Blessed be the LORD, that has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That hath given rest.—Now for the first time the frequent promise of rest (Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 12:10, &c.)—partially fulfilled after the conquest of the days of Joshua (Joshua 21:44-45; Joshua 23:1; Joshua 23:14), and after the establishment of the kingdom of David (2Samuel 7:1)—was perfectly accomplished under Solomon the Peaceful, and the whole charter of gift of the promised land (Joshua 1:3-4) for the first time thoroughly entered upon. Of the “rest” of Israel, the transfer of the Ark of the Lord from the shifting Tabernacle to the fixed Temple was at once a sign and a pledge. Yet Solomon’s subsequent words imply that “entering into that rest” was conditional on fulfilment of Israel’s part in the covenant, by “walking in the ways of the Lord.” That condition, which he knew so well, he himself broke, and all Israel with him. Hence the fulfilment of the foreboding which emerges so constantly in his prayer. The glory of rest and happiness of his age was but a gleam of prosperity, soon to be swallowed up in dissension and disaster.
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 hath not failed one word of all his good promise: see the like Joshua 21:45 23:14 2 Kings 10:10. Deuteronomy 12:9,
there hath not failed one word of all his good promises, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant: so Joshua observed a little before his death, Joshua 23:14 to which Solomon seems to have respect; and who lived to see a greater accomplishment of the gracious promises of God, and his faithfulness therein, both in the times of his father David, and his own.Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)56. that hath given rest unto his people] For Solomon’s reign was to be specially a time of peace (cf. 1 Kings 2:33), and it was only in a time of profound tranquillity that the great works of the Temple and the king’s house could have been carried out. This no doubt was the idea of the LXX., who make this verse commence ‘Blessed be the Lord to-day.’Verse 56. - Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised [a distinct reference to Deuteronomy 12:9, 10 (cf. 3:20), where we read that when the Lord should have given rest to Israel, then a place for sacrifice, etc., should be appointed (ver. 11). That place is now dedicated, and the king sees in this circumstance a proof that the rest is now at last fully attained. The permanent sanctuary is a pledge of settlement in the land. The rest hitherto enjoyed (Joshua 21:44) had been but partial. Only under Solomon were the Philistines brought into complete subjection (1 Kings 9:16), and hitherto the ark had dwelt in curtains]; there hath not failed [Heb. fallen; cf. 1 Samuel 3:19] one word [a clear reference to Joshua 21:45, as the preceding words are to ver. 44] of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand [cf. ver. 53] of Moses his servant [viz. in Leviticus 26:3-13, and in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, i.e., in the chapters which are the sources of this prayer, etc. 1 Kings 8:51-53 Solomon closes with general reasons, which should secure the hearing of his prayer on the part of God. Bertheau follows the earlier commentators in admitting that these reasons refer not merely to the last petitions, but to all the preceding ones.
(Note: Seb. Schmidt has already given the following explanation: "These things which I have asked for myself and for my people do Thou, O Lord, because it is for Thy people that I have prayed, and I am their king: therefore hear Thou the prayers of Thy servant and Thy people. For in 1 Kings 8:52 he makes mention of his own case and of the cases of all the rest, in which they would call upon the Lord.)
The plea "for they are Thy people," etc. (1 Kings 8:51), is taken from Deuteronomy 4:10; and that in 1 Kings 8:53, "Thou didst separate them," etc., is taken from Leviticus 20:24, Leviticus 20:26, compared with Exodus 19:5. וגו עיניך להיות, "that Thine eyes may be opened," follows upon ושׁמעתּ ("then hear Thou") in 1 Kings 8:49; just as 1 Kings 8:29 at the commencement of the prayer follows upon וּפנית in 1 Kings 8:28. The recurrence of the same expression shows that the prayer is drawing to a close, and is rounded off by a return to the thought with which it opened. "As Thou spakest by Moses" points back to Exodus 19:5. - In 2 Chronicles 6:40-42 the conclusion of the prayer is somewhat altered, and closes with the appeal to the Lord to cause salvation and grace to go forth from the temple over His people.
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