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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 8

 

 

Verses 1-66

1 Kings 8:1-66. Solomon's Dedication of the Temple, Prayer and Address.—This chapter is mainly Deuteronomic, being clearly written from the standpoint of one who has seen the Temple as the one national sanctuary of Israel, and has either witnessed its downfall or perceived that it was imminent. 1 Kings 8:1-11 is, however, probably from the early record of how the house of Yahweh was dedicated by Solomon, of which 1 Kings 8:62-66 is the continuation, the prayer of Solomon being Deuteronomic. In 1 Kings 8:12 f. we may have preserved an authentic poetic utterance of Solomon himself in the words of the dedication of the Temple. As they are given in the LXX they read as follows:

"Yahweh set the sun in heaven,

He said he (himself) would dwell in thick darkness;

Build thou my house, a house suitable for thyself

To dwell (for ever).

Behold, is it not written in the book of the song?"

It has been suggested that the "book of the song" should be the "book of Jashar" (p. 45, Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18).

The Ark was brought to the Temple (1 Kings 8:1-11). The LXX has some very striking omissions in 1 Kings 8:1-5, most of which is from a Priestly source. It is interesting to observe the differences between our account and that in 2 Chronicles 5:2-14, which is obviously copied from it. In the latter the Levites, who are not mentioned in Kings, are introduced as bearers of the Ark. The Ark was brought from "the city of David, which is Zion." Here Zion is clearly distinguished from the Temple mountain, though not unfrequently in the OT the Temple is described as Zion. In the days of Josephus Zion was on the western or northern hill (Conder, City of Jerusalem, p. 39). It is, however, now generally assumed that by Zion at this time is meant the lower part of the eastern hill on which the Temple stood. Hence the phrase "to bring up." The Zion of Josephus was higher than the Temple hill.

The orations of Solomon consist (Skinner. Cent.B) of three parts: (1) Solomon's address to the people, 1 Kings 8:15-21; (2) dedicatory prayer, 1 Kings 8:22-53; (3) the benediction, 1 Kings 8:54-61. Because these speeches are, after the fashion of ancient writings, put into the mouth of Solomon, though composed at a later date, their value is considerable as showing the idea of the Jews concerning past history. The Temple, for example, was the one sanctuary which Yahweh had promised (Deuteronomy 12:11) to provide for Israel when He had given them rest from their enemies (1 Kings 8:16). The prayer (1 Kings 8:22 ff.) consists first of a petition that God will fulfil his promise to David (1 Kings 8:22-26). But though God cannot be contained by any house, Solomon prays that He may hearken when prayers are addressed to this Temple (1 Kings 8:27-30). Next he gives instances of how he prays that God will hear: in case of disputes (1 Kings 8:31 f.), in defeat (1 Kings 8:33 f), when rain is needed (1 Kings 8:35 f.), in time of plague or famine (1 Kings 8:37 ff.), in case of strangers (1 Kings 8:41 f.), in time of battle and captivity (1 Kings 8:44 ff.). The chapter concludes with the blessing of the people by Solomon, and an account of the sacrifices offered.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Kings 8:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/1-kings-8.html. 1919.

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