Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

1 Kings 8

Verse 1

THE DEDICATION OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE

This is a very significant O.T. chapter, (1) because "It confounds and contradicts the critical allegations which are based upon their false hypothesis that the theology of Israel developed after the manner of an evolutionary pattern, and that it was not fully developed until the times of the (imaginary) Second Isaiah."[1] Solomon's words here uphold the immanence and yet transcendence of God.[2]

Also (2) this chapter presents overwhelmingly convincing evidence of the prior existence of the Five Books of Moses, commonly called the Pentateuch. He honored the Levitical instructions on moving the ark of the covenant. His prayer exhibited his knowledge of Exodus 22:8-11; Genesis 14:14; 34:29; Numbers 24:22 and of the entire Mosaic history of Israel.

It is quite annoying how frequently one encounters the comment that this chapter is "Deuteronomic," that being a code word supposed to identify its user as one who accepts the critical fairy tale about the origin of the Pentateuch in the days of Josiah. LaSor came very near to expressing this writer's opinion on that allegation as follows:

"It is our conviction that Deuteronomy is essentially Mosaic,"[3] and that it was not the product of the Josianic period. If Deuteronomy had been produced at any time between the fall of Samaria and the fall of Jerusalem, and if the Jewish priesthood wrote it to establish the primacy of the Jerusalem sanctuary, then how can it be explained that JERUSALEM IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN DEUTERONOMY? Also, how can it be explained that there is found right here in the Book of Kings DETAILED KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENTIRE WILDERNESS PERIOD OF ISRAEL and knowledge of the Conquest and of Israel's history during the times of Judges and Samuel?

"The critical dictum that the workmen in the Temple in the times of Josiah found a copy of `the Book of Deuteronomy' is fraudulent because it was not the `Book of Deuteronomy' which was found, but "The Book of the Law," namely, the Five Books of Moses, as specifically stated in 2 Kings 22:8; and furthermore the strict observance of the' Passover which Josiah commanded to be observed according to what was written in "this book of the covenant" (which instructions are not in Deuteronomy, except in a very abbreviated form in Deuteronomy 16, but in Exodus) convincingly demonstrates that `the book' discovered was the whole Mosaic Law."

The Temple of Solomon was a significant and impressive symbol of Israel's unity and of their acceptance of Jehovah as their God, but "Whatever it might have been or might not have been to the people, Solomon used it as his private chapel. Three times a year he offered (and for all that appears, he offered with his own hand), without the intervention of any priests, burnt-offerings and peace-offerings upon the altar. Not only this, he actually, `burnt incense therewith upon the altar which was before the Lord' (1 Kings 9:25). This was a deadly sin, the very sin for which Uzziah was stricken with leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:17-20)."[4] The High Priest alone (and only once in the year), was privileged to offer incense upon that altar within the holy of holies.

Nevertheless, this chapter records God's acceptance of the Temple and his accommodation to the vainglorious indulgence of the people and their wicked king in the building of it.

The chapter naturally falls into these divisions. "(1) Removing of the ark into the Temple (1 Kings 8:1-22), (2) Solomon's prayer of consecration (1 Kings 8:23-54), (3) the benediction of the congregation (1 Kings 8:55-61), and (4) the festal sacrifices that completed the dedication (1 Kings 8:62-66)."[5]

THE ARK IS PLACED IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES

"Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of the city of David which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of Jehovah, and the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent; even these did the priests and the Levites bring up. And king Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of Jehovah unto its place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And the staves were so long that the ends of the staves were seen from the holy place before the oracle; but they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when Jehovah made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of Jehovah, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah."

"At the feast of Ethanim" (1 Kings 8:2). This was the feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:13), one of the great feasts when all the men of Israel were required to be present. This was the seventh month, and, as Solomon had finished building the Temple in the month Bul, which was the eighth month (1 Kings 6:38), it is evident that almost a year passed between the finishing of the Temple and its dedication, unless as some have supposed, he dedicated it a year before he finished it. We agree with Dentan that, "The dedication ceremonies were delayed for eleven months so that they might coincide with the Feast of Tabernacles."[6] "The time of the year was October-November. Ethanim is the earlier name for the month Tishri."[7] The use of that earlier name does not fit the allegation of an exilic date for Kings.

"The cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark" (1 Kings 8:7). "These were not the Mosaic cherubim which were firmly affixed to the lid of the ark of the covenant (Exodus 37:7)."[8] Furthermore, the wing-spread of these cherubim was twenty cubits, whereas the Mosaic cherubim were miniatures atop the lid that covered the ark of the covenant.

"The staves were so long that they were seen from the holy place" (1 Kings 8:8). In their attempts to explain exactly what the problem was with regard to these staves, both Martin and Hammond mention the "curtain"[9] (the veil) which separated the oracle (holy of holies) from the holy place, but we have found no mention whatever of any veil or curtain in the whole Book of Kings! There is no record that Solomon's Temple ever had a curtain. One of David's original objections to the Tabernacle was that it housed the ark "within curtains" (2 Samuel 7:2). It appears to be quite obvious that Solomon omitted the veil.

"There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put there" (1 Kings 8:9). Hebrews 9:4 states that a pot of manna and Aaron's rod that budded were also in the ark of the covenant. Canon Cook explained this by the declaration that, "Solomon removed the pot of manna and Aaron's rod and put them elsewhere."[10] Keil, however, declared that the O.T. passages (Exodus 16:33,34 and Numbers 17:25) were misinterpreted and that they merely state that the manna and the rod were, "deposited in front of the ark of testimony and not inside of it."[11] This writer prefers Cook's explanation. We have already observed that Solomon made a lot of changes: the design of the cherubim, the omission of the veil, the addition of the pillars Jachin and Boaz, etc.

"The cloud filled the house of Jehovah" (1 Kings 8:11). "This struck the minds of the priests, as it formerly had done Moses, with such astonishment and terror (Leviticus 16:2-13; Deuteronomy 4:24; and Exodus 40:35) that they could not remain."[12] "We may see in this cloud the seat of the Shechinah,"[13] or the presence of God. However contrary to the will of God the very conception of an earthly temple certainly was, the Lord nevertheless received it, marked it with a visible emblem of his Divine presence, and accepted it (for a season only) as the place of God's Name. In this must be seen the infinite grace and mercy of God overruling even the mistakes of men and conforming their sinful institutions in such a manner as finally to achieve the redemption of all men in Christ Jesus.

SOLOMON CLAIMED THAT HIS TEMPLE WAS THE FULFILLMENT OF 2 SAM. 7:13

There cannot be any doubt that Solomon was grossly mistaken in this claim. (See my comment at 1 Kings 8:20)

Verse 12

"Then spake Solomon, Jehovah hath said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have surely built thee a house of habitation, a place for thee to dwell in forever. And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the assembly of Israel: and all the assembly of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who spake with his mouth to David my father, and with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house that my name might be there; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel. But Jehovah said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thy heart to build a house for my name, thou didst well that it was in thy heart: nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son, who shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. And Jehovah hath established his word that he spake; for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Jehovah promised, AND HAVE BUILT THE HOUSE FOR THE NAME OF JEHOVAH, the God of Israel. And there have I set a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of Jehovah, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."

"Jehovah hath said that he would dwell in thick darkness" (1 Kings 8:12). "Here the darkness of the windowless inner sanctuary is identified with the dark storm cloud over Mount Horeb at the giving of the Law (Exodus 20:18; Psalms 18:10-11)."[14]

"I have surely built thee a house" (1 Kings 8:13). By this action, "Solomon asserted that he was establishing the Lord as supreme God of all ... that the Lord alone is Lord of heaven and earth."[15] (See more on this under 1 Kings 8:20, below.)

"Jehovah said to David ... Whereas it was in thy heart to built a house for my name, thou didst well that it was in thy heart" (1 Kings 8:18). Cook noted that, "The exact words of 2 Samuel 7 are not given here; only the general sense is given."[16] It is this writer's opinion that neither the words nor the sense of 2 Samuel 7 is given here, but only Solomon's mistaken notion of what God actually said. The Bible nowhere backs up what Solomon here put in the mouth of God regarding David's notion about building God a house.

"I have built a house for the name of Jehovah" (1 Kings 8:20). The prophecy which Solomon here claimed to have been fulfilled by his building the Temple is found in 2 Samuel 2:13:

"He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son."

Was Solomon's throne established forever? Certainly not! It did not extend any further than Solomon's lifetime. Was Solomon God's son? There is no evidence whatever that Solomon was even saved, for he became, in time, an unqualified son of the Devil. Was God Solomon's father? Indeed no! Solomon was an idolater (1 Kings 11:5-12). Was that Temple which Solomon built "the house for God's name"? Indeed Solomon and all the Jews claimed that distinction for it, and for a season God allowed it to be so recognized, but THAT HOUSE which God promised to David, which would be built by one of his posterity, is none other than the Church of Jesus Christ. See Acts 15:16-18, also our extensive commentary on this subject in 2 Samuel 7.

Verse 22

SOLOMON'S LONG PRAYER OF CONSECRATION (1 KINGS 8:22-53);

SOLOMON'S PRAYER FOR HIS DYNASTY TO CONTINUE

"And Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; And he said, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath; who keepest covenant and lovingkindness with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their heart; who hast kept with David my father that which thou didst promise him: yea, thou spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thy hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, "There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me, as thou walkest before me. Now therefore, O God of lsrael, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father."

Solomon here prayed for the wrong thing, it seems to me, because, instead of praying for God to keep his word, he should have prayed that he himself and his evil sons would keep the Lord's commandments.

Despite this lapse on Solomon's part, however, this dedicatory prayer is rich indeed. "This prayer was most likely written down and preserved in The Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41) or in The Book of Nathan the Prophet (2 Chronicles 9:20). It was evidently committed to writing at once, and it would no doubt, as a matter of course, have been religiously preserved.

As we certainly should have expected, radical "Critics deny the authenticity of this prayer because of its many references to the Pentateuch,"[17] which of course effectively disproves their favorite canard of a late date for the Pentateuch. Hammond cited Exodus 19:9; 22:11; Leviticus 5:1; 26:17,25; 26:40,42; Deuteronomy 4:20; 28:25 as Mosaic passages referred to in this chapter; but these are by no means all of them.

Verse 27

ONLY GOD'S NAME (NOT HIS ACTUAL PRESENCE) DWELT IN THE TEMPLE

"But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded! Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Jehovah my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth to thee this day; that thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof thou hast said, MY NAME SHALL BE THERE; to hearken to the prayer which thy servant shall pray toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and that of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive."

"Heaven of heavens cannot contain thee" (1 Kings 8:27). "These words are actually a reminiscence of Deuteronomy 10:14, and are found elsewhere only five times including the parallel in 2 Chronicles 6:18."[18]

"My name shall be there" (1 Kings 8:29). In these words, as they are compared with 1 Kings 8:27, Solomon makes it clear that, "It is not God Himself in his fullness who will dwell in the Temple, but only his name."[19] We reject as untenable, even ridiculous, the dictum of critics that Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, was such a dunce as he is described by Dentan who wrote that, "Solomon really believed that he could build God `an exalted house,' a place for him to dwell in for ever."[20] Such a critical allegation more effectively reflects upon the intelligence of such critics than it does upon that of Solomon.

Of course, the community of radical critics finds here an effective contradiction of their evolutionary hypothesis regarding the theology of Israel; and their only defense of their theory is to ascribe a passage like this to their mythical `Deuteronomist.' The true Deuteronomist, of course, is none other than Moses, as proved by the Book of Deuteronomy itself, where the mid-second millennium vocabulary, the sustained pattern of the ancient suzerain treaties, and the book's absolute conformity with the rest of the Mosaic writings make it impossible to date the book any later than the death of Moses about 1,400 B.C.

This wonderful passage shows that, "Solomon had no unworthy ideas such as were prevalent in that age, nor did he suppose that God was merely a local deity who could be limited to a given place. These words clearly prove his grasp of the omnipresence and infinity of God."[21]

This first section of Solomon's prayer is somewhat general in nature, but the remainder (1 Kings 8:31-53) has seven specific petitions:

Verse 31

I. FOR GOD TO DETERMINE THE TRUTH IN DISPUTES

This petition by Solomon reflects his familiarity with the passage in Exodus 22:10-13 which deals with this very problem.

"If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and he come and swear before thine altar in this house; then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head, and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness."

Verse 33

II. FOR GOD TO FORGIVE ISRAEL WHEN THEY REPENT

"When thy people are smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; if they turn again to thee and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication to thee in this house: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers."

Verse 35

III. PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM DROUGHT

"When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou teachest them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance."

Verse 37

IV. PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM FAMINE, etc.

"If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer or supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people of Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart thou knowest (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men): that they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest to our fathers."

Verse 41

V. PRAYER FOR ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH

"Moreover concerning the foreigner, that is not of thy people Israel, when he shall come out of a far country for thy name's sake (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy mighty hand, and of thine outstretched arm); when he shall come and pray toward this house; hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calleth to thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name."

Verse 44

VI. PETITION FOR SUCCESS IN BATTLES AGAINST ENEMIES

"If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatsoever way thou shalt send them, and they pray unto Jehovah toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause."

Verse 46

VII. PETITION FOR ISRAEL WHEN THEY ARE MADE CAPTIVES AND CARRIED AWAY TO ANOTHER LAND

"If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not), and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far off or near; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captive, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have dealt wickedly; if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause; and forgive thy people who have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee; and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them (for they are thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron); that thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them whensoever they cry unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord Jehovah."

THE THEOLOGY OF KING SOLOMON

The theological views of Solomon are crystal clear in this prayer:

(1) The omnipotence of God is evident in his conviction that God was able to hear and answer prayer in any land on earth "far or near" (1 Kings 8:46).

(2) Although God's name was associated with the house Solomon built, God's "dwelling place" is emphatically declared to be "in heaven" (1 Kings 8:32,34,36,39,43,45,48) no less than seven times.

(3) Both the ubiquitousness and the omniscience of God appear in the declaration that God knows "the hearts of all the children of men" (1 Kings 8:39). Also in the view that "the heaven of heavens" (1 Kings 8:27) cannot contain him, there is further evidence that God is everywhere throughout his whole universe.

(4) The fact of God's displeasure with sin and the certainty of his punishing it appear in such verses as 1Kings 8:33,35,1 Kings 8:46. (5) That God's forgiveness is contingent upon the condition of the sinner's turning away from his transgressions is a major thesis of the prayer (1 Kings 8:33,35,48). (6) That God is not merely the God of the Jews but of all the peoples of the earth is the burden of 1 Kings 8:41-43. (7) God's forgiveness of sins is repeatedly promised upon the condition of its being prayed for. "If they make supplication" (1 Kings 8:33,47); "if they pray" (1 Kings 8:35,48); "when he shall pray" (1 Kings 8:42); "if thy people pray," (1 Kings 8:44).

These profoundly beautiful and correct thoughts regarding God's nature and character were not the result of, "The Deuteronomic editors having placed these words upon Solomon's lips,"[22] as claimed by Dentan and other critical writers. As a matter of fact, Solomon's prayer was recorded in this same form independently of the Biblical books, namely, in The Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41), of which the account here is obviously an abridged account. And certainly that mythical "Deuteronomist" never had anything to do with The Acts of Solomon!

"When thy people are defeated ... because they have sinned ... if they turn again, etc." (1 Kings 8:33). "This reminds one of the cycle in the Book of Judges: apostasy, defeat, repentance, deliverance."[23] This shows Solomon's thorough familiarity with that book.

"All the peoples of the earth may know thy name, etc." (1 Kings 8:43). "There is no record of any foreigner ever worshipping in Solomon's Temple,"[24] but after the captivity, Alexander the Great, and Ptolemaeus Philadelphus are reported by Josephus to have worshipped in the Second Temple."[25] Also 2 Maccabees 3:2,3 states that Seleucus worshipped there.

"There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings 8:46). "The idea of total hereditary depravity is not supported in the Bible, but it is nevertheless an observed and undeniable fact that all men are sinners."[26] "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10).

"We have sinned, and done perversely, we have dealt wickedly" (1 Kings 8:45). "There are three words for sin in this verse: [~chata'], meaning to miss the goal, [~`awah], meaning iniquity due to deliberate action, and [~rasha`], meaning irregular and abnormal wickedness."[27]

"The furnace of iron" (1 Kings 8:51). "This is a metaphorical reference to Egypt as a place of severe trial and affliction."[28]

Verse 54

SOLOMON'S BENEDICTION

"And it was so, that, when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto Jehovah, he arose from before the altar of Jehovah, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven. He stood, and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be Jehovah, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by Moses his servant. Jehovah our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; let him not leave us, nor forsake us; that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before Jehovah, be nigh unto Jehovah our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, as every day requireth; that all the peoples of the earth may know that Jehovah, he is God; there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with Jehovah our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day."

"He arose ... from kneeling on his knees, etc." (1 Kings 8:54). "This is the first mention of kneeling for prayer in the Bible. The Jews usually stood to pray (Luke 18:11,13)."[29]

"That all the peoples of the earth may know that Jehovah, he is God; there is none else" (1 Kings 8:60). "Israel had a mission to discharge to the other nations of the world ... by exhibiting conspicuously ... the moral principles upon which God governed mankind ... and also to teach mankind through the agency of their prophets."[30] Israel's colossal failure to live up to their responsibility in these Divine assignments is the great tragedy of the O.T.

Verse 62

THE FESTAL SACRIFICES

"And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifices before Jehovah. And Solomon offered for one sacrifice of peace-offerings, which he offered unto Jehovah, two and twenty thousand oxen, and a hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of Jehovah. The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of Jehovah; for there he offered the burnt-offering, and the meal-offering, and the fat of the peace-offerings, because the brazen altar that was before Jehovah was too little to receive the burnt-offering, and the meal-offering, and the fat of the peace-offerings. So Solomon held the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath unto the brook of Egypt, before Jehovah our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that Jehovah had showed upon David his servant, and to Israel his people."

The vast number of sheep and oxen mentioned here as sacrificed seems to have included, not only the sacrifices paid for by the king, but also all of the sacrifices brought by the people from all over the kingdom in their observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. "There is no ground for suspecting either exaggeration or mistake in these great numbers of the sacrifices."[31]

"Seven days and seven days, even fourteen days" (1 Kings 8:65). La Sor understood these two seven-day feasts, that of the dedication, and that of Tabernacles, as running concurrently, or simultaneously,[32] an opinion which is supported by the declaration in 1 Kings 8:66 that the people were sent home on the eighth day.

It is strange indeed that the great bronze altar, until now passed over in the description of the furnishings of the Temple, is here singled out as being too small. Since Solomon is here said to have dedicated the "middle court" that is before the house of Jehovah, apparently using this great bronze altar, it would appear from this that Solomon had placed it differently from its placement in the Tabernacle, where it was placed in the outer court, not in the middle court.

This lengthy chapter recounts the Dedication of the Temple, the feature of which was Solomon's great prayer. There are in this prayer the very highest theological implications and prophetic intimations of many future events in Israel's checkered history, even including the captivity, and the worldwide calling of the Gentiles into the worship of Jehovah; and, in view of the consummate wickedness of Solomon himself, some have wondered how this prayer came about. It was not due to Solomon's character, but to his position as the first of the Davidic dynasty to succeed him. That dynasty, wicked as it was, was nevertheless a feeble type of the kingdom of God; and just as God used the wicked Caiaphas to prophesy Jesus' death "on behalf of the people," (John 11:49-51), solely because of Caiaphas' office as High Priest; so God used Solomon in this remarkable prayer solely on the basis of his relationship as a son of David, but not the Son of David.

Copyright Statement
Coffman's Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 8". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/1-kings-8.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.