The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles.
These poles were so long that their ends, extending from the ark, could be seen from in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.
There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions.
All the Levites who were musicians--Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives--stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets.
The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud,
and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;
I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever."
While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them.
Then he said: "Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said,
'Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built for my Name to be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be the leader over my people Israel.
But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.'
"My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
But the LORD said to my father David, 'Because it was in your heart to build a temple for my Name, you did well to have this in your heart.
Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, who is your own flesh and blood--he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.'
"The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
There I have placed the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with the people of Israel."
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands.
Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had placed it in the center of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.
He said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it--as it is today.
"Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.'
And now, O LORD, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true.
"But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence.
May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.
Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.
"When a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath and he comes and swears the oath before your altar in this temple,
then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty and so establish his innocence.
"When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you and when they turn back and confess your name, praying and making supplication before you in this temple,
then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their fathers.