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1 Kings 8Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple

At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the tribal heads and the ancestral leaders of the Israelites before him at Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David, that is Zion. So all the men of Israel were assembled in the presence of King Solomon in the seventh month, the month of Ethanim,[a] at the festival.

All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the ark. The priests and the Levites brought the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and the holy utensils that were in the tent. King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel, who had gathered around him and were with him in front of the ark, were sacrificing sheep and cattle that could not be counted or numbered, because there were so many. The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place beneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim were spreading their wings over[b] the place of the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles from above. The poles were so long that their ends were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they were not seen from outside the sanctuary; they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had put there at Horeb,[c] where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt.

10 When the priests came out of the holy place, the cloud filled the Lord’s temple, 11 and because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

12 Then Solomon said:

The Lord said that He would dwell in thick darkness.
13 I have indeed built an exalted temple for You,
a place for Your dwelling forever.

14 The king turned around and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. 15 He said:

May the Lord God of Israel be praised!
He spoke directly to my father David,
and He has fulfilled the promise by His power.
He said,
16 “Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt,
I have not chosen a city to build a temple in
among any of the tribes of Israel,
so that My name would be there.
But I have chosen David to rule My people Israel.”
17 It was in the desire of my father David
to build a temple for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
18 But the Lord said to my father David,
“Since it was your desire to build a temple for My name,
you have done well to have this desire.
19 Yet you are not the one to build it;
instead, your son, your own offspring,
will build it for My name.”
20 The Lord has fulfilled what He promised.
I have taken the place of my father David,
and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised.
I have built the temple for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
21 I have provided a place there for the ark,
where the Lord’s covenant is
that He made with our ancestors
when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.

Solomon’s Prayer

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said:

Lord God of Israel,
there is no God like You
in heaven above or on earth below,
keeping the gracious covenant
with Your servants who walk before You
with their whole heart.
24 You have kept what You promised
to Your servant, my father David.
You spoke directly to him
and You fulfilled Your promise by Your power
as it is today.
25 Therefore, Lord God of Israel,
keep what You promised
to Your servant, my father David:
You will never fail to have a man
to sit before Me on the throne of Israel,
if only your sons guard their walk before Me
as you have walked before Me.
26 Now Lord[d] God of Israel,
please confirm what You promised
to Your servant, my father David.

27 But will God indeed live on earth?
Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You,
much less this temple I have built.
28 Listen[e] to Your servant’s prayer and his petition,
Lord my God,
so that You may hear the cry and the prayer
that Your servant prays before You today,
29 so that Your eyes may watch over this temple night and day,
toward the place where You said:
My name will be there,
and so that You may hear the prayer
that Your servant prays toward this place.
30 Hear the petition of Your servant
and Your people Israel,
which they pray toward this place.
May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven.
May You hear and forgive.

31 When a man sins against his neighbor
and is forced to take an oath,[f]
and he comes to take an oath
before Your altar in this temple,
32 may You hear in heaven and act.
May You judge Your servants,
condemning the wicked man by bringing
what he has done on his own head
and providing justice for the righteous
by rewarding him according to his righteousness.

33 When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead with You
for mercy in this temple,
34 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.
May You restore them to the land
You gave their ancestors.

35 When the skies are shut and there is no rain,
because they have sinned against You,
and they pray toward this place
and praise Your name,
and they turn from their sins
because You are afflicting them,
36 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your servants
and Your people Israel,
so that You may teach them the good way
they should walk in.
May You send rain on Your land
that You gave Your people for an inheritance.

37 When there is famine on the earth,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper,
when their enemy besieges them
in the region of their fortified cities,[g]
when there is any plague or illness,
38 whatever prayer or petition
anyone from Your people Israel might have—
each man knowing his own afflictions[h]
and spreading out his hands toward this temple
39 may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
and may You forgive, act, and repay the man,
according to all his ways, since You know his heart,
for You alone know every human heart,
40 so that they may fear You
all the days they live on the land
You gave our ancestors.

41 Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of Your name—
42 for they will hear of Your great name,
mighty hand, and outstretched arm,
and will come and pray toward this temple—
43 may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
and do according to all the foreigner asks You for.
Then all the people on earth will know Your name,
to fear You as Your people Israel do
and know that this temple I have built
is called by Your name.

44 When Your people go out to fight against their enemies,[i]
wherever You send them,
and they pray to Yahweh
in the direction of the city You have chosen
and the temple I have built for Your name,
45 may You hear their prayer and petition in heaven
and uphold their cause.

46 When they sin against You—
for there is no one who does not sin
and You are angry with them
and hand them over to the enemy,
and their captors deport them to the enemy’s country
whether distant or nearby—
47 and when they come to their senses[j]
in the land where they were deported
and repent and petition You in their captors’ land:
“We have sinned and done wrong;
we have been wicked,”
48 and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart
in the land of their enemies who took them captive,
and when they pray to You in the direction of their land
that You gave their ancestors,
the city You have chosen,
and the temple I have built for Your name,
49 may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
their prayer and petition and uphold their cause.
50 May You forgive Your people
who sinned against You
and all their rebellions[k] against You,
and may You give them compassion
in the eyes of their captors,
so that they may be compassionate to them.
51 For they are Your people and Your inheritance;
You brought them out of Egypt,
out of the middle of an iron furnace.
52 May Your eyes be open to Your servant’s petition
and to the petition of Your people Israel,
listening to them whenever they call to You.
53 For You, Lord God, have set them apart as Your inheritance
from all the people on earth,
as You spoke through Your servant Moses
when You brought their ancestors out of Egypt.

Solomon’s Blessing

54 When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, 55 and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: 56 “May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us 58 so that He causes us to be devoted[l] to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, which He commanded our ancestors. 59 May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant’s cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, 60 and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh is God. There is no other! 61 Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His statutes and to keep His commands, as it is today.”

62 The king and all Israel with him were offering sacrifices in the Lord’s presence. 63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. In this manner the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord’s temple.

64 On the same day, the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the Lord’s temple because that was where he offered the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings since the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to accommodate the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings.

65 Solomon and all Israel with him—a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath[m] to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time in the presence of the Lord our God, seven days, and seven more days—14 days.[n] 66 On the fifteenth day[o] he sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went home to their tents rejoicing and with joyful hearts for all the goodness that the Lord had done for His servant David and for His people Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 8:2 = September–October
  2. 1 Kings 8:7 LXX; MT reads toward
  3. 1 Kings 8:9 = Sinai
  4. 1 Kings 8:26 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg, 2Ch 6:16; other Hb mss omit Lord
  5. 1 Kings 8:28 Lit Turn
  6. 1 Kings 8:31 Lit and he lifts a curse against him to curse him
  7. 1 Kings 8:37 Lit besieges him in the land of his gates
  8. 1 Kings 8:38 Lit knowing in his heart of a plague
  9. 1 Kings 8:44 Some Hb mss, some ancient versions, 2Ch 6:34; other Hb mss read enemy
  10. 1 Kings 8:47 Lit they return to their heart
  11. 1 Kings 8:50 Lit rebellions that they have rebelled
  12. 1 Kings 8:58 Lit causes our hearts to be inclined
  13. 1 Kings 8:65 Or from Lebo-hamath
  14. 1 Kings 8:65 Temple dedication lasted seven days, and the Festival of Tabernacles lasted seven days.
  15. 1 Kings 8:66 Lit the eighth day
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