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The Ark Is Brought into the Temple(A)

King Solomon ·called for [assembled; summoned] the elders of Israel, the heads of the tribes, and the leaders of the ·families [ancestral houses] to come to him in Jerusalem. He wanted them to bring the Ark of the ·Agreement [Treaty; Covenant; Ex. 25:10] with the Lord from the ·older part of the city [L city of David, also known as Zion]. So all the Israelites ·came together with [assembled before] King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.

When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests ·lifted [picked; took] up the Ark. They ·carried [brought] the Ark of the Lord, the Meeting Tent, and the holy ·utensils [vessels; items]; the priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon and all the ·Israelites [congregation/community/assembly of Israel] gathered before the Ark and sacrificed so many sheep and ·cattle [oxen] no one could count or number them all. Then the priests ·put [brought; carried] the Ark of the ·Agreement [Treaty; Covenant; Ex. 25:10] with the Lord ·in [to] its place inside the inner ·room [L sanctuary] in the ·Temple [L house], the ·Most Holy Place [T Holy of Holies], under the wings of the ·golden creatures [cherubim; 6:23]. The wings of ·these creatures [the cherubim] were spread out over the place ·for [of] the Ark, ·covering [forming a canopy over] it and its carrying poles. The carrying poles were so long that anyone standing in the Holy Place in front of the ·Most Holy Place [L inner sanctuary] could see the ends of the poles, but no one could see them from outside the Holy Place. The poles are still there today. The only things inside the Ark were two stone tablets [C on which were the Ten Commandments] that Moses had put in the Ark at ·Mount Sinai [Horeb; Ex. 40:20]. That was where the Lord made his ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with the Israelites after they came out of [L the land of] Egypt.

10 When the priests ·left [came/withdrew from] the Holy Place, a cloud filled the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 11 The priests could not continue their ·work [service; duties], because the ·Temple [L house] was filled with the glory of the Lord.

Solomon Speaks to the People

12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord said he would live in a ·dark [thick; dense] cloud. 13 Lord, I have truly built a ·wonderful [exalted; glorious; magnificent] ·Temple [L house] for you—a place for you to ·live [dwell] forever.”

14 While all the ·Israelites [congregation/community/assembly of Israel] were standing there, King Solomon turned to them and blessed them.

15 Then he said, “·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord, the God of Israel. He has ·done [fulfilled] what he promised [L with his mouth] to my father David. The Lord said, 16 ‘Since the ·time [L day] I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel where a ·temple [L house] will be built ·for me [to honor my name; L for my name to be there]. But I have chosen David to ·lead [rule over] my people Israel.’

17 “My father David ·wanted [L had it in his heart/mind] to build a ·temple [L house] for the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘It was good that you ·wanted [L had it in your heart/mind] to build a ·temple [L house] for me. 19 But you are not the one to build it. Your son, who ·comes from your own body [will be born from you], is the one who will build my ·temple [L house] ·for my name [to honor my name; 2 Sam. 7:13].’

20 “Now the Lord has ·kept [fulfilled] his promise. I ·am the king now [L have risen] in place of David my father. Now I ·rule [L sit on the throne of] Israel as the Lord promised, and I have built the ·Temple [L house] ·for [to honor; L for the name of] the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 I have ·made [prepared; provided] a place there for the Ark, in which is the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty; Ex. 25:10] the Lord made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer

22 Then Solomon stood ·facing [before] the Lord’s altar, and all the ·Israelites [L congregation/community/assembly of Israel] were standing behind him. He spread out his hands toward the sky 23 and said:

Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep your ·agreement [treaty; covenant] ·of love [and steadfast love/lovingkindness] with your servants who ·truly follow you [L walk before you with all their heart]. 24 You have kept the ·promise [covenant; solemn pact] you made to your servant David, my father. You spoke it with your own mouth and ·finished [fulfilled] it with your hands today. 25 Now Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant David, my father. You said, ‘If your sons are careful to ·obey [L walk before] me as you have ·obeyed me [L walked], ·there will always be someone from your family [L you will never lack a man] ·ruling [to sit on the throne of] Israel [2 Sam. 7:16].’ 26 Now, God of Israel, ·please continue to keep that promise [confirm the word] you made to your servant David, my father.

27 “But, God, ·can [will] you really ·live [dwell] here on the earth? [L Look; T Behold] ·The sky [Even heaven] and the highest ·place in heaven [heavens] cannot contain you. Surely this ·house [Temple] which I have built cannot contain you. 28 But please ·listen to [regard] my prayer and my ·request [plea; supplication], because I am your servant. Lord my God, hear this prayer your servant prays to you today. 29 Night and day please watch over this ·Temple [L house] where you have said, ‘·I will be worshiped [L My name will be] there.’ Hear the prayer I pray facing this ·Temple [L house]. 30 Hear my ·prayers [pleas; supplications] and the prayers of your people Israel when we pray ·facing [toward] this place. Hear from your home in heaven, and when you hear, forgive us.

31 “If someone ·wrongs another person [sins against a neighbor], he will be brought to the altar in this ·Temple [L house]. If he swears an oath that he is not guilty, 32 then hear in heaven. ·Judge the case [Act and judge between your servants], ·punish [condemn] the guilty ·as they deserve [L by bringing his conduct on his own head], but ·declare that the innocent person is not guilty [acquit/vindicate the righteous/innocent in accordance with their righteousness/innocence].

33 “When your people, the Israelites, sin against you, their enemies will defeat them. But if they ·come back [turn] to you and ·praise you [L confess your name] and pray and ·plead [make supplication] to you in this ·Temple [L house], 34 then hear them in heaven. Forgive the ·sins [or sin] of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When they sin against you, ·you will stop the rain from falling on their land [L the heavens will be shut and there will be no rain]. Then they will pray, facing this place and ·praising you [L confess your name]; they will stop sinning when you ·make them suffer [afflict them]. 36 ·When this happens [Then], please hear their prayer in heaven, and forgive the ·sins [or sin] of your servants, ·the Israelites [L your people Israel]. Teach them ·to do what is right [L the good way they should walk]. Then please send rain to this land you have given ·particularly to them [L your people for an inheritence].

37 “·At times the land will become so dry that no food will grow [If there is a famine in the land], or ·a great sickness will spread among the people [pestilence]. ·Sometimes all the crops will be destroyed by […or blight or mildew or] locusts or grasshoppers. ·Your people will be attacked in […or the people are besieged in the land of] their cities by their enemy or ·will become sick [struck by plague or sickness…]. 38 When any of these things happen, ·the people will become truly sorry [L each will know the affliction of his own heart]. ·If your people spread their hands in prayer [L …and spread his hands] toward this ·Temple [L house], 39 then hear their prayers from your ·home [dwelling place] in heaven. Forgive and ·treat [L act and give to] each person ·as he should be treated [L according to his ways/conduct] because you know what is in a person’s heart. Only you know what is in everyone’s heart. 40 Then your people will ·respect [fear] you ·as long as [L all the days] they live in this land you gave to our ancestors.

“People who are not Israelites, ·foreigners [resident aliens] from other lands, will hear about your ·greatness and power [L great name and mighty hand and outstretched arm]. They will come from far away [L because of your name] to pray ·at [or toward] this ·Temple [L house]. 43 Then hear from your ·home [dwelling place] in heaven, and do ·whatever they ask you [all they call for to you]. Then people everywhere will know you and ·respect [fear] you, just as your people in Israel do. Then everyone will know I built this ·Temple [L house] as a place ·to worship you [L that bears your name].

44 “When your people go out to fight their enemies ·along some [by whatever] road on which you send them, your people will pray to you, facing the city which you have chosen and the ·Temple [L house] I have built for ·you [L your name]. 45 Then hear in heaven their prayer and their ·plea [supplication], and ·do what is right [uphold/maintain their cause].

46 “When ·your people [L they] sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin), you will become angry with them and ·hand them over [abandon/give them] to their enemies. Their enemies will capture them and take them away to their countries far or near. 47 But if they ·become sorry for their sins [or come to their senses; or have a change of heart; L return to their heart] and ·are sorry [repent] and ·pray [plead; make supplications] to you in the land ·where they are held as prisoners [of their captors], saying, ‘We have sinned; we have ·done wrong [committed iniquity] and acted wickedly.’ 48 If they ·truly turn back to you [L repent with all their heart and all their soul] in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive and pray to you, ·facing this [toward their] land you gave their ancestors, this city you have chosen, and the ·Temple [L house] I have built for ·you [L your name], 49 then hear their prayers and their ·requests [pleas; supplications] from your ·home [dwelling place] in heaven, and ·do what is right [act with justice/judgment; or uphold/maintain their cause].

50 Forgive your people of all their sins and for ·turning [L all their transgressions/offenses they have committed] against you. Make those who have captured them show them ·mercy [compassion]. 51 Remember, they are your ·special people [L inheritance]. You brought them out of Egypt, ·as if you were pulling them out of a blazing [L from the midst of the iron-smelting] furnace.

52 “·Give your attention to my prayers and [L May your eyes be open to] the ·prayers [pleas; requests; supplications] of your people Israel. Listen to them anytime they ·ask you for help [call/cry out to you]. 53 You ·chose them [set them apart; separated them; singled them out] from all the ·nations [peoples] on earth to be your ·very own people [inheritance]. This is what you ·promised [spoke] through Moses your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord God.”

54 Solomon prayed this prayer and ·plea [request; supplication] to the Lord, kneeling in front of the altar with his ·arms raised [hands spread] toward heaven. When he finished praying, he got up. 55 Then, in a loud voice, he stood and blessed ·all the people [L the whole assembly/congregation] of Israel, saying: 56 “·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord! He promised he would give rest to his people Israel, and he has given us rest. ·The Lord has kept [Not one word has failed/L fallen of] all the ·good [wonderful] promises he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors. May he never leave or ·abandon [forsake] us, 58 and may he ·turn us [L incline/stretch out our hearts/desires] to himself so we will ·follow him [L walk in his ways]. Let us obey all the ·laws [commandments], ·rules [statutes; decrees] and ·commands [regulations; judgments] he gave our ancestors. 59 May the Lord our God ·remember [L keep near] ·this prayer [these words of mine that I have prayed/pleaded] day and night and ·do what is right [act with justice/judgment; or uphold/maintain their cause] for his servant and his people Israel ·day by day [according to the needs of each day]. 60 Then all the people of the ·world [earth] will know the Lord is ·the only true God [L God and there is no one else]. 61 ·You must fully obey [Devote your heart completely to] the Lord our God and ·follow all his laws [walk in his statutes/decrees] and [L keep his] commands. ·Continue to obey in the future as you do now [L …as to this day].”

Sacrifices Are Offered

62 Then King Solomon and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63 Solomon killed twenty-two thousand ·cattle [oxen] and one hundred twenty thousand sheep as ·fellowship [or peace; well-being] offerings [Lev. 3:1]. So the king and all the people ·gave [dedicated] the ·Temple [L house] to the Lord.

64 On that day King Solomon ·made holy [consecrated] the middle part of the courtyard which is in front of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. There he offered whole burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17], grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1], and the fat of the ·fellowship [peace; well-being] offerings [Lev. 3:1]. He offered them in the courtyard, because the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to hold all the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the ·fellowship [peace] offerings.

65 Solomon and all the Israelites ·celebrated the other festival [observed the feast; C the Feast of Shelters; ] that came at that time. People came from as far away as Lebo Hamath [C in the north] and the brook of Egypt [C in the south]. A great many people celebrated before the Lord for seven days, then seven more days, for a total of fourteen days. 66 On the ·following [L eighth] day Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king as they went, happy because of all the ·good things [goodness] the Lord had ·done [shown] for his servant David and his people Israel.