1 Kings 8-9
The United Kingdom under Solomon, cont’d. 1 Kings 1-11
1 Kings 5:1-:9:9 Solomon’s Temple, cont’d.
1 Kings 8:1-11…The arrival of the Temple furnishings
It was the month of Ethanim (September-October)…11 months after the completion of the Temple. They brought all of the articles that were in the Tabernacle into the Temple.
8:2 Solomon chooses to dedicate the temple during the Feast of Booths, which traditionally took place “in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.” Patterson and Austel observe that this harvest feast “celebrated the end of the wilderness wanderings and the fact that God had brought his people home into the Land of Promise, i.e., had given them rest (Deut 12:8–11).” During this feast Moses renewed the covenant with the second generation of freed Israelites. He also commanded them to read the law at this observance every seven years (Deut 31:9–13). Solomon’s choice of the Feast of Booths for the dedication, then, was strategic in that it was a traditional time of national gathering, a reminder of Israel’s conquest of Canaan, and a time of religious renewal.
House, P. R. (1995). 1, 2 Kings (Vol. 8, p. 137). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
The City of David is the original hilltop upon which King David dedicated ancient Jerusalem as his capital 3,000 years ago. The City of David - another term for the Jerusalem of ancient times - was located on a narrow ridge south of the present-day Old City. It borders the deep Kidron Valley to the East, where the Gihon Spring, the city’s main water source, is located.
For a picture of a scale model of ancient Jerusalem and the City of David that can be visited in Jerusalem see:
For an interesting article about the history of the City of David and the archaeological discoveries that have been made there see:
What emerges in 8:3–5 is a picture of a respectful, solemn people. Each person accepts a proper role. Solomon contributes money and expertise to the project. The elders and clan chiefs pledge religious and community support. Levites accept their responsibility for assisting the priests (cf. Num 4:15). The priests assume the awesome, even dangerous (cf. Lev 10:1–20), privilege of leading worship. Everyone involved offers sacrifices both in recognition of individual and national sin and in praise of the God who forgives, gives them a homeland, and provides a place for worship celebration…
Inside the ark there “was nothing except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb.” This emphatic comment probably is intended to clear up the possible misconceptions that Aaron’s rod (Num 17:10) and a jar of manna (Exod 16:33) were there as well. These items were placed alongside the ark but never in it, and by Solomon’s time they were no longer available for placement in the most holy place. The presence of Moses’ tablets underscores Israel’s ties to the Sinai (Horeb) covenant. God’s presence, God’s word, and God’s covenant with Israel are inextricably linked.
8:10–11 Once the priests leave the ark in the most holy place, “the cloud” fills the temple, thus making their work impossible. This was the cloud of God’s glory that led Israel in the wilderness (Exod 16:10), the cloud that filled the tabernacle when Moses dedicated that earlier worship center (Exod 40:34–35). N. Snaith notes that the cloud of glory indicates the reality of the Lord’s presence. This presence protects (Exod 14:19–20) and guides (Exod 33:9) Israel in the Exodus stories. Here the glory demonstrates divine approval of Solomon’s temple. Just as God was with Moses, so now God is with this new generation of Israelites. Such continuity reaffirms the Lord’s never-changing character, desire to have fellowship with human beings, and ongoing commitment to the chosen people.
House, P. R. (1995). 1, 2 Kings (Vol. 8, p. 138). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
1 Kings 8:12-21…Solomon’s Message of Dedication
He reminds the people that God had told David that his son would build a place of worship for Him and that now he had completed it.
1 Kings 8:22-53…Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
- He praises God for His covenant faithfulness to His people and to David (:22-24)
- He asks God to continue in His covenant faithfulness with himself (:25-26)
- He speaks of the fact that he knows that God cannot be contained within the walls of the Temple, but asks that He constantly be aware of the prayers that are directed towards it (:27-30)
- Solomon then gives several illustrations of times when their prayers will be brought before God and they will need for Him to intercede (:31-53).
1 Kings 8:54-61…Solomon’s Blessing of Dedication
- Solomon closes his prayer with a blessing on the people.
1 Kings 8:62-65…Solomon’s Sacrifices of Dedication
Last, they offer sacrifices. The dedication of the Temple lasted 7 days and the Feast of the Tabernacles lasted another 7 days (cf. 2 Chronicles 7:9-10).
1 Kings 9:9-10:36 Solomon’s Temple, cont’d.
1 Kings 9:1-9-God appears to Solomon a second time...telling him that if he and his descendants are faithful then their kingdom will stand, but if they are unfaithful He will cut them off from the land. The warning is clear that if this happens, the Temple will be destroyed and the people will be “cut off from the land of Israel” (i.e.-they will be removed from it), but the Davidic lineage of kingship will continue (cf. Psalm 89:30-37).
1 Kings 9:10-14-Because his treasury was depleted, Solomon had to pay Hiram with cities instead of gold. Hiram was not pleased.
1 Kings 9:15-23-Solomon put the descendants of the people who had previously been in the land into forced labor.
1 Kings 9:24-Solomon built a house for his wife, the daughter of Pharaoh. He also built the “Millo”…a fortress that was inside of the walls that surrounded Jerusalem.
1 Kings 9:25-Three times a year Solomon celebrated...at the feasts of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
1 Kings 9:26-28-Solomon's navy.
Prayer: Lord, Solomon reminded the people of Your faithfulness to the covenant that You had made with them. Please help me to always be mindful of Your faithfulness…despite the circumstances or situation that I am in. Help me to always remember that You are in control and that there is nothing that You cannot handle. And Holy Spirit, I ask that You will convict me of sin and not allow me to be either unaware of it, or to fail to seek Your forgiveness.