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The Temple Is Given to the Lord

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from the sky. It burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The Lord’s glory filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the Lord’s glory filled it. All the people of Israel saw the fire come down from heaven. They also saw the Lord’s glory on the Temple. Then they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and thanked the Lord. They said,

“The Lord is good.
    His love continues forever.”

Then King Solomon and all the Israelites offered sacrifices before the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people gave the Temple for the worship of God. The priests stood ready to do their work. The Levites also stood with the instruments of the Lord’s music. King David had made these instruments for praising the Lord. The priests and Levites were saying, “The Lord’s love continues forever.” The priests, who stood across from the Levites, blew their trumpets. And all the Israelites were standing.

Solomon made the middle part of the courtyard holy for the Lord. That courtyard is in front of the Temple of the Lord. There Solomon offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings. He used the middle of the courtyard because the bronze altar he had made could not hold everything. It couldn’t hold the burnt offerings, grain offerings and fat.

Solomon and all the Israelites celebrated the festival for seven days. There were many people. They came from as far away as Lebo Hamath. And they came all the way from the brook of Egypt. They had given the altar for the worship of the Lord. And they celebrated that for seven days. Then they celebrated the festival for seven days. On the eighth day they had a meeting. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon sent the people home. They were full of joy. They were happy because the Lord had been so good to David, Solomon and his people the Israelites.

The Lord Appears to Solomon

11 Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord and the king’s palace. He had success in doing everything he planned in the Temple of the Lord and his own palace. 12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night. The Lord said, “Solomon, I have heard your prayer. And I have chosen this place for myself to be a Temple for sacrifices.

13 “I may stop the sky from sending rain. I may command the locusts to destroy the land. I may send sicknesses to my people. 14 Then my people, who are called by my name, will be sorry for what they have done. They will pray and obey me and stop their evil ways. If they do, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. 15 Now I will see them. And I will listen to the prayers prayed in this place. 16 I have chosen this Temple and made it holy. So I will be worshiped here forever. Yes, I will always watch over it and love it.

17 “Solomon, obey me as your father David did. Obey all I have commanded. Obey my laws and rules. 18 If you do, I will make your kingdom strong. This is the agreement I made with your father David. I told him, ‘David, someone from your family will always be king in Israel.’

19 “But you must not turn away from me. You must not stop obeying the laws and commands I gave you. You must not serve and worship other gods. 20 If you do, I will take the Israelites out of my land, the land I gave them. And I will leave this Temple that I have made holy. All the nations will make fun of it and speak evil about it. 21 This Temple is honored now. But then, everyone who passes by will be surprised. They will say, ‘Why has the Lord done this terrible thing to this land and this Temple?’ 22 Then people will answer, ‘It’s because the Israelites left the Lord, the God their ancestors obeyed. He is the God who led them out of Egypt. But they accepted other gods and worshiped and served them. That is why the Lord brought this disaster on them.’”

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