And listen you to the supplication of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear you in heaven your dwelling place: and when you hear, forgive.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 8:30. When they shall pray toward this place — None but the priests might enter that place, but when the people worshipped in the courts of the temple, it was to be with an eye toward it, not with a superstitious regard or veneration, as though it were holy in itself, or in any respect the ground of their confidence in their worship, which would have been idolatry; but, as an instituted medium of their worship, helping the weakness of their faith, and typifying the mediation of Jesus Christ, who is the true temple, and to whom we must have an eye in all our approaches to, and intercourse with, God. Hence, the pious Jews that were at a distance looked toward Jerusalem for the sake of the temple, even when it lay in ruins, Daniel 6:10. Hear thou in heaven — Which he adds to direct them, in their addresses to God in or looking toward this temple, to lift up their eyes above it, even to heaven, where God’s most true and most proper dwelling-place is. When thou hearest, forgive — The sins of thy people praying, and even of their prayers; which sins, if not pardoned, will certainly hinder the success of all their prayers, and the course of all thy blessings.
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].Thy dwelling-place; which he adds, that the people might not idolize the temple, nor presume upon it, as if God were now fast tied to them, as having no other dwelling-place; and to direct them in all their addresses to God in his temple, to lift up their eyes above it, even to heaven, where God’s most true and most glorious dwelling-place is.
And when thou hearest, forgive, to wit, the sins of thy people praying, and even of their prayers; which, if not pardoned, will certainly hinder the success of all their prayers, and the course of all thy blessings upon them.
and hear thou in heaven thy dwellingplace; for though he condescended to take up his residence in the temple, yet his more proper and more glorious dwelling was in heaven, and from whence, notwithstanding the distance of it, he could hear the prayers of his people, and does:
and when thou hearest, forgive; manifest and apply pardoning grace and mercy on account of sins confessed, and repented of; or remove calamities and distresses on account of sin, which sometimes is meant, and frequently in this prayer, by the forgiveness of sin.And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 30. - And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven [Heb. unto heaven, אֶל־הַשָּׁמַיִם a pregnant censtruction hear the prayer that ascends unto heaven. The chronicler here, as elsewhere, simplifies the meaning by reading "from heaven," מִן־הַשּׁ] thy dwelling place [Here, and in vers. 39, 43, and 49, heaven is described as the true dwelling place of Deity. Confidently as Solomon believes that he has built a habitation for the Lord, he never dreams that the "Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Acts 7:48; Acts 17:4) ]: and when thou hearest, forgive. [There is possibly a play of words here - שָׁמַיִם שָׁמַעְתָּ]. With the next verse the special or particular supplications begin. Like those of the Lord's prayer, they are seven in number, and no doubt for the same reason, viz., because seven was the number of covenant, the number which expressed the relationship between the Lord and His people ("die Signatur der Verbindung Gottes und der Welt" - Bahr, Symbolik, 1:187 sqq.) In fact, to the Jew the number "seven" was something like the sign of the cross to a large portion of Catholic Christendom, for it spoke to him of God's covenant of mercy and peace. And the first of the seven concerns oaths. The king implores the covenant-keeping God to watch over the covenants of words made in the now consecrated sanctuary, and to protect their sanctity by punishing the false swearer. There were cases in which the Mosaic law provided that an oath should be administered to suspected persons (Exodus 22:11; Leviticus 5:1, 4, etc.) And there were other cases in which men of their own accord, for "an end of all strife," would make oath. Now every oath, whatever its form (Matthew 23:16-22), is in reality an affirmation" by the God of truth" (Isaiah 65:16); it is an appeal to the knowledge and power and justice of the Most High (Leviticus 19:12; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 12:16; Jeremiah 44:26). A false oath, consequently, dishonoured the Divine name, and polluted the sanctuary dedicated to that name, and if it went unpunished, contradicted the principles and provisions of the dispensation Of temporal punishments, and so encouraged falsehood and impiety. God is here entreated, consequently, to take cognizance of the oaths sworn before His altar (ver. 31), and to be a swift witness against the false swearers (Malachi 3:5). It is, perhaps, because of the direct dishonour which perjury offers to the Divine name that, as Bahr suggests, this prayer stands first among the seven, thus corresponding to the "Hallowed be Thy name" in the Lord's prayer, and to the third among the ten commandments. 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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