1 Kings 8:13
I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.
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1 Kings 8:13. I have surely built thee a house to dwell in — He turns his speech from them to God, as entering into the house, and expresses his desire and hope that he would continue to manifest, by such visible tokens, that he was present in it, and would, as it were, make it the place of his special and stated abode. A settled place for thee — Not a tabernacle, made to be carried about from place to place, but a durable and perpetual habitation.

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.Rather, "The Lord spake of dwelling in the thick darkness" (margin reference). Solomon sees in the cloud the visible symbol of God's presence, and accepts the token as a proof that He has taken possession of the house built for Him, and will thenceforth dwell there 1 Kings 8:13. 13. I have surely built thee an house—This is an apostrophe to God, as perceiving His approach by the cloud, and welcoming Him to enter as guest or inhabitant of the fixed and permanent dwelling-place, which, at His command, had been prepared for His reception. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in; I perceive by this thick darkness that thou art coming among us, and therefore make haste and come, O thou blessed Guest, into the dwelling-place which I have built by thy command, and for thy service.

A settled place for thee to abide in for ever; not a tabernacle, which was made to be carried from place to place; but a durable, and, I hope, perpetual habitation.

I have surely built thee an house to dwell in,.... Turning himself from the priests and people, he quieted with a few words, he addressed the Lord; having built an house for him, for his worship and glory, with this view, that he might dwell in it, he was now, by the above token, fully assured it would be an habitation for him:

a settled place for thee to abide in for ever; which is observed in distinction from the tabernacle of Moses, which was often removed from place to place, otherwise this did not continue for ever; though Solomon might hope it would, at least unto the times of the Messiah; and indeed such a building on this spot, for such use, did continue so long, excepting the interval of the seventy years' captivity in Babylon.

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

(f) He spoke according to the tenor of God's promise which was on the condition that they served him correctly.

13. I have surely built thee a house to dwell in] R.V. ‘a house of habitation,’ which is more literal, but not a more elegant rendering. The king sees that God has deigned to accept the house that has been built, and his desire that God may always dwell there fashions the language which he uses. It is to be noted that in this dedication the priests play but a secondary part. Zadok is not once named. Solomon presides, speaks, prays. The LXX. (Vat.) omits these two verses altogether, but gives a modification and enlargement of them at 1 Kings 8:53 below. See note there. Josephus describes the opening of Solomon’s address to God as ‘words which the king considered fit to be addressed to the divine Being, and which it was right for him to speak.’

Verse 13. - I have surely built [Heb. to build, I have built] thee a house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in forever. [The temple was primarily, as already remarked, a shrine for the ark, between the cherubim of the mercy seat of which God dwelt. This was a מָכֹון (from כוּן, statuit), a settled place. The tabernacle was but a poor and transitory abode, partaking of the frailty of the shepherd's tent (Isaiah 38:12). For עולָמִים (αἰῶνες), cf. Isaiah 26:4; Isaiah 51:9; Daniel 9:24; Psalm 145:13. 1 Kings 8:13Solomon extols this marvellous proof of the favour of the Lord. - 1 Kings 8:12. Then spake Solomon, "Jehovah hath spoken to dwell in the darkness." "Solomon saw that the temple was filled with a cloud, and remembered that God had been pleased to appear in a cloud in the tent of Moses also. Hence he assuredly believed that God was in this cloud also, and that, as formerly He had filled the tabernacle, so He would now fill the temple and dwell therein" (Seb. Schmidt). וגו יהוה אמר, which Thenius still renders incorrectly, "the Lord intends to dwell in the darkness," refers, as Rashi, C. a Lap., and others have seen, to the utterances of God in the Pentateuch concerning the manifestation of His gracious presence among His people, not merely to Leviticus 16:2 (I will appear in the cloud), but also to Exodus 19:9, where the Lord said to Moses, "I come to thee הענן בּעב," and still more to Exodus 20:21 and Deuteronomy 4:11; Deuteronomy 5:19, according to which God came down upon Sinai בּערפל. Solomon took the word ערפל from these passages. That he meant by this the black, dark cloud which filled the temple, is perfectly obvious from the combination והערפל הענן in Deuteronomy 5:19 and Deuteronomy 4:11.

(Note: Thenius, however, has built up all kinds of untenable conjectures as to alterations of the text, upon the erroneous assumption that ענן means the light and radiant cloud, and cannot be synonymous with ערפל. Bttcher adopts the same opinion, without taking any notice of the striking remarks of Bertheau on 2 Chronicles 5:14.)

Solomon saw this word of Jehovah realized in the filling of the temple with the cloud, and learned therefrom that the Lord would dwell in this temple. Hence, being firmly convinced of the presence of Jehovah in the cloud which filled the sanctuary, he adds in 1 Kings 8:13 : "I have built Thee a house to dwell in, a place for Thy seat for ever." We are not to understand עולמים as signifying that Solomon believed that the temple built by him would stand for ever; but it is to be explained partly from the contrast to the previous abode of God in the tabernacle, which from the very nature of the case could only be a temporary one, inasmuch as a tent, such as the tabernacle was, is not only a moveable and provisional dwelling, but also a very perishable one, and partly from the promise given to David in 2 Samuel 7:14-16, that the Lord would establish the throne of his kingdom for his seed for ever. This promise involved the eternal duration of the gracious connection between God and Israel, which was embodied in the dwelling of God in the temple. This connection, from its very nature, was an eternal one; even if the earthly form, from which Solomon at that moment abstracted himself, was temporal and perishable. - Solomon had spoken these words with his face turned to the Most Holy Place. He then (1 Kings 8:14) turned his face to the congregation, which was standing in the court, and blessed it. The word "blessed" (יברך) denotes the wish for a blessing with which the king greeted the assembled congregation, and introduced the praise of God which follows. - In 1 Kings 8:15-21 he praises the Lord for having now fulfilled with His hand what He spake with His mouth to his father David (2 Samuel 7).

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