1 Kings 9:1 MEANING

1 Kings 9:1
(1) And it came to pass.--The obvious prima facie meaning of this verse would land us in much difficulty. By 1 Kings 6:38; 1 Kings 7:1, we find that, while the Temple was built in seven years, the erection of the palace and the other buildings occupied thirteen years; and from 1 Kings 5:10 and 2 Chronicles 8:1 it appears that these works were successive, and therefore that the completion of the palace could not have taken place till thirteen years after the completion of the Temple. Hence we should have to conclude, either that the dedication was postponed for thirteen years, till all the buildings were finished--which is in itself infinitely improbable, and contradicts the express declaration of Josephus--or that a similar period intervened between Solomon's prayer and the Divine answer to it, which is even more preposterous. The variation in 2 Chronicles 7:11 probably suggests the true key to the difficulty: viz., that the notice in this verse is merely a summary of the history of 1 Kings 6-8, which records the whole of the building works of Solomon, and is not intended to fix the date of the vision of 1 Kings 9:2-9.

Verse 1. - And it came to pass when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king's house [1 Kings 7:1], and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do [By "desire" we are not to understand "pleasure buildings" (cf. vers. 10, 19). The chronicler gives the true meaning: "all that came into Solomon's heart." It is, however, somewhat doubtful what works are comprehended under this term. 2 Chronicles 7:11 limits it to the two great erections already described - "all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house." But it is by no means certain that our author intended the word to be thus restricted; it is quite possible, e.g., that some of the buildings mentioned below (vers. 15-19) are to be included. But another question of much greater importance presents itself here. In the Divine communication of vers. 3-9 there is constant and unmistakeable reference to the prayer of dedication (see especially ver. 3); in fact, this message is the answer to that prayer. It has been held, consequently, that the answer must have followed, if not immediately, yet soon after the petitions were uttered; if so, the dedication must clearly have taken place, not on the completion of the temple (1 Kings 6:38), but on the completion of the palace, etc.; in other words, the temple must have been finished fully thirteen years before it was consecrated and occupied. Rawlinson suggests that the delay was perhaps occasioned by the circumstance that the furniture of the temple was not till then ready; but 1 Kings 6:38, Hebrews, seems to state distinctly that all the vessels and appointments of the sanctuary were finished at the date there given. Reasons have been given elsewhere (see note on 1 Kings 8:1) in support of the position that the dedication possibly have been delayed for so long a period, especially after the strenuous efforts which had been made to hurry on the undertaking. Nor does the text, when carefully examined, really require this hypothesis; indeed, it suggests some reasons for thinking that a considerable period must have intervened between the prayer and the response. For the tone of this response is unmistakeably foreboding, if not minatory. Vers. 6-9 contain a stern warning. But there was nothing, so far as we know, in the attitude of Solomon or of Israel at the time of the dedication to call for any such denunciation. At that time, as the prayer surely proves, Solomon's heart was perfect with the Lord his God. But the response has unmistakeably the appearance of having been elicited by signs of defection. The wide difference, consequently, between the spirit of the prayer and the tone of the answer suggests that some time must have elapsed between them, and so far supports the view that the dedication was not delayed until the palace, etc., was completed. And it is also to be remembered that the prayer of dedication had not been without acknowledgment at the time. The excellent glory which filled and took possession of the house was itself a significant and sufficient response. No voice or vision could have said more plainly, "I have heard thy prayer, I have hallowed this house." But when, some thirteen years later - about the very time, that is, when he was at the height of his prosperity, and when, owing to the completion of his undertakings, we might fear lest his heart should be lifted up with pride - when Solomon and his court began to decline in piety and to go after other gods, then this merciful message opportunely refers him to the prayer which he was in danger of forgetting, and warns him of the consequences of the apostasy to which he was tending.]

9:1-9 God warned Solomon, now he had newly built and dedicated the temple, that he and his people might not be high-minded, but fear. After all the services we can perform, we stand upon the same terms with the Lord as before. Nothing can purchase for us liberty to sin, nor would the true believer desire such a licence. He would rather be chastened of the Lord, than be allowed to go on with ease and prosperity in sin.And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord,.... Which was done in seven years, 1 Kings 6:38.

and the king's house; his own palace, which was finished in thirteen years, 1 Kings 7:1,

and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do; all his other buildings, the house for Pharaoh's daughter, the house of the forest of Lebanon, and may include his vineyards, gardens, orchards, and pools of water, made for his pleasure, Ecclesiastes 2:4 in which he succeeded and prospered, 2 Chronicles 7:11.

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