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So Hiram the king of Tyre when he heard that Solomon was upon the throne in place of his David: for Hiram was always a great admirer of David. And Solomon sent to Hiram, and he said, You know how that David my father could not build a house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. Behold, I purpose to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake to David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon the throne in your place, he will build a house unto my name. Now therefore command that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that you shall appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among any of us those that have the skill in cutting timber like those of Sidon. So it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people (1Ki 5:1-7).
So Hiram rejoiced that Solomon had such wisdom as he began to reign in David's stead.
Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which you have sent for me: and I will do all that you desire concerning the timbers of cedar, and fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that you shall appoint me, and I will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and you shall accomplish my desire, in giving food to my household (1Ki 5:8-9).
So they made an arrangement where they would make these great log rafts, cutting the timbers out of the forest of Lebanon. Up in the area of Sidon and Tyre. Now it used to be that Lebanon was covered with great cedar forests. Most of these were destroyed during the time of the reign of the Turks. But there are just today a very few cedar groves left in Lebanon. Tragic. Used to be beautiful wooded area. And now just a few cedars left.
But they cut down these great cedars and firs and made these log rafts. And they floated them down the Mediterranean to the port city of Joppa, which is probably about fifty miles from Tyre. And there from Joppa they would take them over land to Jerusalem, a distance of about thirty-five miles. These huge logs. And so it was quite a task indeed.
Now for these logs, he was to pay Hiram in food to take care of these men who were cutting the timber out of the woods.
So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all of his desire. And Solomon gave to Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat (1Ki 5:10-11)
So again, ten bushels, twenty thousand bushels of wheat.
for his household, twenty measures of pure oil (1Ki 5:11):
And a measure of oil they figure somewhere between forty-five and eighty gallons. And this was the annual tribute or pay that he gave for the men so that they could eat.
And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; for they had made a treaty. And king Solomon raised a tax from all of Israel (1Ki 5:12-13);
Or a draft actually.
and he drafted thirty thousand men. And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand each month (1Ki 5:13-14).
So you go a month; you work a month and had two months off. Just like the fireman almost. Just you know, you work a day and off three and those neat kind of hours. So he had thirty thousand men, ten thousand going each month up to Lebanon to work in helping them in the cutting of the wood and so forth.
And Solomon had seventy thousand slaves (1Ki 5:15).
That just carried the logs, you know, or worked along with the logs and so forth. They, of course, would put logs and roll them and, you know, they would run and put logs ahead, and they rolled the logs and so forth. And of course, when you have seventy thousand men doing it, you can move quite a few logs. And there were eighty thousand men who were up cutting the logs up in the forest. So really, quite a contingency of labor here.
Beside the chief of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand, three hundred foremen on the job, that guided them in the work. And Solomon commanded that they bring great and costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house of God. And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders cut them, and the stonesquarers: so that they prepared timber and stones to build the house (1Ki 5:16-18).
Now near Herod's gate in Jerusalem today, there is a cave that goes under the wall and actually you can go down under the city of Jerusalem into Solomon's quarries. And you can see where much of the stone was quarried for the walls of the city of Jerusalem during Solomon's time for Solomon's house and for the temple. These quarries are still there, and you can see the chisel marks on the wall where they cut out. What they would do actually, the rocks under that area are limestone and they lay in layers actually. And it's excellent for building, because much of it is just flat and sort of layered. And what they would do is they would drill holes into the rock. And then they would put wooden branches in and then they would soak. They would put water on the wooden branches and make them expand and just pop the rock out. And you can always, an interesting thing to see in Jerusalem, Solomon's quarries. Just to the right of Herod's gate, between Herod's gate and Damascus gate. If ever you get over there, you want to take a look at Solomon's quarries. They're very fascinating, because here is where the stone was quarried. And then, of course, they would cut it.
And it is interesting that today in Jerusalem there's a city ordinance that all of the buildings in Jerusalem must be made out of what they call the Jerusalem stone. So even if they build the concrete buildings, they have to put a fascia over all of the buildings of this Jerusalem stone. Jerusalem stone is a very beautiful stone. It has a capacity in the early morning sun to look almost golden and that is why Jerusalem is called The Golden City. Because as the sun is rising, and as it first hits the stone or just even before it hits just in the early dawn, it takes on a golden hue, all of the stones. And it's absolutely gorgeous. Of course, you're in jet lag so you wake up early anyhow when you're first there. But it's always a thrill to see the sun coming up and see this golden color. And then, of course, as the sun hits it, it begins to level out into a sort of a beige kind of a color in the bright sun.
But Jerusalem stone is something beautiful to behold, and in the cutting of the stone and in the shaping of it, they would shape the stones so fine that they did not have to use mortar in putting it together. But the blocks would just all interlock and fit one upon another. And I saw the corner of the temple mount that was done during Herod's time. With these gigantic stones. Now it says that Solomon had some hewn stones and some of them eight cubits, some of them five cubits, which are good size stones really. For Solomon's day eight cubits would be a stone of about eleven, twelve, thirteen feet. But Herod used stones that were thirty-seven feet long, five feet high and eight feet thick. They estimate that they weigh somewhere between eighty and a hundred tons.
And these stones are carved so accurately, I guess is what you'd say, is that I took a knife blade and tried to insert it between them and you can't. Now can you imagine how much chipping that must have taken. I know. That's the kind of stuff I think about; how long did it take a guy to chip that thing that smooth? You know, because they're working with just chisels and all, hand tools, no power grinders or pneumatic tools. Just chipping away. And the interesting thing is today, you can see these old men around Jerusalem sitting there in the ground or in the squatted position and they're chipping away at stones. It's still an art that is current to the present day because of the city ordinance that all of the building must be faced at least with Jerusalem stone. So stone-cutting, very interesting art indeed, and it is fascinating to watch. And Solomon ordered these stones and, of course, all of the material.
So in chapter six he began to build the temple.
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, and in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, in the second month, they began the building of the temple. Now the temple was to be ninety feet long and thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet tall (1Ki 6:1-2).
So if you can picture now in your mind, ninety feet is just about from the edge of the platform here to the back door. So that's how long Solomon's temple was. It's a little more than forty-five feet from arch to arch. So it wasn't quite as wide. And of course, it was quite a bit taller because actually it was only thirty feet wide. So that will be from this aisle about over to the middle of this one over. But forty-five feet high. So that is quite high for a building. So it was rather high and long and narrow. And of course, it had the one end that was partitioned off and had doors at that time into the holy of holies. The doors were of carved olive wood and overlaid with gold.
And as you get into chapter six, it begins to give you the description of the temple that they were constructing. Now in verse seven, it tells us:
When they were building it, it was built of stone made ready before it was brought to the site: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building (1Ki 6:7).
So all of the cutting of the stone was done at the quarry, which was, of course, under the city. And they would cut the stones to size and all there, and then bring them out and just lay them in. So there was no noise of a hammer or any iron or tool at the actual construction site of the temple.
Now there's an interesting story that is told in the construction of the temple. And that is that the stones being quarried at a distance from the actual site of the building, they were, all of them, once quarried marked with a special mark. So that they would have the plan at the quarry for the building and the dimension of each stone, and then they also had another set of plans on the job. And again, each stone made especially for each slot and they would quarry the stone and send it, and they would mark where it went. And the foreman on the job would see the stone and he would direct them where to lay it.
Well, a stone came from the quarry that didn't seem to fit into the building. And so the people didn't see or understand where this particular stone went, so they toss it aside. Now this building was seven years in the construction. So in seven years the shrubbery and all can grow up and cover. And the story goes that this stone just became lost in this overgrow of shrubbery and all. So that when the temple was just about completed, the foreman sent a message to the quarry, "We're all set to lay the cornerstone, the chief stone of the building. Where is it?" And the quarry said, "That stone was made and already sent to the job." They said, "Well, it's not here." They said, "Well, it's been sent. Look for it." And someone said, "Well, remember that stone we threw over there in the bushes?" And they went over, and sure enough, the stone that was rejected by the builders was the chief cornerstone of the building.
Now Peter picks this up when he is talking to the Sanhedrin when he is called on the carpet because of the healing of the lame man in the temple. And here is Peter standing before the Sanhedrin, he said, "Hey, fellows, if you're going to arrest me today because of the good deed done to this lame man, then that's your problem. But you want to know by what power or authority I did it? Be it known unto you that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth does this man stand here before you whole. And He is the stone which was set of naught by you builders, but God has made Him the chief cornerstone." And he is showing them a parallel, a story that was familiar to all of them how that the chief stone was rejected, but the same has become the head of the corner; it's in a psalm. But Peter shows that actually it is only prefiguring Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone who was rejected by the religious builders in Israel. But God has made Him the head cornerstone over all.
So this is why that psalm and why Peter picked it up is that the stones were all carved out away from the site and brought to the site ready to be set.
The word of the LORD came to Solomon [in verse twelve], declaring, Concerning this house which you are building (1Ki 6:11-12),
if you will walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David your father: and I will dwell among the children of Israel, I will not forsake my people Israel (1Ki 6:12-13).
So God's promise, conditional promise to Solomon that God would dwell there in the midst of the people. Now they did not build temples to worship in. That is, to congregate to worship. The temple and the idea of the temple was a place for God to dwell in. David said, "It isn't right that I'm dwelling in this house that is all sealed and nice and God is still dwelling in a tent. I'm going to make a house for God."
Now when we build churches, we think of accommodating the people that we might all gather together in order that we might worship God together here and study His word and grow in our knowledge and understanding of God. But not so in those days. In their building of a temple, the idea was to build a house for God and the common ordinary person was never allowed inside. Only the priests were allowed to go inside of the temple to visit with God. But the common people weren't allowed inside the building at all. There were the porches where they could go into the porches. But into the actual building itself, only the priests could enter.
So it wasn't a center of worship like buildings that we build today in the church. And our idea is to accommodate the people, to gather together to worship God. Their idea was to build a house for God to dwell in. But then when Solomon finished the temple, he saw how foolish the whole thing was. He said, "God, I look up and I know that the heavens of heaven aren't big enough to contain You. How much less this little house that I've built here?" And we know that "God doesn't dwell in temples or in houses made with hands" (Acts 7:48). But He dwells, of course, within our hearts and lives. But He who fills the universe fills my heart and my life tonight. For my body has become the temple of the Holy Spirit. The dwelling place of God and God's Spirit within me.
So we don't need to build temples for God to dwell in. We build places where we can assemble to acknowledge God and to worship God. So God said, "I will dwell among my people. As long as they walk in my statutes, keep my commandments, I will dwell among them. And I will not forsake my people Israel."
And so it goes on and tells of the building of the house for God and of the holy of holies which was a thirty-foot cube, and of the two cherubim that they built to go into the holy of holies, carved them out of olive wood and then overlaid them with gold, and how that the cherubims wing spans were ten feet from wing to wing. So they were pretty good size cherubim. And they were set in the holy of holies, and at this point, the only furnishing within the holy of holies was the ark of the covenant, and the golden cherubims were sort of over the ark of the covenant.
Now even as the tabernacle was a model of heaven, so the temple in a sense became a model of heaven, because the design was much as the tabernacle with the holy place on the outer part where the priest would come and daily bring the sacrifices and so forth to sprinkle before the mercy seat. But then, the holy of holies with the ark of the covenant were... was all overlaid with gold, with the golden cherubim and the ark of the covenant in the middle.
Now the ark of the covenant was lost or was placed in hiding at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem. There are some rumors that Jeremiah hid the ark of the covenant. But the ark of the covenant was not in Herod's temple. And perhaps someplace in the earth today that ark of the covenant still exists. It would be a fascinating archaeological find because within the ark of the covenant are the two tables of stone upon which God inscribed the Ten Commandments. And so how fascinating it would be to find this little golden box, and inside two stones with strange writing on them.
They were the... it was the only furnishing within the holy of holies, and Solomon built this seven years, overlaid the whole thing with gold, the planks and all overlaid with gold. It must have been fabulously beautiful and of course, extremely expensive. They estimated, of course, that was at gold thirty-two dollars an ounce; they estimated the cost at into the hundreds of millions. Now at five hundred forty-seven dollars an ounce, I don't know. It would really be something.
So it gives you the sort of the dimensions of the building and the carvings and so forth. And I'll leave you to peruse those at your own leisure. So it was seven years, the end of chapter six, in building the house of God.
But Solomon was building his own house for thirteen years, and he finished all of his house (1Ki 7:1).
So it shows where his priorities began to turn. Seven years building the house of God, then turning around and for thirteen years building his own. But then it goes on and tells of the dimensions of the Solomon's house and the foundations of this costly, great stones; ten cubits, which would be fifteen feet, and eight cubits, which would be about twelve feet, so twelve to fifteen feet. And Hiram was furnishing all of these cedars and so forth as the contract read.
Now it tells of the building of the two brass pillars that they made at the entrance for the entrance of the temple. And one they call Jachin and the other Boaz. It means "he shall establish," Jachin, and Boaz it is, "in it is strength." Just what the purpose of these two brass pillars has led to a lot of conjecture, but we really don't know. He shall establish, and in it is strength. But of course, the masons make a lot out of the two brass pillars and out of Solomon's temple and its design and all. And many Christian mystics make a lot out of the two brass pillars. They were later carried to Babylon.
But then also a brass washing basin and twelve oxen, three facing towards the north, three towards the east, south and west. All of them facing outwards, and then this big brass swimming pool on top. Almost the size of a pool, as you read the dimensions it would hold about sixteen thousand gallons of water and this was for the priest to bathe. You remember outside the tabernacle there was the brass laver for the priest to bathe. Well, they really made an elaborate one here at the temple, setting on these oxen and so forth, and if you can get a some of the Bible type of handbooks have artist impressions of what it might have looked. I think a lot of times it helps to see the thing done artistically. The twelve oxen and this big brass laver on top, thick brass, and then all of the lavers and so forth that they made for inside work, for the candles, candle snuffers and all were all made out of gold. Everything that would apply to the altar on the outside was of brass. Brass is always a metal that is symbolic of judgment. So the cleansing in the brass laver, judgment, the necessity of cleansing.
The altar itself overlaid with brass, judgment. The animal having died and all of the instruments that had to do with the sacrifices and all were done with brass. But those that had to do with just the fellowship and worship with of God inside were of gold, symbolic of the heavenlies. And so we're entering now to the heavenlies, into the area of God, and that's done in gold. But the other instruments all of brass. And chapter seven deals with the various instruments and those that were made of brass, those that were made of gold.
Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, and they brought the ark of the covenant into the temple, and as they did, the glory of the Lord came and filled the temple and there was just this glorious presence of God even as did take place at the time of the dedication of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Now again God's presence, the Shekinah glory of God, filling the temple.
And Solomon there offered his prayer of dedication unto God. And this dedicatory prayer of Solomon's is, of course, a classic as he speaks, first of all, of his building of the temple. And verse seventeen he said,
It was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in your heart to build a house unto my name, you did well that it was in your heart (1Ki 8:17-18).
Now God accounted it to David as having done it because it was in his heart to do, though David was not allowed to do it. God takes your motives many times above your actions. It is possible to have the right actions with the wrong motives. That is not acceptable by God. You may have the right motives, but not carry through an action. The fact that the motive, the desire is there is acceptable by God. Man looks on the outward appearance; God looks on the heart. God looks upon that which motivates you. And that which is in your heart to do and that's what God counts. What is in your heart to do. Not always am I able to do what's in my heart. You know, it may be that a person is a very generous person but has nothing to give. God sees the heart. He sees the desire of the heart to give. Even though there is nothing to give, God counts the desire of the heart even more than the wealthy person that gives God a pittance of their wealth.
Remember Jesus talking about the little widow. She gave more than the rest. Though it was just a mite, she gave of her substance. The rest of all tossed in out of their abundance. That doesn't count. God sees the heart. He knows the motive of the heart. It's in David's heart to build a temple and inasmuch as it's in his heart, God said that's good. It was in your heart to do. But you can't do it because you've got too much blood on your hands, a man of war.
but your son that shall come out of your own loins, he will build the house in my name. So the LORD hath performed his word that he spoke (1Ki 8:19-20),
Now this affirmation of God's faithfulness to perform His word is something that we need to take note of, verse twenty. For you can be sure that God will perform His word that He declares. And Solomon has now affirmed the fact that God has performed.
and I am risen up in the place of my father David, to sit upon the throne of Israel, and as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt (1Ki 8:20-21).
And now Solomon's prayer.
So he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation, he spread forth his hands toward heaven (1Ki 8:22):
So you see Solomon now standing there. And all of the congregation of Israel having assembled. And Solomon lifts his hands unto God and there he begins this prayer of dedication.
O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with your servants that walk before you with all your heart (1Ki 8:23):
God, there's no God like You anywhere.
And you have kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him: for you spoke also with your mouth, and you have fulfilled it with your hand, as we see it today (1Ki 8:24).
It's always glorious to stand and see the fulfillment of God's work, God's promise. Lord, You said it and there it is. Always exciting to stand in the fulfillment of God's work.
Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which you promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as you have walked before me. And now, O God of Israel, let your word, I pray thee, be verified, which you spoke to your servant David my father. But will God indeed dwell on earth? behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built? (1Ki 8:25-27)
So Solomon's recognition of sort of the ludicrous situation. "God, the heaven of heavens can't contain You. How much less this house I have built."
But have respect, Lord, toward this place and towards the prayers that are offered here, and hearken to the cries when your servants pray before you: That your eyes may be open on this house day and night, even towards this place where you have said, My name shall be there: and that you'll hearken unto the prayer which your servant shall make toward this place. And hearken to the supplication of your servant, and your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: hear from heaven thy dwelling place: when you hear, forgive (1Ki 8:28-30).
Beautiful. "Lord, when they pray towards this place, hear from Your dwelling place in heaven. We know You don't really dwell here. You dwell in heaven. But hear and when You hear, O God, forgive."
And now he foresees various situations that may arise.
If any man trespasses against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath comes before your altar in this house: Then hear from heaven, and do, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, and bringing his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous. When Israel is smitten before their enemies, because they have sinned against thee, and they turn again to thee, and they confess your name, and they pray, and they make their prayers in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive. When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because we have sinned (1Ki 8:31-35);
Now notice that he attributes the national calamities to the sins of the people. "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). And the national calamities are the result of the sins of the people. What's that make the United States? You know.
that thou should [verse thirty-six] teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon the land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. And if there's a famine, or a pestilence, a blasting, mildew, or the locust, or caterpillar; if the enemy besieges them; whatsoever plague, or sickness there might be; and prayer and supplication is made by any man, or by all the people. Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even you only, know the hearts of all of the children of men) (1Ki 8:36-39);
As we said earlier, God looks on the heart.
Now if your people go out to battle against the enemies, wherever you send them, and they shall pray unto the LORD towards this city which you have chosen, then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause (1Ki 8:44-45).
Now you remember, of course, it goes on here to say,
And if they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and you be angry with them, deliver them into their enemy, so that they are carried away captives to the land of the enemies, either far or near; And if they bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and they repent, and they make supplication unto thee in the land where you have carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and done perversely, we have committed wickedness; And so return unto thee with all their heart, with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which you've led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city which you have chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou their prayer (1Ki 8:46-49)
Now you remember later on when Daniel was a captive in the land of Babylon. And after the Medo-Persian Empire had overcome the Babylonian Empire, and Darius was tricked into signing the decree that if any man should make a petition or request of anybody else outside of King Darius for a period of thirty years, thirty days, he should be cast into the den of lions. And you remember that Daniel went to his house as was his custom and opened his windows towards Jerusalem and prayed unto the Lord. He was remembering what Solomon had prayed. "Lord, if they're captives in the land and they turn towards this place and pray, hear."
Now earlier on, the prayer of Daniel in the ninth chapter is a beautiful thing indeed, because again, Daniel was thinking of this very passage. For Daniel when he prayed, his prayer was actually a confession of sin. "Lord, we have sinned against Thee. We've done wickedly." And he is confessing the sin, even as Solomon said, "Lord, if they're in captivity and they confess their sin and all... " And Daniel was following the pattern that Solomon had set forth in this prayer of dedication. Turning towards Jerusalem, confessing the sins and asking God's forgiveness and God's help. So Daniel, a very beautiful man because he was a man of the Word. He knew the Word of God. He knew the prophecies of Jeremiah. He knew the time of captivity was about up and following the pattern that Solomon had set in this prayer. Daniel thus prayed unto the Lord out of the captivity in Babylon, and God heard. And they were released from that captivity.
Now when Solomon prayed this prayer, God answered Solomon. And the answer of Solomon is oftentimes quoted by itself and not in context. Second Chronicles 7:14, the Lord's answer to Solomon was, "For if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will heal their nation" (II Chronicles 7:14). That was God's answer to this prayer of dedication. We'll get that more when we get to Second Chronicles.
Now after he had finished his prayer and supplications,
he arose from before the altar of the LORD (1Ki 8:54),
So it said that he was standing, but now he evidently went to his knees because he is rising.
from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread from heaven (1Ki 8:54).
He began by standing, went down to his knees, his hands lifted to heaven.
And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 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 his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant (1Ki 8:55-56).
Isn't that a great testimony to God? Not one word of His promises have failed.
The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, or forsake us: that we might incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, and statutes, and judgments. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. And let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, to keep his commandments, as this day (1Ki 8:57-61).
So he's charged the people, "Be perfect with God. Walk in His ways." And so they offered sacrifices before the LORD of peace offerings.
twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep (1Ki 8:63).
Probably the biggest barbecue on record. Great time of feasting and rejoicing then before the Lord as they have now completed the house and dedicated the house unto the Lord.
So the same day the king hallowed the middle part of the ground (1Ki 8:64):
He declared it holy because they didn't have enough room to barbecue all of the beef in the area of the sacrifices and all. So they made the whole area holy and they offered up the burned offerings and all, all over the place there.
And at that time Solomon held a feast, all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and then another seven days (1Ki 8:65).
They went out for fourteen days celebrating.
And the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went up unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all of the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people (1Ki 8:66).
That's the way people should always leave the presence of God. Joyful and glad of heart. That's the proper attitude. Having been with God, fellowship with God should always create that joyfulness and the happiness within us.
Shall we pray.
Father, we thank You again for the privilege of studying Your word and may Your Spirit bless it now that we might hide it away in our heart that we might learn from the lessons of history. Lord, help us that we might walk in Thy ways; we might keep Thy word and that we might, O God, experience and know Thy faithfulness and Your keeping Your word to us. We thank You, Father, for the many blessings and the glorious promises that have been given to us and we rest in Thee. In Jesus our Lord. Amen.