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him in a dream by night, and said, ask what I shall give thee. To which the monarch replied, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David, my father, great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, 0 Jehovah, my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David, my father; and I am but a little child, I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people, wbich thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased Jehovab, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto bim, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee; neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour; so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke, and behold it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.*
• 1 Kings, iii. 5–15. 2 Chron. 1.7–12.
It is not easy to arrange or preserve a correct chronology of the transactions related concerning Solomon, in the First Book of Kings and the Second Book of Chronicles; and it will therefore be most convenient to relate them merely as facts which took place during that monarch's reign, the great and principal feature of which was the erection and dedication of the first temple.
For this purpose his father, David, had collected immense materials; to which Solomon added others, and was much assisted by Hiram, king of Tyre, who sent him both artificers and materials, * sending the cedars of Mount Lebanon in floats to Joppa, from whence Solomon conveyed them by land to Jerusalem.
This great work was began in the month of April,t in the 480th year after the Exodus,# and was completed in the month of Octoberş, seven years afterwards. The spot selected for this object was in Mount Moriah, so long distinguished for the exhibition of the faith of Abraham,ll and was the actual threshing floor lately purchased of Araunah, and visited by the especial presence of God.**
Having completed the temple, the monarch was next careful to place therein its most important embellishments, even the ark of the covenant, which David had brought up from Kirjathjearim, and placed in a tent at Jerusalem.tt For
* 1 Kings, v. 2 Chron. ii.
I 1 Kings, vi. I.
|| Gen. xxii. I 2 Sam. xxiv. 16. 23. ** The particulars, proportion, and splendid decorations of this magnificent erection are minutely related in 1 Kings, vi. vii. and 2 Chron. iii. iv. And see a minute history of the temple from its erection to its final destruction, extracted from Calmet and Josephus, by A. Clarke, apud finem, 2 Kings, vi.
++ 2 Chron. 1. 4.
this solemn purpose, Solomon assembled the elders and fathers of Israel, at the feast in the seventh month of Ethanim, when the priests took up the ark, and brought it, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, unto his place into the oracle* of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims, who spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark. There was nothing in the ark, save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when Jehovah made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloudt filled the house of Jehovah : I so that the priests could not stand & to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah had filled the house of God.
Then it was that Solomon pronounced that beautiful prayer on the dedication of the temple, which has ever been considered as a standard of beauty, eloquence, and piety. • Jehovah said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, blessed be Jehovah, God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David, my father, and hath with bis hand fulfilled it, saying, since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house,
* | Kings, vi. 16. 2 Chron. iv. 20. + Or Shechinah; and which Dr. Jamieson considers a type of the
incarnation. Use of Sacred History: Vol. ii. 328.
1 Kings, viii. 1-12. 2 Chron. v. 2–14. What a proof of the being of God, and of the Divine Presence! What must those holy men bave felt at that time? A. Clarke. See Exod. xl. 34, 35.
that my name might be therein; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel ; but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. And it was in the heart of David, my father, to build an house for the name of Jehovah, God of Israel. And Jehovah said unto David, my father, whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. Nevertheless, thou shalt not build the house ; but thy son, that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name. And Jehovah hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David, my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Jehovah promised, and have built an house for the name of Jehovah, God of Israel. And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of Jehovah, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.
And Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: and he said, 0 Jehovah, God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their heart : who bast kept with thy servant David, my father, that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Therefore now, Jehovah, God of Israel, keep with thy servant David, my father, that thou promisedst 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 thou hast walked before me. And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David, my father. But will God, indeed, dwell on the earth ? behold,
the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee : how much less this house that I have builded? Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Jehovah, my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee to-day : that thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said,
my name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place : and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive.
If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house : then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.
When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee: if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people, for an inheritance.
If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blas