2 Chronicles 4-6 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Furnishings for the Temple
4 Solomon had a bronze altar made that was thirty feet square and fifteen feet high. 2 He also gave orders to make a large metal bowl called the Sea. It was fifteen feet across, about seven and a half feet deep, and forty-five feet around. 3 Its outer edge was decorated with two rows of carvings of bulls, ten bulls to every eighteen inches, all made from the same piece of metal as the bowl. 4 The bowl itself sat on top of twelve bronze bulls, with three bulls facing outward in each of four directions. 5 The sides of the bowl were four inches thick, and its rim was in the shape of a cup that curved outward like flower petals. The bowl held about fifteen thousand gallons.
6 He also made ten small bowls and put five on each side of the large bowl. The small bowls were used to wash the animals that were burned on the altar as sacrifices, and the priests used the water in the large bowl to wash their hands.
7 Ten gold lampstands were also made according to the plans. Solomon placed these lampstands inside the temple, five on each side of the main room. 8 He also made ten tables and placed them in the main room, five on each side. And he made a hundred small gold sprinkling bowls.
9 Solomon gave orders to build two courtyards: a smaller one that only priests could use and a larger one. The doors to these courtyards were covered with bronze. 10 The large bowl called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the temple.
11 Huram made shovels, sprinkling bowls, and pans for hot ashes. Here is a list of the other furnishings he made for God’s temple: 12 two columns, two bowl-shaped caps for the tops of these columns, two chain designs on the caps, 13 four hundred pomegranates[a] for the chain designs, 14 the stands and the small bowls, 15 the large bowl and the twelve bulls that held it up, 16 pans for hot ashes, as well as shovels and meat forks.
Huram made all these things out of polished bronze 17 by pouring melted bronze into the clay molds he had set up near the Jordan River, between Succoth and Zeredah.
18 There were so many bronze furnishings that no one ever knew how much bronze it took to make them.
19 Solomon also gave orders to make the following temple furnishings out of gold: the altar, the tables that held the sacred loaves of bread,[b] 20 the lampstands and the lamps that burned in front of the most holy place, 21 flower designs, lamps and tongs, 22 lamp snuffers, small sprinkling bowls, ladles, fire pans, and the doors to the most holy place and the main room of the temple.
5 After the Lord’s temple was finished, Solomon put in its storage rooms everything that his father David had dedicated to the Lord, including the gold and silver, and the objects used in worship.
Solomon Brings the Sacred Chest to the Temple
2-3 The sacred chest had been kept on Mount Zion, also known as the city of David. But Solomon decided to have the chest moved to the temple while everyone was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Shelters during the seventh month.[c]
Solomon called together all the important leaders of Israel. 4-5 Then the priests and the Levites picked up the sacred chest, the sacred tent, and the objects used for worship, and they carried them to the temple. 6 Solomon and a crowd of people walked in front of the chest, and along the way they sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted.
7 The priests carried the chest into the most holy place and put it under the winged creatures, 8 whose wings covered the chest and the poles used for carrying it. 9 The poles were so long that they could be seen from just outside the most holy place, but not from anywhere else. And they stayed there from then on.
10 The only things kept in the chest were the two flat stones Moses had put there when the Lord made his agreement with the people of Israel at Mount Sinai,[d] after bringing them out of Egypt.
11-13 The priests of every group had gone through the ceremony to make themselves clean and acceptable to the Lord. The Levite musicians, including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives, were wearing robes of fine linen. They were standing on the east side of the altar, playing cymbals, small harps, and other stringed instruments. One hundred twenty priests were with these musicians, and they were blowing trumpets.
They were praising the Lord by playing music and singing:
“The Lord is good,
Suddenly a cloud filled the temple as the priests were leaving the holy place. 14 The Lord’s glory was in that cloud, and the light from it was so bright that the priests could not stay inside to do their work.
6 Solomon prayed:
“Our Lord, you said that you
Solomon Speaks to the People
3 Solomon turned toward the people standing there. Then he blessed them 4-6 and said:
Praise the Lord God of Israel! He brought his people out of Egypt long ago and later kept his promise to make my father David the king of Israel. The Lord also promised him that Jerusalem would be the city where his temple will be built, and now that promise has come true.
7 When my father wanted to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel, 8 the Lord said, “It’s good that you want to build a temple where I can be worshiped. 9 But you’re not the one to do it. Your son will build the temple to honor me.”
10 The Lord has done what he promised. I am now the king of Israel, and I’ve built a temple for the Lord our God. 11 I’ve also put the sacred chest in the temple. And in that chest are the two flat stones on which is written the solemn agreement the Lord made with our ancestors when he rescued them from Egypt.
Solomon Prays at the Temple
12-13 Earlier, Solomon had a bronze platform made that was about eight feet square and five feet high, and he put it in the center of the outer courtyard near the altar. Solomon stood on the platform facing the altar with everyone standing behind him. Then he lifted his arms toward heaven; he knelt down 14 and prayed:
Lord God of Israel, no other god in heaven or on earth is like you!
You never forget the agreement you made with your people, and you are loyal to anyone who faithfully obeys your teachings. 15 My father David was your servant, and today you have kept every promise you made to him.
16 You promised that someone from his family would always be king of Israel, if they do their best to obey you, just as he did. 17 Please keep this promise you made to your servant David. 18 There’s not enough room in all of heaven for you, Lord God. How could you possibly live on earth in this temple I have built? 19 But I ask you to answer my prayer. 20 This is the temple where you have chosen to be worshiped. Please watch over it day and night and listen when I turn toward it and pray. 21 I am your servant, and the people of Israel belong to you, and so whenever any of us look toward this temple and pray, answer from your home in heaven and forgive our sins.
22 Suppose someone accuses a person of a crime, and the accused has to stand in front of the altar in your temple and say, “I swear I am innocent!” 23 Listen from heaven and decide who is right. Then punish the guilty person and let the innocent one go free.
24 Suppose your people Israel sin against you, and then an enemy defeats them. If they come to this temple and beg for forgiveness, 25 listen from your home in heaven. Forgive them and bring them back to the land you gave their ancestors.
26 Suppose your people sin against you, and you punish them by holding back the rain. If they stop sinning and turn toward this temple to pray in your name, 27 listen from your home in heaven and forgive them. The people of Israel are your servants, so teach them to live right. And send rain on the land you promised them forever.
28 Sometimes the crops may dry up or rot or be eaten by locusts[e] or grasshoppers, and your people will be starving. Sometimes enemies may surround their towns, or your people will become sick with deadly diseases. 29 Please listen when anyone in Israel truly feels sorry and sincerely prays with arms lifted toward your temple. 30 You know what is in everyone’s heart. So from your home in heaven answer their prayers, according to what they do and what is in their hearts. 31 Then your people will worship you and obey you for as long as they live in the land you gave their ancestors.
32 Foreigners will hear about you and your mighty power, and some of them will come to live among your people Israel. If any of them pray toward this temple, 33 listen from your home in heaven and answer their prayers. Then everyone on earth will worship you, just as your own people Israel do, and they will know that I have built this temple in your honor.
34 Sometimes you will order your people to attack their enemies. Then your people will turn toward this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, and they will pray to you. 35 Answer their prayers from heaven and give them victory.
36 Everyone sins. But when your people sin against you, suppose you get angry enough to let their enemies drag them away to foreign countries. 37-39 Later, they may feel sorry for what they did and ask your forgiveness. Answer them when they pray toward this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, here in this land you gave their ancestors. From your home in heaven, listen to their sincere prayers and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 Lord God, hear us when we pray in this temple. 41 Come to your new home, where we have already placed the sacred chest, which is the symbol of your strength. I pray that when the priests announce your power to save people, those who are faithful to you will celebrate what you’ve done for them. 42 Always remember the love you had for your servant David,[f] so that you will not reject your chosen kings.
John 10:24-42 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
24 and the people gathered all around him. They said, “How long are you going to keep us guessing? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly!”
25 Jesus answered:
I have told you, and you refused to believe me. The things I do by my Father’s authority show who I am. 26 But since you are not my sheep, you don’t believe me. 27 My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father gave them to me, and he is greater than all others.[a] No one can snatch them from his hands, 30 and I am one with the Father.
31 Once again the Jewish leaders picked up stones in order to kill Jesus. 32 But he said, “I have shown you many good things that my Father sent me to do. Which one are you going to stone me for?”
33 They answered, “We are not stoning you because of any good thing you did. We are stoning you because you did a terrible thing. You are just a man, and here you are claiming to be God!”
34 Jesus replied:
In your Scriptures doesn’t God say, “You are gods”? 35 You can’t argue with the Scriptures, and God spoke to those people and called them gods. 36 So why do you accuse me of a terrible sin for saying that I am the Son of God? After all, it is the Father who prepared me for this work. He is also the one who sent me into the world. 37 If I don’t do as my Father does, you should not believe me. 38 But if I do what my Father does, you should believe because of that, even if you don’t have faith in me. Then you will know for certain that the Father is one with me, and I am one with the Father.
39 Again they wanted to arrest Jesus. But he escaped 40 and crossed the Jordan to the place where John had earlier been baptizing. While Jesus was there, 41 many people came to him. They were saying, “John didn’t work any miracles, but everything he said about Jesus is true.” 42 A lot of those people also put their faith in Jesus.
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