1 Kings 8 New Life Version (NLV)
The Special Box Brought into the House of God
8 Then King Solomon gathered together the leaders of Israel in front of him in Jerusalem. He gathered together all the heads of the families and the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the sons of Israel. They gathered to bring up the Lord’s special box of the agreement from Zion the city of David. 2 All the men of Israel gathered to King Solomon at the special supper in the seventh month, Ethanim. 3 All the leaders of Israel came, and the religious leaders took up the Lord’s special box of the agreement. 4 They brought up the Lord’s special box of the agreement, the meeting tent, and all the holy objects which were in the tent. The religious leaders and the Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and all the people of Israel, who were gathered to him, were with him in front of the special box. They killed so many sheep and cattle on the altar that their number could not be known. 6 Then the religious leaders brought the Lord’s special box of the agreement to its place. They brought it into the most holy place of the house, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the special box. The cherubim made a covering above the special box and its special pieces of wood used for carrying. 8 The carrying pieces were so long that the ends of them could be seen from the holy place in front of the most holy place. But they could not be seen from outside. They are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the special box except the two stone writings which Moses put there at Horeb. There the Lord had made an agreement with the people of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 When the religious leaders came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord. 11 So the religious leaders were not able to stand there to do their work because of the cloud. For the shining-greatness of the Lord filled the Lord’s house.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that He would live in the thick cloud. 13 I have built You an honored house, a place for You to live forever.”
Solomon’s Words to the People
14 Then the king turned around and prayed that good would come to all the people of Israel, while all the people of Israel stood. 15 He said, “Thanks be to the Lord, the God of Israel. He spoke with His mouth to my father David. And He has kept His promise with His hand, saying, 16 ’Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I did not choose a city of all the families of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there. But I chose David to be king over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 But you will not build the house. Your son who will be born to you will build the house for My name.’ 20 Now the Lord has kept His promise which He made. For I have taken my father David’s place and sit 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. 21 There I have made a place for the special box in which is the agreement of the Lord. He made it when He brought them from the land of Egypt.”
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord. And in front of all the people of Israel he lifted his hands toward heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below. You are keeping Your agreement and are showing loving-kindness to Your servants who walk in Your ways with all their heart. 24 You have kept Your promise to Your servant, my father David. Yes, You have spoken with Your mouth, and have done it with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 So now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep Your promise to my father David when You said to him, ‘You will not be without a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful to walk in My ways as you have walked.’ 26 O God of Israel, let Your Word be made sure, which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.
27 “But is it true that God will live on the earth? See, heaven and the highest heaven are not big enough to hold You. How much less this house which I have built! 28 But keep in mind the prayer of Your servant, O Lord my God. Listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays to You today. 29 Open Your eyes night and day toward this house, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name will be there.’ Listen to the prayer Your servant will pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven where You live. Hear and forgive.
31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and has to make a promise, and he comes and makes a promise at Your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act. Judge Your servants. Punish the guilty forever by bringing his actions upon his own head, and free from guilt the one who is right and good, by returning his good to him.
33 “When Your people Israel do not win in battle over those who hate them, because they have sinned against You, but if they turn to You again and call on Your name and pray to You in this house, 34 then hear in heaven. Forgive the sin of Your people Israel. And return them to the land You gave to their fathers.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and give no rain because they have sinned against You, if they pray toward this place and call on Your name and turn from their sin when You bring trouble to them, 36 then hear in heaven. Forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel. Teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land, which You have given to Your people.
37 “If there is no food in the land, if there is a bad sickness, if there are diseases or locusts or grasshoppers that kill the plants, if the armies of those who hate Your people gather around their cities, or whatever trouble or sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing the trouble of his own heart and spreading his hands toward this house, 39 then hear in heaven where You are. Forgive, and act. Give to each the pay he has earned by all his ways. You know his heart. You alone know the hearts of all the children of men. 40 May they fear You all the days they live in the land You have given to our fathers.
41 “When a stranger who is not of Your people Israel comes from a far country because of You, 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your powerful hand and Your long arm,) when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear in heaven where You are. Do all the stranger asks of You. So all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel. Then they may know that this house I have built is called by Your name.
44 “When your people go out to battle against those who hate them, by whatever way You send them, when they pray to the Lord toward the city You have chosen and the house I have built for Your name, 45 then hear their prayer and their cry in heaven. See that the right thing is done to them.
46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin), and You will be angry with them, give them to those who hate them, so they will be taken away to another land, far away or near. 47 When they do some thinking in the land where they have been taken, and pray to You in the land of those who hate them, saying, ‘We have sinned and have done wrong and have done bad things,’ 48 if they return to You with all their heart and soul in the land of those who hate them and have taken them there, and if they pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city You have chosen, and the house I have built for Your name, 49 then hear their prayer in heaven where You are. See that the right thing is done to them. 50 Forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the wrong they have done against You. Give them loving-pity in front of those who have taken them away, that they may have loving-pity on them. 51 For they are Your people and Your children whom You have brought out of Egypt, from the iron fire-place. 52 Let Your eyes be open to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel. Listen to them when they call to You. 53 For You have divided them from all the peoples of the earth as Your children. You have done what You said You would do through Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
Prayer for Good to Come to the People
54 When Solomon had finished praying all this prayer to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar of the Lord. He had been on his knees with his hands lifted toward heaven. 55 He stood and prayed with a loud voice that good would come to all the people of Israel who were gathered together. He said, 56 “Thanks be to the Lord. He has given rest to His people Israel. He has done all that He promised. Every word has come true of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us alone. 58 May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep all His Word and all His Laws, which He told our fathers. 59 May these words of mine, which I have prayed to the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night. May He see that the right thing is done to His servant and His people Israel, day by day as we have need. 60 Then all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God. There is no other. 61 So let your whole heart be true to the Lord our God. Walk in His Laws and keep His Word, just as you are doing today.”
The House of God Is Set Apart
62 Then the king and all Israel with him gave a gift in worship to the Lord. 63 Solomon gave 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep as a peace gift to the Lord. So the king and all the people of Israel set apart the house of the Lord. 64 The same day the king set apart the center of the open space that was in front of the house of the Lord. For there he gave the burnt gift and the grain gift and the fat of the peace gifts. Because the brass altar before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt gift and the grain gift and the fat of the peace gifts. 65 So Solomon had the special supper at that time, and all Israel with him. There were many people gathered, from the way into Hamath to the river of Egypt. They were before the Lord our God for seven days and seven more days, fourteen days in all. 66 Solomon sent the people away on the eighth day, and they gave thanks to the king. Then they went to their tents full of joy and glad in their hearts for all the good things the Lord had shown to His servant David and to His people Israel.