1 Kings 8:50 MEANING

1 Kings 8:50
(50) Forgive . . . and give them compassion This prayer was singularly fulfilled at the captivity of Judah in Babylon, though we hear of no such thing in relation to the captivity of the "lost tribes" of Israel in Assyria. We see this in the exceptional favour of Nebuchadnezzar and of the Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther to the Jews in Babylon; we see it still more in the greater boon of restoration granted them by Cyrus and Darius, and the Artaxerxes of the Book of Nehemiah. Like the whole course of the fortunes of the Jews in their subsequent dispersion, these things,--however they may be accounted for--are certainly unique in history.

Verse 50. - And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion [Heb. to compassion or bowels רַחֲמִים = τὰ σπλάγχνα, 2 Corinthians 6:12; Philippians 1:8; Philippians 2:1, etc. before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them. [For the fulfilment of this prayer, see Ezra 1:3, 7; Ezra 6:13; Nehemiah 2:6. Compare Psalm 106:46.] In the three following verses we have a sort of general conclusion to the dedication prayer. It is hardly correct to say that these last words apply to all the preceding petitions - the plea "they are thy people" manifestly cannot apply in the case of vers. 41-43. On the other hand, as little are they to be limited to the persons last mentioned in vers. 46-50, though it is highly probable they were suggested by the thought of the captives. They are manifestly in close connection with the preceding verses.

8:22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do in every prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of the truth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues for grace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God's performing his promises, should encourage us to depend upon them, and to plead them with him; and those who expect further mercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promises must be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes and expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and the whole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer's offices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, was continually to be remembered. Under one word, forgive, Solomon expressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, as all misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the way for the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good. Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition to the teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lord himself to teach the people to profit by all, even by their chastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his own heart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their hands in prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body or mind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seem especially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; our in-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every true Israelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them, and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to his knees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer. After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the general request, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place, now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towards it. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, it shall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God is established and sanctified, the backslider is recovered and healed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourner is comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause of all our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all human happiness.And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee,.... By returning them to their own land; by which it would appear that the Lord had forgiven their trespasses, as well as by what follows:

and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them; for it is in the power of God to work upon the affections of men, and dispose their minds to use his people well, and to pity them under their distresses, as the Chaldeans did the Jews in Babylon, Psalm 106:46.

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