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.