Then King Solomon sent for the elders of Israel. He told them to come to him in Jerusalem. They included all of the leaders of the tribes. They also included the chiefs of the families of Israel. Solomon wanted them to bring up the ark of the LORD's covenant from Zion. Zion was the City of David.
All of the men of Israel came together to where King Solomon was. It was at the time of the Feast of Booths. The feast was held in the month of Ethanim. That's the seventh month.
All of the elders of Israel arrived. Then the priests picked up the ark and carried it.
They brought up the ark of the Lord. They also brought up the Tent of Meeting and all of the sacred articles that were in the tent. The priests and Levites carried everything up.
The entire community of Israel had gathered around King Solomon. All of them were in front of the ark. They sacrificed huge numbers of sheep and cattle. There were so many that they couldn't be recorded. In fact, they couldn't even be counted.
The priests brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the Most Holy Room of the temple. They put it under the wings of the cherubim.
The cherubim's wings were spread out over the place where the ark was. They covered the ark. They also covered the poles that were used to carry it.
The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Room in front of the Most Holy Room. But they couldn't be seen from outside the Holy Room. They are still there to this very day.
There wasn't anything in the ark except the two stone tablets. Moses had placed them in it at Mount Horeb. That's where the LORD had made a covenant with the Israelites. He made it after they came out of Egypt.
The priests left the Holy Room. Then the cloud filled the temple of the Lord.
The priests couldn't do their work because of it. That's because the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
Then Solomon said, "Lord, you have said you would live in a dark cloud.
As you can see, I've built a beautiful temple for you. You can live in it forever."
The whole community of Israel was standing there. The king turned around and gave them his blessing.
Then he said, "I praise the Lord. He is the God of Israel. With his own mouth he made a promise to my father David. With his own powerful hand he made it come true. He said,
'I brought my people Israel out of Egypt. Ever since I did that, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel where a temple could be built for my Name. But I have chosen David to rule over my people Israel.'
"With all his heart my father David wanted to build a temple. He wanted to do it so the LORD could put his Name there. The LORD is the God of Israel.
"But the LORD spoke to my father David. He said, 'With all your heart you wanted to build a temple for my Name. It is good that you wanted to do that.
But you will not build the temple. Instead, your son will build the temple for my Name. He is your own flesh and blood.'
"The LORD has kept the promise he made. I've become the next king after my father David. Now I'm sitting on the throne of Israel. That's exactly what the LORD promised would happen. I've built the temple where the LORD will put his Name. He is the God of Israel.
I've provided a place for the ark there. The tablets of the LORD's covenant are inside it. He made that covenant with our people of long ago. He made it when he brought them out of Egypt."