1 Kings 9:27
And Hiram sent his servants, men who knew the sea, to serve in the fleet with Solomon's servants.
Solomon's WorshipA. Rowland

Our text appears at first sight to be introduced into this chapter in a superfluous and arbitrary manner. It is not without good reason, however, that this record of Solomon's religious worship stands between statements about his fortifications and his fleet. We have much to learn from the Old Testament method of blending the earthly with the spiritual, and of suffusing national enterprise with religion. The verse before us, read in connexion with the statement made in 1 Kings 3:2, indicates that, after finishing the temple, Solomon swept away the abuses, and remedied the defects which had prevailed. He had built the temple, and now would be the leader of his people in using it. He did not consider that the erection of an altar excused him from sacrificing on it. He was not one of those who will encourage others to devotion, while they neglect their own personal responsibility. Apply this to any who contribute to a society, but withold all personal service; or aid in the celebration of worship, while their own hearts are never engaged in it. If we compare the text with 2 Chronicles 8:12, 13, we see that it was not only on the national festivals (Passover Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles), but on all occasions appointed by Mosaic law, that Solomon, through the priests, presented offerings before the Lord. No allusion is made here to expiatory sacrifices (the sin offering and the trespass offering) but these, of necessity, preceded those mentioned here. All the more fitly does the text represent what we should offer when we draw near to God, through the merits of the expiation already made for us by Him who became, on our behalf, a sin offering. This verse will answer the question of conscience, "What shall I render unto the Lord!

I. THE DEDICATION OF SELF. Burnt offerings were representative and not vicarious. They represented the dedication of himself to God on the part of the worshipper. St. Paul shows us this (Romans 12:1), I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice," etc. The appropriateness of the type can be easily shown by alluding to such points as these: -

1. The sequence of the burnt offering on the expiatory sacrifice. No burnt offering was made until a previous sin offering had been presented. The worshipper must first be brought into covenant with God. Were the burnt offering presented first, the barrier of sin between man and God would be ignored, and the idea of an atonement would be denied. Our offering of ourselves is only acceptable through the previous sacrifice of Christ.

2. The completeness of the burnt offering. The sacrificer laid his hands on the victim, and then it was placed whole on the altar, its death signifying the completeness of the presentation of the man, body and soul, to the Lord. Show that God has the right to demand our whole selves; not a share in affection and thought simply.

3. The occasions for presenting the burnt offering.

(1) Daily (Exodus 29:33-42) to show that at no time are we "our own."

(2) Doubly on the sabbath (Numbers 28:9, 10). The seventh day a time for special consideration and self consecration.

(3) On great festivals (Numbers 28:11; Numbers 29:89). Times of exceptional deliverance, enrichment, etc., are seasons for renewed self dedication. Press home the entreaty of Romans 12:1.

II. THE GIVING OF THANKS. Peace offerings were of various kinds, but had the same meaning. They were a presentation to God of his best gifts, a sign of grateful homage, and at the same time afforded means for the support of God's service and His servants. Flour, oil, and wine were offered with the daily burnt offering. The shew bread was renewed each sabbath day. Special offerings were made on the sabbath and other festivals. The first fruits were presented, and corn from the threshing floor at the annual feasts, etc.

(1) All these were of a Eucharistic nature, and teach us to render thanks and praise to God (Hebrews 13:15).

(2) They betokened communion with God, for in part they were eaten by the people in His presence.

(3) They aided in the sustenance of public worship. The priests had the breast and shoulder. See the lesson Paul draws Philippians 4:18.

(4) They ministered to the necessities of the poor. Peace offerings constituted great national feasts. Give examples. Show Christ's care for the poor. Allude to such verses as Hebrews 13:16. We express thankfulness to the Lord, and acknowledgment of His goodness, by distributing to others as they have need. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

III. THE OFFERING OF ]PRAYER. "He burnt incense upon the altar." Incense was offered morning and evening (Exodus 30:7, 8), and on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 16:12). The altar of incense stood before the holy of holies in the holy place, where only the priests could stand. Sacredness and sweetness were suggested by the incense, so carefully and secretly compounded, so exclusively used in the service of God. As a symbol it denoted prayer; taken in its broadest sense, as the outflowing of the soul in adoration, prayer, praise toward God. Refer to Psalm 141:2, where prayer and incense are blended as reality and symbol; to the smoke in the temple (Isaiah 6:3 4); to the people praying while Zacharias was burning incense (Luke 1:10); to the prayers of the saints before the throne (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:8, 4).

1. Prayer should be reverent. (The incense altar was close to the holy of holies, under the immediate eye of God.)

2. Prayer should be constant. (Incense was perpetual. "Pray without ceasing.")

3. Prayer should be the outcome of self dedication. (Incense was kindled by a live coal from the altar of burnt offering.)

4. Prayer is accepted through the merits of the atonement. (The horns of the altar of incense were sprinkled with blood.) - A.R.

The Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer.
It was an exceedingly encouraging thing to Solomon that the Lord should appear to him before the beginning of his great work of building the temple. See in the third chapter of this First Book of the Kings, at the fifth verse, "In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." I cannot forget when the Lord appeared unto me in Gibeon at the first. Truly there are things about the lives of Christian men that would not have been possible if God had not appeared to them at the beginning. If he had not strengthened and tutored them, and given them wisdom beyond what they possess in themselves; if he had not inspirited them. It is a priceless blessing to begin with God, and not to lay a stone of the temple of our life-work till the Lord has appeared unto us. I do not know, however, but that it is an equal, perhaps a superior, blessing for the Lord to appear to us after a certain work is done; even as in this case: "The Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared unto him at Gibeon." We want renewed appearances, fresh manifestations, new visitations from on high; and I commend to those of you who are getting on in life, that while you thank God for the past, and look back with joy to His visits to you in your early days, you now seek and ask for a second visitation of the Most High. All days in a palace are not days of banqueting, and all days with God are not so clear and glorious as certain special Sabbaths of the soul in which the Lord unveils His glory. Happy are we if we have once beheld His face; but happier still if He again comes to us in fulness of favour. I think that we should be seeking those second appearances: we should be crying to God most pleadingly that He would speak to us a second time.

I. OUR PROPER PLACE IN PRAYER. The Lord said, "I have heard thy prayer, and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me." There is the place to pray — "before Me": that is to say, before the Lord. But we should take care that the place is hallowed by our prayer being deliberately and reverently presented before God.

1. This place is not always found. The Pharisee went up to the temple to pray, and yet, evidently, he did not pray "before God"; so that even in the most holy courts he did not find the place desired.

2. This blessed place "before God" can be found in public prayer. Solomon's prayer before God was offered in the midst of a great multitude.

3. But prayer before God can just as well be offered in private.

4. The prayer is to be directed to God.

5. We should endeavour in prayer to realise the presence of God.

II. OUR GREAT DESIDERATUM IN PRAYER. It is that which God said that He had given to Solomon. "I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication."

1. The first thing the soul desires in prayer is audience with God. If the Lord do not hear us, we have gained nothing. And what an honour it is to have audience with God!

2. But we Want more than that: we want that He should accept. It were a painful thing to be permitted to speak to a great friend, and then for him to stand austere and stern, and say, "I have heard what you have to say. Go your way." We ask not this of God.

3. Still, there is a third thing which we want, which God gave to Solomon, and that was an answer.

III. OUR ASSURANCE OF ANSWER TO PRAYER. Can we have an assurance that God has heard and answered prayer? Solomon had it. The Lord said unto him, "I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me." Does the Lord ever say that to us? I think so. Let us consider how He does so.

1. I think that He says it to us very often in our usual faith.

2. But sometimes you require strong confidence. You have to solicit some extraordinary blessing. You get to a place like that to which Jacob came, when common prayer was not sufficient.

3. Sometimes this comes in the form of a comfortable persuasion.

4. The Lord also gives to His people a manifest preparation for the blessing. He prepares them to receive it. Their expectation is raised, so that they begin to look out for the blessing, and make room for it; and when it is so, you may be sure that it is coming.

5. Actual observation also breeds in us a solid confidence that our suit is succeeding.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Which are the sounds that penetrate furthest? We on terra firma are scarcely in a position to judge. However, a number of scientists have been making a series of experiments to test the relative penetrating quality of sounds, The Government lent them a military balloon, which ascended from the artillery camp at Woolwich, and passed over London. A sharp ear was kept for the sounds of the vast city that penetrated upward. Trains were heard in practically continuous rumble, punctuated by their shrill whistles. Sirens from the river and various factories rose sharp and clear. Most noticeable were the barkings of high-voiced dogs, which could be distinctly heard even at a mile high. The highly-instructive fact was noted, however, that, though the city was crossed just at neon, when from the streets the striking of clocks and bells is always such a noticeable feature, yet the most careful listener aloft could detect no such sounds. These observations go to prove how inferior are the carrying powers of bells as heard from aloft, and to emphasise the fact that noises of an unmusical, discordant nature have much better chance of making themselves heard at a distance than have more harmonious sounds. But the reverse is the case in the spiritual sphere. It is the discords of earth that have no carrying power, and that last but for a day. It is the sweet and harmonious utterance, the secret prayer, the quiet deed, that reaches unto the heavens.


Amorites, Canaanites, David, Geber, Gibeon, Hiram, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Israelites, Jebusites, Ophir, Perizzites, Pharaoh, Solomon, Tamar
Baalath, Beth-horon, Brook of Egypt, Cabul, Edom, Egypt, Eloth, Ezion-geber, Galilee, Gezer, Gibeon, Hazor, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Megiddo, Millo, Ophir, Red Sea, Tamar, Tyre
Along, Experienced, Familiar, Fleet, Hiram, Navy, Sailors, Sea-force, Seamen, Servants, Serve, Shipmen, Solomon, Solomon's
1. God's covenant in a vision with Solomon
10. The mutual presents of Solomon and Hiran
15. In Solomon's works the Gentiles were his bondmen, the Israelites servants
24. Pharaoh's daughter removes to her house
25. Solomon's yearly solemn sacrifices
26. His navy fetches gold from Ophir

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 9:27

     5531   skill

1 Kings 9:26-28

     4333   gold

1 Kings 9:27-28

     5517   seafaring

Promises and Threatenings
'And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do. 2. That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as He had appeared unto him at Gibeon. 3. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put My name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

There was a double Gadara. One at the shore of the Mediterranean sea: that was first called Gezer, 1 Kings 9:15. In Josephus, "Simon destroyed the city Gazara, and Joppe, and Jamnia."--And in the Book of the Maccabees, "And he fortified Joppe, which is on the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus." At length, according to the idiom of the Syrian dialect, Zain passed into Daleth; and instead of Gazara, it was called Gadara. Hence Strabo, after the mention of Jamnia, saith, "and there
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Whether Solicitude Belongs to Prudence?
Objection 1: It would seem that solicitude does not belong to prudence. For solicitude implies disquiet, wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x) that "a solicitous man is a restless man." Now motion belongs chiefly to the appetitive power: wherefore solicitude does also. But prudence is not in the appetitive power, but in the reason, as stated above [2746](A[1]). Therefore solicitude does not belong to prudence. Objection 2: Further, the certainty of truth seems opposed to solicitude, wherefore it is related
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Prophecy Pertains to Knowledge?
Objection 1: It would seem that prophecy does not pertain to knowledge. For it is written (Ecclus. 48:14) that after death the body of Eliseus prophesied, and further on (Ecclus. 49:18) it is said of Joseph that "his bones were visited, and after death they prophesied." Now no knowledge remains in the body or in the bones after death. Therefore prophecy does not pertain to knowledge. Objection 2: Further, it is written (1 Cor. 14:3): "He that prophesieth, speaketh to men unto edification." Now speech
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Lawful to Give and Receive Money for Spiritual Actions?
Objection 1: It seems that it is lawful to give and receive money for spiritual actions. The use of prophecy is a spiritual action. But something used to be given of old for the use of prophecy, as appears from 1 Kings 9:7,8, and 3 Kings 14:3. Therefore it would seem that it is lawful to give and receive money for a spiritual action. Objection 2: Further, prayer, preaching, divine praise, are most spiritual actions. Now money is given to holy persons in order to obtain the assistance of their prayers,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Seven Seas According to the Talmudists, and the Four Rivers Compassing the Land.
"Seven seas (say they) and four rivers compass the land of Israel. I. The Great Sea, or the Mediterranean. II. The sea of Tiberias. III. The sea of Sodom. IV. The lake of Samocho... The three first named among the seven are sufficiently known, and there is no doubt of the fourth:--only the three names of it are not to be passed by. IV. 1. The Sibbichaean. The word seems to be derived from a bush. 2. ... 3. ... V. Perhaps the sandy sea. Which fits very well to the lake of Sirbon, joining the commentary
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

How to Split a Kingdom
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 2. And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt); 3. That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 4. Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Greater Prophets.
1. We have already seen (Chap. 15, Nos. 11 and 12) that from Moses to Samuel the appearances of prophets were infrequent; that with Samuel and the prophetical school established by him there began a new era, in which the prophets were recognized as a distinct order of men in the Theocracy; and that the age of written prophecy did not begin till about the reign of Uzziah, some three centuries after Samuel. The Jewish division of the latter prophets--prophets in the more restricted sense of the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Beginning at Jerusalem
The whole verse runs thus: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The words were spoken by Christ, after he rose from the dead, and they are here rehearsed after an historical manner, but do contain in them a formal commission, with a special clause therein. The commission is, as you see, for the preaching of the gospel, and is very distinctly inserted in the holy record by Matthew and Mark. "Go teach all nations,"
John Bunyan—Jerusalem Sinner Saved

The Coast of the Asphaltites, the Essenes. En-Gedi.
"On the western shore" (of the Asphaltites) "dwell the Essenes; whom persons, guilty of any crimes, fly from on every side. A nation it is that lives alone, and of all other nations in the whole world, most to be admired; they are without any woman; all lust banished, &c. Below these, was the town Engadda, the next to Jerusalem for fruitfulness, and groves of palm-trees, now another burying-place. From thence stands Massada, a castle in a rock, and this castle not far from the Asphaltites." Solinus,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

In Galilee at the Time of Our Lord
"If any one wishes to be rich, let him go north; if he wants to be wise, let him come south." Such was the saying, by which Rabbinical pride distinguished between the material wealth of Galilee and the supremacy in traditional lore claimed for the academies of Judaea proper. Alas, it was not long before Judaea lost even this doubtful distinction, and its colleges wandered northwards, ending at last by the Lake of Gennesaret, and in that very city of Tiberias which at one time had been reputed unclean!
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Jerusalem Sinner Saved;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The remarkable change which we have noticed in the views of Jewish authorities, from contempt to almost affectation of manual labour, could certainly not have been arbitrary. But as we fail to discover here any religious motive, we can only account for it on the score of altered political and social circumstances. So long as the people were, at least nominally, independent, and in possession of their own land, constant engagement in a trade would probably mark an inferior social stage, and imply
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

A Holy Life the Beauty of Christianity: Or, an Exhortation to Christians to be Holy. By John Bunyan.
Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.'--[Psalm 93:5] London, by B. W., for Benj. Alsop, at the Angel and Bible, in the Poultrey. 1684. THE EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. This is the most searching treatise that has ever fallen under our notice. It is an invaluable guide to those sincere Christians, who, under a sense of the infinite importance of the salvation of an immortal soul, and of the deceitfulness of their hearts, sigh and cry, "O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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