Bible: 1 Kings 3-8

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

3:1 Solomon made an alliance by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to the City of David 1  until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2  3:2 Now the people were offering sacrifices at the high places, 3  because in those days a temple had not yet been built to honor the Lord. 4  3:3 Solomon demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord by following 5  the practices 6  of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

3:4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for it had the most prominent of the high places. 7  Solomon would offer up 8  a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. 3:5 One night in Gibeon the Lord appeared 9  to Solomon in a dream. God said, “Tell 10  me what I should give you.” 3:6 Solomon replied, “You demonstrated 11  great loyalty to your servant, my father David, as he served 12  you faithfully, properly, and sincerely. 13  You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne. 14  3:7 Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 15  3:8 Your servant stands 16  among your chosen people; 17  they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 3:9 So give your servant a discerning mind 18  so he can make judicial decisions for 19  your people and distinguish right from wrong. 20  Otherwise 21  no one is able 22  to make judicial decisions for 23  this great nation of yours.” 24  3:10 The Lord 25  was pleased that Solomon made this request. 26  3:11 God said to him, “Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, 27  3:12 I 28  grant your request, 29  and give 30  you a wise and discerning mind 31  superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you. 32  3:13 Furthermore, I am giving 33  you what you did not request – riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation. 34  3:14 If you follow my instructions 35  by obeying 36  my rules and regulations, just as your father David did, 37  then I will grant you long life.” 38  3:15 Solomon then woke up and realized it was a dream. 39  He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, 40  and held a feast for all his servants.

Solomon Demonstrates His Wisdom

3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 3:17 One of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was with me in the house. 3:18 Then three days after I had my baby, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one else in the house except the two of us. 41  3:19 This woman’s child suffocated 42  during the night when she rolled 43  on top of him. 3:20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your servant was sleeping. She put him in her arms, and put her dead son in my arms. 3:21 I got up in the morning to nurse my son, and there he was, 44  dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 45  3:22 The other woman said, “No! My son is alive; your son is dead!” But the first woman replied, “No, your son is dead; my son is alive.” Each presented her case before the king. 46 

3:23 The king said, “One says, ‘My son is alive; your son is dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, your son is dead; my son is alive.’ 3:24 The king ordered, “Get me a sword!” So they placed a sword before the king. 3:25 The king then said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other! 3:26 The real mother 47  spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. 48  She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” 49  But the other woman said, “Neither one of us will have him! Let them cut him in two! 3:27 The king responded, “Give the first woman the living child; don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 3:28 When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected 50  the king, for they realized 51  that he possessed supernatural wisdom 52  to make judicial decisions.

Solomon’s Royal Court and Administrators

4:1 King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 4:2 These were his officials:

Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.

4:3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened. 53 

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.

4:4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of 54  the army.

Zadok and Abiathar were priests.

4:5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of 55  the district governors.

Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to 56  the king.

4:6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace. 57 

Adoniram son of Abda was supervisor of 58  the work crews. 59 

4:7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 4:8 These were their names:

Ben-Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.

4:9 Ben-Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.

4:10 Ben-Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.

4:11 Ben-Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)

4:12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, 60  as well as all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.

4:13 Ben-Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the tent villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.

4:14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.

4:15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)

4:16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.

4:17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.

4:18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.

4:19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.

Solomon’s Wealth and Fame

4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 4:21 61  Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River 62  to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 63  4:22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed 64  thirty cors 65  of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 4:23 ten calves fattened in the stall, 66  twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 4:24 His royal court was so large because 67  he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah 68  to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 69  4:25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. 70  4:26 Solomon had 4,000 71  stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 4:27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. 72  Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 4:28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses. 73 

4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding 74  was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 4:30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. 75  4:31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. 76  4:32 He composed 77  3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 4:33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, 78  from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing 79  animals, birds, insects, and fish. 4:34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; 80  they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.

Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple

5:1 81  King Hiram of Tyre 82  sent messengers 83  to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) 5:2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: 5:3 You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord 84  his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies. 85  5:4 But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. 5:5 So I have decided 86  to build a temple to honor the Lord 87  my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’ 88  5:6 So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”

5:7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he 89  has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” 5:8 Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received 90  the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need. 91  5:9 My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate. 92  There I will separate the logs 93  and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.” 94 

5:10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 95  5:11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors 96  of wheat as provision for his royal court, 97  as well as 20,000 baths 98  of pure 99  olive oil. 100  5:12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty. 101 

5:13 King Solomon conscripted 102  work crews 103  from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 5:14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of 104  the work crews. 5:15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers 105  and 80,000 stonecutters 106  in the hills, 5:16 besides 3,300 107  officials who supervised the workers. 108  5:17 By royal order 109  they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 5:18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers, 110  along with men from Byblos, 111  did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple. 112 

The Building of the Temple

6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv 113  (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. 6:2 The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet 114  long, 30 feet 115  wide, and 45 feet 116  high. 6:3 The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet 117  long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet 118  wide, extending out from the front of the temple. 6:4 He made framed windows for the temple. 6:5 He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and holy place and constructed side rooms in it. 119  6:6 The bottom floor of the extension was seven and a half feet 120  wide, the middle floor nine feet 121  wide, and the third floor ten and a half 122  feet wide. He made ledges 123  on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls. 124  6:7 As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry 125  were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. 6:8 The entrance to the bottom 126  level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up 127  to the middle floor and then on up to the third 128  floor. 6:9 He finished building the temple 129  and covered it 130  with rafters 131  and boards made of cedar. 132  6:10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was seven and a half feet high 133  and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.

6:11 134 

The Lord said 135  to Solomon: 6:12 As for this temple you are building, if you follow 136  my rules, observe 137  my regulations, and obey all my commandments, 138  I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David. 139  6:13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

6:14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 140  6:15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters 141  of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 6:16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the most holy place. 142  He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters. 143  6:17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long. 144  6:18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible. 145 

6:19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 6:20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet 146  long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold, 147  as well as the cedar altar. 148  6:21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold. 149  He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary 150  with gold. 6:22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary. 151 

6:23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubs of olive wood; each stood 15 feet 152  high. 6:24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 153  6:25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 154  6:26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 155  6:27 He put the cherubs in the inner sanctuary of the temple. 156  Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room. 157  6:28 He plated the cherubs with gold.

6:29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, 158  he carved 159  cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 6:30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 160  6:31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided. 161  6:32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved 162  cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. 163  He plated the cherubs and the palm trees with hammered gold. 164  6:33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 165  6:34 He also made 166  two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 167  6:35 He carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 6:36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.

6:37 In the month Ziv 168  of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign 169  the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 6:38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul 170  (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build. 171 

The Building of the Royal Palace

7:1 Solomon took thirteen years to build his palace. 172  7:2 He named 173  it “The Palace of the Lebanon Forest; 174  it was 150 feet 175  long, 75 feet 176  wide, and 45 feet 177  high. It had four rows of cedar pillars and cedar beams above the pillars. 7:3 The roof above the beams supported by the pillars was also made of cedar; there were forty-five beams, fifteen per row. 7:4 There were three rows of windows arranged in sets of three. 178  7:5 All of the entrances 179  were rectangular in shape 180  and they were arranged in sets of three. 181  7:6 He made a colonnade 182  75 feet 183  long and 45 feet 184  wide. There was a porch in front of this and pillars and a roof in front of the porch. 185  7:7 He also made a throne room, called “The Hall of Judgment,” where he made judicial decisions. 186  It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters. 187  7:8 The palace where he lived was constructed in a similar way. 188  He also constructed a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. 189  7:9 All of these were built with the best 190  stones, chiseled to the right size 191  and cut with a saw on all sides, 192  from the foundation to the edge of the roof 193  and from the outside to the great courtyard. 7:10 The foundation was made of large valuable stones, measuring either 15 feet or 12 feet. 194  7:11 Above the foundation 195  the best 196  stones, chiseled to the right size, 197  were used along with cedar. 7:12 Around the great courtyard were three rows of chiseled stones and one row of cedar beams, like the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple and the hall of the palace. 198 

Solomon Commissions Hiram to Supply the Temple

7:13 King Solomon sent for Hiram 199  of Tyre. 200  7:14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, 201  and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge 202  to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned.

7:15 He fashioned two bronze pillars; each pillar was 27 feet 203  high and 18 feet 204  in circumference. 7:16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was seven-and-a-half feet high. 205  7:17 The latticework on the tops of the pillars was adorned with ornamental wreaths and chains; the top of each pillar had seven groupings of ornaments. 206  7:18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar. 207  7:19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high. 208  7:20 On the top of each pillar, right above the bulge beside the latticework, there were two hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments arranged in rows all the way around. 209  7:21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right 210  side and called it Jakin; 211  he erected the other pillar on the left 212  side and called it Boaz. 213  7:22 The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the construction of the pillars was completed.

7:23 He also made the large bronze basin called “The Sea.” 214  It measured 15 feet 215  from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven-and-a-half feet 216  high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 217  7:24 Under the rim all the way around it 218  were round ornaments 219  arranged in settings 15 feet long. 220  The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 221  7:25 The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Seawas placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 222  7:26 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold about 12,000 gallons. 223 

7:27 He also made ten bronze movable stands. Each stand was six feet 224  long, six feet 225  wide, and four-and-a-half feet 226  high. 7:28 The stands were constructed with frames between the joints. 7:29 On these frames and joints were ornamental lions, bulls, and cherubs. Under the lions and bulls were decorative wreaths. 227  7:30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and four supports. Under the basin the supports were fashioned on each side with wreaths. 228  7:31 Inside the stand was a round opening that was a foot-and-a-half deep; it had a support that was two and one-quarter feet long. 229  On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames. 230  7:32 The four wheels were under the frames and the crossbars of the axles were connected to the stand. Each wheel was two and one-quarter feet 231  high. 7:33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their crossbars, rims, spokes, and hubs were made of cast metal. 7:34 Each stand had four supports, one per side projecting out from the stand. 232  7:35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep; 233  there were also supports and frames on top of the stands. 7:36 He engraved ornamental cherubs, lions, and palm trees on the plates of the supports and frames wherever there was room, 234  with wreaths 235  all around. 7:37 He made the ten stands in this way. All of them were cast in one mold and were identical in measurements and shape.

7:38 He also made ten bronze basins, each of which could hold about 240 gallons. 236  Each basin was six feet in diameter; 237  there was one basin for each stand. 7:39 He put five basins on the south side of the temple and five on the north side. He put “The Seaon the south side, in the southeast corner.

7:40 Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He 238  finished all the work on the Lord’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 239  7:41 He made 240  the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 7:42 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 7:43 the ten movable stands with their ten basins, 7:44 the big bronze basin called “The Seawith its twelve bulls underneath, 241  7:45 and the pots, shovels, and bowls. All these items King Solomon assigned Hiram to make for the Lord’s temple 242  were made from polished bronze. 7:46 The king had them cast in earth foundries 243  in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. 7:47 Solomon left all these items unweighed; there were so many of them they did not weigh the bronze. 244 

7:48 Solomon also made all these items for the Lord’s temple: the gold altar, the gold table on which was kept the Bread of the Presence, 245  7:49 the pure gold lampstands at the entrance to the inner sanctuary (five on the right and five on the left), the gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 7:50 the pure gold bowls, trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the most holy place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 7:51 When King Solomon finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he 246  put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and other articles) in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.

8:1

Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple

247 

Then Solomon convened in Jerusalem 248  Israel’s elders, all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David (that is, Zion). 249  8:2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival 250  in the month Ethanim 251  (the seventh month). 8:3 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the priests lifted the ark. 8:4 The priests and Levites carried the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, 252  and all the holy items in the tent. 253  8:5 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered. 254 

8:6 The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its assigned 255  place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubs. 8:7 The cherubswings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles. 256  8:8 The poles were so long their ends were visible from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. 257  They have remained there to this very day. 8:9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. 258  It was there that 259  the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 8:10 Once the priests left the holy place, a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 8:11 The priests could not carry out their duties 260  because of the cloud; the Lord’s glory filled his temple. 261 

8:12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 8:13 O Lord, 262  truly I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 8:14 Then the king turned around 263  and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 264  8:15 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled 265  what he promised 266  my father David. 8:16 He told David, 267  ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. 268  But I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 8:17 Now my father David had a strong desire 269  to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 270  8:18 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 271  8:19 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 272  8:20 The Lord has kept the promise he made. 273  I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor 274  of the Lord God of Israel 8:21 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with our ancestors 275  when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Solomon Prays for Israel

8:22 Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward the sky. 276  8:23 He prayed: 277  “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You maintain covenantal loyalty 278  to your servants who obey you with sincerity. 279  8:24 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David; 280  this very day you have fulfilled what you promised. 281  8:25 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 282  provided that your descendants watch their step and serve me as you have done.’ 283  8:26 Now, O God of Israel, may the promise you made 284  to your servant, my father David, be realized. 285 

8:27God does not really live on the earth! 286  Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 8:28 But respond favorably to 287  your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer 288  the desperate prayer 289  your servant is presenting to you 290  today. 8:29 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live. 291  May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place. 292  8:30 Respond to the request of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 293  Hear from inside your heavenly dwelling place 294  and respond favorably. 295 

8:31When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false. 296  8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servantsclaims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 297 

8:33The time will come when 298  your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 299  because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 300  and pray for your help 301  in this temple, 8:34 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

8:35The time will come when 302  the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 303  sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 304  and turn away from their sin because you punish 305  them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 306  you will then teach them the right way to live 307  and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 308 

8:37The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust 309  invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 310  or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 311  as they acknowledge their pain 312  and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 313  and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives. 314  (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 315  8:40 Then they will obey 316  you throughout their lifetimes as 317  they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.

8:41Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 318  8:42 When they hear about your great reputation 319  and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds, 320  they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 8:43 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 321  Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 322  obey 323  you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 324 

8:44When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 325  and they direct their prayers to the Lord 326  toward his chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 327  8:45 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 328  and vindicate them. 329 

8:46The time will come when your people 330  will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry with them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their own land, 331  whether far away or close by. 8:47 When your people 332  come to their senses 333  in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray; 334  we have done evil.’ 8:48 When they return to you with all their heart and being 335  in the land where they are held prisoner, 336  and direct their prayers to you toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, 337  8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help 338  and vindicate them. 339  8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them. 340  8:51 After all, 341  they are your people and your special possession 342  whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. 343 

8:52May you be attentive 344  to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you. 345  8:53 After all, 346  you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, 347  just as you, O sovereign Lord, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

8:54 When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the Lord, he got up from before the altar of the Lord where he had kneeled and spread out his hands toward the sky. 348  8:55 When he stood up, he pronounced a blessing over the entire assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 8:56 The Lord is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure 349  just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled! 350  8:57 May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us. 8:58 May he make us submissive, 351  so we can follow all his instructions 352  and obey 353  the commandments, rules, and regulations he commanded our ancestors. 8:59 May the Lord our God be constantly aware of these requests of mine I have presented to him, 354  so that he might vindicate 355  his servant and his people Israel as the need arises. 8:60 Then 356  all the nations of the earth will recognize that the Lord is the only genuine God. 357  8:61 May you demonstrate wholehearted devotion to the Lord our God 358  by following 359  his rules and obeying 360  his commandments, as you are presently doing.” 361 

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

8:62 The king and all Israel with him were presenting sacrifices to the Lord. 8:63 Solomon offered as peace offerings 362  to the Lord 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Then the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord’s temple. 8:64 That day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that is in front of the Lord’s temple. He offered there burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, and the fat from the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that stood before the Lord was too small to hold all these offerings. 363  8:65 At that time Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated a festival before the Lord our God for two entire weeks. This great assembly included people from all over the land, from Lebo Hamath in the north to the Brook of Egypt 364  in the south. 365  8:66 On the fifteenth day after the festival started, 366  he dismissed the people. They asked God to empower the king 367  and then went to their homes, happy and content 368  because of all the good the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

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