New American Standard 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 themselves to King Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. Then all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. They brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils, which were in the tent, and the priests and the Levites brought them up. And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled to him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing [a]so many sheep and oxen 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, to the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles from above. But the poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

Solomon Addresses the People

12 Then Solomon said,

“The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.
13 “I have surely built You a lofty house,
A place for Your dwelling forever.”

14 Then the king [b]faced about 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 from Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was [c]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 [d]in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was [e]in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who [f]will be born to you, he will build the house for My name.’ 20 Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord [g]promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 There I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them from the land of Egypt.”

The Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood 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 beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24 who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have [h]promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have [i]promised him, saying, ‘[j]You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the [k]highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the 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 shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when 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, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

33 “When Your people Israel are [l]defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, if they turn to You again and confess Your name and pray and make supplication to You in this house, 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to 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 confess 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. And send rain on Your land, which You have given Your people for an inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their [m]cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, [n]each knowing the [o]affliction of his own heart, and spreading his [p]hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, 40 that they may [q]fear You all the days that they live [r]in the land which You have given to our fathers.

41 “Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to [s]fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that [t]this house which I have built is called by Your name.

44 “When Your people go out to battle against [u]their enemy, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to the Lord [v]toward the city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their [w]cause.

46 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that [x]they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 if they [y]take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and have committed iniquity, 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 pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name; 49 then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their [z]cause, 50 and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are Your people and Your inheritance which You have brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace), 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 whenever they call to You. 53 For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance, as You spoke through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers forth from Egypt, O Lord [aa]God.”

Solomon’s Benediction

54 When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his [ab]hands spread 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, according to all that He [ac]promised; not one word has [ad]failed of all His good [ae]promise, which He [af]promised through Moses His servant. 57 May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. 59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the [ag]cause of His servant and the [ah]cause of His people Israel, [ai]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 Let your heart therefore be [aj]wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.”

Dedicatory Sacrifices

62 Now the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered for the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to the Lord, 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the sons of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. 64 On the same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, because there he [ak]offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings; for the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 So Solomon observed the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, for seven days and seven more days, even fourteen days. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away and they blessed the king. Then they went to their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had [al]shown to David His servant and to Israel His people.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 8:5 Lit sheep and oxen...numbered for multitude
  2. 1 Kings 8:14 Lit turned his face about
  3. 1 Kings 8:17 Lit with
  4. 1 Kings 8:18 Lit with
  5. 1 Kings 8:18 Lit with
  6. 1 Kings 8:19 Lit will come forth from your loins
  7. 1 Kings 8:20 Lit spoke
  8. 1 Kings 8:24 Lit spoken to
  9. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit spoken to
  10. 1 Kings 8:25 Lit There shall not be cut off to you a man from before Me
  11. 1 Kings 8:27 Lit heaven of heavens
  12. 1 Kings 8:33 Lit smitten
  13. 1 Kings 8:37 Lit gates
  14. 1 Kings 8:38 Lit who shall know each
  15. 1 Kings 8:38 Lit plague
  16. 1 Kings 8:38 Lit palms
  17. 1 Kings 8:40 Or revere
  18. 1 Kings 8:40 Lit on the face of the land
  19. 1 Kings 8:43 Or reverence
  20. 1 Kings 8:43 Lit Your name is called upon this house which I have built
  21. 1 Kings 8:44 Lit his
  22. 1 Kings 8:44 Lit in the way of
  23. 1 Kings 8:45 Lit right or justice
  24. 1 Kings 8:46 Lit their captors take them captive
  25. 1 Kings 8:47 Lit return to their heart
  26. 1 Kings 8:49 Lit judgment
  27. 1 Kings 8:53 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  28. 1 Kings 8:54 Lit palms
  29. 1 Kings 8:56 Lit spoke
  30. 1 Kings 8:56 Lit fallen
  31. 1 Kings 8:56 Lit word
  32. 1 Kings 8:56 Lit spoke
  33. 1 Kings 8:59 Lit judgment
  34. 1 Kings 8:59 Lit judgment
  35. 1 Kings 8:59 Lit the thing of a day in its day
  36. 1 Kings 8:61 Lit complete with
  37. 1 Kings 8:64 Lit made
  38. 1 Kings 8:66 Lit done

The Message

1 Kings 8

11-2 Bringing all this to a climax, King Solomon called in the leaders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the family patriarchs, to bring up the Chest of the Covenant of God from Zion, the City of David. And they came, all Israel before King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month, for the great autumn festival.

3-5 With all Israel’s leaders present, the priests took up the Chest of God and carried up the Chest and the Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that went with the Tent. King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel were there at the Chest worshiping and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle—so many that no one could keep track.

6-9 Then the priests brought the Chest of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. The outspread wings of the cherubim stretched over the Chest and its poles. The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the entrance to the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable farther out. They’re still there today. There was nothing in the Chest but the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt.

The Temple Finished, Dedicated, Filled

10-11 When the priests left the Holy Place, a cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t carry out their priestly duties because of the cloud—the glory of God filled The Temple of God!

12-13 Then Solomon spoke:

God has told us that he lives in the dark
    where no one can see him;
I’ve built this splendid Temple, O God,
    to mark your invisible presence forever.

14 The king then turned to face the congregation and blessed them:

15-16 “Blessed be God, the God of Israel, who spoke personally to my father David. Now he has kept the promise he made when he said, ‘From the day I brought my people Israel from Egypt, I haven’t set apart one city among the tribes of Israel to build a Temple to fix my Name there. But I did choose David to rule my people Israel.’

17-19 “My father David had it in his heart to build a Temple honoring the Name of God, the God of Israel. But God told him ‘It was good that you wanted to build a Temple in my honor—most commendable! But you are not the one to do it—your son will build it to honor my Name.’

20-21 God has done what he said he would do: I have succeeded David my father and ruled over Israel just as God promised; and now I’ve built a Temple to honor God, the God of Israel, and I’ve secured a place for the Chest that holds the covenant of God, the covenant that he made with our ancestors when he brought them up from the land of Egypt.”

22-25 Before the entire congregation of Israel, Solomon took a position before the Altar, spread his hands out before heaven, and prayed,

O God, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and relentlessly loves them as they sincerely live in obedience to your way. You kept your word to David my father, your personal word. You did exactly what you promised—every detail. The proof is before us today!

Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, “You’ll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel’s throne, on the condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have.”

26 O God of Israel, let this all happen;
    confirm and establish it!

27-32 Can it be that God will actually move into our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn’t large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I’ve built. Even so, I’m bold to ask: Pay attention to these my prayers, both intercessory and personal, O God, my God. Listen to my prayers, energetic and devout, that I’m setting before you right now. Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, “My Name will be honored there,” and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place.

Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive.

When someone hurts a neighbor and promises to make things right, and then comes and repeats the promise before your Altar in this Temple, listen from heaven and act accordingly: Judge your servants, making the offender pay for his offense and setting the offended free of any charges.

33-34 When your people Israel are beaten by an enemy because they’ve sinned against you, but then turn to you and acknowledge your rule in prayers desperate and devout in this Temple,

Listen from your home in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, return them to the land you gave their ancestors.

35-36 When the skies shrivel up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, but then they pray at this place, acknowledging your rule and quitting their sins because you have scourged them,

Listen from your home in heaven, forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel.

Then start over with them: Train them to live right and well; send rain on the land you gave your people as an inheritance.

37-40 When disasters strike, famine or catastrophe, crop failure or disease, locust or beetle, or when an enemy attacks their defenses—calamity of any sort—any prayer that’s prayed from anyone at all among your people Israel, hearts penetrated by the disaster, hands and arms thrown out to this Temple for help,

Listen from your home in heaven.

Forgive and go to work on us. Give what each deserves, for you know each life from the inside (you’re the only one with such “inside knowledge”!) so that they’ll live before you in lifelong reverent and believing obedience on this land you gave our ancestors.

41-43 And don’t forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation. People are going to be attracted here by your great reputation, your wonder-working power, who come to pray at this Temple.

Listen from your home in heaven.

Honor the prayers of the foreigner so that people all over the world will know who you are and what you’re like and will live in reverent obedience before you, just as your own people Israel do; so they’ll know that you personally make this Temple that I’ve built what it is.

44-51 When your people go to war against their enemies at the time and place you send them and they pray to God toward the city you chose and this Temple I’ve built to honor your Name,

Listen from heaven to what they pray and ask for,
and do what’s right for them.

When they sin against you—and they certainly will; there’s no one without sin!—and in anger you turn them over to the enemy and they are taken captive to the enemy’s land, whether far or near, but repent in the country of their captivity and pray with changed hearts in their exile, “We’ve sinned; we’ve done wrong; we’ve been most wicked,” and turn back to you heart and soul in the land of the enemy who conquered them, and pray to you toward their homeland, the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you chose, and this Temple I have built to the honor of your Name,

Listen from your home in heaven to their prayers desperate and devout and do what is best for them.

Forgive your people who have sinned against you; forgive their gross rebellions and move their captors to treat them with compassion. They are, after all, your people and your precious inheritance whom you rescued from the heart of that iron-smelting furnace, Egypt!

52-53 O be alert and attentive to the needy prayers of me, your servant, and your dear people Israel; listen every time they cry out to you! You handpicked them from all the peoples on earth to be your very own people, as you announced through your servant Moses when you, O God, in your masterful rule, delivered our ancestors from Egypt.

54-55 Having finished praying to God—all these bold and passionate prayers—Solomon stood up before God’s Altar where he had been kneeling all this time, his arms stretched upward to heaven. Standing, he blessed the whole congregation of Israel, blessing them at the top of his lungs:

56-58 “Blessed be God, who has given peace to his people Israel just as he said he’d do. Not one of all those good and wonderful words that he spoke through Moses has misfired. May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors—may he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.

59-61 “And let these words that I’ve prayed in the presence of God be always right there before him, day and night, so that he’ll do what is right for me, to guarantee justice for his people Israel day after day after day. Then all the people on earth will know God is the true God; there is no other God. And you, your lives must be totally obedient to God, our personal God, following the life path he has cleared, alert and attentive to everything he has made plain this day.”

62-63 The king and all Israel with him then worshiped, offering sacrifices to God. Solomon offered Peace-Offerings, sacrificing to God 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. This is how the king and all Israel dedicated The Temple of God.

64 That same day, the king set apart the central area of the Courtyard in front of God’s Temple for sacred use and there sacrificed the Whole-Burnt-Offerings, Grain-Offerings, and fat from the Peace-Offerings—the bronze Altar was too small to handle all these offerings.

65-66 This is how Solomon kept the great autumn feast, and all Israel with him, people there all the way from the far northeast (the Entrance to Hamath) to the far southwest (the Brook of Egypt)—a huge congregation. They started out celebrating for seven days—and then did it another seven days! Two solid weeks of celebration! Then he dismissed them. They blessed the king and went home, exuberant with heartfelt gratitude for all the good God had done for his servant David and for his people Israel.