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The Temple is Dedicated(A)

Then Solomon gathered together the elders of Israel, including all the heads of the tribes and the leaders of the ancestral households of the Israelis, to meet with him in Jerusalem so they could bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Zion, the City of David. So all the men gathered together to meet with King Solomon at the Festival of Tents[a] in the month Ethanim, the seventh month. All the Elders of Israel showed up, and the priests picked up the ark and brought it, the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy implements that were in the tent. The priests and descendants of Levi carried them up to Jerusalem.[b]

King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel that had assembled to be with him stood in front of the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they were neither counted nor inventoried. After this, the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to the place prepared for it, into the inner sanctuary of the Temple, under the wings of the cherubim in the Most Holy Place. The wings of the cherubim spread over the resting place for the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles when viewed[c] from above. The poles extended so far that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. They remain there to this day. The ark was empty except for the two stone tablets that Moses had placed there at Horeb when the Lord had made a covenant with the Israelis after they had come out of the land of Egypt. 10 When the priests left the Holy Place after setting the ark in place,[d] the cloud filled the Lord’s Temple 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, since the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s Temple.

Solomon’s Speech of Dedication(B)

12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives shrouded in darkness. 13 Now I have been constructing a magnificent Temple dedicated to you that will serve as a place for you to inhabit forever.”

14 Then the king turned to face the entire congregation of Israel while the congregation of Israel remained standing. 15 Then Solomon[e] prayed:

“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who made a commitment[f] to my father David and then personally[g] fulfilled what he had promised when he said:[h]

16 ‘From the day I brought out my people Israel from Egypt I never chose a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple where my name might reside. I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’

17 “My father David wanted to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 18 The Lord told my father David:

‘Therefore, since you determined[i] to build a temple for my name, you acted well, because it was your choice[j] to do so. 19 Nevertheless, you are not to build the Temple, but your son who will be born[k] to you is to build a temple for my name.’

20 “The Lord has brought to fulfillment[l] what he promised, and now here I stand,[m] having succeeded my father David to sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built the Temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 21 I have placed there the ark in which the covenant is stored that the Lord made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication(C)

22 Then Solomon took his place in front of the Lord’s altar in the presence of the entire congregation of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said:

Lord God of Israel, there is no one like you, God in heaven above or on the earth below, who watches over[n] his covenant, showing gracious love to your servants who live their lives in your presence[o] with all their hearts. 24 It is you, Lord God,[p] who have kept your promise to my father, your servant David, that you made to him. Indeed, you made a commitment[q] to my father David and then personally fulfilled[r] what you had promised today.

25 “Now therefore, Lord God of Israel, keep your promise that you made[s] to my father, your servant David, when you said, ‘You will not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel,[t] if only your descendants will watch their lives,[u] to live[v] in my presence just as you have lived[w] in my presence.’[x]

26 “Now therefore, God of Israel, may your promise that you made[y] to your servant David my father be fulfilled… 27 and yet, will God truly reside on earth? Look! Neither the sky nor the highest heaven can contain you! How much less this Temple that I have built! 28 Pay attention to the prayer of your servant and to his request, Lord my God, and listen to the cry and prayer that your servant is praying in your presence today. 29 Let your eyes always look toward this Temple night and day, toward the location where you have said ‘My name will reside there.’ Listen to the prayer that your servant prays in this direction.[z] 30 Listen to the requests from your servant and from your people Israel as they pray in this direction,[aa] listen from the place where you reside in heaven, then hear and forgive.

31 “If a man should sin against his neighbor and he is required to take an oath, and he then comes to take an oath in front of your altar in this Temple, 32 then listen in heaven, act, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing back to him the consequences of his choices[ab] and by justifying the righteous by recompensing him according to his righteousness.

33 “If your people Israel are defeated in a battle with[ac] their enemy because they have sinned against you, when they return to you and confess to you,[ad] pray, and in this Temple they ask you to show grace to them, 34 then hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and return them to the soil[ae] that you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When heaven remains closed, and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, and they pray in the direction of this place, confessing your name and turning from their sin when you afflict them,[af] 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Israel. Indeed, teach them the best way to live and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 “If a famine comes to the land, or if plant diseases, mildew, locust, or grasshoppers[ag] appear, or if their enemies attack them in their settlements of the land, no matter what the epidemic or illness is, 38 whatever prayer or request is made, no matter whether it’s made by a single man or by all of your people Israel, each praying out of his own hurting heart and anguish and stretching out his hands toward this Temple, 39 then hear from heaven, the place where you reside, and forgive, repaying each person according to all of his ways, since you know their hearts—for you alone know the hearts of all human beings— 40 so they will fear you every day and live on the surface of the land that you have given to our ancestors.

41 “Now concerning the foreigner who is not from your people Israel, when he comes from a land far away for the sake of your name 42 (for people will hear of your great name, your mighty acts,[ah] and your obvious power[ai]), when he comes and prays facing this Temple, 43 then hear in heaven where you reside, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the people of the earth may know your name, fear you as do your people Israel, and so they may know that this Temple that I have built is called by your name.

44 “When your people go out to war against their enemies, no matter what way you send them, and they pray to the Lord in the direction of the city that you have chosen and in the direction of the Temple that I have built for your name, 45 then hear their prayer and their request in heaven, and fight for their cause.

46 “When they sin against you—because there isn’t a single human being who doesn’t sin—and you become angry with them and deliver them over to their enemy, who takes them away captive to the land that belongs to their enemy, whether near or far away, 47 if they turn their hearts back to you[aj] in the land where they have been taken captive, repent, and pray to you—even if they do so in the land of their captivity—confessing, ‘We have sinned, we have committed abominations, and practiced wickedness,’ 48 if they return to you with all of their heart and with all of their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, as they pray to you in the direction of their land that you have given to their ancestors and to the city that you have chosen, and to the Temple that I have built for your name, 49 then hear their prayer and requests in heaven, where you reside, and fight for their cause, 50 forgiving your people who have sinned against you, along with their transgressions by which they have transgressed against you.

“Show your compassion in the presence of those who have taken them captive, so they may show compassion on them, 51 since they are your people and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt, from an iron fire furnace. 52 Do this[ak] so your eyes may remain open to the requests of your servant and to the requests of your people’s prayers, to listen to them whenever they call out to you, 53 because you have separated them to yourself as your heritage from all the people of the earth, as you spoke through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord God.

Solomon’s Blessing to the Assembly(D)

54 When Solomon had completed saying this entire prayer to the Lord, he got up from kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven in the presence of the Lord’s altar, 55 stood up, and blessed all of the assembly of Israel in a loud voice. He said:

56 “Blessed is the Lord, who has given security to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one of his promises has failed to come about that he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, just as he was with our ancestors. May he never leave us or abandon us, 58 so that he may turn our hearts toward him, so that we may live life[al] his way, keeping his commands, statutes, and ordinances that he gave to our ancestors. 59 And may what I’ve had to say to the Lord remain with the Lord our God both day and night, so that he may defend the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as the need of the day may require it, 60 so that, in turn,[am] all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God—there is no one else. 61 Now let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God, to live according to his statutes and to keep his commands, as we are doing today.”

Solomon’s Initial Offerings(E)

62 Then the king and all of Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63 Solomon offered peace offerings to the Lord consisting of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelis dedicated the Lord’s Temple. 64 That same day, the king consecrated the middle court that stood in front of the Lord’s Temple, because that was where he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat from the peace offerings and because the bronze altar that was in the Lord’s presence was too small to hold the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat from the peace offerings. 65 So Solomon observed the Festival of Tents[an] at that time, as did all of Israel with him. A large assembly came up from as far away as Lebo-hamath and the Wadi[ao] of Egypt to appear in the presence of the Lord our God, not just for seven days, but for seven days after that, a total of fourteen days. 66 The following[ap] day, Solomon[aq] sent the people away as they blessed the king. Then they went back to their tents, rejoicing and glad for all the good things that the Lord had done for his servant David and to his people Israel.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 8:2 The Heb. lacks of Tents; cf. Lev 23:34
  2. 1 Kings 8:4 The Heb. lacks to Jerusalem
  3. 1 Kings 8:7 The Heb. lacks when viewed
  4. 1 Kings 8:10 The Heb. lacks after setting the ark in place
  5. 1 Kings 8:15 Lit. He
  6. 1 Kings 8:15 Lit. who spoke by his mouth
  7. 1 Kings 8:15 Lit. and by his hand
  8. 1 Kings 8:15 Cf. 1Chr 17:5ff
  9. 1 Kings 8:18 Lit. since it was in your heart
  10. 1 Kings 8:18 Lit. because it was in your heart
  11. 1 Kings 8:19 Lit. will come from your loins
  12. 1 Kings 8:20 Lit. has caused to stand up
  13. 1 Kings 8:20 MT verb is a pun on the verb brought to fulfillment
  14. 1 Kings 8:23 Or who keeps
  15. 1 Kings 8:23 Lit. who walk before you
  16. 1 Kings 8:24 The Heb. lacks It is you, Lord God
  17. 1 Kings 8:24 Lit. you spoke by your mouth
  18. 1 Kings 8:24 Lit. and by your hand full
  19. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit. spoke
  20. 1 Kings 8:25 Cf. 1King 2:4; 2Chr 7:18
  21. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit. ways
  22. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit. walk
  23. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit. walked
  24. 1 Kings 8:25 Or have walked before me
  25. 1 Kings 8:26 Lit. spoke
  26. 1 Kings 8:29 Lit. prays toward this place
  27. 1 Kings 8:30 Lit. pray toward this place
  28. 1 Kings 8:32 Lit. by bringing his way upon his head
  29. 1 Kings 8:33 Lit. defeated before
  30. 1 Kings 8:33 Lit. confess your name
  31. 1 Kings 8:34 Or land
  32. 1 Kings 8:35 So MT; LXX reads you bring them low
  33. 1 Kings 8:37 Or caterpillars
  34. 1 Kings 8:42 Lit. hand
  35. 1 Kings 8:42 Lit. your outstretched arm
  36. 1 Kings 8:47 The Heb. lacks back to you
  37. 1 Kings 8:52 The Heb. lacks Do this
  38. 1 Kings 8:58 Lit. may walk in
  39. 1 Kings 8:60 Lit. therefore
  40. 1 Kings 8:65 The Heb. lacks of Tents; cf. Lev 23:34
  41. 1 Kings 8:65 I.e. a seasonal stream or river that channels water during rain seasons but is dry at other times
  42. 1 Kings 8:66 Lit. eighth
  43. 1 Kings 8:66 Lit. he

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