All the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival1 in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.2
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When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests3 took up the ark,
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and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the Tent of Meeting4 and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites5 carried them up,
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and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing6 so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
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The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant7 to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place,8 and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.9
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The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed10 the ark and its carrying poles.
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These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.11
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There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets12 that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
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When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud13 filled the temple of the LORD.
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And the priests could not perform their service14 because of the cloud, for the glory15 of the LORD filled his temple.
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Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;16
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I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell17 forever."
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While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed18 them.
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Then he said: "Praise be to the LORD,19 the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said,
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'Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt,20 I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built for my Name21 to be there, but I have chosen22 David23 to rule my people Israel.'
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"My father David had it in his heart24 to build a temple25 for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
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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, you26 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.'27
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"The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded28 David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built29 the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
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I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our fathers when he brought them out of Egypt."
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands30 toward heaven
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and said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like31 you in heaven above or on earth below--you who keep your covenant of love32 with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
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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 promises33 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 as you have done.'
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And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised34 your servant David my father come true.
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"But will God really dwell35 on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven,36 cannot contain37 you. How much less this temple I have built!
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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 this day.
May your eyes be open38 toward39 this temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My Name40 shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.
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Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray41 toward this place. Hear42 from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.43
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"When a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath and he comes and swears the oath44 before your altar in this temple,
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then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty, and so establish his innocence.45
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"When your people Israel have been defeated46 by an enemy because they have sinned47 against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple,48
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then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers.
"When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain49 because your people have sinned50 against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,
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then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach51 them the right way52 to live, and send rain53 on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
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