Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple

Then Solomon said:(A)

The Lord said he would dwell in total darkness,(B)
but I have built an exalted temple for you,
a place for your dwelling forever.

Then the king turned and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. He said:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
He spoke directly to my father David,
and he has fulfilled the promise
by his power.
He said,
“Since the day I brought my people Israel
out of the land of Egypt,(C)
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,
and I have not chosen a man
to be ruler over my people Israel.
But I have chosen Jerusalem
so that my name will be there,(D)
and I have chosen David
to be over my people Israel.”(E)
My father David had his heart set
on building a temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.(F)
However, 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.
Yet, you are not the one to build the temple,
but your son, your own offspring,
will build the temple for my name.”
10 So 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 the Lord, the God of Israel.
11 I have put the ark there,
where the Lord’s covenant is
that he made with the Israelites.(G)

Solomon’s Prayer

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 For Solomon had made a bronze platform 7½ feet[a] long, 7½ feet wide, and 4½ feet[b] high and put it in the court. He stood on it,(H) knelt down in front of the entire congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven.(I) 14 He said:

Lord God of Israel,
there is no God like you
in heaven or on earth,(J)
who keeps his gracious covenant
with your servants who walk before you
with all their heart.(K)
15 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.(L)
16 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,(M)
if only your sons take care to walk in my Law
as you have walked before me.”
17 Now, Lord God of Israel, please confirm
what you promised to your servant David.
18 But will God indeed live on earth with humans?
Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain you,(N)
much less this temple I have built.
19 Listen[c] 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,
20 so that your eyes watch over this temple
day and night,
toward the place where you said
you would put your name;(O)
and so that you may hear the prayer
your servant prays toward this place.
21 Hear the petitions 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.
22 If a man sins against his neighbor
and is forced to take an oath[d]
and he comes to take an oath
before your altar in this temple,
23 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.
24 If 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 for mercy
before you in this temple,
25 may you hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of your people Israel.
May you restore them to the land
you gave them and their ancestors.
26 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[e](P) them,
27 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.
28 When there is famine in the land,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper,
when their enemies besiege them
in the land and its cities,[f][g](Q)
when there is any plague or illness,
29 every prayer or petition
that any person or that all your people Israel may have—
they each know their own affliction[h] and suffering—
as they spread out their hands toward this temple,
30 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and may you forgive and give to everyone[i]
according to all their ways, since you know each heart,
for you alone know the human heart,(R)
31 so that they may fear you
and walk in your ways
all the days they live on the land
you gave our ancestors.
32 Even for the foreigner who is not of your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of your great name
and your strong hand and outstretched arm:(S)
when he comes and prays toward this temple,
33 may you hear in heaven in your dwelling place,
and do all the foreigner asks you.
Then all the peoples of the earth will know your name,
to fear you as your people Israel do
and know that this temple I have built
bears your name.(T)
34 When your people go out to fight against their enemies,
wherever you send them,
and they pray to you
in the direction of this city you have chosen(U)
and the temple that I have built for your name,
35 may you hear their prayer and petition in heaven
and uphold their cause.
36 When they sin against you—
for there is no one who does not sin(V)
and you are angry with them
and hand them over to the enemy,
and their captors deport them
to a distant or nearby country,
37 and when they come to their senses
in the land where they were deported
and repent and petition you in their captors’ land,
saying, “We have sinned and done wrong;
we have been wicked,”
38 and when they return to you with all their mind and all their heart
in the land of their captivity where they were taken captive,
and when they pray in the direction of their land
that you gave their ancestors,
and the city you have chosen,
and toward the temple I have built for your name,
39 may you hear their prayer and petitions in heaven,
your dwelling place,
and uphold their cause.[j]
May you forgive your people
who sinned against you.
40 Now, my God,
please let your eyes be open
and your ears attentive
to the prayer of this place.(W)
41 Now therefore:(X)
Arise, Lord God, come to your resting place,
you and your powerful ark.
May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
and may your faithful people rejoice in goodness.
42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one;[k]
remember your servant David’s acts of faithful love.(Y)

The Dedication Ceremonies

When Solomon finished praying,(Z) fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices,(AA) and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests were not able to enter the Lord’s temple because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the Lord came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the Lord:

For he is good,
for his faithful love endures forever.(AB)

The king and all the people were offering sacrifices in the Lord’s presence.(AC) King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep and goats. In this manner the king and all the people dedicated God’s temple. The priests and the Levites were standing at their stations. The Levites had the musical instruments of the Lord, which King David had made to give thanks to the Lord—“for his faithful love endures forever”—when he offered praise with them.(AD) Across from the Levites, the priests were blowing trumpets, and all the people were standing. Since the bronze altar that Solomon had made(AE) could not accommodate the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings, Solomon first consecrated the middle of the courtyard(AF) that was in front of the Lord’s temple and then offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings there.(AG)

So Solomon and all Israel with him—a very great assembly, from the entrance to Hamath[l] to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time for seven days. On the eighth day[m] they held a solemn assembly,(AH) for the dedication of the altar lasted seven days and the festival seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people home,[n] rejoicing and with happy hearts for the goodness the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for his people Israel.

11 So Solomon finished the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. Everything that had entered Solomon’s heart to do for the Lord’s temple and for his own palace succeeded.(AI)

The Lord’s Response

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him:

I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice.(AJ) 13 If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people,(AK) 14 and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.(AL) 15 My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place.(AM) 16 And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there at all times.(AN)

17 As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and ordinances, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel.(AO)

19 However, if you turn away and abandon my statutes and my commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and bow in worship to them,(AP) 20 then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for my name I will banish from my presence;(AQ) I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples.(AR) 21 As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say,(AS) “Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?” 22 Then they will say, “Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and bowed in worship to them and served them. Because of this, he brought all this ruin on them.”

Footnotes

  1. 6:13 Lit five cubits
  2. 6:13 Lit three cubits
  3. 6:19 Lit Turn
  4. 6:22 Lit and he lifts a curse against him to curse him
  5. 6:26 LXX, Vg; MT reads answering; 1Kg 8:35
  6. 6:28 Lit land of its gates
  7. 6:28 Lit if his (Israel’s) enemies besiege him in the land of his gates; Jos 2:7; Jdg 16:2–3
  8. 6:29 Lit plague
  9. 6:30 Lit give for the man
  10. 6:39 Lit and do their judgment, or justice
  11. 6:42 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss read ones; Ps 132:10
  12. 7:8 Or from Lebo-hamath
  13. 7:9 = the day after the festival, or the 15th day
  14. 7:10 Lit people to their tents

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