1 Kings 8

Listen to 1 Kings 8

The Ark Brought into the Temple

1 1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, 2the leaders of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, 3to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of 4the city of David, which is Zion.
2 And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at 5the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
3 And all the elders of Israel came, and 6the priests took up the ark.
4 And they brought up the ark of the LORD, 7the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up.
5 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, 8sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
6 9Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD 10to its place in 11the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim.
7 For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles.
8 12And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before 13the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day.
9 There was nothing in the ark except 14the two tablets of stone that Moses put there at Horeb, where 15the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, 16a cloud filled the house of the LORD,
11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

Solomon Blesses the Lord

12 17Then Solomon said, "The LORD [a] has said that he would dwell 18in thick darkness.
13 19I have indeed built you an exalted house, 20a place for you to dwell in forever."
14 Then the king turned around and 21blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood.
15 And he said, 22"Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled 23what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying,
16 24'Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, 25that my name might be there. 26But I chose David to be over my people Israel.'
17 27Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
18 But the LORD said to David my father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart.
19 28Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.'
20 Now the LORD has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, 29as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
21 And there I have provided a place for the ark, 30in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."

Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon 31stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and 32spread out his hands toward heaven,
23 and said, "O LORD, God of Israel, 33there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, 34keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart,
24 who have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. 35You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day.
25 Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, 36'You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.'
26 37Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.
27 "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, 38heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!
28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day,
29 39that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, 40'My name shall be there,' that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.
30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
31 "If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take 41an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house,
32 then hear in heaven and act and judge your servants, 42condemning the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
33 43"When your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and 44if they turn again to you and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house,
34 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to their fathers.
35 45"When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them,
36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when 46you teach them 47the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.
37 48"If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land at their gates,[b] whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,
38 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house,
39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (49for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind),
40 that they may fear you 50all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.
41 "Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name's sake
42 (for they shall hear of your great name 51and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house,
43 hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order 52that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and 53fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
44 "If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the LORD 54toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name,
45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.
46 "If they sin against you--55for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive 56to the land of the enemy, far off or near,
47 yet 57if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, 58'We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,'
48 59if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you 60toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name,
49 then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause
50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions that they have committed against you, and 61grant them compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them
51 (62for they are your people, and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt, 63from the midst of the iron furnace).
52 64Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to you.
53 For you separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, 65as you declared through Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD."

Solomon's Benediction

54 66Now as Solomon finished offering all this prayer and plea to the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had 67knelt with hands outstretched toward heaven.
55 And he stood and 68blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying,
56 "Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. 69Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.
57 The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. 70May he not leave us or forsake us,
58 that he may 71incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.
59 Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires,
60 that 72all the peoples of the earth may know that 73the LORD is God; there is no other.
61 74Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day."

Solomon's Sacrifices

62 75Then 76the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD.
63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the LORD 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.
64 The same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD, for there he offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the peace offerings, because 77the bronze altar that was before the LORD was too small to receive the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the peace offerings.
65 So Solomon held 78the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from 79Lebo-hamath to 80the Brook of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days.[c]
66 On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people.

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 80

  • 1. For ver. 1-9, see 2 Chronicles 5:2-10
  • 2. Numbers 1:16
  • 3. [2 Samuel 6:17]
  • 4. See 2 Samuel 5:7
  • 5. ver. 65; Leviticus 23:34; See 2 Chronicles 7:8-10
  • 6. [Numbers 4:15; Deuteronomy 31:9; Joshua 3:3, 6; 1 Chronicles 15:14, 15]
  • 7. [1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3]
  • 8. [2 Samuel 6:13]
  • 9. 2 Samuel 6:17
  • 10. Exodus 26:33, 34
  • 11. See 1 Kings 6:5
  • 12. Exodus 25:13-15
  • 13. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 14. Exodus 25:21; Exodus 40:20; Deuteronomy 10:2, 5; Hebrews 9:4
  • 15. Exodus 34:27, 28; Deuteronomy 4:13
  • 16. Exodus 40:34, 35; 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14; 2 Chronicles 7:1, 2; [Ezekiel 10:3, 4]
  • 17. For ver. 12-50, see 2 Chronicles 6:1-39
  • 18. Psalms 18:11; Psalms 97:2; [Leviticus 16:2]
  • 19. 2 Samuel 7:13
  • 20. Exodus 15:17; [Psalms 132:14]
  • 21. ver. 55; 2 Samuel 6:18
  • 22. Luke 1:68
  • 23. 1 Kings 6:12
  • 24. See 2 Sam. 7:4-16, 25
  • 25. ver. 29; Deuteronomy 12:11
  • 26. 1 Samuel 16:1; 2 Samuel 7:8; 1 Chronicles 28:4
  • 27. 2 Samuel 7:2, 3; 1 Chronicles 17:1, 2
  • 28. 1 Kings 5:3, 5; 2 Sam. 7:5, 12, 13
  • 29. 1 Chronicles 28:5, 6
  • 30. ver. 9; Deuteronomy 31:26
  • 31. ver. 54; 2 Chronicles 6:12, 13
  • 32. [Exodus 9:33; Ezra 9:5; Isaiah 1:15]
  • 33. Exodus 15:11; 2 Samuel 7:22
  • 34. See Deuteronomy 7:9
  • 35. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 36. See 1 Kings 2:4
  • 37. 2 Samuel 7:25
  • 38. 2 Chronicles 2:6; [Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 7:49; Acts 17:24]
  • 39. ver. 52; [2 Chronicles 7:15; Nehemiah 1:6]
  • 40. ver. 16; 1 Kings 9:3; Deuteronomy 12:11
  • 41. [Exodus 22:11]
  • 42. Deuteronomy 25:1
  • 43. Leviticus 26:17; Deuteronomy 28:45
  • 44. Leviticus 26:40; [Nehemiah 1:9]
  • 45. Deuteronomy 11:17; Luke 4:25; [Leviticus 26:17; Deuteronomy 28:25]
  • 46. [Psalms 25:4; Psalms 27:11; Psalms 86:11]
  • 47. 1 Samuel 12:23
  • 48. [Lev. 26:16, 25, 26; Deut. 28:21, 22, 37, 38, 42, 52; 2 Chronicles 20:9]
  • 49. 1 Chronicles 28:9; Acts 1:24; [1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10]
  • 50. Deuteronomy 12:1
  • 51. Deuteronomy 3:24; 2 Chronicles 6:32
  • 52. ver. 60; [Joshua 4:24]
  • 53. Psalms 102:15
  • 54. [ver. 48]
  • 55. Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8, 10
  • 56. Leviticus 26:34, 44; Deuteronomy 28:36, 64
  • 57. Leviticus 26:40
  • 58. Nehemiah 1:6; Psalms 106:6; Daniel 9:5
  • 59. 1 Samuel 7:3; Jeremiah 29:12-14
  • 60. Daniel 6:10; [ver. 44; Psalms 5:7; Jonah 2:4]
  • 61. Psalms 106:46
  • 62. Deuteronomy 9:29; [Nehemiah 1:10]
  • 63. Deuteronomy 4:20; Jeremiah 11:4
  • 64. [ver. 29]
  • 65. Exodus 19:5, 6; Deuteronomy 9:26, 29; Deuteronomy 14:2
  • 66. 2 Chronicles 7:1
  • 67. [2 Chronicles 6:13]
  • 68. ver. 14
  • 69. Joshua 21:45; Joshua 23:14
  • 70. [Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; 1 Samuel 12:22]
  • 71. Psalms 119:36
  • 72. ver. 43
  • 73. Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; [1 Kings 18:39]
  • 74. 2 Kings 20:3; [1 Kings 11:4; 1 Kings 15:3, 14]
  • 75. For ver. 62-66, see 2 Chronicles 7:4-10
  • 76. [Ezra 6:16, 17]
  • 77. See 2 Chronicles 4:1
  • 78. ver. 2; Leviticus 23:34
  • 79. Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8
  • 80. Numbers 34:5; 2 Kings 24:7

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Septuagint The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but
  • [b]. Septuagint, Syriac in any of their cities
  • [c]. Septuagint; Hebrew seven days and seven days, fourteen days

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.