1 Kings 8 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Dedication of the Temple
8 At that time, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes, and the leaders of the families[a] of the Israelites[b] before King Solomon, in order to bring up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh from the city of David, that is, Zion. 2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the festival in the month of Ethnaim, that is, the seventh month. 3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests carried the ark. 4 So they brought up the ark of Yahweh and the tent of assembly[c] and all of the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and all the assembly of Israel who were assembling with him in the presence of the ark were sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted nor numbered because of abundance. 6 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place,[d] under the wings of the cherubim, 7 for the cherubim were spreading their wings over the place of the ark. The cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles from above. 8 The poles were long, and the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place in front of[e] the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from the outside, and they are there until this day. 9 There was not anything in the ark except[f] the two tablets of stone which Moses had placed there at Horeb, where Yahweh made[g] a covenant with the Israelites[h] after they went out from the land of Egypt. 10 When the priests went out from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of Yahweh. 11 The priests were not able to stand to minister because of the presence of[i] the cloud, for the glory of Yahweh filled the house of Yahweh.
Solomon’s Proclamation to the Assembly of Israel
12 Then Solomon said, “Yahweh has said that he would dwell in the very thick cloud. 13 I have certainly built a lofty house for you, a place for you to live forever.” 14 Then the king turned his face around, and he blessed all of the assembly of Israel. (Now all the assembly of Israel was standing). 15 Then he said, “Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel who has promised with his mouth to David my father and fulfilled by his oath,[j] saying, 16 ‘From the day that I brought out my people Israel from Egypt I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a house where my name might be, but I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’ 17 David my father desired[k] to build a house for the name of Yahweh the God of Israel, 18 but Yahweh said to David my father, ‘Because you desired[l] to build a house for my name, you did well in that it was within your heart. 19 However, you will not build the house, but your son who has come from your loins, he shall build the house for my name.’ 20 Yahweh has carried out his promise which he had made; I have risen in place of David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel as Yahweh promised, and I have built the house for the name of Yahweh the God of Israel. 21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant which Yahweh made with our ancestors[m] when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer to Yahweh
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all of the assembly of Israel, and he spread out his hands to the heavens, 23 and he said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no god like you in the heavens above or on the earth beneath, keeping the covenant and the loyal love for your servants who are walking before you with all their heart. 24 You have kept for your servant David my father what you promised to him, and you have spoken with your mouth, and with your hand you have fulfilled it this very day. 25 So then, O Yahweh, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you promised to him, saying, ‘For you, no man will be cut off from before me who will be sitting on the throne of Israel, if only your sons keep their ways to walk before me just as you have walked before me.’ 26 So then, O God of Israel, please let your word be confirmed which you have promised[n] to your servant David my father. 27 For will God really dwell on the earth? Behold, the heavens and the heaven of heavens could not contain you! How could[o] this house that I have built? 28 You must regard the prayer of your servant and his plea! O Yahweh my God, listen to the pleading and to the prayer that your servant is praying before you this day, 29 so that your eyes will be open to this house night and day, to the place which you said, ‘My name will be there,’ to hear the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 You must listen to the plea of your servant and your people Israel which they pray toward this place; and you must hear from the place where you live, from heaven you must hear and you must forgive. 31 If a man sins against his neighbor and he pronounces an oath against him to curse him, and the curse comes before your altar in this house, 32 then you shall hear in heaven and you shall act and you shall judge your servant, to declare the wicked guilty by bringing his way upon his head and to declare the righteous innocent[p] by rewarding him according to his righteousness. 33 When your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because[q] they sinned against you, and when they turn to you and confess your name and pray and beg for mercy from you in this house, 34 then you shall hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and you shall bring them back to the ground which you gave to their ancestors.[r] 35 When you shut up the heavens so there is no rain because they have sinned against you, then they pray to this place and they confess your name and they return from their sin because you punished them, 36 then you shall hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and your people Israel, for you will teach them the good way in which they should go, and you will give rain upon your land which you have given to your people as an inheritance. 37 If there should be in the land famine or disease, if there should be blight or mildew or locust or caterpillars, if it happens that his enemy lays siege against him in the land of his gates, if any plague or any disease, 38 any prayer or any plea which is offered by any person for all of your people Israel, who each knows the infestation of his own heart and spreads out his palms to this house, 39 then you shall hear in heaven the place of your dwelling, and you shall forgive and act and give to the man whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you alone know the heart of all the sons of man. 40 Do these things so that they may fear you all the days that they live on the face of the land that you gave to our ancestors.[s] 41 Also for the foreigner who is not from your people Israel, and he comes from a distant land because of your name, 42 (for they shall hear of your great name and your powerful hand and your outstretched arm), and he shall come and pray toward this house, 43 you shall hear in heaven, the place of your dwelling, and act according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, to fear you as your people Israel, and to know that your name has been invoked over this house that I have built. 44 If your people go out to battle against his enemy in the way that you shall send them and they pray to Yahweh, toward the city which you have chosen and the house which I have built for your name, 45 then you shall hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and you shall vindicate[t] them.
46 “If they sin against you (for there is not a person who does not sin) and you are angry with them and you give them to an enemy and they take them captive to the land of the enemy far or near, 47 and then they return their heart in the land where they have been taken captive and they return and plead to you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned and we did wrong. We acted wickedly,’ 48 if they return to you with all of their heart and with all of their soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive and they pray to you toward their land which you gave to their ancestors,[u] the city that you have chosen and the house that you[v] built for your name, 49 then you shall hear in heaven, the place of your dwelling, their prayer and their plea, and you shall vindicate them.[w] 50 You shall forgive your people who sinned against you, even for all their transgressions which they committed against you. You shall give them compassion before their captors so that they may have compassion on them, 51 for they are your people and your inheritance whom you brought from Egypt from the middle of the smelter of iron. 52 O, that your eyes may be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, to listen to them in all things when they call to you. 53 For you have separated them for yourself as an inheritance from all the peoples of the earth, as you promised through the hand of Moses your servant when you brought out our ancestors[x] from Egypt, my Lord Yahweh!”
Solomon Charges the People Israel
54 It happened that when Solomon finished praying to Yahweh all of the prayer and this plea, he got up from before the altar of Yahweh, from kneeling down on his knees with his palms outstretched to heaven. 55 He stood and blessed all of the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56 “Blessed be Yahweh who gave a resting place to his people Israel. According to all that he promised, not one word has fallen from all of his promises concerning the good which he spoke through the hand of Moses his servant. 57 May Yahweh our God be with us as he was with our ancestors,[y] and may he not leave us or abandon us, 58 to incline our hearts toward him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his judgments which he commanded our ancestors.[z] 59 Let these my words which I pleaded before Yahweh be near to Yahweh our God, by day and by night, to maintain the justice of his servant and the justice of his people Israel as each day requires[aa] 60 so that all of the people of the earth may know that Yahweh, he is God; there is none other. 61 Let your heart be completely with Yahweh our God by walking in his statutes, by keeping his commands as this day.”
The Great Confirming Sacrifice
62 Then the king and all of Israel with him offered a sacrifice in the presence of Yahweh. 63 Solomon sacrificed the fellowship offerings which he offered to Yahweh: twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep; and the king and all of the Israelites[ab] dedicated the house of Yahweh. 64 On that day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard before the house of Yahweh because he offered there the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings because the bronze altar that was in the presence of Yahweh was too small to hold the burnt offerings and the grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings. 65 Solomon held the festival at that time and all of Israel with him, a great assembly from Lebo Hamath up to the wadi[ac] of Egypt before Yahweh our God, for seven days and seven days, a total of fourteen days. 66 On the eighth day, he sent the people away, and they blessed the king, and they went to their tents rejoicing and in good spirits[ad] because of all the goodness that Yahweh had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people.