Then Solomon said, "The LORD said that he would live in a dark cloud;
but God, I have built you a lofty temple—a place where you can live forever."
The king turned around, and while the entire assembly of Israel was standing there, he blessed them,
saying: Bless the LORD, the God of Israel, who spoke directly to my father David and now has kept his promise:
"From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I haven't selected a city from any Israelite tribe as a site for the building of a temple for my name. Neither have I chosen anyone as prince over my people Israel.
But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place for my name, and David as prince over my people Israel."
My father David wanted to build a temple for the name of the LORD, Israel's God.
But the LORD said to my father David: "It is very good that you thought to build a temple for my name. Nevertheless,
you yourself won't build that temple. Instead, your very own son will build the temple for my name."
The LORD has kept his promise—I have succeeded my father David on Israel's throne, just as the LORD said, and I have built the temple for the name of the LORD, Israel's God.
There I've placed the chest that contains the covenant that the LORD made with the Israelites.
Solomon stood before the LORD's altar in front of the entire Israelite assembly and spread out his hands.
Now Solomon had made a bronze platform seven and a half feet long, seven and a half feet wide, and four and a half feet high, and he set it in the middle of the enclosure. He stood on it. Then, kneeling before the whole assembly of Israel and spreading his hands toward the sky,
he said: LORD God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on the earth. You keep the covenant and show loyalty to your servants who walk before you with all their heart.
This is the covenant you kept with your servant David my father, which you promised him. Today you have fulfilled what you promised.
So now, LORD God of Israel, keep what you promised my father David your servant when you said to him, "You will never fail to have a successor sitting on Israel's throne as long as your descendants carefully walk according to my Instruction, just as you have walked before me."
So now, LORD God of Israel, may your promise to your servant David come true.
But how could God possibly live on earth with people? If heaven, even the highest heaven, can't contain you, how can this temple that I have built contain you?
LORD, my God, listen to your servant's prayer and request, and hear the cry and prayer that I your servant pray to you.
Constantly watch over this temple, the place where you promised to put your name, and listen to the prayer your servant is praying concerning this place.
Listen to the request of your servant and your people Israel when they pray concerning this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive!
If someone wrongs another and must take a solemn pledge asserting his innocence before your altar in this temple,
then listen from heaven, act, and decide which of your servants is right. Condemn the guilty party, repaying them for their conduct, but justify the innocent person, repaying them for their righteousness.
If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, but then they change their hearts, give thanks to your name, and ask for mercy in your presence at this temple,
then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel. Return them to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.
When the sky holds back its rain because Israel has sinned against you, but they then pray concerning this place, give thanks to your name, and turn away from their sin because you have punished them for it,a27
then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the best way for them to follow, and send rain on your land that you gave to your people as an inheritance.
Whenever there is a famine or plague in the land, or whenever there is blight, mildew, locusts, or grasshoppers, or whenever someone's enemies attack them in their cities, or any plague or illness comes,
whatever prayer or petition is made by any individual or by all of your people Israel—because people will recognize their own pain and suffering and spread out their hands toward this temple—
then listen from heaven where you live. Forgive, act, and repay each person according to all their conduct because you know their hearts. You alone know the human heart!
Do this that they may revere you by following your ways all the days they live on the fertile land that you gave to our ancestors.
Listen also to the foreigner who isn't from your people Israel, but who comes from a distant country because of your great reputation, your great power, and your outstretched arm. When they come and pray toward this temple,
then listen from heaven where you live, and do everything the foreigner asks. Do this so that all the people of the earth may know your reputation and revere you, as your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I have built bears your name.
When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you may send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and concerning this temple that I have built for your name,
then listen from heaven to their prayer and request and do what is right for them.
When they sin against you, for there is no one who doesn't sin, and you become angry with them and hand them over to an enemy who takes them away as prisoners to enemy territory, whether distant or nearby,
if they change their heart in whatever land they are held captive, turning back and begging for your mercy,b saying,"We have sinned, we have done wrong, and we have acted wickedly!"
and if they return to you with all their heart and all their being in the enemy territory where they've been taken captive, and pray concerning their land, which you gave to their ancestors, concerning the city you have chosen, and concerning this temple I have built for your name,
then listen to their prayer and request from your heavenly dwelling place. Do what is right for them, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers of this place.
And now go, LORD God, to your resting place, you and your mighty chest. May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation; may those loyal to you rejoice in what is good.
LORD God, don't reject your anointed one.c Remember your faithful loyalty to your servant David.