Solomon then dedicated the central area of the courtyard in front of the LORD's Temple so they could present burnt offerings and the fat from peace offerings there. He did this because the bronze altar he had built could not handle all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrificial fat.
For the next seven days they celebrated the Festival of Shelters a with huge crowds gathered from all the tribes of Israel. They came from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north, to the brook of Egypt in the south.
On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days.
Then at the end of the celebration, b Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and happy because the LORD had been so good to David and Solomon and to his people Israel.
So Solomon finished building the Temple of the LORD, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do.
Then one night the LORD appeared to Solomon and said, "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices.
At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or I might command locusts to devour your crops, or I might send plagues among you.
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.
I will listen to every prayer made in this place,
for I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be my home forever. My eyes and my heart will always be here.
"As for you, if you follow me as your father, David, did and obey all my commands, laws, and regulations,
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)