8:35 “The time will come when 1 the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 2 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 3 and turn away from their sin because you punish 4 them,
1 Kings 8:49-53Context
8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help 5 and vindicate them. 6 8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them. 7 8:51 After all, 8 they are your people and your special possession 9 whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. 10
8:52 “May you be attentive 11 to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you. 12 8:53 After all, 13 you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, 14 just as you, O sovereign Lord, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”
2 tn Heb “they”; the referent (your people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Heb “confess [or perhaps, “praise”] your name.”
4 tn The Hebrew text has “because you answer them,” as if the verb is from עָנָה (’anah, “to answer”). However, this reference to a divine answer is premature, since the next verse asks for God to intervene in mercy. It is better to revocalize the consonantal text as תְעַנֵּם (tÿ’annem, “you afflict them”), a Piel verb form from the homonym עָנָה (“to afflict”).
5 tn Heb “their prayer and their request for help.”
6 tn Heb “and accomplish their justice.”
7 tn Heb “and forgive your people who have sinned against you, [forgive] all their rebellious acts by which they rebelled against you, and grant them mercy before their captors so they will show them mercy.”
8 tn Or “for.”
9 tn Heb “inheritance.”
10 tn The Hebrew term כּוּר (kur, “furnace,” cf. Akkadian ku„ru) is a metaphor for the intense heat of purification. A כּוּר was not a source of heat but a crucible (“iron-smelting furnace”) in which precious metals were melted down and their impurities burned away (see I. Cornelius, NIDOTTE 2:618-19). Thus Egypt served not as a place of punishment for the Israelites, but as a place of refinement to bring Israel to a place of submission to divine sovereignty.
sn From the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. The metaphor of a furnace suggests fire and heat and is an apt image to remind the people of the suffering they endured while slaves in Egypt.
11 tn Heb “May your eyes be open.”
12 tn Heb “to listen to them in all their calling out to you.”
13 tn Or “For.”
14 tn Heb “your inheritance.”