The Temple Is Given to the Lord
1When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from the sky and burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The Lord’s glory filled the Temple. 2The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord, because the Lord’s glory filled it. 3When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down from heaven and the Lord’s glory on the Temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and thanked the Lord, saying,
“He is good;
his love continues forever.”
4Then King Solomon and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. 5King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people gave the Temple to God. 6The priests stood ready to do their work. The Levites also stood with the instruments of the Lord’s music that King David had made for praising the Lord. The priests and Levites were saying, “His love continues forever.” The priests, who stood across from the Levites, blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing.
7Solomon made holy the middle part of the courtyard, which is in front of the Temple of the Lord. There he offered whole burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings. He offered them in the courtyard, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat.
8Solomon and all the Israelites celebrated the festival for seven days. There were many people, and they came from as far away as Lebo Hamath and the brook of Egypt. 9For seven days they celebrated giving the altar for the worship of God. Then they celebrated the festival for seven days. On the eighth day they had a meeting. 10On the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon sent the people home, full of joy. They were happy because the Lord had been so good to David, Solomon, and his people Israel.
The Lord Appears to Solomon
11Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord and his royal palace. He had success in doing everything he planned in the Temple of the Lord and his own palace. 12Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself to be a Temple for sacrifices.
13“I may stop the sky from sending rain. I may command the locusts to destroy the land. I may send sicknesses to my people. 14Then if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. 15Now I will see them, and I will listen to the prayers prayed in this place. 16I have chosen this Temple and made it holy. So I will be worshiped there forever. Yes, I will always watch over it and love it.
17“But you must serve me as your father David did. You must obey all I have commanded and keep my laws and rules. 18If you do, I will make your kingdom strong. This is the agreement I made with your father David, saying, ‘Someone from your family will always rule in Israel.’
19“But you must follow me and obey the laws and commands I have given you. You must not serve or worship other gods. 20If you do, I will take the Israelites out of my land, the land I have given them, and I will leave this Temple that I have made holy. All the nations will make fun of it and speak evil about it. 21This Temple is honored now, but then, everyone who passes by will be shocked. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do this terrible thing to this land and this Temple?’ 22People will answer, ‘This happened because they left the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God who brought them out of Egypt. They decided to follow other gods and worshiped and served them, so he brought all this disaster on them.’ ”