2 Chronicles 6; 2 Chronicles 7; 2 Chronicles 8

1 Then King Solomon prayed, "Lord, you have chosen to live in clouds and darkness. 2 Now I have built a majestic temple for you, a place for you to live in forever." 3 All the people of Israel were standing there. The king turned to face them and asked God's blessing on them. 4 He said, "Praise the Lord God of Israel! He has kept the promise he made to my father David when he said to him, 5 "From the time I brought my people out of Egypt until now, I did not choose any city in the land of Israel as the place to build a temple where I would be worshiped, and I did not choose anyone to lead my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place where I will be worshiped, and you, David, to rule my people.' " 7 And Solomon continued, "My father David planned to build a temple for the worship of the Lord God of Israel, 8 but the Lord said to him, "You were right in wanting to build a temple for me, 9 but you will never build it. It is your son, your own son, who will build my temple.' 10 "Now the Lord has kept his promise: I have succeeded my father as king of Israel, and I have built a temple for the worship of the Lord God of Israel. 11 I have placed in the Temple the Covenant Box, which contains the stone tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with the people of Israel." 12 Then in the presence of the people Solomon went and stood in front of the altar and raised his arms in prayer 13 (Solomon had made a bronze platform and put it in the middle of the courtyard. It was eight feet square and five feet high. He mounted this platform, knelt down where everyone could see him, and raised his hands toward heaven.) 14 He prayed, "Lord God of Israel, in all heaven and earth there is no god like you. You keep your covenant with your people and show them your love when they live in wholehearted obedience to you. 15 You have kept the promise you made to my father David; today every word has been fulfilled. 16 Now, Lord God of Israel, keep the other promise you made to my father when you told him that there would always be one of his descendants ruling as king of Israel, provided that they carefully obeyed your Law just as he did. 17 So now, Lord God of Israel, let everything come true that you promised to your servant David. 18 "But can you, O God, really live on earth among men and women? Not even all of heaven is large enough to hold you, so how can this Temple that I have built be large enough? 19 Lord my God, I am your servant. Listen to my prayer and grant the requests I make to you. 20 Watch over this Temple day and night. You have promised that this is where you will be worshiped, so hear me when I face this Temple and pray. 21 Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people Israel when they face this place and pray. In your home in heaven hear us and forgive us. 22 "When people are accused of wronging others and are brought to your altar in this Temple to take an oath that they are innocent, 23 O Lord, listen in heaven and judge your servants. Punish the guilty ones as they deserve and acquit the innocent. 24 "When your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you and then when they turn to you and come to this Temple, humbly praying to you for forgiveness, 25 listen to them in heaven. Forgive the sins of your people and bring them back to the land which you gave to them and to their ancestors. 26 "When you hold back the rain because your people have sinned against you and then when they repent and face this Temple, humbly praying to you, 27 O Lord, listen to them in heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, the people of Israel, and teach them to do what is right. Then, O Lord, send rain on this land of yours, which you gave to your people as a permanent possession. 28 "When there is famine in the land or an epidemic or the crops are destroyed by scorching winds or swarms of locusts, or when your people are attacked by their enemies, or when there is disease or sickness among them, 29 listen to their prayers. If any of your people Israel, out of heartfelt sorrow, stretch out their hands in prayer toward this Temple, 30 hear their prayer. Listen to them in your home in heaven and forgive them. You alone know the thoughts of the human heart. Deal with each of us as we deserve, 31 so that your people may honor you and obey you all the time they live in the land which you gave to our ancestors. 32 "When foreigners who live in a distant land hear how great and powerful you are and how you are always ready to act, and then they come to pray at this Temple, 33 listen to their prayers. In heaven, where you live, hear them and do what they ask you to do, so that all the peoples of the world may know you and obey you, as your people Israel do. Then they will know that this Temple I have built is where you are to be worshiped. 34 "When you command your people to go into battle against their enemies and they pray to you, wherever they are, facing this city which you have chosen and this Temple which I have built for you, 35 listen to their prayers. Hear them in heaven and give them victory. 36 "When your people sin against you - and there is no one who does not sin - and in your anger you let their enemies defeat them and take them as prisoners to some other land, even if that land is far away, 37 listen to your people's prayers. If there in that land they repent and pray to you, confessing how sinful and wicked they have been, hear their prayers, O Lord. 38 If in that land they truly and sincerely repent and pray to you as they face toward this land which you gave to our ancestors, this city which you have chosen, and this Temple which I have built for you, 39 then listen to their prayers. In your home in heaven hear them and be merciful to them and forgive all the sins of your people. 40 "Now, O my God, look on us and listen to the prayers offered in this place. 41 Rise up now, Lord God, and with the Covenant Box, the symbol of your power, enter the Temple and stay here forever. Bless your priests in all they do, and may all your people be happy because of your goodness to them. 42 Lord God, do not reject the king you have chosen. Remember the love you had for your servant David."
1 When King Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and burned up the sacrifices that had been offered, and the dazzling light of the Lord's presence filled the Temple. 2 Because the Temple was full of the dazzling light, the priests could not enter it. 3 When the people of Israel saw the fire fall from heaven and the light fill the Temple, they fell face downward on the pavement, worshiping God and praising him for his goodness and his eternal love. 4 Then Solomon and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. 5 He sacrificed 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep as fellowship offerings. And so he and all the people dedicated the Temple. 6 The priests stood in the places that were assigned to them, and facing them stood the Levites, praising the Lord with the musical instruments that King David had provided and singing the hymn, "His Love Is Eternal!" as they had been commissioned by David. The priests blew trumpets while all the people stood. 7 Solomon consecrated the central part of the courtyard, the area in front of the Temple, and then offered there the sacrifices burned whole, the grain offerings, and the fat from the fellowship offerings. He did this because the bronze altar which he had made was too small for all these offerings. 8 Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters for seven days. There was a huge crowd of people from as far away as Hamath Pass in the north and the Egyptian border in the south. 9 They had spent seven days for the dedication of the altar and then seven more days for the festival. On the last day they had a closing celebration, 10 and on the following day, the twenty-third day of the seventh month, Solomon sent the people home. They were happy about all the blessings that the Lord had given to his people Israel, to David, and to Solomon. 11 After King Solomon had finished the Temple and the palace, successfully completing all his plans for them, 12 the Lord appeared to him at night. He said to him, "I have heard your prayer, and I accept this Temple as the place where sacrifices are to be offered to me. 13 Whenever I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat up the crops or send an epidemic on my people, 14 if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again. 15 I will watch over this Temple and be ready to hear all the prayers that are offered here, 16 because I have chosen it and consecrated it as the place where I will be worshiped forever. I will watch over it and protect it for all time. 17 If you serve me faithfully as your father David did, obeying my laws and doing everything I have commanded you, 18 I will keep the promise I made to your father David when I told him that Israel would always be ruled by his descendants. 19 But if you and your people ever disobey the laws and commands I have given you and worship other gods, 20 then I will remove you from the land that I gave you, and I will abandon this Temple that I have consecrated as the place where I am to be worshiped. People everywhere will ridicule it and treat it with contempt. 21 "The Temple is now greatly honored, but then everyone who passes by it will be amazed and will ask, "Why did the Lord do this to this land and this Temple?' 22 People will answer, "It is because they abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt. They gave their allegiance to other gods and worshiped them. That is why the Lord has brought this disaster on them.' "
1 It took Solomon twenty years to build the Temple and his palace. 2 He also rebuilt the cities that King Hiram had given him, and sent Israelites to settle in them. 3 He captured the territory of Hamath and Zobah 4 and fortified the city of Palmyra in the desert. He rebuilt all the cities in Hamath that were centers for storing supplies. 5 Solomon also rebuilt the following cities: Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon (fortified cities with gates that could be barred), 6 the city of Baalath, all the cities where he stored supplies, and the cities where his horses and chariots were stationed. He carried out all his plans for building in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and throughout the territory that he ruled over. 7 Solomon employed at forced labor all the descendants of the people of Canaan whom the Israelites had not killed when they took possession of the land. These included Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, whose descendants continue to be slaves down to the present time. 9 Israelites were not used at forced labor, but served as soldiers, officers, chariot commanders, and cavalry troops. 10 There were 250 officials in charge of the forced labor working on the various building projects. 11 Solomon moved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, from David's City to a house he built for her. He said, "She must not live in the palace of King David of Israel, because any place where the Covenant Box has been is holy." 12 Solomon offered sacrifices to the Lord on the altar which he had built in front of the Temple. 13 He offered burnt offerings according to the requirements of the Law of Moses for each holy day: Sabbaths, New Moon Festivals, and the three annual festivals - the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. 14 Following the rules laid down by his father David, he organized the daily work of the priests and of the Levites who assisted the priests in singing hymns and in doing their work. He also organized the Temple guards in sections for performing their daily duties at each gate, in accordance with the commands of David, the man of God. 15 The instructions which David had given the priests and the Levites concerning the storehouses and other matters were carried out in detail. 16 By this time all of Solomon's projects had been completed. From the laying of the foundation of the Lord's Temple to its completion, all the work had been successful. 17 Then Solomon went to Eziongeber and Elath, ports on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the land of Edom. 18 King Hiram sent him ships under the command of his own officers and with experienced sailors. They sailed with Solomon's officers to the land of Ophir and brought back to Solomon about sixteen tons of gold.
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