1 Kings 8:30-39Context
8:30 Respond to the request of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 1 Hear from inside your heavenly dwelling place 2 and respond favorably. 3
8:31 “When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false. 4 8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 5
8:33 “The time will come when 6 your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 7 because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 8 and pray for your help 9 in this temple, 8:34 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
8:35 “The time will come when 10 the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 11 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 12 and turn away from their sin because you punish 13 them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 14 you will then teach them the right way to live 15 and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 16
8:37 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust 17 invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 18 or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 19 as they acknowledge their pain 20 and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 21 and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives. 22 (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 23
1 tn Heb “listen to the request of your servant and your people Israel which they are praying concerning this place.”
2 tn Heb “and you, hear inside your dwelling place, inside heaven.” The precise nuance of the preposition אֶל (’el), used here with the verb “hear,” is unclear. One expects the preposition “from,” which appears in the parallel text in 2 Chr 6:21. The nuance “inside; among” is attested for אֶל (see Gen 23:19; 1 Sam 10:22; Jer 4:3), but in each case a verb of motion is employed with the preposition, unlike 1 Kgs 8:30. The translation above (“from inside”) is based on the demands of the immediate context rather than attested usage elsewhere.
3 tn Heb “hear and forgive.”
4 tn Heb “and forgive the man who sins against his neighbor when one takes up against him a curse to curse him and the curse comes before your altar in this house.” In the Hebrew text the words “and forgive” conclude v. 30, but the accusative sign at the beginning of v. 31 suggests the verb actually goes with what follows in v. 31. The parallel text in 2 Chr 6:22 begins with “and if,” rather than the accusative sign. In this case “forgive” must be taken with what precedes, and v. 31 must be taken as the protasis (“if” clause) of a conditional sentence, with v. 32 being the apodosis (“then” clause) that completes the sentence.
sn Be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false. At first it appears that Solomon is asking God to forgive the guilty party. But in v. 32 Solomon asks the
5 tn Heb “and you, hear [from] heaven and act and judge your servants by declaring the guilty to be guilty, to give his way on his head, and to declare the innocent to be innocent, to give to him according to his innocence.”
6 tn Heb “when.” In the Hebrew text vv. 33-34 actually contain one lengthy conditional sentence, which the translation has divided into two sentences for stylistic reasons.
7 tn Or “are struck down before an enemy.”
8 tn Heb “confess [or perhaps, “praise”] your name.”
9 tn Heb “and they pray and ask for help.”
10 tn Heb “when.” In the Hebrew text vv. 35-36a actually contain one lengthy conditional sentence, which the translation has divided into two sentences for stylistic reasons.
11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (your people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 tn Heb “confess [or perhaps, “praise”] your name.”
13 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”).
14 tn The translation understands כִּי (ki) in an emphatic or asseverative sense.
15 tn Heb “the good way in which they should walk.”
16 tn Or “for an inheritance.”
17 tn Actually two Hebrew terms appear here, both of which are usually taken as referring to locusts. Perhaps different stages of growth or different varieties are in view.
18 tn Heb “in the land, his gates.”
19 tn Heb “every prayer, every request for help which will be to all the people, to all your people Israel.”
20 tn Heb “which they know, each the pain of his heart.”
21 tn The words “their sin” are added for clarification.
22 tn Heb “and act and give to each one according to all his ways because you know his heart.” In the Hebrew text vv. 37-39a actually contain one lengthy conditional sentence, which the translation has divided up for stylistic reasons.
23 tn Heb “Indeed you know, you alone, the heart of all the sons of mankind.”