2 Chronicles 6; 2 Chronicles 7; 2 Chronicles 8

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2 Chronicles 6

1 Then Solomon said, "The Lord said he would live in the dark cloud.
2 Lord, I have built a wonderful Temple for you -- a place for you to live forever."
3 While all the Israelites were standing there, King Solomon turned to them and blessed them.
4 Then he said, "Praise the Lord, the God of Israel. He has done what he promised to my father David. The Lord said,
5 'Since the time I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel where a temple will be built for me. I did not choose a man to lead my people Israel.
6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place I am to be worshiped, and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.'
7 "My father David wanted to build a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel.
8 But the Lord said to my father David, 'It was good that you wanted to build a temple for me.
9 But you are not the one to build it. Your son, who comes from your own body, is the one who will build my temple.'
10 "Now the Lord has kept his promise. I am the king now in place of David my father. Now I rule Israel as the Lord promised, and I have built the Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel.
11 There I have put the Ark, in which is the Agreement the Lord made with the Israelites."
12 Then Solomon stood facing the Lord's altar, and all the Israelites were standing behind him. He spread out his hands.
13 He had made a bronze platform seven and one-half feet long, seven and one-half feet wide, and seven and one-half feet high, and he had placed it in the middle of the outer courtyard. Solomon stood on the platform. Then he kneeled in front of all the people of Israel gathered there, and he spread out his hands toward the sky.
14 He said, "Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth. You keep your agreement of love with your servants who truly follow you.
15 You have kept the promise you made to your servant David, my father. You spoke it with your own mouth and finished it with your hands today.
16 "Now, Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant David, my father. You said, 'If your sons are careful to obey my teachings as you have obeyed, there will always be someone from your family ruling Israel.'
17 Now, Lord, God of Israel, please continue to keep that promise you made to your servant.
18 "But, God, can you really live here on the earth with people? The sky and the highest place in heaven cannot contain you. Surely this house which I have built cannot contain you.
19 But please listen to my prayer and my request, because I am your servant. Lord my God, hear this prayer your servant prays to you.
20 Day and night please watch over this Temple where you have said you would be worshiped. Hear the prayer I pray facing this Temple.
21 Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people Israel when we pray facing this place. Hear from your home in heaven, and when you hear, forgive us.
22 "If someone wrongs another person, he will be brought to the altar in this Temple. If he swears an oath that he is not guilty,
23 then hear in heaven. Judge the case, punish the guilty, but declare that the innocent person is not guilty.
24 "When your people, the Israelites, sin against you, their enemies will defeat them. But if they come back to you and praise you and pray to you in this Temple,
25 then listen from heaven. Forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.
26 "When they sin against you, you will stop the rain from falling on their land. Then they will pray, facing this place and praising you; they will stop sinning when you make them suffer.
27 When this happens, hear their prayer in heaven, and forgive the sins of your servants, the Israelites. Teach them to do what is right. Then please send rain to this land you have given particularly to them.
28 "At times the land will get so dry that no food will grow, or a great sickness will spread among the people. Sometimes the crops will be destroyed by locusts or grasshoppers. Your people will be attacked in their cities by their enemies, or will become sick.
29 When any of these things happens, the people will become truly sorry. If your people spread their hands in prayer toward this Temple,
30 then hear their prayers from your home in heaven. Forgive and treat each person as he should be treated because you know what is in a person's heart. Only you know what is in people's hearts.
31 Then the people will respect and obey you as long as they live in this land you gave our ancestors.
32 "People who are not Israelites, foreigners from other lands, will hear about your greatness and power. They will come from far away to pray at this Temple.
33 Then hear from your home in heaven, and do whatever they ask you. Then people everywhere will know you and respect you, just as your people Israel do. Then everyone will know that I built this Temple as a place to worship you.
34 "When your people go out to fight their enemies along some road on which you send them, your people will pray to you, facing this city which you have chosen and the Temple I have built for you.
35 Then hear in heaven their prayers, and do what is right.
36 "Everyone sins, so your people will also sin against you. You will become angry with them and will hand them over to their enemies. Their enemies will capture them and take them away to a country far or near.
37 Your people will be sorry for their sins when they are held as prisoners in another country. They will be sorry and pray to you in the land where they are held as prisoners, saying, 'We have sinned. We have done wrong and acted wickedly.'
38 They will truly turn back to you in the land where they are captives. They will pray, facing this land you gave their ancestors, this city you have chosen, and the Temple I have built for you.
39 Then hear their prayers from your home in heaven and do what is right. Forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 "Now, my God, look at us. Listen to the prayers we pray in this place.
41 Now, rise, Lord God, and come to your resting place. Come with the Ark of the Agreement that shows your strength. Let your priests receive your salvation, Lord God, and may your holy people be happy because of your goodness.
42 Lord God, do not reject your appointed one. Remember your love for your servant David."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 7

1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from the sky and burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The Lord's glory filled the Temple.
2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord, because the Lord's glory filled it.
3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down from heaven and the Lord's glory on the Temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and thanked the Lord, saying, "He is good; his love continues forever."
4 Then King Solomon and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord.
5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people gave the Temple to God.
6 The priests stood ready to do their work. The Levites also stood with the instruments of the Lord's music that King David had made for praising the Lord. The priests and Levites were saying, "His love continues forever." The priests, who stood across from the Levites, blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing.
7 Solomon made holy the middle part of the courtyard, which is in front of the Temple of the Lord. There he offered whole burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings. He offered them in the courtyard, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat.
8 Solomon and all the Israelites celebrated the festival for seven days. There were many people, and they came from as far away as Lebo Hamath and the brook of Egypt.
9 For seven days they celebrated giving the altar for the worship of God. Then they celebrated the festival for seven days. On the eighth day they had a meeting.
10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon sent the people home, full of joy. They were happy because the Lord had been so good to David, Solomon, and his people Israel.
11 Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord and his royal palace. He had success in doing everything he planned in the Temple of the Lord and his own palace.
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself to be a Temple for sacrifices.
13 "I may stop the sky from sending rain. I may command the locusts to destroy the land. I may send sicknesses to my people.
14 Then if my people, who are called by my name, are sorry for what they have done, if they pray and obey me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.
15 Now I will see them, and I will listen to the prayers prayed in this place.
16 I have chosen this Temple and made it holy. So I will be worshiped there forever. Yes, I will always watch over it and love it.
17 "But you must serve me as your father David did. You must obey all I have commanded and keep my laws and rules.
18 If you do, I will make your kingdom strong. This is the agreement I made with your father David, saying, 'Someone from your family will always rule in Israel.'
19 "But you must follow me and obey the laws and commands I have given you. You must not serve or worship other gods.
20 If you do, I will take the Israelites out of my land, the land I have given them, and I will leave this Temple that I have made holy. All the nations will make fun of it and speak evil about it.
21 This Temple is honored now, but then, everyone who passes by will be shocked. They will ask, 'Why did the Lord do this terrible thing to this land and this Temple?'
22 People will answer, 'This happened because they left the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God who brought them out of Egypt. They decided to follow other gods and worshiped and served them, so he brought all this disaster on them.'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 8

1 By the end of twenty years, Solomon had built the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace.
2 Solomon rebuilt the towns that Hiram had given him, and Solomon sent Israelites to live in them.
3 Then he went to Hamath Zobah and captured it.
4 Solomon also built the town of Tadmor in the desert, and he built all the towns in Hamath as towns for storing grain and supplies.
5 He rebuilt the towns of Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon, protecting them with strong walls, gates, and bars in the gates.
6 He also rebuilt the town of Baalath. And he built all the other towns for storage and all the cities for his chariots and horses. He built all he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and everywhere he ruled.
7 There were other people in the land who were not Israelites -- the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
8 They were descendants of the people that the Israelites had not destroyed. Solomon forced them to be slave workers, as is still true today.
9 But Solomon did not make slaves of the Israelites. They were his soldiers, chief captains, commanders of his chariots, and his chariot drivers.
10 These were his most important officers. There were two hundred fifty of them to direct the people.
11 Solomon brought the daughter of the king of Egypt from the older part of Jerusalem to the palace he had built for her. Solomon said, "My wife must not live in King David's palace, because the places where the Ark of the Agreement has been are holy."
12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar he had built for the Lord in front of the Temple porch.
13 He offered sacrifices every day as Moses had commanded. They were offered on the Sabbath days, New Moons, and the three yearly feasts -- the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Shelters.
14 Solomon followed his father David's instructions and chose the groups of priests for their service and the Levites to lead the praise and to help the priests do their daily work. And he chose the gatekeepers by their groups to serve at each gate, as David, the man of God, had commanded.
15 They obeyed all of Solomon's commands to the priests and Levites, as well as his commands about the treasuries.
16 All Solomon's work was done as he had said from the day the foundation of the Temple of the Lord was begun, until it was finished. So the Temple was finished.
17 Then Solomon went to the towns of Ezion Geber and Elath near the Red Sea in the land of Edom.
18 Hiram sent ships to Solomon that were commanded by his own men, who were skilled sailors. Hiram's men went with Solomon's men to Ophir and brought back about thirty-four thousand pounds of gold to King Solomon.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.