1 Kings 8:22

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven,

1 Kings 8:22 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 8:22

And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord
The altar of the burnt offering in the court of the priests, where he prayed the following prayer; and which altar was typical of Christ, who is always to be in sight in prayer, and through whom all sacrifices of prayer and praise become acceptable to God. In ( 2 Chronicles 6:13 ) he is said to stand upon a scaffold of brass, five cubits long, five broad, and three high, which stood in the midst of the court; it was a sort of a pulpit, round, as a laver, for which the word is sometimes used, and on which he kneeled:

in the presence of all the congregation of Israel;
who stood in the great court before him, called the court of Israel:

and spread forth his hands toward heaven;
and hence it appears, that though Solomon stood before the altar, he did not lay hold on it with his hands, as the Heathens did when they prayed; for they say F25, that prayer alone does not appease the Deity, unless he that prays also lays hold on the altar with his hands; hence altars, at first, as we are told F26, were called "ansae"; and lifting up or spreading the hands towards heaven was a proper gesture with the Greeks and Romans F1.


F25 Macrob. Saturnal. l. 3. c. 2. Vid. Sperling. de Baptism. Ethiac, c. 6. p. 103.
F26 Varro Rer. Divin. l. 5. apud ib.
F1 Homer. Iliad. 3. ver. 275. & 6. ver. 301. Vid. Barth. Animadv. ad Claudian. in Rufin. l. 2. ver. 205.

1 Kings 8:22 In-Context

20 “And now the LORD has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
21 And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the LORD 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 entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven,
23 and he prayed, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.