Then Shlomo assembled all the leaders of Isra'el, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the paternal clans of the people of Isra'el, to King Shlomo in Yerushalayim, to bring the ark for the covenant of ADONAI out of the City of David, also known as Tziyon.
All the men of Isra'el assembled before King Shlomo at the festival in the month of Etanim, the seventh month.
All the leaders of Isra'el came. The cohanim took the ark
and brought up the ark of ADONAI, the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils that were in the tent; these are what the cohanim and L'vi'im brought up.
King Shlomo and the whole community of Isra'el assembled in his presence were with him in front of the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen in numbers beyond counting or recording.
The cohanim brought the ark for the covenant of ADONAI in to its place inside the sanctuary of the house, to the Especially Holy Place, under the wings of the k'ruvim.
For the k'ruvim spread out their wings over the place for the ark, covering the ark and its poles from above.
The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside; they are there to this day.
There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moshe put there at Horev, when ADONAI made the covenant with the people of Isra'el at the time of their leaving the land of Egypt.
When the cohanim came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of ADONAI,
so that, because of the cloud, the cohanim could not stand up to perform their service; for the glory of ADONAI filled the house of ADONAI.
Shlomo said, "ADONAI said he would live in thick darkness.
But I have built you a magnificent house, a place where you can live forever."
Then the king turned around and blessed the whole community of Isra'el. The whole community of Isra'el stood
as he said: "Blessed be ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, who spoke to my father David with his mouth and fulfilled his promise with his hand. He said,
'Since the day I brought my people Isra'el out of Egypt, I chose no city from any of the tribes of Isra'el in which to build a house, so that my name might be there; but I did choose David to be over my people Isra'el.'
Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of ADONAI the God of Isra'el;
but ADONAI said to David my father, 'Although it was in your heart to build a house for my name, and you did well that it was in your heart,
nevertheless you will not build the house. Rather, you will father a son, and it will be he who will build the house for my name.'
Now ADONAI has fulfilled this spoken word of his; for I have succeeded my father and sit on the throne of Isra'el, as ADONAI promised; and I have built the house for the name of ADONAI the God of Isra'el.
And there I have made a place for the ark containing the covenant of ADONAI, which he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."
Then Shlomo stood before the altar of ADONAI in the presence of the whole community of Isra'el, spread out his hands toward heaven,
and said, "ADONAI, God of Isra'el, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep covenant with your servants and show them grace, provided they live in your presence with all their heart.
You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father; you spoke with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand; so it is today.
Now therefore, ADONAI, God of Isra'el, keep what you promised to your servant David, my father, when you said, 'You will never lack a man in my presence to sit on the throne of Isra'el, if only your children are careful about what they do, so that they live in my presence, just as you have lived in my presence.'
Now therefore, God of Isra'el, please let your word, which you spoke to your servant David, my father, be confirmed.
"But can God actually live on the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain you; so how much less this house I have built?
Even so, ADONAI my God, pay attention to your servant's prayer and plea, listen to the cry and prayer that your servant is praying before you today,
that your eyes will be open toward this house night and day - toward the place concerning which you said, 'My name will be there'- to listen to the prayer your servant will pray toward this place.
Yes, listen to the plea of your servant, and also that of your people Isra'el when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven where you live; and when you hear, forgive!
"If a person sins against a fellow member of the community, and he is made to swear under oath, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house;
then hear in heaven, act, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, so that his way of life devolves on his own head, and vindicating the one who is right, giving him what his righteousness deserves.
"When your people Isra'el sin against you and in consequence are defeated by an enemy; then if they turn back to you, acknowledge your name, and pray and make their plea to you in this house;
hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Isra'el, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
"When they sin against you, and in consequence the sky is shut, so that there is no rain; then, if they pray toward this place, acknowledge your name and turn from their sin when you have brought them low;
hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Isra'el - since you keep teaching them the good way by which they should live - and send down rain on your land, which you have given your people as their inheritance.
"If there is famine in the land, or blight, windstorm, mildew, locusts or shearer-worms; or if their enemy comes to the land and besieges them in any of their cities- no matter what kind of plague or sickness it is;
then, regardless of what prayer or plea anyone among all your people Isra'el makes - for each individual will know what is plagueing his own conscience - and the person spreads out his hands toward this house;
hear in heaven where you live, and forgive, and act, and, since you know what is in each one's heart, give each person what his conduct deserves (because you, and only you, know all human hearts),
so that they will fear you throughout the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.
"Also the foreigner who does not belong to your people Isra'el - when he comes from a distant country because of your reputation
(for they will hear of your great reputation, your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house;
then hear in heaven where you live, and act in accordance with everything about which the foreigner is calling to you; so that all the peoples of the earth will know your name and fear you, as does your people Isra'el, and so that they will know that this house which I have built bears your name.
"If your people go out to fight against their enemy, no matter by which way you send them, and they pray to ADONAI toward the city you chose, toward the house I built for your name;
then, in heaven, hear their prayer and plea, and uphold their cause.
"If they sin against you - for there is no one who doesn't sin - and you are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they carry them off captive to the land of their enemy, whether far away or nearby;
then, if they come to their senses in the land where they have been carried away captive, turn back and make their plea to you in the land of those who carried them off captive, saying, 'We sinned, we acted wrongly, we behaved wickedly,'
if, in the land of their enemies who carried them off captive, they return to you with all their heart and being and pray to you toward their own land, which you gave to their ancestors, toward the city you chose and toward the house I have built for your name;
then, in heaven where you live, hear their prayer and plea, uphold their cause,
and forgive your people who have sinned against you - forgive their transgressions which they have committed against you, and give them compassion in the sight of their captors, so that they will show compassion toward them;
for they are your people, your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of the flames of the iron furnace.
"May your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Isra'el, so that you will hear them whenever they cry out to you.
For you made a distinction between them and all the peoples of the earth by making them your inheritance, as you said through Moshe your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Adonai ELOHIM."
When Shlomo had finished praying all this prayer and plea to ADONAI, he got up from in front of the altar of ADONAI, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven,
stood up, and raised his voice to bless the whole community of Isra'el. He said,
"Blessed be ADONAI, who has given rest to his people Isra'el, in accordance with everything he promised. Not one word has failed of his good promise, which he made through Moshe his servant.
May ADONAI our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he never leave us or abandon us.
In this way he will incline our hearts toward him, so that we will live according to his ways and observe his mitzvot, laws and rulings which he ordered our fathers to obey.
May these words of mine, which I have used in my plea before ADONAI, be present with ADONAI our God day and night, so that he will uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Isra'el day by day.
Then all the peoples of the earth will know that ADONAI is God; there is no other.
So be wholehearted with ADONAI our God, living by his laws and observing his mitzvot, as you are doing today."
Then the king, together with all Isra'el, offered sacrifices before ADONAI.
For the sacrifice of peace offerings which Shlomo offered to ADONAI, he offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people of Isra'el dedicated the house of ADONAI.
The same day, the king consecrated the center of the courtyard in front of the house of ADONAI, because he had to offer the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings there. For the bronze altar before ADONAI was too small to receive the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings.
So Shlomo celebrated the festival at that time. All Isra'el, a huge gathering [that had come all the way] from the entrance of Hamat to the Vadi [of Egypt], celebrated with him before ADONAI our God for seven days and then for seven more days - fourteen days in all.
On the eighth day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and returned to their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness ADONAI had shown to David his servant and to Isra'el his people.