QUESTION: When Solomon was dedicating the Temple, he said something about the stranger, who is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy names sake: (1 Kings 8: 4-10)-“He shall come and pray at this house.” Is this sound doctrine?
ANSWER: This area of Solomon’s petition is OK in that in the instance of the standards of the Temple, and the Israelite culture, there is no culture more completely segregated than this the Israel culture. No one outside of their race could participate in the Priesthood. No one outside of the society of the Levites could ever participate in the areas of education. But there was not any block against any people who approached the God of Israel, nothing to stop him, in petition from approaching HIM. They could never move into the inner court of the Temple, but they could come into the court of the strangers sometimes called the court of the Gentiles.
From this area they could make their petition to the God of Israel. In other words this has never been closed for anyone to approach unto Israel’s God. Basically it is a pattern of Monotheism, and in this Monotheism it recognized only one true Sovereign God of the Universe. And with this concept in background, then the stranger who threw away this concept of idols and pagan gods, and approached unto the God of Israel had the opportunity of making a petition from the court on the outside, which is called the court of the strangers, the court of the nations, or the court of the outside.