|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:12-21 Solomon encouraged the priests, who were much astonished at the dark cloud. The dark dispensations of Providence should quicken us in fleeing for refuge to the hope of the gospel. Nothing can more reconcile us to them, than to consider what God has said, and to compare his word and works together. Whatever good we do, we must look on it as the performance of God's promise to us, not of our promises to him.
Verse 14. - And the king turned his face about [He had been earnestly gazing toward the house where the cloud appeared. He now faced the congregation] and blessed [This word here, and in ver. 55, is used somewhat loosely. The blessing was in both cases addressed to God. The Hebrew king was not authorized to bless the people - that was the prerogative of the priests (Numbers 6:23; cf. Leviticus 9:22), and he is only said to bless here as felicitating, as wishing them a blessing. Dean Stanley ] "Jewish Ch.," vol. 2. p 218) characteristically asserts that Solomon "performed the highest sacerdotal act of solemn benediction." But the same word is used in ver. 66, of the people blessing the king. "Did the people," as Wordsworth pertinently asks, "also perform a priestly act?" The word is elsewhere used of saluting. See note on ver. 66, and Gesen. s.v.] all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood); [Heb. were standing (עֹמֵד); "stood" conveys the idea that the congregation rose as Solomon spoke, whereas they were standing already in the temple courts.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the king turned his face about,.... He was before the altar, 1 Kings 8:22, with his face to that first, and looking towards the holy and the most holy place, filled with the cloud and glory; and now he turned himself and stood with the altar behind him, and looking to the court of the people:
and blessed all the congregation of Israel; either blessed the Lord before them, or prayed for blessings for them, or congratulated them upon the Lord's taking up his residence in the temple, which was so great an honour and favour to them:
and all the congregation of Israel stood: ready to receive the king's blessing, and in honour of him, and reverence to the divine Being. The Jews say, none might sit in the court but the kings of the house of David.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. the king turned his face about—From the temple, where he had been watching the movement of the mystic cloud, and while the people were standing, partly as the attitude of devotion, partly out of respect to royalty, the king gave a fervent expression of praise to God for the fulfilment of His promise (2Sa 7:6-16).
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