1 Kings 8
The Ark Brought into the Temple
8 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim (September-October), that is, the seventh month. 3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests carried the ark. 4 They brought up the ark of the Lord and the Tent of Meeting and all the holy utensils that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, so many that they could not be counted or numbered. 6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its [carrying] poles from above. 8 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were visible from the Holy Place that was in front of the [a]Holy of Holies, but they were not visible from the outside; they are there to this day (the date of this writing). 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb (Sinai), where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt.(A) 10 Now it happened that when the priests had come out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Lord’s house, 11 so the priests could not stand [in their positions] to minister because of the cloud, for the glory and brilliance of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house (temple).
Solomon Addresses the People
12 Then Solomon said,
“The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness [of the cloud].
“I have certainly built You a lofty house,
A place for You to dwell in forever.”
14 Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hand, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I did not choose a [particular] city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house so that My Name (Presence) would be in it, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was [determined] in the heart of my father David to build a house (temple) 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, in that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son, who shall be born to you, it is he who shall build it for My Name [and My Presence].’ 20 Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; I have risen in the place of my father David and have taken my seat on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and have built the house (temple) for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 There I have made a place [in the Holy of Holies] for the ark, in which is the covenant (solemn agreement) of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”(B)
The Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon stood [in the courtyard] before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, who keeps the covenant and shows lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart; 24 You who have kept what You [b]promised to Your servant my father David. You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled Your word with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep for Your servant my father David that which You promised him when You said, ‘You shall not be without a man (descendant) to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way [of life] to walk before Me [according to my laws] as you have done.’ 26 Now, O God of Israel, please let Your word which You have spoken to Your servant David my father be confirmed.
27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built! 28 Yet graciously consider the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the [loud] cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You today; 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My Name (Presence) shall be there,’ that You may listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel which they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven, Your dwelling place; hear and forgive.
31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath [of innocence] and he comes to take the oath before Your altar in this house (temple), 32 then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his guilt on his own head, and justifying the righteous by rewarding him in accordance with his righteousness.
33 “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and then they turn to You again and praise Your Name and pray and ask for Your favor and compassion in this house (temple), 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave their fathers.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name and turn from their sin when You afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel; indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk (live). And send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
37 “If there is famine in the land, or if there is pestilence (plague), blight, mildew, migratory locusts, or grasshoppers, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever affliction or plague, whatever sickness [there is], 38 whatever prayer or pleading is made by any individual, or by Your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading his hands out toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and give to each according to his ways, whose heart (mind) You know, for You and You alone know the hearts of all the children of men, 40 so that they may fear You [with reverence and awe] all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.
41 “Moreover, concerning a [c]foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, but comes from a far (distant) country for the sake of Your name [to plead with You] 42 (for they will hear of Your great name, Your strong hand [of power], and outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house (temple), 43 hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls upon (prays to) You, so that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You [with reverence and awe], as do Your people Israel, and that they may know [without any doubt] that this house which I have built is called by Your name.
44 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name and Presence, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their pleading, and maintain their right and defend their cause.
46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the enemy’s land, [whether] far away or near; 47 if they [d]take it to heart in the land where they have been taken captive, and they repent and pray to You in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong and we have acted wickedly;’ 48 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and they pray to You toward their land [of Israel] which You gave to their fathers, the city [of Jerusalem] which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your Name and Presence; 49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their right and defend their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the transgressions which they have committed against You, and make them objects of compassion before their captors, that they will be merciful to them 51 (for they are Your people and Your heritage, whom You brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace [of slavery and oppression]), 52 that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them and be attentive to them whenever they call to You. 53 For You singled them out from all the peoples of the earth as Your heritage, just as You declared through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
54 When Solomon finished offering this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the Lord’s altar, where he had knelt down with his hands stretched toward heaven. 55 And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying,
56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, in accordance with everything that He promised. Not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He spoke through Moses His servant. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us nor abandon us [to our enemies], 58 that He may guide our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways [following Him] and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His precepts which He commanded our fathers. 59 Let these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, so that He will maintain the cause and right of His servant and of His people Israel as each day requires, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else. 61 Therefore, your hearts are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as [you are doing] today.”
62 Then the king and all [the people of] Israel with him [repeatedly] offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the Lord: 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house (temple) of the Lord. 64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the house (temple) of the Lord; for he offered there the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to hold [all] the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the peace offerings.
65 So at that time Solomon held the [e]feast, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath [on the northern border of Israel] to the [f]Brook of Egypt [at Israel’s southern border], before the Lord our God, for seven days and seven more days [beyond the prescribed period for the Feast of Booths], fourteen days in all. 66 On the eighth (fifteenth) day he sent the people away and they blessed the king. Then they went to their tents joyful and in good spirits because of all the goodness which the Lord had shown to David His servant and Israel His people.
- 1 Kings 8:8 Lit inner sanctuary and so throughout the passage.
- 1 Kings 8:24 Lit spoke.
- 1 Kings 8:41 Solomon’s request for the foreigner underscores the fact that Gentiles had access to God before the way of salvation was formally opened to them in the first century a.d., when Peter preached at Cornelius’ home (Acts 10:44-11:15). But until Christ came, the path of access for Gentiles was only through Israel. Thankfully, when our Lord Jesus died on the cross, the heavy curtain concealing the Holy of Holies was torn open (Matt 27:51), signifying that mankind would forever after have direct access to God, with no need for an earthly temple or priests (cf John 4:21-24).
- 1 Kings 8:47 Lit return to.
- 1 Kings 8:65 I.e. the Feast of Booths was held in the seventh month of the year.
- 1 Kings 8:65 I.e. the Wadi el-Arish in the northeastern Sinai.