In this segment, Solomon’s exceedingly long prayer at the dedication of the temple is considered. While this prayer is widely lauded, it is crystal-clear that most individuals fail to consider the true nature of this audacious prayer. It is frankly diabolical that Solomon delivered this prayer and this act was actually an affront and insolent to a degree rarely seen in the entire history of mankind. In this audacious prayer, King Solomon clearly delineates his defiant contempt, disdain and treachery, not only toward the people Israel, but also toward the Holy One of Israel.
Solomon delivered this prayer shortly after he had broken the Mosaic Covenant beyond repair. Scripture notes that Solomon and "all Israel with him" were present at this event. Although there were several other aspects of breaking the covenant that Solomon perpetrated, at this very assembly of the temple dedication it is clear that all Israel failed to observe Yom Kippur. Failure to observe Yom Kippur for any Jew effectively breaks the Mosaic Covenant for them and their descendants forever. Since the Mosaic covenant was perpetuated based on heredity, once it was broken there was no possibility resurrecting it. That is to say that no further positive benefits can be obtained from the Mosaic covenant beyond the year preceding this event. This continues in perpetuity. The propitious aspects of the Mosaic covenant can never be revived again. Nevertheless, some long-term nasty consequences of the Mosaic covenant do survive unto this day (See Deuteronomy 32).
The diabolical aspects of delivering this prayer are just incredible. To have the audacity to stand there in front of the whole nation he has destined for slaughter and be able to deliver this prayer with a straight face right in front of them is simply unfathomable.
Some pulpiteers have astutely observed that he seemed to possess great prescience in crafting this oratory work. However, since he contemptuously, willfully and knowingly broke the Mosaic covenant he knows from Deuteronomy exactly what is in store for this people. It is unfathomable that he has the gall to stand smugly in front of the whole nation that he has destined to famine, captivity and slaughter and tell them to their faces exactly what is going to happen. In fact, Moses told them exactly what is going to happen; and Solomon brought it about.
Additionally, one should consider the appropriateness of Solomon’s effrontery in leading the assembly with this extremely long prayer since this clearly was the duty of the Levites. The Levites bore the responsibility for offenses against the priesthood. Rather than attempt lengthy commentary on every point, it seems best to simply quote the prayer and interrupt with relevant quotes of scripture that are featured in a different color of type.
King Solomon Prays at the Dedication.
Dedication of Solomon's Temple.
David Martin, 1639-1721.
Otto Elliger engraving shows the dedication of the Temple with large numbers of animals sacrificed on the altar, trumpets blown, and a cloud filling the house of the Lord.
1 Kings 8:22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: 'O the Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like Thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath; who keepest covenant and mercy with Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their heart; (JPS)
1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not whole with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. (JPS)
1 Kings 11:9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared unto him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:24 who hast kept with Thy servant David my father that which Thou didst promise him; yea, Thou spokest with Thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with Thy hand, as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O the Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Thy servant David my father that which Thou hast promised him saying: There shall not fail thee a man in My sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only thy children take heed to their way, to walk before Me as thou hast walked before Me. (JPS)
1 Kings 11:11 Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon: 'Forasmuch as this hath been in thy mind, and thou hast not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Thy word, I pray Thee, be verified, which Thou didst speak unto Thy servant David my father. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:27 But will God in very truth dwell on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded! (JPS)
Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:28 Yet have Thou respect unto the prayer of Thy servant, and to his supplication, O the Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee this day; 29 that Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof Thou hast said: My name shall be there; to hearken unto the prayer which Thy servant shall pray toward this place.
1 Kings 9:3 And the Lord said unto him: 'I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put My name there for ever; and Mine eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. 4 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before Me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep My statutes and Mine ordinances; 5 then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Israel for ever; according as I promised to David thy father, saying: There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. 6 But if ye shall turn away from following Me, ye or your children, and not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 7 then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for My name, will I cast out of My sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a by word among all peoples; 8 and this house which is so high shall become desolate, and every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and when they shall say: Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? 9 they shall be answered: Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them; therefore hath the Lord brought all this evil upon them.' (JPS)
1 Kings 8:30 And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; yea, hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place; and when Thou hearest, forgive. (JPS)
Deuteronomy 4:3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did in Baal-peor; for all the men that followed the Baal of Peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from the midst of thee. 4 But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day. 5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the midst of the land whither ye go in to possess it. 6 Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' 7 For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is whensoever we call upon Him? (JPS)
1 Kings 8:31 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be exacted of him to cause him to swear, and he come and swear before Thine altar in this house; 32 then hear Thou in heaven, and do, and judge Thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. (JPS)
Leviticus 5:20 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: 21 If any one sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and deal falsely with his neighbour in a matter of deposit, or of pledge, or of robbery, or have oppressed his neighbour; 22 or have found that which was lost, and deal falsely therein, and swear to a lie; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein; 23 then it shall be, if he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took by robbery, or the thing which he hath gotten by oppression, or the deposit which was deposited with him, or the lost thing which he found, 24 or any thing about which he hath sworn falsely, he shall even restore it in full, and shall add the fifth part more thereto; unto him to whom it appertaineth shall he give it, in the day of his being guilty. 25 And he shall bring his forfeit unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, according to thy valuation, for a guilt-offering, unto the priest. 26 And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven, concerning whatsoever he doeth so as to be guilty thereby. (JPS)
Matthew 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it has been said to the ancients, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt render to the Lord what thou hast sworn. 34 But *I* say unto you, Do not swear at all; neither by the heaven, because it is [the] throne of God; 35 nor by the earth, because it is [the] footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is [the] city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your word be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; but what is more than these is from evil. (Darby)
1 Kings 8:33 When Thy people Israel are smitten down before the enemy, when they do sin against Thee, if they turn again to Thee, and confess Thy name, and pray and make supplication unto Thee in this house; (JPS)
Deuteronomy 11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him, 23 then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the hinder sea shall be your border. 25 There shall no man be able to stand against you: the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath spoken unto you. (JPS)
2 Samuel 22:29 For Thou art my lamp, O the Lord; and the Lord doth lighten my darkness. 30 For by Thee I run upon a troop; by my God do I scale a wall. 31 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in Him. 32 For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a Rock, save our God? 33 The God who is my strong fortress, and who letteth my way go forth straight; 34 Who maketh my feet like hinds'1, and setteth me upon my high places; 35 Who traineth my hands for war, so that mine arms do bend a bow of brass. 36 Thou hast also given me Thy shield of salvation; and Thy condescension hath made me great. 37 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. 38 I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; neither did I turn back till they were consumed. 39 And I have consumed them, and smitten them through, that they cannot arise; yea, they are fallen under my feet. 40 For Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle; Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. (JPS)
(Author's Footnote 1. Hind, plural hinds, females of the red deer.)
1 Kings 8:34 then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and bring them back unto the land which Thou gavest unto their fathers. (JPS)
Deuteronomy 4:7 For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is whensoever we call upon Him? (JPS)
Deuteronomy 4:39 know this day, and lay it to thy heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, when they do sin against Thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin, when Thou dost afflict them; (JPS)
Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. 15 And I will give grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied. 16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; 17 and the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain, and the ground shall not yield her fruit; and ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:36 then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy servants, and of Thy people Israel, when Thou teachest them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon Thy land, which Thou hast given to Thy people for an inheritance. (JPS)
Leviticus 26:3 If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; 4 then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread until ye have enough, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you; and will establish My covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new. 11 And I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:37 If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; (JPS)
Deuteronomy 7:11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command thee this day, to do them. 12 And it shall come to pass, because ye hearken to these ordinances, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep with thee the covenant and the mercy which He swore unto thy fathers, 13 and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee; He will also bless the fruit of thy body and the fruit of thy land, thy corn and thy wine and thine oil, the increase of thy kine and the young of thy flock, in the land which He swore unto thy fathers to give thee. 14 Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness; and He will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee, but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. 16 And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them; neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. 17 If thou shalt say in thy heart: 'These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?' 18 thou shalt not be afraid of them; thou shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt: 19 the great trials which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out; so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the peoples of whom thou art afraid. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:38 what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man of all Thy people Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house; 39 then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and do, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart Thou knowest--for Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men- (JPS)
Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose trust the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out its roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but its foliage shall be luxuriant; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceeding weak--who can know it? 10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:40 that they may fear Thee all the days that they live in the land which Thou gavest unto our fathers. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:41 Moreover concerning the stranger that is not of Thy people Israel, when he shall come out of a far country for Thy name's sake-(JPS)
Ezekiel 44:6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel: Thus saith the L-rd GOD: O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7 in that ye have brought in aliens, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to profane it, even My house, when ye offer My bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken My covenant, to add unto all your abominations. 8 And ye have not kept the charge of My holy things; but ye have set keepers of My charge in My sanctuary to please yourselves. 9 Thus saith the L-rd GOD: No alien, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, even any alien that is among the children of Israel. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:42 for they shall hear of Thy great name, and of Thy mighty hand, and of Thine outstretched arm--when he shall come and pray toward this house; (JPS)
Jeremiah 21:4 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, that besiege you without the walls, and I will gather them into the midst of this city. 5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. 6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence. 7 And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life; and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have compassion. 8 And unto this people thou shalt say: Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:43 hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee, as doth Thy people Israel, and that they may know that Thy name is called upon this house which I have built. (JPS)
Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:44 If Thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatsoever way Thou shalt send them, and they pray unto the Lord toward the city which Thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Thy name; (JPS)
Psalm 132:13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation: 14 'This is My resting-place for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it. (JPS)
2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:45 then hear Thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. (JPS)
Exodus 29:43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel; and the Tent shall be sanctified by My glory. 44 And I will sanctify the tent of meeting, and the altar; Aaron also and his sons will I sanctify, to minister to Me in the priest's office. 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against Thee--for there is no man that sinneth not--and Thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn back, and make supplication unto Thee in the land of them that carried them captive, saying: We have sinned, and have done iniquitously, we have dealt wickedly; 48 if they return unto Thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray unto Thee toward their land, which Thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which Thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for Thy name; (JPS)
1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against Thee--for there is no man that sinneth not--and Thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far off or near; (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 4:37 And because He loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them, and brought thee out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt, 38 to drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day; 39 know this day, and lay it to thy heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. 40 And thou shalt keep His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever. (JPS)
1 Kings 8:49 then hear Thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and maintain their cause; (JPS)
1 Kings 8:50 and forgive Thy people who have sinned against Thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against Thee; and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them; (JPS) (Emphasis added)
1 Kings 8:51 for they are Thy people, and Thine inheritance, which Thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron; 52 that Thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of Thy servant, and unto the supplication of Thy people Israel, to hearken unto them whensoever they cry unto Thee. 53 For Thou didst set them apart from among all the peoples of the earth, to be Thine inheritance, as Thou didst speak by the hand of Moses Thy servant, when Thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.' (JPS)
1 Kings 8:54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven. (JPS)
King Solomon Dedicates the Temple.
J. James Tissot.
Isaiah 1: 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! 16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.(NIV) (Emphasis added)
Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’ (NIV)
What is most distressing about this entire scene is that Solomon seems to be standing there telling them that he has already stricken down the whole nation of Israel and has not missed one point.
Isaiah 28:19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;
morning after morning, by day and by night,
it will sweep through.”
The understanding of this message
will bring sheer terror. (NIV)