1 Kings 8:10–11 (ESV)

10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD,

1 Kings 8:10–11 are in a sense the most important verses in the book’s description of Solomon’s reign. This is the descent of the cloud that filled the Lord’s house. We are not left to wonder about the nature of this cloud because in verse 11 it is called the glory of the Lord.

God acts to show His validation of the construction of the temple and the reign of Solomon as king. It is also a confirmation of the worship that would take place within the temple complex. By this action the Lord signifies that his ears will be open to the prayer of dedication that Solomon is about to make.

This act also shows that it is actually Yahweh who dedicated the temple by the descent of his glory, rather than Solomon by his prayer. God had acted before Solomon could ask.

There is one important matter that needs emphasis. It is God’s glory, not a physical presence of God, that fills his house. As Solomon himself will tell the people, God himself does not dwell in houses made by human beings. He is Spirit. God is omnipresent and cannot be limited to any one place. The glory cloud, however, indicates God placed his mark of favour upon the temple that Solomon caused to be built.