Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 8

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-22)
Theme: The United Kingdom (c 1-11)
Message: The Ark is Brought to the Temple (v 1-36)

1 Kings 8 Commentary 

(8:1) A Dedication - Solomon gathered the people not just to dedicate the temple but to rededicate themselves to God's service. Solomon could well be speaking these words to us today: "Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day" (8:61). In this age, we have more than just the law to teach us to follow God. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us, remind us of the truth when we are off base, strengthen us for our work, and renew us with God's love.

(8:1) The Temple versus the Tabernacle - What was the difference between the tabernacle and the temple, and why did the Israelites change from one to the other? As a tent, the tabernacle was a portable place of worship designed for the people as they were traveling toward the Promised Land. The temple was a permanent place to worship God after the Israelites were at peace in their land. To bring the ark of the covenant to the temple signified the arrival of God's actual presence there.

(8:6) The Cherubim - Cherubims are mighty angelic beings. These huge figures served as guardians of the ark.

(8:15-21) Worship Verses a Building - For 480 years after Israel's escape from Egypt, God did not ask his people to build a temple for him. Instead, he emphasized the importance of his presence among them and their need for spiritual leaders. It is easy to think of a building as the focus of God's presence and power, but God chooses and uses people to do his work. Building or enlarging our places of worship may be necessary, but it should never take priority over developing spiritual leaders whose hearts beat in tune with God's.

(8:24) God's Promise Fufilled - Solomon was referring to the promise God had made to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-15 that one of David's sons would build the temple.

(8:27) A Prayer of Dedication - In his prayer of dedication, Solomon declared that even the highest heavens cannot contain God. Isn't it amazing that though the heavens can't contain God, he is willing to live in the hearts of those who love him? The God of the universe takes up residence in his people through the Holy Spirit. (See Ephesians 3:14-19 for more on how God dwells within us.)

(8:29) A Presence of God - Did God really live in the temple? No--because God is everywhere, he does not need a home in which to live. The temple was a visible symbol of the invisible presence of God among his people, the Israelites. Yet God was specially present in the temple. Today God does not need a temple because he is present with his people in the person of the Holy Spirit.

(8:33-34) A Vison of the Future - After Solomon's reign, the people continually turned away from God. The rest of the kingdom era is a vivid fulfillment of Solomon's prophetic prayer. As a result of the people's sin, God let them be overrun by enemies several times. Then, in desperation, they cried out to God for forgiveness, and God restored them.

(8:41-43) Israel is a Blessing to All - God chose Israel to be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3). This blessing found its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus--a descendant of Abraham and David (Galatians 3:8-9)-who became the Messiah for all people, Jews and non-Jews. When the Israelites first entered the Promised Land, they were ordered to clear out several wicked nations; thus, we read in the Old Testament of many wars. But we should not conclude that war was Israel's first duty. After subduing the evil people, Israel was to become a light to the surrounding nations. Sadly, the Israelites' own sin and spiritual blindness prevented them from reaching out to the rest of the world with God's love. Reaching out to the world is still the commission of God's people today. Christians need to take every opportunity to spread God's love to the world.

(8:46-53) A Merciful God - Solomon, who seemed to have prophetic insight into the future captivities of his people (2 Kings 17; 25), asked God to be merciful to them when they cried out to him, to forgive them, and to return them to their homeland. Their return is described in Ezra 1-2 and Nehemiah 1-2.

(8:56-60) A Pattern for Prayer - Solomon praised the Lord and prayed for the people. His prayer can be a pattern for our prayers. He had five basic requests: (1) for God's presence (8:52); (2) for the desire to do God's will in everything (8:58); (3) for the desire and ability to obey God's decrees and commands (8:58); (4) for help with each day's needs (8:59); and (5) for the spread of God's kingdom to the entire world (8:60). These prayer requests are just as important today. When you pray for your church or family, you can make these same requests to God.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Rededicating Our Lives to the Lord

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 8.  In our text, we see Solomon bringing the Ark to the Temple and the dedication of the Temple. Solomon gathered the people to dedicate the Temple and rededicate themselves to God and His Service. In applying, we see the need to rededicate ourselves to the Lord. Solomon's words are still relevant "Let your heart, therefore, be perfect with the Lord, our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep his commandments, at this day." Are you in need of rededicating your life to God? How about you? Let us learn from our text today and the Instruction of Solomon to walk in His statutes - Rededicating our lives to God.


1 Kings 8

1 Kings 8

 1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.

 2And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.

 3And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.

 4And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.

 5And 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 told nor numbered for multitude.

 6And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.

 7For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

 8And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.

 9There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

 10And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,

 11So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.

 12Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

 13I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.

 14And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)

 15And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,

 16Since 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 an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.

 17And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.

 18And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.

 19Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.

 20And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.

 21And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.

 22And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

 23And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:

 24Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.

 25Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.

 26And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.

 27But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

 28Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:

 29That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.

 30And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.

 31If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:

 32Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

 33When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:

 34Then 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.

 35When 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 afflictest them:

 36Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

 37If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;

 38What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:

 39Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)

 40That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.

 41Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake;

 42(For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house;

 43Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

 44If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name:

 45Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

 46If 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 captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

 47Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

 48And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away 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:

 49Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,

 50And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:

 51For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

 52That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.

 53For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O LORD God.

 54And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

 55And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

 56Blessed be the LORD, 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 the hand of Moses his servant.

 57The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

 58That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

 59And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

 60That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.

 61Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

 62And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD.

 63And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.

 64The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brasen altar that was before the LORD was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.

 65And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.

 66On 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 the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.