1 a 8:1–9 Cp. 2 Chr. 5:2–10 . THEN Solomon summoned to him at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes who were chiefs of families in Israel, in order to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from the City of David, which is called Zion. 2All the men of Israel assembled in King Solomon's presence at the pilgrim-feast in the month Ethanim, the seventh month. 3When the elders of Israel had all arrived, the priests lifted the Ark of the LORD 4and carried it up; the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred furnishings of the Tent were carried by the priests and the Levites. 5King Solomon and the whole congregation of Israel assembled with him before the Ark sacrificed sheep and oxen in numbers past counting or reckoning.
6The priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD to its place in the inner shrine of the house, the Most Holy Place, beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7The cherubim, whose wings were spread over the place of the Ark, formed a canopy above the Ark and its poles. 8The poles projected, and their ends were visible from the Holy Place immediately in front of the inner shrine, but from nowhere else outside; they are there to this day. 9There was nothing inside the Ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had deposited there at Horeb, when the LORD made the covenant with the Israelites after they left Egypt.
10The priests came out of the Holy Place, since the cloud was filling the house of the LORD, 11and they could not continue to minister because of it, for the glory of the LORD filled his house. 12 b 8:12–50 Cp. 2 Chr. 6:1–39 . Then Solomon said:
‘The LORD has caused his sun to shine in the heavens, but he c 8:12 has caused … but he: prob. rdg, cp. Gk; Heb. omits. has said he would dwell in thick darkness. 13I have built you a lofty house, a dwelling-place for you to occupy for ever.'
14While the whole assembly of Israelites stood, the king turned and blessed them: 15‘Blessed be the LORD the God of Israel who spoke directly to my father David and has himself fulfilled his promise. For he said, 16“From the day when I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel where I should build a house for my name to be, but I chose Jerusalem where my name should be, and d 8:16 Jerusalem … and: so Gk; Heb. omits. David to be over my people Israel.”
17‘My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the LORD the God of Israel, 18but the LORD said to him, “You purposed to build a house for my name, and your purpose was good. 19Nevertheless, you are not to build it; but the son who is to be born to you, he is to build the house for my name.” 20The LORD has now fulfilled his promise: I have succeeded my father David and taken his place on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised; and I have built the house for the name of the LORD the God of Israel. 21I have assigned a place in it for the Ark containing the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our forefathers when he brought them out of Egypt.’
22Standing in front of the altar of the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon spread out his hands towards heaven 23and said, ‘LORD God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant with your servants and showing them constant love while they continue faithful to you with all their hearts. 24You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; by your deeds this day you have fulfilled what you said to him in words. 25Now, therefore, LORD God of Israel, keep this promise of yours to your servant David my father, when you said: “You will never want for a man appointed by me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons look to their ways and walk before me as you have done.” 26God of Israel, let the promise which you made to your servant David my father be confirmed.
27‘But can God indeed dwell on earth? Heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28Yet attend, LORD my God, to the prayer and the supplication of your servant; listen to the cry and the prayer which your servant makes before you this day, 29that your eyes may ever be on this house night and day, this place of which you said, “My name will be there.” Hear your servant when he prays towards this place. 30Hear the supplication of your servant and your people Israel when they pray towards this place. Hear in heaven your dwelling and, when you hear, forgive.
31‘Should anyone wrong a neighbour and be adjured to take an oath, and come to take the oath before your altar in this house, 32then hear in heaven and take action: be your servants’ judge, condemning the guilty person and bringing his deeds on his own head, acquitting the innocent and rewarding him as his innocence may deserve.
33‘Should your people Israel be defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and then turn back to you, confessing your name and making their prayer and supplication to you in this house, 34hear in heaven; forgive the sin of your people Israel and restore them to the land which you gave to their forefathers.
35‘Should the heavens be shut up and there be no rain, because your servant e 8:35 servant: so Gk; Heb. servants. and your people Israel have sinned against you, and they then pray towards this place, confessing your name and forsaking their sin when they feel your punishment, 36hear in heaven and forgive their sin; so teach them the good way which they are to follow, and grant rain on your land which you have given to your people as their own possession.
37‘Should there be famine in the land, or pestilence, or blight either black or red, or locusts developing or fully grown, or should their enemies besiege them in any f 8:37 in any: so Gk; Heb. in the land. of their cities, or plague or sickness befall them, 38then hear the prayer or supplication of everyone among your people Israel, as each, prompted by the remorse of his own heart, spreads out his hands towards this house: 39hear it in heaven your dwelling-place, forgive, and take action. As you know a person's heart, reward him according to his deeds, for you alone know the hearts of all; 40and so they will fear you throughout their lives in the land you gave to our forefathers.
41‘The foreigner too, anyone who does not belong to your people Israel, but has come from a distant land because of your fame 42(for your great fame and your strong hand and outstretched arm will be widely known), when such a one comes and prays towards this house, 43hear in heaven your dwelling-place and respond to the call which the foreigner makes to you, so that like your people Israel all the peoples of the earth may know your fame and fear you, and learn that this house which I have built bears your name.
44‘When your people go to war against an enemy, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the LORD, turning towards this city which you have chosen and towards this house which I have built for your name, 45then hear in heaven their prayer and supplication, and maintain their cause.
46‘Should they sin against you (and who is free from sin?) and should you in your anger give them over to an enemy who carries them captive to his own land, far or near, 47and should they then in the land of their captivity have a change of heart and make supplication to you there and say, “We have sinned and acted perversely and wickedly,” 48and turn back to you wholeheartedly in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you, turning towards their land which you gave to their forefathers and towards this city which you chose and this house which I have built for your name, 49then in heaven your dwelling-place hear their prayer and supplication, and maintain their cause. 50Forgive your people their sins and transgressions against you; put pity for them in their captors' hearts. 51For they are your possession, your people whom you brought out of Egypt, from the smelting furnace. 52Let your eyes be ever open to the entreaty of your servant and of your people Israel, and hear whenever they call to you. 53You yourself have singled them out from all the peoples of the earth to be your possession; so, Lord GOD, you promised through your servant Moses when you brought our forefathers from Egypt.’
54As Solomon finished all this prayer and supplication to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out to heaven; 55he stood up and in a loud voice blessed the whole assembly of Israel: 56‘Blessed be the LORD who has given his people Israel rest, as he promised: not one of the promises he made through his servant Moses has failed. 57May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our forefathers; may he never leave us or forsake us. 58May he turn our hearts towards him, so that we may conform to all his ways, observing his commandments, statutes, and judgements, as he commanded our forefathers. 59And may the words of my supplication to the LORD be with the LORD our God day and night, that, as the need arises day by day, he may maintain the cause of his servant and of his people Israel. 60So all the peoples of the earth will know that the LORD is God, he and no other, 61and you will be perfect in loyalty to the LORD our God as you are this day, conforming to his statutes and observing his commandments.’
62The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD; 63Solomon offered as shared-offerings to the LORD twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. Thus the king and the Israelites dedicated the house of the LORD. 64 g 8:64–66 Cp. 2 Chr. 7:7–10 . On that day also the king consecrated the centre of the court which lay in front h 8:64 in front: or to the east. of the house of the LORD; there he offered the whole-offering, the grain-offering, and the fat portions of the shared-offerings, because the bronze altar which stood before the LORD was too small to accommodate the whole-offering, the grain-offering, and the fat portions of the shared-offerings.
65So Solomon and with him all Israel, a great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the wadi of Egypt, celebrated the pilgrim-feast at that time before the LORD our God for seven days i 8:65 for seven days: so Gk; Heb. adds and seven days, fourteen days. . 66On the eighth day he dismissed the people; and they blessed the king, and went home happy and glad at heart for all the prosperity granted by the LORD to his servant David and to his people Israel.
c 8:12 has caused … but he: prob. rdg, cp. Gk; Heb. omits.
d 8:16 Jerusalem … and: so Gk; Heb. omits.
e 8:35 servant: so Gk; Heb. servants.
f 8:37 in any: so Gk; Heb. in the land.
h 8:64 in front: or to the east.
i 8:65 for seven days: so Gk; Heb. adds and seven days, fourteen days.