1 Kings 8
8 Then Solomon called a convocation at Jerusalem of all the leaders of Israel—the heads of the tribes and clans—to observe the transferring of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from the Tabernacle in Zion, the City of David, to the Temple. 2 This celebration occurred at the time of the Tabernacle Festival in the month of October. 3-4 During the festivities the priests carried the Ark to the Temple, along with all the sacred vessels that had previously been in the Tabernacle. 5 King Solomon and all the people gathered before the Ark, sacrificing uncounted sheep and oxen.
6 Then the priests took the Ark into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it under the wings of the statues of the Guardian Angels. 7 The Angels had been constructed in such a manner that their wings spread out over the spot where the Ark would be placed; so now their wings overshadowed the Ark and its carrying poles. 8 The poles were so long that they stuck out past the Angels and could be seen from the next room, but not from the outer court; and they remain there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the Ark at that time except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed there at Mount Horeb at the time the Lord made his covenant with the people of Israel after they left Egypt.
10 Look! As the priests are returning from the inner sanctuary, a bright cloud fills the Temple! 11 The priests have to go outside because the glory of the Lord is filling the entire building!
12-13 Now King Solomon prayed this invocation:
“The Lord has said that he would live in the thick darkness;
But, O Lord, I have built you a lovely home on earth, a place for you to live forever.”
14 Then the king turned around and faced the people as they stood before him, and blessed them.
15 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,” he said, “who has done today what he promised my father David: 16 for he said to him, ‘When I brought my people from Egypt, I didn’t appoint a place for my Temple, but I appointed a man to be my people’s leader.’ 17 This man was my father David. He wanted to build a Temple for the Lord God of Israel, 18 but the Lord told him not to. ‘I am glad you want to do it,’ he said, 19 ‘but your son is the one who shall build my Temple.’ 20 And now the Lord has done what he promised; for I have followed my father as king of Israel, and now this Temple has been built for the Lord God of Israel. 21 And I have prepared a place in the Temple for the Ark that contains the covenant made by the Lord with our fathers, at the time that he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
22-23 Then, as all the people watched, Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord with his hands spread out toward heaven and said, “O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or earth, for you are loving and kind and you keep your promises to your people if they do their best to do your will. 24 Today you have fulfilled your promise to my father David, who was your servant; 25 and now, O Lord God of Israel, fulfill your further promise to him: that if his descendants follow your ways and try to do your will as he did, one of them shall always sit upon the throne of Israel. 26 Yes, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise too.
27 “But is it possible that God would really live on earth? Why, even the skies and the highest heavens cannot contain you, much less this Temple I have built! 28 And yet, O Lord my God, you have heard and answered my request: 29 Please watch over this Temple night and day—this place you have promised to live in—and as I face toward the Temple and pray, whether by night or by day, please listen to me and answer my requests. 30 Listen to every plea of the people of Israel whenever they face this place to pray; yes, hear in heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
31 “If a man is accused of doing something wrong and then, standing here before your altar, swears that he didn’t do it, 32 hear him in heaven and do what is right; judge whether or not he did it.
33-34 “And when your people sin and their enemies defeat them, hear them from heaven and forgive them if they turn to you again and confess that you are their God. Bring them back again to this land which you have given to their fathers.
35-36 “And when the skies are shut up and there is no rain because of their sin, hear them from heaven and forgive them when they pray toward this place and confess your name. And after you have punished them, help them to follow the good ways in which they should walk, and send rain upon the land that you have given your people.
37 “If there is a famine in the land caused by plant disease or locusts or caterpillars, or if Israel’s enemies besiege one of her cities, or if the people are struck by an epidemic or plague—or whatever the problem is— 38 then when the people realize their sin and pray toward this Temple, 39 hear them from heaven and forgive and answer all who have made an honest confession; for you know each heart. 40 In this way they will always learn to reverence you as they continue to live in this land that you have given their fathers.
41-42 “And when foreigners hear of your great name and come from distant lands to worship you (for they shall hear of your great name and mighty miracles) and pray toward this Temple, 43 hear them from heaven and answer their prayers. And all the nations of the earth will know and fear your name just as your own people Israel do; and all the earth will know that this is your Temple.
44 “When you send your people out to battle against their enemies and they pray to you, looking toward your chosen city of Jerusalem and toward this Temple that I have built in your name, 45 hear their prayer and help them.
46 “If they sin against you (and who doesn’t?) and you become angry with them and let their enemies lead them away as captives to some foreign land, whether far or near, 47 and they come to their senses and turn to you and cry to you saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong’; 48 if they honestly return to you and pray toward this land that you have given their fathers, and toward this city of Jerusalem that you have chosen, and toward this Temple that I have built for your name, 49 hear their prayers and pleadings from heaven where you live, and come to their assistance.
50 “Forgive your people for all of their evil deeds, and make their captors merciful to them; 51 for they are your people—your inheritance that you brought out from the Egyptian furnace. 52 May your eyes be open and your ears listening to their pleas. O Lord, hear and answer them whenever they cry out to you, 53 for when you brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, you told your servant Moses that you had chosen Israel from among all the nations of the earth to be your own special people.”
54-55 Solomon had been kneeling with his hands outstretched toward heaven. As he finished this prayer, he rose from before the altar of Jehovah and cried out this blessing upon all the people of Israel:
56 “Blessed be the Lord who has fulfilled his promise and given rest to his people Israel; not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises proclaimed by his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never forsake us. 58 May he give us the desire to do his will in everything, and to obey all the commandments and instructions he has given our ancestors. 59 And may these words of my prayer be constantly before him day and night, so that he helps me and all of Israel in accordance with our daily needs. 60 May people all over the earth know that the Lord is God and that there is no other god at all. 61 O my people, may you live good and perfect lives before the Lord our God; may you always obey his laws and commandments, just as you are doing today.”
62-63 Then the king and all the people dedicated the Temple by sacrificing peace offerings to the Lord—a total of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep and goats! 64 As a temporary measure the king sanctified the court in front of the Temple for the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: for the bronze altar was too small to handle so much. 65 The celebration lasted for fourteen days, and a great crowd came from one end of the land to the other. 66 Afterwards Solomon sent the people home, happy for all the goodness that the Lord had shown to his servant David and to his people Israel. And they blessed the king.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.