1 Kings 8 New Life Version (NLV)
The Special Box Brought into the House of God
8 Then King Solomon gathered together the leaders of Israel in front of him in Jerusalem. He gathered together all the heads of the families and the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the sons of Israel. They gathered to bring up the Lord’s special box of the agreement from Zion the city of David. 2 All the men of Israel gathered to King Solomon at the special supper in the seventh month, Ethanim. 3 All the leaders of Israel came, and the religious leaders took up the Lord’s special box of the agreement. 4 They brought up the Lord’s special box of the agreement, the meeting tent, and all the holy objects which were in the tent. The religious leaders and the Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and all the people of Israel, who were gathered to him, were with him in front of the special box. They killed so many sheep and cattle on the altar that their number could not be known. 6 Then the religious leaders brought the Lord’s special box of the agreement to its place. They brought it into the most holy place of the house, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the special box. The cherubim made a covering above the special box and its special pieces of wood used for carrying. 8 The carrying pieces were so long that the ends of them could be seen from the holy place in front of the most holy place. But they could not be seen from outside. They are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the special box except the two stone writings which Moses put there at Horeb. There the Lord had made an agreement with the people of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 When the religious leaders came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord. 11 So the religious leaders were not able to stand there to do their work because of the cloud. For the shining-greatness of the Lord filled the Lord’s house.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that He would live in the thick cloud. 13 I have built You an honored house, a place for You to live forever.”
Solomon’s Words to the People
14 Then the king turned around and prayed that good would come to all the people of Israel, while all the people of Israel stood. 15 He said, “Thanks be to the Lord, the God of Israel. He spoke with His mouth to my father David. And He has kept His promise with His hand, saying, 16 ’Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I did not choose a city of all the families of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there. But I chose David to be king over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 But you will not build the house. Your son who will be born to you will build the house for My name.’ 20 Now the Lord has kept His promise which He made. For I have taken my father David’s place and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. And I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 There I have made a place for the special box in which is the agreement of the Lord. He made it when He brought them from the land of Egypt.”
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord. And in front of all the people of Israel he lifted his hands toward heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below. You are keeping Your agreement and are showing loving-kindness to Your servants who walk in Your ways with all their heart. 24 You have kept Your promise to Your servant, my father David. Yes, You have spoken with Your mouth, and have done it with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 So now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep Your promise to my father David when You said to him, ‘You will not be without a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful to walk in My ways as you have walked.’ 26 O God of Israel, let Your Word be made sure, which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.
27 “But is it true that God will live on the earth? See, heaven and the highest heaven are not big enough to hold You. How much less this house which I have built! 28 But keep in mind the prayer of Your servant, O Lord my God. Listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays to You today. 29 Open Your eyes night and day toward this house, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name will be there.’ Listen to the prayer Your servant will pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven where You live. Hear and forgive.
31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and has to make a promise, and he comes and makes a promise at Your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act. Judge Your servants. Punish the guilty forever by bringing his actions upon his own head, and free from guilt the one who is right and good, by returning his good to him.
33 “When Your people Israel do not win in battle over those who hate them, because they have sinned against You, but if they turn to You again and call on Your name and pray to You in this house, 34 then hear in heaven. Forgive the sin of Your people Israel. And return them to the land You gave to their fathers.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and give no rain because they have sinned against You, if they pray toward this place and call on Your name and turn from their sin when You bring trouble to them, 36 then hear in heaven. Forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel. Teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land, which You have given to Your people.
37 “If there is no food in the land, if there is a bad sickness, if there are diseases or locusts or grasshoppers that kill the plants, if the armies of those who hate Your people gather around their cities, or whatever trouble or sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing the trouble of his own heart and spreading his hands toward this house, 39 then hear in heaven where You are. Forgive, and act. Give to each the pay he has earned by all his ways. You know his heart. You alone know the hearts of all the children of men. 40 May they fear You all the days they live in the land You have given to our fathers.
41 “When a stranger who is not of Your people Israel comes from a far country because of You, 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your powerful hand and Your long arm,) when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear in heaven where You are. Do all the stranger asks of You. So all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel. Then they may know that this house I have built is called by Your name.
44 “When your people go out to battle against those who hate them, by whatever way You send them, when they pray to the Lord toward the city You have chosen and the house I have built for Your name, 45 then hear their prayer and their cry in heaven. See that the right thing is done to them.
46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin), and You will be angry with them, give them to those who hate them, so they will be taken away to another land, far away or near. 47 When they do some thinking in the land where they have been taken, and pray to You in the land of those who hate them, saying, ‘We have sinned and have done wrong and have done bad things,’ 48 if they return to You with all their heart and soul in the land of those who hate them and have taken them there, and if they pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city You have chosen, and the house I have built for Your name, 49 then hear their prayer in heaven where You are. See that the right thing is done to them. 50 Forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the wrong they have done against You. Give them loving-pity in front of those who have taken them away, that they may have loving-pity on them. 51 For they are Your people and Your children whom You have brought out of Egypt, from the iron fire-place. 52 Let Your eyes be open to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel. Listen to them when they call to You. 53 For You have divided them from all the peoples of the earth as Your children. You have done what You said You would do through Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
Prayer for Good to Come to the People
54 When Solomon had finished praying all this prayer to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar of the Lord. He had been on his knees with his hands lifted toward heaven. 55 He stood and prayed with a loud voice that good would come to all the people of Israel who were gathered together. He said, 56 “Thanks be to the Lord. He has given rest to His people Israel. He has done all that He promised. Every word has come true of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us alone. 58 May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep all His Word and all His Laws, which He told our fathers. 59 May these words of mine, which I have prayed to the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night. May He see that the right thing is done to His servant and His people Israel, day by day as we have need. 60 Then all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God. There is no other. 61 So let your whole heart be true to the Lord our God. Walk in His Laws and keep His Word, just as you are doing today.”
The House of God Is Set Apart
62 Then the king and all Israel with him gave a gift in worship to the Lord. 63 Solomon gave 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep as a peace gift to the Lord. So the king and all the people of Israel set apart the house of the Lord. 64 The same day the king set apart the center of the open space that was in front of the house of the Lord. For there he gave the burnt gift and the grain gift and the fat of the peace gifts. Because the brass altar before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt gift and the grain gift and the fat of the peace gifts. 65 So Solomon had the special supper at that time, and all Israel with him. There were many people gathered, from the way into Hamath to the river of Egypt. They were before the Lord our God for seven days and seven more days, fourteen days in all. 66 Solomon sent the people away on the eighth day, and they gave thanks to the king. Then they went to their tents full of joy and glad in their hearts for all the good things the Lord had shown to His servant David and to His people Israel.
1 Kings 8 New International Version (NIV)
The Ark Brought to the Temple
8 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, 5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
6 The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. 8 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. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. 15 Then he said:
“Praise be to the Lord, 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, 16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’
17 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’
20 “The Lord has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said:
“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 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.
25 “Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’ 26 And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. 29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
31 “When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, 32 then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.
33 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
37 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 38 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), 40 so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.
41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— 42 for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
44 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.
52 “May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you. 53 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”
54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. 58 May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. 59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. 61 And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”
The Dedication of the Temple
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the Lord.
64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar that stood before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings.
65 So Solomon observed the festival at that time, and all Israel with him—a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. They celebrated it before the Lord our God for seven days and seven days more, fourteen days in all. 66 On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.