2 Chronicles 6-8 New Revised Standard Version

The Dedication of the Temple

6 1  Then Solomon said, "The Lord has said that he would reside in thick darkness. 2  I have built you an exalted house, a place for you to reside in forever." 3  Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. 4  And he said, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David, saying, 5  "Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any of the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, so that my name might be there, and I chose no one as ruler over my people Israel; 6  but I have chosen Jerusalem in order that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.' 7  My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8  But the Lord said to my father David, "You did well to consider building a house for my name; 9  nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.' 10  Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made; for I have succeeded my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11  There I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel."

12  Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands. 13  Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court; and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven. 14  He said, "O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant in steadfast love with your servants who walk before you with all their heart- 15  you who have kept for your servant, my father David, what you promised to him. Indeed, you promised with your mouth and this day have fulfilled with your hand. 16  Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant, my father David, that which you promised him, saying, "There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children keep to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.' 17  Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant David. 18  "But will God indeed reside with mortals on earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19  Regard your servant's prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you. 20  May your eyes be open day and night toward this house, the place where you promised to set your name, and may you heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 21  And hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; may you hear from heaven your dwelling place; hear and forgive. 22  "If someone sins against another and is required to take an oath and comes and swears before your altar in this house, 23  may you hear from heaven, and act, and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing their conduct on their own head, and vindicating those who are in the right by rewarding them in accordance with their righteousness. 24  "When your people Israel, having sinned against you, are defeated before an enemy but turn again to you, confess your name, pray and plead with you in this house, 25  may you hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their ancestors. 26  "When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, and then they pray toward this place, confess your name, and turn from their sin, because you punish them, 27  may you hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send down rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance. 28  "If there is famine in the land, if there is plague, blight, mildew, locust, or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in any of the settlements of the lands; whatever suffering, whatever sickness there is; 29  whatever prayer, whatever plea from any individual or from all your people Israel, all knowing their own suffering and their own sorrows so that they stretch out their hands toward this house; 30  may you hear from heaven, your dwelling place, forgive, and render to all whose heart you know, according to all their ways, for only you know the human heart. 31  Thus may they fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our ancestors. 32  "Likewise when foreigners, who are not of your people Israel, come from a distant land because of your great name, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, 33  may you hear from heaven your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigners ask of you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built. 34  "If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 35  then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause. 36  "If they sin against you-for there is no one who does not sin-and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near; 37  then if they come to their senses in the land to which they have been taken captive, and repent, and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, "We have sinned, and have done wrong; we have acted wickedly'; 38  if they repent with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity, to which they were taken captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their ancestors, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 39  then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40  Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to prayer from this place. 41  "Now rise up, O Lord God, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your faithful rejoice in your goodness. 42  O Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember your steadfast love for your servant David."

7 1  When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2  The priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. 3  When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." 4  Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5  King Solomon offered as a sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6  The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lord-for his steadfast love endures forever-whenever David offered praises by their ministry. Opposite them the priests sounded trumpets; and all Israel stood. 7  Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was in front of the house of the Lord; for there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the offerings of well-being because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat parts. 8  At that time Solomon held the festival for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. 9  On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly; for they had observed the dedication of the altar seven days and the festival seven days. 10  On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and in good spirits because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.

The LORD's Covenant with Solomon

11  Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king's house; all that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished.

12  Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13  When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14  if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16  For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17  As for you, if you walk before me, as your father David walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 18  then I will establish your royal throne, as I made covenant with your father David saying, "You shall never lack a successor to rule over Israel.' 19  "But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20  then I will pluck you up from the land that I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21  And regarding this house, now exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished, and say, "Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?' 22  Then they will say, "Because they abandoned the Lord the God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore he has brought all this calamity upon them.' "

Solomon's Further Activities

8 1  At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2  Solomon rebuilt the cities that Huram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them. 3  Solomon went to Hamath-zobah, and captured it. 4  He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage towns that he built in Hamath. 5  He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars, 6  and Baalath, as well as all Solomon's storage towns, and all the towns for his chariots, the towns for his cavalry, and whatever Solomon desired to build, in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 7  All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8  from their descendants who were still left in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed-these Solomon conscripted for forced labor, as is still the case today. 9  But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariotry and cavalry. 10  These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred fifty of them, who exercised authority over the people. 11  Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, "My wife shall not live in the house of King David of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy."

12  Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord that he had built in front of the vestibule, 13  as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual festivals-the festival of unleavened bread, the festival of weeks, and the festival of booths. 14  According to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry alongside the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions for the several gates; for so David the man of God had commanded. 15  They did not turn away from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites regarding anything at all, or regarding the treasuries. 16  Thus all the work of Solomon was accomplished from the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until the house of the Lord was finished completely. 17  Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18  Huram sent him, in the care of his servants, ships and servants familiar with the sea. They went to Ophir, together with the servants of Solomon, and imported from there four hundred fifty talents of gold and brought it to King Solomon.


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