Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8
At this great ceremony, Solomon and all of Israel’s people handed over the new temple to God. The temple was God’s house on the earth, the place of prayer for people from every nation (Isaiah 56:7).
Everyone knew that they would never join in such a holy and important occasion again. So the gifts that Solomon, as Israel’s king, offered to God at this ceremony were very many. He was careful to give those gifts that God’s law directed him to give – so, his gifts were sacrifices, animals that the priests offered to God (Leviticus chapters 1 to 7).
Some of these sacrifices were the kind called whole or burnt offerings. After the priests had killed these animals, they burned the whole animal to offer it to God. It expressed the thought that Israel’s people wanted to give themselves completely to God, to belong wholly to him.
Other sacrifices were the kind called fellowship or friendship offerings. For these, the priests only burned some parts of the animal. They shared the rest of the meat with the people. This expressed friendship, or a right relationship, between God, the priests and the people.
There were so many sacrifices on this occasion that Solomon had to make special arrangements to deal with them all. Usually, the priests burned the sacrifices on the altar, a kind of metal platform in front of the temple. On this occasion, Solomon directed them to use the whole central part of the yard in front of the temple. They needed to use this extra area in order to offer all of these sacrifices to God.
Next part: A special 14 day holiday (1 Kings 8:65-66)
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