New International Reader's Version

1 Kings 8

The Ark Is Brought to the Temple

1Then King Solomon sent for the elders of Israel. He told them to come to him in Jerusalem. They included all 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 the Israelites 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 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 the sacred things 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 animals that they couldn’t be recorded. In fact, they couldn’t even be counted.

The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant law to its place in the Most Holy Room of the temple. They put it under the wings of the cherubim. Their wings were spread out over the place where the ark was. They covered the ark. They also covered the poles used to carry it. The poles were very long. 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 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.

10 The priests left the Holy Room. Then the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 The priests couldn’t do their work because of it. That’s because the glory of the Lord filled his temple.

12 Then Solomon said, “Lord, you have said you would live in a dark cloud. 13 As you can see, I’ve built a beautiful temple for you. You can live in it forever.”

14 The whole community of Israel was standing there. The king turned around and gave them his blessing. 15 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, 16 ‘I brought my people Israel out of Egypt. Ever since, I haven’t 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.’

17 “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. 18 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. 19 But you will not build the temple. Instead, your son will build the temple for my Name. He is your own flesh and blood.’

20 “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. 21 I’ve provided a place for the ark there. The tablets of the Lord’s covenant law are inside it. He made that covenant with our people of long ago. He made it when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon Prays to Set the Temple Apart to the Lord

22 Then Solomon stood in front of the Lord’s altar. He stood in front of the whole community of Israel. He spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said,

Lord, you are the God of Israel. There is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep the covenant you made with us. You show us your love. You do that when we follow you with all our hearts. 24 You have kept your promise to my father David. He was your servant. With your mouth you made a promise. With your powerful hand you have made it come true. And today we can see it.

25 Lord, you are the God of Israel. Keep the promises you made to my father David. Do it for him. He was your servant. Here is what you said to him. ‘A son from your family line will sit before me on the throne of Israel. This will always be true if your children after you are careful in everything they do. They must live in my sight faithfully the way you have lived.’ 26 God of Israel, let your promise to my father David come true.

27 “But will you really live on earth? After all, the heavens can’t hold you. In fact, even the highest heavens can’t hold you. So this temple I’ve built certainly can’t hold you! 28 But please pay attention to my prayer. Lord my God, be ready to help me as I make my appeal to you. Listen to my cry for help. Hear the prayer I’m praying to you today. 29 Let your eyes look toward this temple night and day. You said, ‘I will put my Name there.’ So please listen to the prayer I’m praying toward this place. 30 Hear me when I ask you to help us. Listen to your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Listen to us from heaven. It’s the place where you live. When you hear us, forgive us.

31 “Suppose someone does something wrong to their neighbor. And the person who has done something wrong is required to give their word. They must tell the truth about what they have done. They must come and do it in front of your altar in this temple. 32 When they do, listen to them from heaven. Take action. Judge between the person and their neighbor. Punish the guilty one. Do to that person what they have done to their neighbor. Deal with the one who isn’t guilty in a way that shows they are free from blame. That will prove they aren’t guilty.

33 “Suppose your people Israel have lost the battle against their enemies. And suppose they’ve sinned against you. But they turn back to you and praise your name. They pray to you in this temple. And they ask you to help them. 34 Then listen to them from heaven. Forgive the sin of your people Israel. Bring them back to the land you gave to their people who lived long ago.

35 “Suppose your people have sinned against you. And because of that, the sky is closed up and there isn’t any rain. But your people pray toward this place. They praise you by admitting they’ve sinned. And they turn away from their sin because you have made them suffer. 36 Then listen to them from heaven. Forgive the sin of your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live. Send rain on the land you gave them as their share.

37 “Suppose there isn’t enough food in the land. And a plague strikes the land. The hot winds completely dry up our crops. Or locusts or grasshoppers come and eat them up. Or an enemy surrounds one of our cities and gets ready to attack it. Or trouble or sickness comes. 38 But suppose one of your people prays to you. They ask you to help them. They are aware of how much their own heart is suffering. And they spread out their hands toward this temple to pray. 39 Then listen to them from heaven. It’s the place where you live. Forgive them. Take action. Deal with everyone in keeping with everything they do. You know their hearts. In fact, you are the only one who knows every human heart. 40 Your people will have respect for you. They will respect you as long as they are in the land you gave our people long ago.

41 “Suppose there are outsiders who don’t belong to your people Israel. And they have come from a land far away. They’ve come because they’ve heard about your name. 42 When they get here, they will find out even more about your great name. They’ll hear about how you reached out your mighty hand and powerful arm. So they’ll come and pray toward this temple. 43 Then listen to them from heaven. It’s the place where you live. Do what those outsiders ask you to do. Then all the nations on earth will know you. They will have respect for you. They’ll respect you just as your own people Israel do. They’ll know that your Name is in this house I’ve built.

44 “Suppose your people go to war against their enemies. It doesn’t matter where you send them. And suppose they pray to you toward the city you have chosen. They pray toward the temple I’ve built for your Name. 45 Then listen to them from heaven. Listen to their prayer for your help. Stand up for them.

46 “Suppose your people sin against you. After all, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t sin. And suppose you get angry with them. You hand them over to their enemies. They take them as prisoners to their own lands. It doesn’t matter whether those lands are near or far away. 47 But suppose your people change their ways in the land where they are held as prisoners. They turn away from their sins. They beg you to help them in the land of those who won the battle over them. They say, ‘We have sinned. We’ve done what is wrong. We’ve done what is evil.’ 48 And they turn back to you with all their heart and soul. Suppose it happens in the land of their enemies who took them away as prisoners. There they pray to you toward the land you gave their people long ago. They pray toward the city you have chosen. And they pray toward the temple I’ve built for your Name. 49 Then listen to them from heaven. It’s the place where you live. Listen to their prayer. Listen to them when they ask you to help them. Stand up for them. 50 Your people have sinned against you. Please forgive them. Forgive them for all the wrong things they’ve done against you. And make those who won the battle over them show mercy to them. 51 After all, they are your people. They belong to you. You brought them out of Egypt. You brought them out of that furnace that melts iron down and makes it pure.

52 “Let your eyes be open to me when I ask you to help us. Let them be open to your people Israel when they ask you to help them. Pay attention to them every time they cry out to you. 53 After all, you chose them out of all the nations in the world. You made them your very own people. You did it just as you had announced through your servant Moses. That’s when you brought out of Egypt our people of long ago. You are our Lord and King.”

54 Solomon finished praying. He finished asking the Lord to help his people. Then he got up from in front of the Lord’s altar. He had been down on his knees with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 He stood in front of the whole community of Israel. He blessed them with a loud voice. He said,

56 “I praise the Lord. He has given peace and rest to his people Israel. That’s exactly what he promised to do. He gave his people good promises through his servant Moses. Every single word of those promises has come true. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, just as he was with our people who lived long ago. May he never leave us. May he never desert us. 58 May he turn our hearts to him. Then we will live the way he wants us to. We’ll obey the commands, rules and directions he gave our people of long ago. 59 I’ve prayed these words to the Lord our God. May he keep them close to him day and night. May he stand up for me. May he also stand up for his people Israel. May he give us what we need every day. 60 Then all the nations on earth will know that the Lord is God. They’ll know that there isn’t any other god. 61 And may you commit your lives completely to the Lord our God. May you live by his rules. May you obey his commands. May you always do as you are doing now.”

The Temple Is Set Apart to the Lord

62 Then the king and the whole community of Israel offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63 Solomon sacrificed friendship offerings to the Lord. He sacrificed 22,000 oxen. He also sacrificed 120,000 sheep and goats. So the king and the whole community set the temple of the Lord apart to him.

64 On that same day the king set the middle area of the courtyard apart to the Lord. It was in front of the Lord’s temple. There Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and grain offerings. He also sacrificed the fat of the friendship offerings there. He did it there because the bronze altar that stood in front of the Lord was too small. It wasn’t big enough to hold all the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the friendship offerings.

65 At that time Solomon celebrated the Feast of Booths. The whole community of Israel was with him. It was a huge crowd. People came from as far away as Lebo Hamath and the Wadi of Egypt. For seven days they celebrated in front of the Lord our God. The feast continued for seven more days. That made a total of 14 days. 66 On the following day Solomon sent the people away. They asked the Lord to bless the king. Then they went home. The people were glad. Their hearts were full of joy. That’s because the Lord had done so many good things for his servant David and his people Israel.

Amplified Bible

1 Kings 8

The Ark Brought into the Temple

1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David, which is Zion. All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim (September-October), that is, the seventh month. All the elders of Israel came, and the priests carried the ark. They brought up the ark of the Lord and the Tent of Meeting and all the holy utensils that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, so many that they could not be counted or numbered. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its [carrying] poles from above. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were visible from the Holy Place that was in front of the [a]Holy of Holies, but they were not visible from the outside; they are there to this day (the date of this writing). There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb (Sinai), where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 Now it happened that when the priests had come out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Lord’s house, 11 so the priests could not stand [in their positions] to minister because of the cloud, for the glory and brilliance of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house (temple).

Solomon Addresses the People

12 Then Solomon said,

“The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness [of the cloud].
13 
“I have certainly built You a lofty house,
A place for You to dwell in forever.”

14 Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hand, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I did not choose a [particular] city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house so that My Name (Presence) would be in it, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was [determined] in the heart of my father David to build a house (temple) 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, in that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son, who shall be born to you, it is he who shall build it for My Name [and My Presence].’ 20 Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; I have risen in the place of my father David and have taken my seat on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and have built the house (temple) for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 There I have made a place [in the Holy of Holies] for the ark, in which is the covenant (solemn agreement) of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

The Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood [in the courtyard] before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, who keeps the covenant and shows lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart; 24 You who have kept what You [b]promised to Your servant my father David. You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled Your word with Your hand, as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep for Your servant my father David that which You promised him when You said, ‘You shall not be without a man (descendant) to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way [of life] to walk before Me [according to my laws] as you have done.’ 26 Now, O God of Israel, please let Your word which You have spoken to Your servant David my father be confirmed.

27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built! 28 Yet graciously consider the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the [loud] cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You today; 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My Name (Presence) shall be there,’ that You may listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel which they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven, Your dwelling place; hear and forgive.

31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath [of innocence] and he comes to take the oath before Your altar in this house (temple), 32 then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his guilt on his own head, and justifying the righteous by rewarding him in accordance with his righteousness.

33 “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and then they turn to You again and praise Your Name and pray and ask for Your favor and compassion in this house (temple), 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave their fathers.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name and turn from their sin when You afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel; indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk (live). And send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, or if there is pestilence (plague), blight, mildew, migratory locusts, or grasshoppers, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever affliction or plague, whatever sickness [there is], 38 whatever prayer or pleading is made by any individual, or by Your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading his hands out toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and give to each according to his ways, whose heart (mind) You know, for You and You alone know the hearts of all the children of men, 40 so that they may fear You [with reverence and awe] all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.

41 “Moreover, concerning a [c]foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, but comes from a far (distant) country for the sake of Your name [to plead with You] 42 (for they will hear of Your great name, Your strong hand [of power], and outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house (temple), 43 hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls upon (prays to) You, so that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You [with reverence and awe], as do Your people Israel, and that they may know [without any doubt] that this house which I have built is called by Your name.

44 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name and Presence, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their pleading, and maintain their right and defend their cause.

46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the enemy’s land, [whether] far away or near; 47 if they [d]take it to heart in the land where they have been taken captive, and they repent and pray to You in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong and we have acted wickedly;’ 48 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and they pray to You toward their land [of Israel] which You gave to their fathers, the city [of Jerusalem] which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your Name and Presence; 49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their right and defend their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the transgressions which they have committed against You, and make them objects of compassion before their captors, that they will be merciful to them 51 (for they are Your people and Your heritage, whom You brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace [of slavery and oppression]), 52 that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them and be attentive to them whenever they call to You. 53 For You singled them out from all the peoples of the earth as Your heritage, just as You declared through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

Solomon’s Benediction

54 When Solomon finished offering this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the Lord’s altar, where he had knelt down with his hands stretched toward heaven. 55 And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, in accordance with everything that He promised. Not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He spoke through Moses His servant. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us nor abandon us [to our enemies], 58 that He may guide our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways [following Him] and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His precepts which He commanded our fathers. 59 Let these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, so that He will maintain the cause and right of His servant and of His people Israel as each day requires, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else. 61 Therefore, your hearts are to be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as [you are doing] today.”

Dedicatory Sacrifices

62 Then the king and all [the people of] Israel with him [repeatedly] offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the Lord: 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house (temple) of the Lord. 64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the house (temple) of the Lord; for he offered there the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to hold [all] the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 So at that time Solomon held the [e]feast, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath [on the northern border of Israel] to the [f]Brook of Egypt [at Israel’s southern border], before the Lord our God, for seven days and seven more days [beyond the prescribed period for the Feast of Booths], fourteen days in all. 66 On the eighth (fifteenth) day he sent the people away and they blessed the king. Then they went to their tents joyful and in good spirits because of all the goodness which the Lord had shown to David His servant and Israel His people.

Notas al pie

  1. 1 Kings 8:8 Lit inner sanctuary and so throughout the passage.
  2. 1 Kings 8:24 Lit spoke.
  3. 1 Kings 8:41 Solomon’s request for the foreigner underscores the fact that Gentiles had access to God before the way of salvation was formally opened to them in the first century a.d., when Peter preached at Cornelius’ home (Acts 10:44-11:15). But until Christ came, the path of access for Gentiles was only through Israel. Thankfully, when our Lord Jesus died on the cross, the heavy curtain concealing the Holy of Holies was torn open (Matt 27:51), signifying that mankind would forever after have direct access to God, with no need for an earthly temple or priests (cf John 4:21-24).
  4. 1 Kings 8:47 Lit return to.
  5. 1 Kings 8:65 I.e. the Feast of Booths was held in the seventh month of the year.
  6. 1 Kings 8:65 I.e. the Wadi el-Arish in the northeastern Sinai.