the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, of the staves were seen out in the 'holy place before which is Zion.

the oracle, and they were not seen without: and 2 And all the men of Israel assembled themselves there they are unto this day. unto king Solomon at the feast,“ in the month Eth 9 There was nothing in the ark, save the two anim, which is the seventh month.

tables of stone, which Moses put theres at Horeb, 3 Ånd all the elders of Israel came, and the priests when the Lord made a covenant with the children look up the ark.

of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 4 And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and 10 And it came to pass, when the priests were the tabernacle fof the congregation, and all the holy come out of the boly place, that the cloud "filled the vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did house of the Lord, the priests and the Levites bring up.

11 So that the priests could not stand to minister 5. And king Solomon, and all the congregation of because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him filled the house of the Lord. before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that 12 Then "spake Solomon, The LORD said that could not be told nor numbered for multitude. he would dwell in the thick darkness.

6 And the priests brought in the ark of the cove 13 I Phave surely built thee an house to dwell in, nant of the LORD unto his place,into the oracle of a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. the house, to the most holy place, even under the 14 And the king turned his face about, and blessed wings of the cherubims.

rall the congregation of Israel: (and all the con7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings gregation of Israel stood :) over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered 15 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of the ark, and the staves thereof, above.

Israel, which spake 'with his mouth unto David my 8 And they drew out the staves, that the *ends father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,

c 2 Sam. 5. 9. d Lev. 23. 34. • Num. 4. 15. 1 Chr. 15, 14. f 2 Chr. 1. 3. 2 Sam. 6. 13. h Ex. 26. 33. i c. 6. 27. • heads.

1 or, ark. 2 Chr. 5. 9. Ex. 25. 21. 10. 20. Deut. 10. 2, 5. Heb. 9. 4.

or, there. I Ex. 34. 27, 28. m Ex. 40. 34. Lev. 16. 2. 2 Chr. 6. OP. 97. 2.1.. 45. 15. P 2 Sam. 7. 13. 9 Ps. 132. 14.

T 2 Sam. 6. 18. . Luke 1. 68. 1 2 Sam. 7. 5, &c.

great assembly he summons, (v. 1,) and he is the centre of it, emanation of the divine glory, 1. God put an honour upon the for to him they all assembled, (v. 2,) at the feast in the seventh ark, and owned it as a token of his presence. The glory of it month, namely, the feast of tabernacles, which was appointed had been long diminished and eclipsed by its frequent removes, on the fifteenth day of that month, Lev. 23. 34. David, like a the meanness of its lodging, and its being exposed too much to very good man, brings the ark to a convenient place, near him; common view; but God will now show that it is as dear to him Solomon, like a very great man, brings it to a magnificent as ever, and he will have it looked upon with as much veneraplace. As every man has received the gift, so let him minister; tion as it was when Moses first brought it into his tabernacle. and let children proceed in God's service there where their pa- 2. He testified his acceptance of the building and furnishing of rents left off.

the temple, as good service done to his name and his kingdom II. All Israel attend the service; their judges, and the chief among men. 3. He struck an awe upon this great assembly; of their tribes and families; all their officers, civil and military; and, by what they saw, confirmed their belief of what they and (as they speak in the north) the heads of their clans. A read in the books of Moses, concerning the glory of God's apconvention of these might well be called an assembly of all Is- pearances to their fathers, that hereby they might be kept close rael; these came together, on this occasion, 1. To do honour to to the service of the God of Israel, and fortified against tempSolomon, and to return him the thanks of the nation for all the tations to idolatry. 4. He showed himself ready to hear the good offices he had done, in kindness to them. 2. To do ho- prayer Solomon was now about to make ; and not only so, but nour to the ark, to pay respect to it, and testify their universal took up his residence in this house, that all his praying people joy and satisfaction in its settlement. The advancement of the might there be encouraged to make their applications to him. ark in external splendour, though it has often proved too strong But the glory of God appeared in a cloud, a dark cloud, to siga temptation to its hypocritical followers, yet, because it may nify, (1.) The darkness of that dispensation, in comparison prove an advantage to its true interests, is to be rejoiced in with the light of the Gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, (with trembling) by all that wish well to it. Public mercies call as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. (2.) The darkness of our for public acknowledgments. They that appeared before the present state, in comparison with the vision of God, which will Lord, did not appear empty, for they all sacrificed sheep and be the happiness of heaven, where the divine Glory is unveiled. oxen innumerable, v. 5. The people, in Solomon's time, were Now we can only say what he is not, but then we shall see him very rich, very easy, and very cheerful, and therefore it was as he is. fit that, on this occasion, they should consecrate not only their V, 12--21. Here, cheerfulness, but a part of their wealth, to God and his honour. I. Solomon encourages the priests, who came out of the tem

III. The priests do their part of the service. In the wilder- ple from their ministration, much astonished at the dark cloud ness, the Levites were to carry the ark, because then there ihat overshadowed them. The disciples of Christ feared, when were not priests enough to do it; but here, (it being the last time they entered into the cloud, though it was a bright cloud, (Luko that the ark was to be carried,) the priests themselves did it, as 9.34;) so did the priests, when they found themselves wrapped they were ordered to do, when it surrounded Jericho. We are in a thick cloud. To silence their fears, 1. He reminds them of here told, 1. What was in the ark; nothing but the two tables that which they could not but know, that this was a token of of stone, (v. 9,) a treasure far exceeding all the dedicated things God's presence ; (v. 12,) The Lord said, he would dwell in the both of David and Solomon. The pot of manna, and Aaron's thick darkness. It is so far from being a loken of his displearod, wero by the ark, but not in it. 2. What was brought up sure, that it is an indication of his favour; for he had said, ! with the ark, (v. 4,) the tabernacle of the congregation. It is will appear in a cloud, Lev. 16. 2. Note, Nothing is more efprobable that that which Moses set up in the wilderness, which fectual to reconcile us to dark dispensations, than to consider was in Gibeon, and that which David pitched in Zion, were what God hath said, and to compare his word and works toboth brought to the temple, to which they did, as it were, sur- gether; (as Lev. 10. 3,) This is that which the Lord hath said. render all their holiness, merging it in that of the temple ; which God is Light, (1 John 1. 5,) and he dwells in light, (1 Tim. 6. must, henceforward, be the place where God must be sought 16;) but he dwells with men in the thick darkness, makes that his unto. Thus will all the church's holy things on earth, that are pavilion, because they could not bear the dazzling brightness of so much its joy and glory, be swallowed up in the perfection of his glory. Verily thou art a God that hidest himself. Thus our holiness above. 3. Where it was fixed in its place, the place holy faith is exercised, and our holy fear increased; where God appointed for its rest after all its wanderings, (v. 6,) in the oracle dwells in light, faith is swallowed up in vision, and fear in love. of the house, whence they expected God to speak to them, even 2. He himself bids it welcome, as worthy of all acceptation ; in the most holy place, which was made so by the presence of and since God, by this cloud, came down to take possession, the ark, under the wings of the great cherubim, which Solomon he does, in a few words, solemnly give him possession; (v. 13,) set up, (ch. 6. 27,) signifying the special protection of angels, Surely I come, says God. Amen," says Solomon, “ Even so, which God's ordinances and the assemblies of his people are come, Lord. The house is thine own, entirely thine own, I have taken under. The staves of the ark were drawn oui, so as to surely built it for thee, and furnished it for thee; it is for ever be seen from under the wings of the cherubims, to direct the thine own, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever; it shall high priest to the mercy scat, over the ark, when he went in, never be alienated or converted to any other use ; , the ark shall once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that still they con never be removed from it, never unsettled again.” It is Solotinued of some use, though there was no longer occasion for mon's joy, that God has taken possession, and it is his desire, them to carry it by them.

that he would keep possession. Let not the priests therefore IV. God graciously owns what is done, and testifies his ac dread that in which Solomon so much triumphs. ceptance of it, v. 10, 11. The priests might come into the most II. He instructs the people, and gives them a plain account holy place, till God manifested his glory there ; but, thencefor-concerning this house, which they now saw God take possesward, none might, but at their peril, approach the 'ark, except sion of. He spoke briefly to the priests, to satisfy them; (a the high priest, on the day of atonement. Therefore it was not word to the wise ;) but turned his face about (v. 14) from them till the priests were come out of the oracle, that the Shechinah to the congregation that stood in the outer court, and addressed took possession of it, in a cloud, which filled not only the most himself to them largely. holy place, but the temple, so that the priests who burned in 1. He blessed them. When they saw the dark cloud enter cense at the golden altar, could not bear it. By this visible I the temple, they were astonished at it, and afraid lest the thick

16 Since the day that I brought forth my people 22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the Lord, in the presence of all the congregation of tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; might be therein; but I chose David "to be over my 23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no people Israel.

God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, 17 And it was in the heart of David my father who akeepest covenant and mercy with thy servants to build an house for the name of the Lord God of that walk before thee with all their heart; Israel

24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my 18 And the Lord said unto David my father, father that thou promisedst him : thou spakest also Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine as it is this day. heart:

25 Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep 19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house ; with thy servant David my father that thou probut thy son, that shall come forth out of thy loins, misedst him, saying, “There shall not fail thee a he shall build the house unto my name.

man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; tso 20 And the Lord hath performed his word that that thy children take heed to their way, that they he spake; and I am risen up in the room of David walk before me, as thou hast walked before me. my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as "the 26 And now, O God of Israel, let athy word, I Lord promised, and have built an house for the pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy name of the Lord God of Israel.

servant David my father. 21. And I have set there a place for the ark, 27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Bewherein ris the covenant of the Lord, which he hold, the heaven,e and heaven of heavens, cannot made with our fathers, when he brought them out contain thee; how much less this house that I have of the land of Egypt.

builded !

I Sam. 16. 1. 1 Chr. 17, 1, &c. 10 1 Chr. 28. 5, 6. * Deut. 31. 26. ver. 9. Ex. 9. 33. la. l. 15. • Ex. 15. 11. 2 Sam. 15. 22. & Neh. 1.5. Dan. 9. 4. b c.3.6.

Cc. 2. 4.

There shall not be cut off unto thee a mon from my sight. 1 only d Ps. 119, 19. e 2 Chr. 2. 6. 18. 66. 1. Jer. 23. 24. Acis 17. 24. s 2 Cor. 12. 2.

darkness should be utter darkness to them; the amazing sight, for the ark, v. 21. Thus all the right, title, interest, claim, and such as they had never seen in their days, we may suppose, demand, whatsoever, which he or his had, or might have, in or to drove every man to his prayers, and the vajnest minds were this house, or any of its appurtenances, he resigns, surrenders, made serious by it. Solomon therefore set in with their pray- and gives up, to God for ever. It is for his name, and his ark. ers, and blessed them all; as one having authority, (for the less In this, says he, the Lord hath performed his word that he spake. is blessed of the better,) in God's name, he spake peace to them, Note, Whatever good we do, we must look upon it as the perand a blessing; like that with which the angel blessed Gideon, formance of God's promise to us, rather than the performance when he was in a fright, upon a like occasion ; (Judg. 6. 22, of our promises to him. The more we do for God, the more 23,) Peace be unto thee; fear not, thou shall not die. Solomon we are indebted to him; for our sufficiency is of him, and not blessed them, that is, he pacified them, and freed them from the of ourselves. consternation they were in. To receive this blessing, they all V. 22–53. Solomon having made a general surrender of stood up, in token of reverence, and readiness to hear and ac- this house to God, which God had signified his acceptance of cept it. It is a proper posture to be in, when the blessing is by taking possession, next follows Solomon's prayer; in which pronounced.

he makes a more particular declaration of the uses of that sur2. He informed them concerning this house which he had render, with all humility and reverence, desiring that God built, and was now dedicating. He begins his account with a would agree thereto. In short, it is his request that this temple thankful acknowledgment of the good hand of his God upon might be deemed and taken, not only for a house of sacrifice, him hitherto ; Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, v. 15. What (no mention is made of that in all this prayer, that was taken we have the pleasure of, God must have the praise of. He thus for granted,) but a house of prayer for all people ; and herein it engaged the congregation to lift up their hearts in thanksgivings was a type of the Gospel church: see Is. 56. 7, compared with to God, which would help to still the tumult of spirit which, Matt. 21. 13. Therefore Solomon opened this house, not probably, they were in. Come," says he, “let God's awful only with an extraordinary sacrifice, but with an extraordinary appearances not drive us from him, but draw us to him; let us

prayer. bless the Lord God of Israel.", Thus Job, under a dark scene, 1. The person that prayed this prayer, was great. Solomon blessed the name of the Lord. Solomon here blessed God, did not appoint one of the priests to do it, or one of the prophets, (1.) For his promise which he spake with his mouth to David but did it himself

, in the presence of all the congregation of Is(2.) For the performance; that he had now fulfilled it with his rael, v. 22. 1. It was well that he was able to do it ; a sign that hand. We have then the best sense of God's mercies, and most he had made a good improvement of the pious education which grateful both to ourselves and to our God when we run up those his parents gave him. With all his learning, it seems, he learned streams to the fountain of the covenant, and compare what God to pray well, and knew how to express himself to God in a suitdoes with what he has said.

able manner, pro re nala-on the spur of the occasion, without Solomon is now making a solemn surrender or dedication of a prescribed form. In the crowd of his philosophical transacthis house unto God, delivering it to God by his own act and tions, his proverbs, and songs, he did not forget his devotions. deed. Grants and conveyances commonly begin with recitals He was a gainer by prayer, (ch. 3. 11, &c.) and, we may sup. of what has been before done, leading to what is now done : ac pose, gave himself much to it, so that he excelled, as we find cordingly, here is a recital of the special causes and consider- here, in praying gifts. 2. It was well that he was willing to do ations moving Solomon to build this house.

it, and not shy of performing divine service before so great a [1.] He recites the want of such a place. It was necessary congregation : he was far from thinking it any disparagement that this should be premised; for, according to the dispensation to to be his own chaplain, and the mouth of the assembly they were under, there must be one place, in which they must to God; and shall any think themselves too great to do this ofexpect God to record his name. If, therefore, there were any fice for their own families ? Solomon, in all his other glory, other chosen, this would be a usurpation. But he shows, from even on his ivory throne, looked not so great as he did now. what God himself had said, that there was no other, (v. 16,) I Great men should thus support the reputation of religious exerchose no city to build a house in for my name; therefore there is cises, and so honour God with their greatness. Solomon was occasion for the building of this.

herein a type of Christ, the great Intercessor for all over whom [2.] He recites David's purpose to build such a place. God he rules. chose the person first that should rule his people, (I chose David, II. The posture in which he prayed was very reverent, and v. 16,) and then put it into his heart to build a house for God's expressive of humility, seriousness, and fervency in prayer. name, v. 17. It was not a project of his own, for the maguify. He stood before the altar of the Lord; intimating that he exing of himself; but his good father, of blessed memory, laid the pected the success of his prayer in the virtue of that sacrifice first design of it, though he lived not to lay the first stone. which should be offered up in the fulness of time, typified by

(3.) He recites God's promise concerning himself: God ap- the sacrifices offered at that altar. But when he addressed proved his father's purpose ; (v. 18,) Thou didst well that it was himself to prayer, 1. He kneeleil down, as appears, v. 54, where in thine heart. Note, Sincere intentions to do good shall be he is said io rise from his knees ; compare 2 Chr. 6.13. Kneelgraciously approved and accepted of God, though Providence ing is the most proper posture for prayer, Eph. 3. 14. The prevent our putting of them in execution. The desire of a man greatest of men must not think it below them, to kneel before the is his kindness. See 2 Cor. 8. 12. God accepted David's good Lord their Maker. Mr. Herbert says, “ Kneeling never spoiled will, yet would not permit him to do the good work, but reserved silk stockings.". 2. He spread forth his hands toward heaven ; the honour of it for his son, (v. 19,) He shall build the house to and, as it should seem by v. 54, continued so, to the end of the my name ; so that what he had done, was not of his own head, prayer, hereby expressing his desire towards, and expectations nor for his own glory; but the work itsell was according to his from, God, as a father in hemen. He spread forth his hands, father's design, and his doing of it was according to God's de- as it were to offer up the prayer from an open enlarged heart, signation.

and to urge it into heaven; and also to receive the mercy thence, [4.] He recites what he himself had done, and with what with both arms, which he prayed for. Such outward expresintention; I have built a house, not for my own name, but for sions of the fixedness and fervour of devotion, ought not to be the name of the Lord God of Israel, (v.20,) and set there a place I despised or ridiculed.

28 Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, in this house: to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which 34 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin thy servant prayeth before thee to-day :

of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the 29 That ibine eyes may be opened toward this land which thou gavest unto iheir fathers. house night and day, even toward the place of 35 When heaven "is shut up, and there is no which thou hast said, My name shall be there; rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and thy servant shall make 'toward this place.

iurn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: 30 And "hearken thou to the supplication of thy 36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that pray "toward this place : and hear thou in heaven thou teach them the good way wherein they should thy dwelling-place; and when thou hearest, forgive. walk, and give rain upon thy land which thou hast

31 If any man trespass against his neighbour, and given to thy people for an inheritance. tan oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, 37 If Pthere be in the land famine, if there be pesand the oath come before thine altar in this house : tilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be cater

32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge pillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickway upon his head; and justifying "the righteous, ness there be ; to give him according to his righteousness.

38 What prayer and supplication soever be made 33 When thy people Israel be 'smitten down be- by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall fore the enemy, because they have sinned against know every man the plague of his own heart, and thee, and shalí turn" again to thee, and confess thy spread forth his hands toward this house :

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III. The prayer itself was very long, and yet perhaps longer This premised, he prays, in general, First, That God would than is here recorded. At the throne of grace, we have liberty graciously hear and answer the prayer he was now praying, of speech, and should use our liberty. It is not making long v. 28. It was an humble prayer, the prayer of thy servant ; an prayers, but making them for a prétence, that Christ condemns. earnest prayer, such a prayer as is a cry; a prayer made in

In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should in every faith, "before thee, as the Lord, and my God; Lord, hearken to prayer:

it; have respect to it, not as the prayer of Israel's king," (no 1. He gives glory to God. This he begins with, as the most man's dignily in the world, or titles of honour, will recommend proper act of adoration. He addresses himself to God as the him to God,)“ but as the prayer of thy servant." Secondly, Lord God of Israel, a God in covenant with them. And, (1.) That God would, in like manner, hear and answer all the prayHe gives him the praise of what he is, in general; the best of ers that should, at any time hereafter, be made in or loward this beings in himself;'" There is no God like thee, none of the pow- house which he had now built, and of which God had said, My ers in heaven or earth to be compared with thee;" and the best name shall be there, (v. 29;) his own prayers, Hearhen to the of masters to his people, " who keepest covenant and mercy with prayers which thy servant shall make ; and the prayers of all Isthy servants ; not only as good as thy word, in keeping covenant, rael, and of every particular Israelite, v. 30. Hear it in heaven, but better than thy word, in keeping mercy, doing that for them, that is indeed thy dwelling-place, of which this is but a figure which thou hast not given them an express promise of, provided and when thou hearest, forgive the sin that separates between they walk before thee with all their heart, are zealous for thee, them and God, even the iniquity of their holy things. 1. He with an eye to thee.” (2.) He gives bim thanks for what he supposes that God's people would ever be a praying people ; he had done, in particular, for his family ; (v. 24,) Thou hast kept resolves to adhere to that duty bimself. 2. He directs them to with thy servant David, as with thy other servants, that which have an eye, in their prayers, to that place where God was lhou promisedst him. The promise was a great favour to him, pleased to manifest his glory, so as he did not any where else hig support and joy, and now, performance is the crown of it: on earth. None but priests might come into that place; but Thou hast fulfilled it, as it is this day, Fresh experiences of when they worshipped in the courts of the temple, it must be the truth of God's promises, call for enlarged praises.

with an eye towards it; not as the object of their worship, (that 2. He sues for grace and favour from God.

were idolatry,) but as an instituted medium of their worship, (1.) That God would perform to him and his the mercy which helping the woakness of their faith, and typifying the mediation he had promised, v. 25, 26. Observe how this comes in : he of Jesus Christ, who is the true Temple, to whom we must have thankfully acknowledges the performance of the promise, in an eye in every thing wherein we have to do with God. They part; hitherto, God had been faithful to his word, * Thou hast that were at a distance, looked toward Jerusalem, for the sake kept with thy servant Darid that which thou promisedst him; so of the temple, even when it was in ruins, Dan. 6. 10. 3. He far, that his son fills his throne, and has buili the intended tem- begs that God would hear the prayers, and forgive the sins, of ple; therefore now keep with thy servant David that which thou all that look this way in their prayers: not as if he thought all hast further promised him, and which yet reinains to be fulilled the devout prayers offered up to God by those who had no in its season." Note, The experiences we have of God's per- knowledge of this house, or regard to it, were therefore reforming his promises, should encourage us to depend upon them, jected; but he desired that the sensible iokens of the divine and plead them with God: and those who expect further mer presence with which this house was blessed, might always cies, must be thankful for former mercies. Hitherto, God has give sensible encouragement and comfort to believing pelihelped, 2 Cor. 1. 10. Solomon repeats the promise, (v. 25,) tioners. There shall nol fail thee a man to sit on the throne, not omitting 3. More particularly, he here puts divers cases in which he the condition, so that thy children take heed to their way; for we supposed application would be made to God by prayer, in or cannot expect God's performance of the promise, but upon our toward this house of prayer. performance of the condition: and then he humbly begs this (1.) If God were appealed to by an oath for the determining entail, (v. 26,) Now, O God of Israel, let thy worels be verified, of any controverted right between man and man, and the oath God's promises (as we have ofien observed) must be both the were taken before this allar, he prayed that God would, some guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes and expecta- way or other, discover the truth, and judge between the contions in prayer. David had prayed, (2 Sam. 7. 25,) Lord, do tending parties, v. 31, 32. He prays thai, in difficult mallers, as thou hast said. Note, Children should learn of their godly this throne of grace might be a throne of judgment, from which parents how to pray, and plead, in prayer.

God would right the injured that believingly appealed to it, and (2.) That God would have respect io this temple which he punish the injurious that presumptuously appealed to it. Il had now taken possession of, and that his eyes might be con was usual to swear by the temple and altar, Matt. 23. 16, 18. tinually open towards it, v. 29. That he would graciously own Which corruption perhaps took its rise from this supposition it, and so put an honour upon it. To this purpose, he premises, of an oath taken, not by the temple or altar, but at or near them, [1.] An humble admiration of God's gracious condescension for the greater solemnity. (v. 27,) But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Can we ima (2.) If the people of Israel were groaning under any national gine that a Being, infinitely high, and holy, and happy, should calamity, or any particular Israelite under any personal castoop so low, as lo let it be said of him, that he dwells upon the lamity, he desires that the prayers they should make in or earth, and blesses the worms of the earth with his presence? toward this house, might be heard and answered. The earth, that is corrupt, and overspread with sin! Cursed, [1.] In case of public judgments; war, (v. 33,) want of rain, and reserved to fire! Lord, how is it?(2.) An humble ac- (v. 35,) famine or pestilence, (1. 37:) and he ends, with any knowledgment of the incapacity of the house he had built, plague or sickness : for no calamity befalls other people, which though very capacious, to contain God. The heaven of hearens may not befall God's Israel. Now he supposes, First, That cannot do that, for no place can include him, who is present in the cause of the judgment would be sin, and nothing else: if all places; even this house is too little, too mean to be the resi- they be smitten before the enemy, if there be no rain, it is because dence of Him that is infinite in being and glory. Note, When they have sinned against thee: that is it, that makes all the miswe have done the most we can for God, we must acknowledge chief. Secondly, That the consequence of the judgment would the infinite distance and disproportion between us and him, be- be, that they would cry to God, and make supplication to bim, tween our services and his perfections.

in or toward that house. Those that slighted him before, would

39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, them awayo captives unto the land of the enemy, and forgive, and do, and give to every man accord-lar or pear; ing to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for 47 Yet il' they shall sbethink themselves in the sthou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the land wbither they were carried captives, and rechildren of men ;)

pent, and make supplication unto thee in the land 40 That they may fear rthee all the days that they of them that carried them captives, saying, We live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. have sinned, and have done perversely, we have

41 Moreover, concerning a stranger that is not committed wickedness; of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far coun 48 And so return 'unto thee with all their heart, try for thy name's sake;

and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies 42 (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of which led them away captive, and pray unto thee thy strong hand, and of thy stretched-out arm ;) toward ytheir land which thou gavest unto their when he shall come and pray toward this house: fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the

43 Hear thou in heaven ihy dwelling-place, and house which I have built for thy name: do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee 49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supfor; that all people of the earth may know thy plication in heaven thy dwelling-place, and mainname, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and tain their "cause, that they may know that this house, which I have 50 And forgive thy people that have sinned builded, is called by thy name.

against thee, and all their transgressions wherein 44 If thy people go out to battle against their they have transgressed against thee, and give them enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and compassion before them who carried them captive, shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which that they may have compassion on them: thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have 51 For they be thy people and thine inheritance, built for thy name :

which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the 45 Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and midst of the furnace of iron: their supplication, and maintain their 'cause.

52 That thine eyes may be open unto the sup46 If they sin against thee, (for uthere is no man plication of thy servant, and unto the supplication that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry they call för unto thee. 1 Chr. 29. 9. Ps. 11. 4. Jer. 17, 10. Heb. 4. 12. Ps. 130. 4. . Deut. 4. 34.

» Deut. 28. 36, 64. $ bring back to their heart. 10 Neh. 1. 6, &c. Ps. 106. 6. i 2 Kings 19. 19. P. 67. 2. 102. 15. thy name is called upon this house. Da11.9, 5, ốc, Jer. 29. 12-14. Hon 14.1, 2.

y Ver. 29.

lor, righi. Ezra the roay of the city. or, right. w Ec. 7. 20. Jaro. 3. 2. 1 John 1.8, 10.

7.6. Ps. 106. 46. a Deut. 9. 29. b Deut. 4.2. Jer. 11. 4. solicit him then: Lord, in trouble have they visited thee : In their worshipping the gods of his country. First, He supposes that affliction they will seek me enrly, and earnestly. Thirdly, That there would be many such, (v. 41, 42;) that the fame of God's the condition of the removal of the judgment was something more great works which he had wrought for Israel, by which he proved than bare praying for it. He could not, he would not, ask that himself to be above all gods, nay, to be God alone, would reach their prayer might be answered, unless they did also turn from to distant countries; they that live remoto, shall hear of thy their sin, (v. 35,) and turn again to God, (v. 33;) that is, unless strong hand, and thy streiched-out arm; and this will bring all they did truly repent and reform. On no other terms may we thinking considerate people to pray toward this house, that they look for salvation, in this world or the other. But, if they did may obtain the favour of a God that is able to do them a real thus qualify themselves for mercy, he prays, 1. That God would kindness. Secondly, He begs that God would accept and hear from heaven, his holy temple above, to which they must answer the proselyie's prayer; (v. 43,) Do according to all that look, through this temple. 2. That he would forgive their sin; the stranger calleth to thee for. Thus early, thus ancient, were for judgments are then only removed in mercy, when sin is par- the indications of favour toward the sinners of the Gentiles: as doncd. 3. That he would teach them the good way wherein they there was then one law for the native and for the stranger, (Ex. should walk, by his Spirit, with his word and prophets; and 12. 49,) so there was one Go pel for both. Thirdly, Herein, thus they might be both profited by their trouble, (for blessed is he aims at the glory of God, and the propagating of the knowthe man whom God chastens and teaches,) and prepared for ledge of him. "O let the stranger, in a special manner, speed deliverance; which then comes in love, when it finds us brought well in his address, that he may carry away with him to his back to the good way of God and duty. 4. That he would own country a good report of the God of Israel ; that all people then remove the judgment, and redress the grievance, what may know thee, and fear thee, (and, if they know thee aright, ever it is; not only accept the prayer, but give in the mercy they will fear thee,) as do thy people Isruel.So far is Solo. prayed for.

mon from monopolizing the knowledge and service of God, and (2.) In case of personal afflictions, v. 38—40. “If any man wishing to have them confined to Israel only, (which was the of Israel has an errand to thee, here let him find thee, here let envious desire of the Jews in the days of Christ and his apos. him find favour with thee." He does not mention particulars ; tles,) that he prays that all people might fear God as Israel did, so numerous, so various, are the grievances of the children of Would to God, that all the children of men might receive the men: First, He supposes that the complainants themselves adoption, and be made God's children. Father, thus glorify would very sensibly feel from their own burden, and would open thy name. that case to God, which otherwise they kept to themselves, and [4.] The case of an army going forth to battle, is next recomdid not make any man acquainted with. They shall know every mended by Solomon to the divine favour. It is supposed ihat man the plague of his own heart, what it is that pains him; and the army is encamped at a distance, somewhere a great way shall spread their hands, that is, spread their case, as Hezekiah off, sent by divine order against the enemy, v. 44.

“ When spread the letter, in prayer, toward this house ; whether the they are ready to engage, and consider the perils and doubtful trouble be of body or mind, they shall represent it before God. issues of battle, and put up a prayer to God for protection and Inward burdens seem especially meant; sin is the plague of our success, with their eye toward this city and temple, then hear own heart, our indwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases; their prayer, encourage their hearts, strengthen their hands, every Israelite indeed endeavours to know these, that he may cover their heads, and so maintain their cause, and give them mortify them, and watch against the risings of them. These he victory.” Soldiers in the field must not think it enough that they Complains of, this is the burden he groans under; O wretched wholarry at home pray for them, but must pray for themselves, man that I am! These drive him to his knees, drive him to and they are here encouraged to hope for a gracious answer. the sanctuary ; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in Praying should always go along with fighting. prayer. Secondly, He refers all cases of this kind, that should [5.] The case of poor captives, is the last that is here menbe brought hither, to God. 1. To his omniscience; Thou, tioned, as a proper object of divine compassion. First, Ho even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men, not supposes that Israel would sin. He knew them, and himself, only the plagues of their hearts, their several wanis and hur- and the nature of man, too well to think this a foreign suppodens," (these he knows, but he will know them from us, ) " but sition: for there is no man that sinneth not, that does not enough !he desire and intent of the heart, the sincerity or hypocrisy of to justify God in the severest rebukes of his providence; ng it. Thou knowest which prayer comes from the heart, and man but what is in danger of falling into gross sin, and will, it which from the lips only." The hearts of kings are not un God leave him to himself. Secondly, He supposes what may searchable to God. 2. To his justice; Give to every man nc well be expected, if Israel revolt from God, that God will be cording to his ways; and he will not fail to do so, by the rules angry with them, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, of grace, not the law, for then we were all undone. 3. To his to be carried captive into a strange country, v. 46. Thirdly, mercy; Hear, and forgive, and do, (v. 39,) that they may fear He then supposes that they will bethink themselves, will conthee all their days, u. 40. This use we should make of the sider their ways; for afflictions put men upon consideration; mercy of God to us in hearing our prayers, and forgiving our and when once they are brought to consider, they will repent sins, we should thereby be engaged to fear him while we live: and pray, will confess their sins, and humble themselves, sayFear the Lord and his goodness; there is forgiveness with him, ing, We have sinned, and have done perversely, (v. 47:) and will that he may be feared.

return to God in the land of their enemies, whom they had for(3.) 'The case of the stranger that is not an Israelite, is next saken in their own land. Fourthly, He supposes that in their mentioned ; a proselyte that comes to the temple to pray to the prayers they will look toward their own land, the holy land, God of Israel, being convinced of the folly and wickedness of 1 Jerusalem the holy city, and the temple the holy house, and VOL. 1.-104

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53 For thou didst separate them from among all, supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the LORD the people of the earth to be thine inheritance, as thou our God day and night, that he maintain the cause spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord att all times, as the matter shall require; God.

60 That 'all the people of the earth may know 54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made that "the Lord is God, and that there is none else. an end of praying all this prayer and supplication 61 Let your heart, therefore, be 'perfect with the unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands his commandments, as at this day. spread up to heaven.

62 And "the king, and all Israel with him, of 55 And he stood, and blessed dall the congrega- fered sacrifice before the Lord. tion of Israel, with a loud voice, saying,

63 And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest offerings, which he offered unto the Lord, two and unto his people Israel, according to all that he pro- twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty mised: there hath not failed* one word of all his thousand sheep. So the king and all the children good promise, which he promised by the hand of of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD. Moses his servant.

64 The same day did the king hallow the middle 57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with of the court that was before the house of the LORD: our fathers : let shim not leave us, nor forsake us ; for there he offered burnt-offerings, and meat-offer

58 That he may incline hour hearts unto him, ings, and the fat of the peace-offerings; because the to walk in all his ways, and to keep his command- brazen "altar that was before the LORD was too litments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he tle to receive the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings, commanded our fathers.

and the lat of the peace-offerings. 59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made 65 And at that time Solomon held a seast, and c Ex. 19, 5, 6. Deut. 14. 2. d 2 Sam. 6. 18. € Josh. 23. 14, fallen. Deut. Josh. 4. 24. ver. 43. k Deut. 4. 35, 39. I Deut. 18. 13. m 2 Chr. 7. 4, &c. 12. 10, 11, & Deut. 31. 6. A Ps. 119. 36. f the thing of a day in his day. n 2 Chr. 4. 1. over. 2. directs them so to do, (v. 48,) for his sake, who gave them that before us." 2. The power of his grace upon them; Let him land, chose that city, and to whose honour that house was built. be with us, and continue with us, not thai he may enlarge our Fifthly, He prays that then God would hear their prayers, for-coasts, and increase our wealth, but that he may incline our give their sins, plead their cause, and incline their enemies to hearts to himself, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his comhave compassion on them, v. 49, 50. God has all hearts in his mandments," v. 58. Spiritual blessings are the best blessings, hand, and can, when he pleases, turn the strongest stream the which we should covet earnestly to be blessed with : our hearts contrary way, and make those to pity his people, who have are naturally averse to our duty, and apt to decline from God; been their most cruel persecutors. See this prayer answered, it is his grace that inclines them, grace that must be obtained Ps. 106. 46, He male them to be pitied of those that carried by prayer. 3. An answer to the prayer he had now made, them captive, which, if it did not enlarge them, yet eased their "Let these my words be nigh unto the Lord our God day and captivity. Sixthly, He pleads their relation to God, and his night, v. 59. Let a gracious return be made to every prayer interest in them; " They are thy people, whom thou hast taken that shall be made here, and that will be a continual answer to into thy covenant, and under thy care and conduct; thine inhe- this prayer." What Solomon here asks for his prayer, is still ritance, from which, more than from any other nation, thy rent granted in the intercession of Christ, which his supplication and tribute of glory issue and arise, (v. 51;) separated from was a type of; that powerful prevailing intercession is before among all people to be so, and by distinguishing favours ap- the Lord our God day and nighi, for our great Advocate attends propriated to thee,” v. 53.

continually to this very thing, and we may depend upon him to Lastly, After all these particulars, he concludes with this maintain our cause, (against the adversary that accuses us day general request, that God would hearken to all his praying and night, Rev. 12. 10,) and the common cause of his people people in all that they call unto him for, v. 52. No place, now | Israel, at all times, upon all occasions, as the matter shall reunder the Gospel, can be imagined to add any acceptableness quire, so as to speak for us the word of the day in its day, as the lo the prayers made in or toward it, as the temple then did ; original here reads it, from which we shall receive grace suffithat was a shadow, the substance is Christ; whatever we ask cient, suitable, and seasonable, in every time of need. 4. The in his name, it shall be given us.

glorifying of God in the enlargement of his kingdom among men. V. 54–61. Solomon, after his sermon in Ecclesiastos, gives Let Israel be thus blessed, thus favoured; not that all people us the conclusion of the whole matter; so he does here, after may become tributaries to us, (Solomon sees his kingdom as this long prayer; it is called his blessing of the people, v. 55. great as he desires,) but that all people may know that the Lord He pronounced it standing, that he might be the better heard, is God, and he only, and may come and worship him, 1. 60. and because he blessed as one having authority ; never were With this Solomon's prayers, like the prayers of his father, words more fully spoken, or more pertinently; never was con David the son of Jesse, are ended ; (Ps. 72. 19, 20,) Let tha whole gregation dismissed with that which was more likely to affect earth be filled with his glory : we cannot close our prayers with them and abide with them.

a better summary than this, Father, glorify thy name. I. He gives God the glory of the great and kind things he had III. He solemnly charges his people to continue and persedone for Israel, v. 56. He stood up to bless the congregation, vere in their duty to God; having spoken to God for them, he (v. 55,) but begins with blessing God, for we must, in every here speaks from God to them, and those only would fare the thing, give thanks. Do we expect God should do well for us better for his prayers that were made belter by his preaching; and ours? Let us take all occasions to speak well of him and his admonition, at parting, is, “Let your heart be perfect with his. He blesses God who has given, he does not say wealth, the Lord our God, (v. 61;) let your obedience be universal and honour, and power, and victory, to Israel ; but rest, as if without dividing, upright without dissembling, and constant that were a blessing more valuable than any of those; let not without declining;" this is evangelical perfection. those who have rest, undervalue that blessing then, though they V. 62--66. We read before, that Judah and Israel were want some other. Ho compares the blessings God had bestowed eating and drinking, and very cheerful, under their own vines upon them, with the promises he had given them, that God and fig-trees; here we have them so in God's courts ; now they might have the honour of his faithfulness, and the truth of that sound Solomon's words true concerning Wisdom's ways, that word of his, which he has magnified above all his name. 1. Ho they are ways of pleasantness. refers to the promises given by the hand of Moscs, as he did 1. They had abundant joy and satisfaction, while they at(v. 15, 24) to those which were made to David ; there were tended at God's house, for there, (1.) Solomon offered a great promises given by Moses, as well as precepts : it was long ere sacrifice, 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep, enough to have drainGod gave Israel the promised rest, but they had it at last, after ed the country of caitle, if it had not been a very fruitful land. many trials; the day will come, when God's spiritual Israel The heathen thought themselves very generous when they offerwill rest from all our labours. 2. He does, as it were, write a ed sacrifices by hundreds, (hecatombs they called them,) but receipt in full on the back of these bonds, There has not failed Solomon outdid them, he offered them by thousands. When one word of all his good promises ; this discharge he gives in the Moses dedicated his altar, the peace offerings were twentyname of all Israel, to the everlasting honour of the divine faith-four bullocks ; rams, goals, and lambs, 180, (Num. 7. 88 ;) then fulness, and the everlasting encouragement of all those that build the people were poor, but now thai they were increased in upon the divine promises.

wealth, more was expected from them; where God sows plenII. He blesses himself and the congregation, expressing his tifully, he must reap accordingly. All these sacrifices could earnest desire and hope of these four things. 1. The presence not be offered in one day, but in the several days of the feast; of God with them, that is all in all to the happiness of a church thirty oxen a day served Solomon's table, but thousands shall and nation, and of every particular person. This great congre- go to God's altar; sew are thus minded, to spend more on their gation was now shortly to scatter, and it was not likely that souls than on their bodies. The flesh of the peace-offerings they would ever be all together again in this world; Solomon which belonged to the offerer, it is likely, Solomon treated the therefore dismisses them with this blessing, “ The Lord be pre-people with ; Christ fed those who attended him. The brazen sent with us, and that will be comfort enough, when we are altar was not large enough to receive all these sacrifices, so absent from each other; the Lord our God be with us, as he was that, to serve the present occasion, they were forced to offer with our fathers, (v. 57 ;) let him not leave us, let him be to us many of them in the middle of the court, v. 64. Some think, on to-day, and to ours for ever, what he was to those that went altars, altars of earth or stone, erected for the purpose, and taken

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