That your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which you have said, My name shall be there: that you may listen to the prayer which your servant shall make toward this place.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 78:68; Psalm 132:13; and compare 1 Chronicles 22:1.
Toward this place - Better (here and in 1 Kings 8:30) than the marginal "in." Wherever they were, the Jews always worshipped toward the temple. (See margin reference.)
22. Solomon stood before the altar—This position was in the court of the people, on a brazen scaffold erected for the occasion (2Ch 6:13), fronting the altar of burnt offering, and surrounded by a mighty concourse of people. Assuming the attitude of a suppliant, kneeling (1Ki 8:54; compare 2Ch 6:24) and with uplifted hands, he performed the solemn act of consecration—an act remarkable, among other circumstances, for this, that it was done, not by the high priest or any member of the Aaronic family, but by the king in person, who might minister about, though not in, holy things. This sublime prayer [1Ki 8:22-35], which breathes sentiments of the loftiest piety blended with the deepest humility, naturally bore a reference to the national blessing and curse contained in the law—and the burden of it—after an ascription of praise to the Lord for the bestowment of the former, was an earnest supplication for deliverance from the latter. He specifies seven cases in which the merciful interposition of God would be required; and he earnestly bespeaks it on the condition of people praying towards that holy place. The blessing addressed to the people at the close is substantially a brief recapitulation of the preceding prayer [1Ki 8:56-61].That thine eyes may be open to behold, to wit, with an eye of favour and compassion. So it is a synecdochical expression: compare Psalm 33:18 34:15 Zechariah 12:4.
My name; my presence, and glory, and grace. See Poole "1 Kings 8:16".
Towards this place; this temple, to which Solomon did now look, and, it may be, point; and towards which the godly Israelites directed their looks in their prayers. See Daniel 6:10. Psalm 33:14 even towards the place of which thou hast my name shall be there; there should be some displays of his presence, power, and providence, of goodness, grace, and mercy:
that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make towards this place; not only to what he should make in it, but to what he should make in his own house, with his face directed towards this, as would be, and was the practice of good people in later times, yea, even when the temple lay in ruins; see Daniel 6:10 figuring the respect gracious souls have to Christ by faith in their prayers, in whom the Godhead dwells bodily, see Jonah 2:4 and it is observable, according to a Jewish canon (b), one at a distance, in another land, was not only to turn his face to the land of Israel, but direct his heart to Jerusalem, and the temple, and the holy of holies; and if in the land, to Jerusalem, &c. and if in Jerusalem, not only to the temple, and holy of holies, but if behind the mercy seat, he was to turn his face to it; which was a symbol of Christ, the propitiatory and throne of grace, to be looked unto by faith, Romans 3:25.That 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there] These words refer back to 1 Kings 8:16, and appear to imply all that is contained in the expansion there alluded to from 2 Chronicles 6:6 that God had chosen Jerusalem as the place for His temple. ‘My name’ indicates God’s revelation of Himself with all His attributes.
towards this place] For the king was not in the Temple but looking towards it, as would be the case with all future worshippers except the priests who were allowed to enter into the building. Hence it came to pass that in foreign lands the Israelite turned his face in the direction of Jerusalem. Cf. Daniel 6:10; Jonah 2:4; Psalm 5:7.Verse 29. - That thine eyes may be open [This anthropomorphism does not conflict with what was said under ver. 27] toward this house night and day [not so much to watch over it as to see the worship and prayer offered there], even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there [cf. Ezekiel 48:35, and vers. 18. 19, 20, etc. When had God said this? Never perhaps, in so many words. Keil says the reference is to 2 Samuel 7:13 implicite ("He shall build an house for my name"), while Rawlinson thinks the "reference is not to any single text, but to the many passages in Deuteronomy where God speaks of a place which He will choose to 'set his name' there (Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 18, etc.; Deuteronomy 14:23; 15:20; 16:2, etc.) " But it is very probable that a revelation was made to David respecting the sanctuary, the terms of which are not preserved to us. This is almost implied by Psalm 78:68; Psalm 132:10; 1 Chronicles 22:1 - passages which prove that David claimed to have Divine sanction for placing the temple on "Mount Zion." Psalm 132, is unmistakeably Davidic, and embodies some features of the message of God (e.g., the condition, ver. 12) not preserved in 2 Samuel 7.]: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward [Marg. in, but Heb. אֵל. supports the A.V. rendering. Now that God had revealed His presence in the temple, the Jew, wherever he might be, would, and as a matter of fact did, pray towards it (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 5:7; Jonah 2:4), just as the Mohammedan has his Kibleh in Mecca] this place. Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; James 1:6). For אל אין־כּמוך, compare Exodus 15:11 with Deuteronomy 4:39; 2 Samuel 7:22; 2 Samuel 22:32; Psalm 86:8. "Who keepeth covenant and mercy," verbatim the same as in Deuteronomy 7:9. The promise given to His servant David (2 Samuel 7), the fulfilment of which the commencement now lay before their eyes (cf. 1 Kings 8:20, 1 Kings 8:21), was an emanation from the covenant faithfulness of God. "As it is this day," as in 1 Kings 3:6.
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