|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do in every prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of the truth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues for grace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God's performing his promises, should encourage us to depend upon them, and to plead them with him; and those who expect further mercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promises must be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes and expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and the whole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer's offices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, was continually to be remembered. Under one word, forgive, Solomon expressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, as all misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the way for the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good. Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition to the teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lord himself to teach the people to profit by all, even by their chastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his own heart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their hands in prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body or mind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seem especially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; our in-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every true Israelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them, and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to his knees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer. After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the general request, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place, now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towards it. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, it shall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God is established and sanctified, the backslider is recovered and healed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourner is comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause of all our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all human happiness.
Verse 45. - Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. [Heb. do their judgments, i.e., secure them justice, defend the right. Same words, Deuteronomy 10:18; cf. Psalm 9:5, Heb.] The last petition - the second of those which speak of prayers addressed towards the temple, or the Holy Presence which dwelt there, from a foreign land - contemplates as possible the captivity of the Hebrew nation. It has hence been too readily inferred that this portion of the prayer, at least, if not the preceding petition also, has been interpolated by a post-captivity writer. But there is really no solid reason for doubting its genuineness. Not only is it the seventh petition (see on ver. 31), but the captivity of Israel had been denounced as the punishment of persistent disobedience long before by Moses, and in the chapters to which such constant reference is made (Leviticus 26:33, 44; Deuteronomy 28:25, 36, 64; cf. 4:27) - a fact which is in itself an indirect proof of genuineness, as showing that this petition is of a piece with the rest of the prayer. And when to this we add that the carrying of a conquered and refractory race into captivity was an established custom of the East, we shall be inclined to agree with Bahr, that "it would have been more remarkable if Solomon had not mentioned it."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication,.... For success:
and maintain their cause; do them justice, and avenge their injuries, as the Targum; let it appear that their cause is right, by giving them victory.
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