1 KINGS 8-9
It's amazing to see the entire cycle of the Old Testament within these two chapters. At the beginning of chapter 8, we see that Israel's faith in God is at its peak. The temple has just been completed, the ark is moved in, King Solomon has dedicated it to the Lord, and has recognized God's promise of blessing related to the faithfulness of Israel. But we also see immediately following this celebration that God Himself reminds Solomon that WHEN Israel turns their back on Him, punishment will arise. That punishment will be their own doing, because they alone will move away. God stands firm for all time. And as usual, it's easy for us to point fingers and accuse Israel of being faithless, but we do the same thing ourselves. We have a "mountain-top" experience where we feel closer to God than ever before, and almost immediately after, we ignore Him and do our own things. Let's learn from Israel's cycle and continue to trust God in the tough times-not just when it's easy.
1 KINGS 8
SOLOMON’S DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE
1 At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the tribal heads and the ancestral leaders of the Israelites before him at Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David, that is Zion. 2 So all the men of Israel were assembled in the presence of King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month, at the festival.
3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the ark. 4 The priests and the Levites brought the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and the holy utensils that were in the tent. 5 King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel, who had gathered around him and were with him in front of the ark, were sacrificing sheep, goats, and cattle that could not be counted or numbered, because there were so many. 6 The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim were spreading their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles from above. 8 The poles were so long that their ends were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they were not seen from outside the sanctuary; they are still there today. 9 Nothing was in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10 When the priests came out of the holy place, the cloud filled the Lord’s temple, 11 and because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
12 Then Solomon said:
The Lord said that he would dwell in total darkness.
13 I have indeed built an exalted temple for you,
a place for your dwelling forever.
14 The king turned around and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. 15 He said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
He spoke directly to my father David,
and he has fulfilled the promise by his power.
16 “Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt,
I have not chosen a city to build a temple in
among any of the tribes of Israel,
so that my name would be there.
But I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.”
17 My father David had his heart set
on building a temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
18 But the Lord said to my father David,
“Since your heart was set on building a temple for my name,
you have done well to have this desire.
19 Yet you are not the one to build it;
instead, your son, your own offspring,
will build it for my name.”
20 The Lord has fulfilled what he promised.
I have taken the place of my father David,
and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised.
I have built the temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
21 I have provided a place there for the ark,
where the Lord’s covenant is
that he made with our ancestors
when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said:
Lord God of Israel,
there is no God like you
in heaven above or on earth below,
who keeps the gracious covenant
with your servants who walk before you
with all their heart.
24 You have kept what you promised
to your servant, my father David.
You spoke directly to him
and you fulfilled your promise by your power
as it is today.
25 Therefore, Lord God of Israel,
keep what you promised
to your servant, my father David:
You will never fail to have a man
to sit before me on the throne of Israel,
if only your sons take care to walk before me
as you have walked before me.
26 Now Lord God of Israel,
please confirm what you promised
to your servant, my father David.
27 But will God indeed live on earth?
Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain you,
much less this temple I have built.
28 Listen to your servant’s prayer and his petition,
Lord my God,
so that you may hear the cry and the prayer
that your servant prays before you today,
29 so that your eyes may watch over this temple night and day,
toward the place where you said,
“My name will be there,”
and so that you may hear the prayer
that your servant prays toward this place.
30 Hear the petition of your servant
and your people Israel,
which they pray toward this place.
May you hear in your dwelling place in heaven.
May you hear and forgive.
31 When a man sins against his neighbor
and is forced to take an oath,
and he comes to take an oath
before your altar in this temple,
32 may you hear in heaven and act.
May you judge your servants,
condemning the wicked man by bringing
what he has done on his own head
and providing justice for the righteous
by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
33 When your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against you,
and they return to you and praise your name,
and they pray and plead with you
for mercy in this temple,
34 may you hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of your people Israel.
May you restore them to the land
you gave their ancestors.
35 When the skies are shut and there is no rain,
because they have sinned against you,
and they pray toward this place
and praise your name,
and they turn from their sins
because you are afflicting them,
36 may you hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of your servants
and your people Israel,
so that you may teach them the good way
they should walk in.
May you send rain on your land
that you gave your people for an inheritance.
37 When there is famine in the land,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper,
when their enemy besieges them
in the land and its cities,
when there is any plague or illness,
38 every prayer or petition
that any person or that all your people Israel may have—
they each know their own affliction—
as they spread out their hands toward this temple,
39 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and may you forgive, act, and give to everyone
according to all their ways, since you know each heart,
for you alone know every human heart,
40 so that they may fear you
all the days they live on the land
you gave our ancestors.
41 Even for the foreigner who is not of your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of your name—
42 for they will hear of your great name,
strong hand, and outstretched arm,
and will come and pray toward this temple—
43 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and do according to all the foreigner asks.
Then all peoples of earth will know your name,
to fear you as your people Israel do
and to know that this temple I have built
bears your name.
44 When your people go out to fight against their enemies,
wherever you send them,
and they pray to the Lord
in the direction of the city you have chosen
and the temple I have built for your name,
45 may you hear their prayer and petition in heaven
and uphold their cause.
46 When they sin against you—
for there is no one who does not sin—
and you are angry with them
and hand them over to the enemy,
and their captors deport them to the enemy’s country—
whether distant or nearby—
47 and when they come to their senses
in the land where they were deported
and repent and petition you in their captors’ land:
“We have sinned and done wrong;
we have been wicked,”
48 and when they return to you with all their heart and all their soul
in the land of their enemies who took them captive,
and when they pray to you in the direction of their land
that you gave their ancestors,
the city you have chosen,
and the temple I have built for your name,
49 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
their prayer and petition and uphold their cause.
50 May you forgive your people
who sinned against you
and all their rebellions against you,
and may you grant them compassion
before their captors,
so that they may treat them compassionately.
51 For they are your people and your inheritance;
you brought them out of Egypt,
out of the middle of an iron furnace.
52 May your eyes be open to your servant’s petition
and to the petition of your people Israel,
listening to them whenever they call to you.
53 For you, Lord God, have set them apart as your inheritance
from all peoples of the earth,
as you spoke through your servant Moses
when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.
54 When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, 55 and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: 56 “Blessed be the Lord! He has given rest to his people Israel according to all he has said. Not one of all the good promises he made through his servant Moses has failed. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us 58 so that he causes us to be devoted to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors. 59 May my words with which I have made my petition before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night. May he uphold his servant’s cause and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires. 60 May all the peoples of the earth know that the Lord is God. There is no other! 61 Be wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord our God to walk in his statutes and to keep his commands, as it is today.”
62 The king and all Israel with him were offering sacrifices in the Lord’s presence. 63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep and goats. In this manner the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord’s temple.
64 On the same day, the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the Lord’s temple because that was where he offered the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings since the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to accommodate the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings.
65 Solomon and all Israel with him—a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath,p to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time in the presence of the Lord our God, seven days, and seven more days—fourteen days. 66 On the fifteenth day he sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went to their homes rejoicing and with happy hearts for all the goodness that the Lord had done for his servant David and for his people Israel.
1 KINGS 9
THE LORD’S RESPONSE
1 When Solomon finished building the temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all that Solomon desired to do, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time just as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him:
I have heard your prayer and petition you have made before me. I have consecrated this temple you have built, to put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there at all times.
4 As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and in what is right, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and ordinances, 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.
6 If you or your sons turn away from following me and do not keep my commands—my statutes that I have set before you—and if you go and serve other gods and bow in worship to them, 7 I will cut off Israel from the land I gave them, and I will reject the temple I have sanctified for my name. Israel will become an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. 8 Though this temple is now exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will scoff. They will say: Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple? 9 Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt. They held on to other gods and bowed in worship to them and served them. Because of this, the Lord brought all this ruin on them.
KING HIRAM’S TWENTY TOWNS
10 At the end of twenty years during which Solomon had built the two houses, the Lord’s temple and the royal palace—11 King Hiram of Tyre having supplied him with cedar and cypress logs and gold for his every wish—King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the land of Galilee. 12 So Hiram went out from Tyre to look over the towns that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them. 13 So he said, “What are these towns you’ve given me, my brother?” So he called them the Land of Cabul, as they are still called today. 14 Now Hiram had sent the king nine thousand pounds of gold.
SOLOMON’S FORCED LABOR
15 This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon had imposed to build the Lord’s temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He then burned it, killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 Then Solomon rebuilt Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, Tamar,D in the Wilderness of Judah, 19 all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, the chariot cities, the cavalry cities, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the land of his dominion.
20 As for all the peoples who remained of the Amorites, Hethites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not Israelites—21 their descendants who remained in the land after them, those whom the Israelites were unable to destroy completely—Solomon imposed forced labor on them; it is still this way today. 22 But Solomon did not consign the Israelites to slavery; they were soldiers, his servants, his commanders, his captains, and commanders of his chariots and his cavalry. 23 These were the deputies who were over Solomon’s work: 550 who supervised the people doing the work.
SOLOMON’S OTHER ACTIVITIES
24 Pharaoh’s daughter moved from the city of David to the house that Solomon had built for her; he then built the terraces.
25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, and he burned incense with them in the Lord’s presence. So he completed the temple.
26 King Solomon put together a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. 27 With the fleet, Hiram sent his servants, experienced seamen, along with Solomon’s servants. 28 They went to Ophir and acquired gold there—sixteen tons—and delivered it to Solomon.
Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1 Ki 8:1–9:28.