 2 Chronicles 2:6; Psalms 139:7-16; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Psalms 28:2; Psalms 138:2; Daniel 6:10
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 11:12; Deuteronomy 12:11; S 2 Samuel 7:13
  • 11. ver 47; Leviticus 26:40; Nehemiah 1:6; Jeremiah 29:12; Daniel 9:4
  • 12. ver 39; Psalms 34:6
  • 13. S Exodus 34:7,9; Leviticus 26:40-42; Psalms 85:2
  • 14. S Exodus 22:11
  • 15. Deuteronomy 25:1; Ezekiel 18:20
  • 16. S Leviticus 26:17; Deuteronomy 28:25
  • 17. Leviticus 26:39
  • 18. Isa 37:1,14,38
  • 19. Leviticus 26:19; S Deuteronomy 28:24; S 2 Samuel 1:21
  • 20. Jeremiah 5:25
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 8:3; S 1 Samuel 12:23; Psalms 25:4; Psalms 94:12
  • 22. Psalms 5:8; Psalms 27:11; Psalms 107:7; Proverbs 11:5; Isaiah 45:13; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 31:21
  • 23. ver 35; 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:1,45; Jeremiah 5:24; Jeremiah 10:3; Jeremiah 14:22; Zechariah 10:1
  • 24. S Leviticus 26:26
  • 25. S Exodus 30:12; S Leviticus 26:25
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 28:22
  • 27. S Exodus 10:13; Psalms 105:34
  • 28. S Exodus 9:29
  • 29. S ver 30
  • 30. Psalms 130:4
  • 31. 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
  • 32. ver 39-40; Deuteronomy 6:13; Psalms 103:11; Psalms 130:4
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 12:1
  • 34. S Genesis 31:15; Isaiah 56:3,6; Isaiah 61:5
  • 35. 1 Kings 10:1; Isaiah 60:3; Acts 8:27
  • 36. Deuteronomy 3:24
  • 37. S Joshua 4:24; S 1 Samuel 17:46; 2 Kings 19:19
  • 38. Psalms 102:15
  • 39. S Deuteronomy 28:10
  • 40. 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 14:11
  • 41. Psalms 9:4; Psalms 140:12
  • 42. Psalms 130:3; Psalms 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; S Romans 3:9; 1 John 1:8-10
  • 43. Leviticus 26:33-39; S Deuteronomy 4:27; S Deuteronomy 21:10; S Deuteronomy 28:64; 2 Kings 25:21
  • 44. S ver 30; S Leviticus 5:5; Leviticus 26:40; Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 1:6; Jeremiah 14:20
  • 45. Ezra 9:7; Psalms 106:6; Jeremiah 3:25; Daniel 9:5
  • 46. S Deuteronomy 4:30
  • 47. S Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:12-14
  • 48. 1 John 1:8-10; Daniel 6:10
  • 49. Psalms 5:7; Psalms 11:4; John 2:4
  • 50. Deuteronomy 12:11-14; Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 31:8
  • 51. 2 Kings 25:28; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Psalms 106:46; Daniel 1:9
  • 52. S Exodus 34:9; S Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:29; Nehemiah 1:10
  • 53. S Exodus 1:13; Isaiah 48:10; Jeremiah 11:4
  • 54. S ver 29
  • 55. Job 30:20; Psalms 3:4; Psalms 22:2; Psalms 77:1; Psalms 142:1
  • 56. Exodus 19:5; S Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:26-29