Daniel Agee

1st Kings 8: Chiastic teaching ties together messianic figures Moshe, David and Shlomo

Daniel AgeeIt would seem that there’s not much to say about this part of chapter 8. But if you read it closely, you’ll find something special.

What is the difference between prayer and supplication? They are not synonymous terms. Prayer is the content of what you’re saying, the text of it. Supplication is a plea without merit. We deserve nothing, we didn’t earn the right for God to hear anything we have to say. It might seem like a distinction without a difference but that is not the case. 

We see that Solomon prayed with “his hands spread toward heaven.” The Bible actually defines what this means in Psalm 142. It is our מִנְחָה minkha (Strong’s lexicon No. 4503, usually translated “grain offering” but literally means “gift”). When someone who questions your messianic walk by saying, “You don’t do sacrifices anymore.” to imply that we don’t have to follow Torah, you can reply to them that you make a sacrifice to God every time you raise your hands to God in prayer. 

1st Kings 8 and 2nd Chronicles 5–7 tell slightly different versions of this same story. Some people suffer over these differences but the truth is when you have multiple witnesses to an event, each person sees something different. Minor differences actually affirm their accuracy, the differences do to diminish the veracity of the witnesses. This is just like the four Gospels, each author has a slightly different point of view, those testimonies add context and depth to the stories they record. If they were carbon copies of one another, many would suspect duplicity.

Chiastic structure reveals parallels between messianic figures

1st Kings 8 chiastic teaching ties together messianic figures Moshe, David and Shlomo
1st Kings 8 chiastic teaching ties together messianic figures Moshe, David and Shlomo (PDF)

There is a chiastic structure buried in 1st Kings 8. The fact there is a chiastic structure here shows the hand of God in this chapter. Chiastic structures are all about comparison and contrast. 

The chapter begins and ends with Solomon gathering with the elders of Israel to celebrate the feast during the seventh month to dedicate the Temple and the rest of the themes that are mentioned at the beginning of the chapter are also repeated, only in greater detail at the end of the chapter. 

We have a switching of messianic figures here. In 1st Kings 8:24, the text tells us about God’s servant David, while 1st Kings 8:53 recalls God’s servant Moses. This swapping of Messianic figures is important to note. They are nearly identical to each other. 

We also see the juxtaposition of sinning against God v. sinning against our neighbor. Both David and Yeshua tell us that they are one in the same sin. Sinning against our neighbor is a sin against God. 

When we realize what we have done wrong, we pray and supplicate to God in repentance. 

Moses did not save people from physical enemies but he did save them from their spiritual enemy when he took down the Torah so we would know what sin was and what we needed to bring to God to rectify. 

David on the other hand, did deliver God’s people from their physical enemies. 

Both David and Moses delivered Israel in different ways. 

Both David and Moses also started something but didn’t live to see their culmination. 

When David had Solomon’s coronation arranged, he arranged it exactly as Yeshua would later replicate Solomon’s coronation in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. 

David, Moses and Solomon are all Messianic figures, hence Messiah is the most talked about figure in the entire Bible. Solomon starts his prayer with David and ends his prayer with Moses and he is in between. David was the “man after God’s own heart.” Solomon is the wise ruler and builder, the builder of the Temple. Moses is the liberator and the lawgiver. Both David and Moses also received special promises from God. 

David and Solomon were both after Moses, yet in his prayer, he mentions David first and Moses last. The switch means something. If you only looked at 1st Kings 8 as the order of the Messiah’s mission, you would expect a conquer first, than a builder and finally a spiritual liberator. 

When Yeshua was alive, which role did He play out? He didn’t play out David’s role. He refused to be a king, He didn’t even let anyone call Him the Messiah publicly. 

While He was alive, was He a builder like Solomon? What did He build? He started a building but He died first, He didn’t finish the building. 

I would submit that Yeshua’s life most closely parallels Moses. Just as Moses brought the law to help us understand what sin was, Yeshua also came to deal with the consequence of our sin with His sacrifice. Moses was a spiritual deliver, just as Yeshua was when He was on earth. 

Ever since Yeshua died, He has been building a temple, a temple of people. His ministry in heaven is the job of building a suitable temple for the Father. 

When He comes again, that is when we will see Yeshua acting as David acted. He will be the conquer, cleaning up the land and expelling evil. 

Why didn’t Solomon write his prayer in the reverse of Yeshua’s life? Solomon starts with they physical savor and ends with a spiritual Savior. We started with our spiritual savior and end with our physical one. Solomon is trying to tell us that the spiritual savior and the physical savior are one and the same. The order is not relevant. Don’t focus on one messianic characteristic, look for them all and you will see them all in Yeshua. 

These chiastic structures are everywhere. Some of them are even more complicated than this one, but God is speaking in these patterns. If you want to know what God thinks, read what He wrote. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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