At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the tribal heads and the ancestral leaders of the Israelites before him at Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of the Lord's covenant from Zion, the city of David.
So all the men of Israel were assembled in the presence of King Solomon in the seventh month, the month of Ethanim at the festival.a3
All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the ark.
The priests and the Levites brought the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and the holy utensils that were in the tent.
King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel, who had gathered around him and were with him in front of the ark, were sacrificing sheep and cattle that could not be counted or numbered, because there were so many.
The priests brought the ark of the Lord's covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place beneath the wings of the cherubim.b7
For the cherubim were spreading their wings overc the place of the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles from above.
The poles were so long that their ends were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they were not seen from outside [the sanctuary]; they are there to this day.
Nothing was in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had put there at Horeb,dewhere the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt.
When the priests came out of the holy place, the cloud filled the Lord's temple,
and because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple.f12
Then Solomon said: The Lord said that He would dwell in thick darkness,g13
but I have indeed built an exalted temple for You, a place for Your dwelling forever.
The king turned around and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing.
He said: May the Lord God of Israel be praised! He spoke directly to my father David, and He has fulfilled [the promise] by His power. He said,
"Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city to build a temple in among any of the tribes of Israel, so that My name would be there. But I have chosen David to rule My people Israel."
It was in the desire of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
But the Lord said to my father David, "Since it was your desire to build a temple for My name, you have done well to have this desire.
Yet you are not the one to build it; instead, your son, your own offspring, will build it for My name."h20
The Lord has fulfilled what He promised. I have taken the place of my father David, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built the temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
I have provided a place there for the ark, where the Lord's covenant is that He made with our ancestors when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.i
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.
He said: Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, keeping the gracious covenant with Your servants who walk before You with their whole heart.
You have kept what You promised to Your servant, my father David. You spoke directly [to him] and You fulfilled [Your promise] by Your power as it is today.
Therefore, Lord God of Israel, keep what You promised to Your servant, my father David: You will never fail to have a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons guard their walk before Me as you have walked before Me.
Now Lordj God of Israel, please confirm what You promised to Your servant, my father David.
But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built.
Listenk to Your servant's prayer and his petition, Lord my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant prays before You today,
so that Your eyes may watch over this temple night and day, toward the place where You said: My name will be there,l and so that You may hear the prayer that Your servant prays toward this place.
Hear the petition of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they pray toward this place. May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven. May You hear and forgive.
When a man sins against his neighbor and is forced to take an oath,m and he comes to take an oath before Your altar in this temple,
may You hear in heaven and act. May You judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing what he has done on his own head and providing justice for the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and praise Your name, and they pray and plead with You for mercy in this temple,
may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave their ancestors.
When the skies are shut and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name, and they turn from their sins because You are afflicting them,
may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way they should walk in. May You send rain on Your land that You gave Your people for an inheritance.
When there is famine on the earth, when there is pestilence, when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper, when their enemy besieges them in the region of their fortified cities,n [when there is] any plague or illness,
whatever prayer or petition anyone from Your people Israel might have- each man knowing his own afflictionso and spreading out his hands toward this temple-
may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive, act, and repay the man, according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know every human heart,
so that they may fear You all the days they live on the land You gave our ancestors.
Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name-
for they will hear of Your great name, mighty hand, and outstretched arm, and will come and pray toward this temple-
may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all the foreigner asks You for. Then all the people on earth will know Your name, to fear You as Your people Israel do and know that this temple I have built is called by Your name.
When Your people go out to fight against their enemies,p wherever You send them, and they pray to the Lord in the direction of the city You have chosenq and the temple I have built for Your name,
may You hear their prayer and petition in heaven and uphold their cause.
When they sin against You- for there is no one who does not sin- and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, and their captors deport them to the enemy's country- whether distant or nearby-
and when they come to their sensesr in the land where they were deported and repent and petition You in their captors' land: "We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,"
and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and when they pray to You in the direction of their land that You gave their ancestors, the city You have chosen, and the temple I have built for Your name,
may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition and uphold their cause.
May You forgive Your people who sinned against You and all their rebellionss against You, and may You give them compassion in the eyes of their captors, so that they may be compassionate to them.
For they are Your people and Your inheritance; You brought them out of Egypt, out of the middle of an iron furnace.
May Your eyes be open to Your servant's petition and to the petition of Your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to You.
For You, Lord God , have set them apart as Your inheritance from all the people on earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought their ancestors out of Egypt.t
When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven,
and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice:
"May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed.
May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us.u58
May He incline our hearts toward Him to walk in all His ways and to keep His commands, ordinances, and judgments, which He commanded our ancestors.
May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant's cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires,
and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God. There is no other!
Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His ordinances and to keep His commands, as it is today."
The king and all Israel with him were offering sacrifices in the Lord's presence.
Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. In this manner the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord's temple.
On the same day, the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the Lord's temple because that was where he offered the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offeringsv since the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to accommodate the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings.
Solomon and all Israel with him-a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamathw to the Brook of Egypt-observed the festival at that time in the presence of the Lord our God, seven days, and seven [more] days-14 days.x66
On the fifteenth dayy he sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went home to their tents rejoicing and with joyful hearts for all the goodness that the Lord had done for His servant David and for His people Israel.z