2 Chronicles 6-8 Bible in Basic English

The Dedication of the Temple

6 1  Then Solomon said, O Lord, to the sun you have given the heaven for a living-place, but your living-place was not seen by men, 2  So I have made for you a living-place, a house in which you may be for ever present. 3  Then, turning his face about, the king gave a blessing to all the men of Israel; and they were all on their feet together. 4  And he said, Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who himself gave his word to my father David, and with his strong hand has made his word come true, saying, 5  From the day when I took my people out of the land of Egypt, no town in all the tribes of Israel has been marked out by me for the building of a house for the resting-place of my name; and I took no man to be a ruler over my people Israel; 6  But now I have made selection of Jerusalem, that my name might be there, and of David, to be over my people Israel. 7  Now it was in the heart of my father David to put up a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8  But the Lord said to David my father, You did well to have in your heart the desire to make a house for my name: 9  But you yourself will not be the builder of the house; but your son, the offspring of your body, he it is who will put up a house for my name. 10  And the Lord has kept his word; for I have taken my father David's place on the seat of the kingdom of Israel, as the Lord gave his word; and I have made the house for the name of the Lord the God of Israel. 11  And there I have put the ark, in which is the agreement of the Lord, which he made with the people of Israel.

12  Then he took his place in front of the altar of the Lord, all the men of Israel being present, 13  (For Solomon had made a brass stage, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had put it in the middle of the open space; on this he took his place and went down on his knees before all the meeting of Israel, stretching out his hands to heaven.) 14  And he said, O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth; keeping faith and mercy unchanging for your servants, while they go in your ways with all their hearts; 15  For you have kept the word which you gave to your servant David, my father; with your mouth you said it and with your hand you have made it come true this day. 16  So now, O Lord, the God of Israel, let your word to your servant David, my father, come true, when you said, You will never be without a man to take his place before me on the seat of the kingdom of Israel; if only your children give attention to their ways, walking in my law, as you have done before me. 17  So now, O Lord, the God of Israel, make your word come true which you said to your servant David. 18  But is it truly possible that God may be housed with men on earth? see, heaven and the heaven of heavens are not wide enough to be your resting-place: how much less this house which I have made: 19  Still, let your heart be turned to the prayer of your servant and to his prayer for grace, O Lord my God, and give ear to the cry and the prayer which your servant makes before you; 20  That your eyes may be open to this house day and night, to this place of which you have said that you would put your name there; to give ear to the prayer which your servant may make, turning to this place. 21  And give ear to the prayers of your servant and of your people Israel, when they make their prayers, turning to this place; give ear from heaven your living-place; and hearing have mercy. 22  If a man does wrong to his neighbour and has to take an oath, and comes before your altar to take his oath in this house: 23  Then let your ear be open in heaven, and be the judge of your servants, giving punishment to the wrongdoer, so that his sin may come on his head; and, by your decision, keeping from evil him who has done no wrong. 24  And if your people Israel are overcome in war, because of their sin against you; if they are turned to you again, honouring your name, making prayers and requesting your grace in this house: 25  Then give ear from heaven, and let the sin of your people Israel have forgiveness, and take them back again to the land which you gave to them and to their fathers. 26  When heaven is shut up and there is no rain, because of their sin against you: if they make prayers with their faces turned to this place, honouring your name and turning away from their sin when you send trouble on them: 27  Then give ear from heaven, so that the sin of your servants and the sin of your people Israel may have forgiveness, when you make clear to them the good way in which they are to go; and send rain on your land which you have given to your people for their heritage. 28  If there is no food in the land, if there is disease, if the fruits of the earth are damaged by heat or water, locust or worm; if their towns are shut in by their attackers: whatever trouble or whatever disease there may be: 29  Whatever prayer or request for your grace is made by any man, or by all your people Israel, whatever his trouble may be, whose hands are stretched out to this house: 30  Then give ear from heaven your living-place, answering with forgiveness, and give to every man, whose secret heart is open to you, the reward of all his ways; (for you, and you only, have knowledge of the hearts of the children of men;) 31  So that they may give you worship, walking in your ways, as long as they are living in the land which you gave to our fathers. 32  And as for the man from a strange land, who is not of your people Israel but comes from a far country because of the glory of your name and your strong hand and your outstretched arm; when he comes to make his prayer, turning to this house: 33  Then give ear from heaven your living-place, and give him his desire, whatever it may be; so that all the peoples of the earth may have knowledge of your name, worshipping you as do your people Israel, and may see that this house which I have made is truly named by your name. 34  If your people go out to war against their attackers, by whatever way you may send them, if they make their prayers to you turning their faces to this town of yours and to this house which I have put up for your name: 35  Then give ear from heaven to their prayer and their cry for grace, and see right done to them. 36  If they do wrong against you, (for no man is without sin,) and you are angry with them, and give them up into the power of those who are fighting against them, so that they take them away prisoners to a land far off or near; 37  And if they take thought, in the land where they are prisoners, turning again to you, crying out in prayer to you in that land, and saying, We are sinners, we have done wrong, we have done evil; 38  If with all their heart and soul they are turned again to you, in the land where they are prisoners, the land where they have been taken, and make their prayers, turning their eyes to their land which you gave to their fathers, and to the town which you took for yourself, and the house which I have made for your name: 39  Then give ear from heaven your living-place to their prayer and their cry, and see right done to them, answering with forgiveness your people who have done wrong against you. 40  Now, O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears awake to the prayers made in this place. 41  Up! now, O Lord God, come back to your resting-place, you and the ark of your strength: let your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints be glad in what is good. 42  O Lord God, let him whom you have taken for yourself never be given up by you: keep in mind your mercies to David your servant.

7 1  Now when Solomon's prayers were ended, fire came down from heaven, burning up all the offerings; and the house was full of the glory of the Lord. 2  And the priests were not able to go into the house of the Lord, for the Lord's house was full of the glory of the Lord. 3  And all the children of Israel were looking on when the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord was on the house; and they went down on their knees, with their faces to the earth, worshipping and praising the Lord, and saying, He is good; for his mercy is unchanging for ever. 4  Then the king and all the people made offerings before the Lord. 5  King Solomon made an offering of twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people kept the feast of the opening of the house of God. 6  And the priests were in their places, and the Levites with their instruments of music for the Lord's song, which David the king had made for the praise of the Lord whose mercy is unchanging for ever, when David gave praise by their hand; and the priests were sounding horns before them; and all Israel were on their feet. 7  Then Solomon made holy the middle of the open square in front of the house of the Lord, offering the burned offerings there, and the fat of the peace-offerings; for there was not room on the brass altar which Solomon had made for all the burned offerings and the meal offerings and the fat. 8  So Solomon kept the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great meeting, for the people had come together from the way into Hamath and from as far as the river of Egypt. 9  And on the eighth day they had a holy meeting; the offerings for making the altar holy went on for seven days, and the feast for seven days. 10  And on the twenty-third day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their tents, full of joy and glad in their hearts, because of all the good which the Lord had done to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people.

The LORD's Covenant with Solomon

11  So Solomon came to the end of building the house of the Lord and the king's house; and everything which it was in his mind to make in the house of the Lord and for himself had been well done.

12  Now the Lord came to Solomon in a vision by night, and said to him, I have given ear to your prayer, and have taken this place for myself as a house where offerings are to be made. 13  If, at my word, heaven is shut up, so that there is no rain, or if I send locusts on the land for its destruction, or if I send disease on my people; 14  If my people, on whom my name is named, make themselves low and come to me in prayer, searching for me and turning from their evil ways; then I will give ear from heaven, overlooking their sin, and will give life again to their land. 15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears awake to the prayers made in this place. 16  For I have taken this house for myself and made it holy, so that my name may be there for ever; and my eyes and my heart will be there at all times. 17  And as for you, if you will go on your way before me as David your father did, doing whatever I have given you orders to do and keeping my laws and my decisions: 18  Then I will make strong the seat of your kingdom, as I gave my word to David your father, saying, You will never be without a man to be ruler in Israel. 19  But if you are turned away from me, and do not keep my orders and my laws which I have put before you, but go and make yourselves servants to other gods, giving them worship: 20  Then I will have this people uprooted out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for my name, I will put away from before my eyes, and make it an example and a word of shame among all peoples. 21  And this house will become a mass of broken walls, and everyone who goes by will be overcome with wonder, and will say, Why has the Lord done so to this land and to this house? 22  And their answer will be, Because they were turned away from the Lord, the God of their fathers, who took them out of the land of Egypt, and took for themselves other gods and gave them worship and became their servants: that is why he has sent all this evil on them.

Solomon's Further Activities

8 1  Now at the end of twenty years, in which time Solomon had put up the house of the Lord and a house for himself, 2  He took in hand the building up of the towns which Huram had given him, causing the children of Israel to make living-places for themselves there. 3  And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and overcame it. 4  And he put up the buildings of Tadmor in the waste land, and of all the store-towns in Hamath; 5  And of Beth-horon the higher and the lower, walled towns with walls and doorways and locks; 6  And of Baalath, and all the store-towns which Solomon had, and the towns where he kept his war-carriages and his horse men, and everything which it was his pleasure to put up in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land under his rule. 7  As for all the rest of the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel: 8  Their men who were still living in the land, and whom the children of Israel had not put an end to, these Solomon put to forced work, as is done to this day; 9  But Solomon did not make use of the children of Israel as servants for his work; they were men of war, his chiefs and his captains, and captains of his war-carriages and his horsemen. 10  Now these were the chief men in authority whom King Solomon had: two hundred and fifty of them, in authority over the people. 11  Then Solomon made Pharaoh's daughter come up from the town of David to the house which he had made for her; for he said, I will not have my wife living in the house of David, king of Israel, because those places where the ark of the Lord has come are holy.

12  Then Solomon made burned offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord which he had put up in front of the covered way, 13  Offering every day what had been ordered by Moses, on the Sabbaths and at the new moon and at the regular feasts three times a year, that is at the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of weeks, and the feast of tents. 14  And he gave the divisions of the priests their places for their work, as ordered by his father David, and to the Levites he gave their work of praise and waiting on the priests, to do what was needed day by day; and he gave the door-keepers their places in turn at every door; for so David, the man of God, had given orders. 15  All the orders given by the king to the priests and Levites, in connection with any business or stores, were done with care. 16  And all the work of Solomon was complete, from the day when he put the base of the Lord's house in position, till Solomon had come to the end of building the Lord's house. 17  Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth by the sea in the land of Edom. 18  And Huram sent him, by his servants, ships and experienced seamen, who went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir and came back with four hundred and fifty talents of gold, which they took to King Solomon.


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