1 Kings 8:46
If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives to the land of the enemy, far or near;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 8:46. If they sin against thee — The universal corruption of man’s whole race and nature, makes me presage that they will fall into sins; and withal makes me hope that thou wilt not be severe to deal with them as their sins deserve. For there is no man that sinneth not — That doth not fall short of his duty in many respects, “that doth not enough,” says Henry, “to justify God in the severest rebukes of his providence.” And “no man but what is in danger of falling even into gross sin, and will, if God leave him to himself.” Thus the Hebrew, אשׁר לא יחשׂא, asher lo jecheta, who may not, or will not, sin, even openly and wilfully, if divine grace prevent not. This last sense of the clause seems best to suit the context, as well as to express the meaning of the original. And, thus understood, the words do not contradict the declaration of St. John, that he who is born of God, sinneth not; that is, doth not commit known and actual sin; but has power over it, and is careful to shun the appearance of evil. See notes on 1 John 3:4-10; 1 John 5:18; Romans 6:14. Solomon did not mean that the weakness of human nature, and its proneness to sin, would excuse known and wilful offences against God, especially apostacy from him and his service, which was the cause of all the calamities of the Israelites.8:22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do in every prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of the truth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues for grace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God's performing his promises, should encourage us to depend upon them, and to plead them with him; and those who expect further mercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promises must be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes and expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and the whole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer's offices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, was continually to be remembered. Under one word, forgive, Solomon expressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, as all misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the way for the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good. Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition to the teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lord himself to teach the people to profit by all, even by their chastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his own heart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their hands in prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body or mind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seem especially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; our in-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every true Israelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them, and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to his knees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer. After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the general request, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place, now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towards it. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, it shall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God is established and sanctified, the backslider is recovered and healed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourner is comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause of all our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all human happiness.That all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee - Solomon prays that the result of Yahweh's hearing the prayers of pagans addressed toward the temple may be the general conversion of the world to the worship of Him. Compare Psalm 96:1-13; Psalm 98:1-9.

This house ... - literally, as in the margin. In Scripture, when God's Name is said to be "called upon" persons or things, it seems to be meant that God is really present in them, upholding them and sanctifying them. This passage therefore means, that the pagan, when their prayers, directed toward the temple, are granted, will have a full assurance that God is present in the building in some very special way.

1Ki 8:22-61. His Prayer.

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].

There is no man that sinneth not: the universal corruption of man’s whole race and nature makes me presage that they will fall into sins; and withal, makes me to hope that thou wilt not be severe to deal with them as their sins deserve. If they sin against thee,.... The same persons when they were gone forth to battle, not observing the divine commands as they should:

for there is no man that sinneth not; such are the depravity of human nature, the treachery of the heart, and the temptations of Satan, of which Solomon had early notice, and was afterwards still more confirmed in the truth of, Ecclesiastes 7:20.

and thou be angry with them; for their sins, and resent their conduct:

so as to deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far or near; as into Assyria or Babylon, whither they were carried.

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 captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
46. If they sin against thee] With the language of these verses concerning the delivery of Israel into the hand of their enemies for their sins, the chapters of Leviticus (26.) and Deuteronomy (28) already frequently quoted should be compared. Though the verbal resemblance is less than in some other parts of this prayer, the idea and spirit of the language is exactly the same.Verse 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 [Heb. give them before an enemy], so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, fax or near; The fourth prayer relates to the removal of other land-plagues: famine (Leviticus 26:19-20, and Leviticus 26:26; Deuteronomy 28:23); pestilence (Leviticus 26:25); blight and mildew in the corn (Deuteronomy 28:22); locusts (חסיל, devourer, is connected with ארבּה without a copula, - in the Chronicles by Vv, - to depict the plague of locusts more vividly before their eyes after Deuteronomy 28:38); oppression by enemies in their own land; lastly, plagues and diseases of all kinds, such as are threatened against the rebellious in Leviticus 26:16 and Deuteronomy 28:59-61. יצר is not the imperfect Kal of צוּר (Ges., Dietr., Frst, Olsh. Gramm. p. 524), but the imperfect Hiphil of הצר in Deuteronomy 28:52, as in Nehemiah 9:27; and the difficult expression שׁעריו בּארץ is probably to be altered into שׁ בּארץ, whilst שׁעריו is either to be taken as a second object to יצר, as Luther supposes, or as in apposition to בּארץ, in the land (in) his gates, as Bertheau assumes. The assertion of Thenius, that all the versions except the Vulgate are founded upon the reading עריו בּעחת, is incorrect. יהיה כּי is omitted after kaal-machalaah, since Solomon dropped the construction with which he commenced, and therefore briefly summed up all the prayers, addressed to God under the various chastisements here named, in the expression כּל־תּחנּה כּל־תּפלּה, which is placed absolutely at the opening of 1 Kings 8:38. וגו ידעוּן אשׁר, "when they perceive each one the stroke of his heart," i.e., not dolor animi quem quisque sentit (Vatab., C. a Lap.), but the plague regarded as a blow falling upon the heart, in other words, as a chastisement inflicted upon him by God. In all these cases may God hear his prayer, and do and give to every one according to his way. תּדע אשׁר, "as Thou knowest his heart," i.e., as is profitable for every one according to the state of his heart of his disposition. God can do this, because He knows the hearts of all men (cf. Jeremiah 17:10). The purpose assigned for all this hearing of prayer (1 Kings 8:40), viz., "that they may fear Thee," etc., is the same as in Deuteronomy 4:10.
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