As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."6
Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.
7"Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?"
Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No, he only looks like him." But he himself insisted, "I am the man."
"How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded.
He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see."
"Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said.
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.
Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath.
Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied, "and I washed, and now I see."
Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided.
Finally they turned again to the blind man, "What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened." The man replied, "He is a prophet."
The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents.
"Is this your son?" they asked. "Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?"
"We know he is our son," the parents answered, "and we know he was born blind.
But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself."
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.
That was why his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
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.
"When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,
then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
"When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come,
and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel--each one aware of his afflictions and pains, and spreading out his hands toward this temple--
then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of men),
so that they will fear you and walk in your ways all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers.
"As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm--when he comes and prays toward this temple,
then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
"When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to you toward this city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name,
then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
"When they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near;
and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, 'We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly';
and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name;
then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you.
"Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
"Now arise, O LORD God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness.
O LORD God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant."
You have wearied the LORD with your words. "How have we wearied him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?"
"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.
But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,
and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.
"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.
You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.
"Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.
"You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?'
"You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?
But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.' "
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.
"They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.