1Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 2I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell for ever.’
3While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned round and blessed them. 4Then he said:
‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said, 5“Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. 6But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.”
7‘My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8But the Lord said to my father David, “You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 9Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood – he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.”
10‘The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11There I have placed the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel.’
Solomon’s prayer of dedication
12Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high,#That is, about 2.3 metres long and wide and 1.4 metres high and had placed it in the centre of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands towards heaven. 14He said:
‘Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth – you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it – as it is today.
16‘Now, Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, “You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.” 17And now, Lord, the God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true.
18‘But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple that I have built! 19Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20May your eyes be open towards this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays towards this place. 21Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray towards this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling-place; and when you hear, forgive.
22‘When anyone wrongs their neighbour and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, 23then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.
24‘When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you and when they turn back and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication before you in this temple, 25then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.
26‘When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray towards this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land that you gave your people for an inheritance.
28‘When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 29and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel – being aware of their afflictions and pains, and spreading out their hands towards this temple – 30then hear from heaven, your dwelling-place. Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land that you gave our ancestors.
32‘As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm – when they come and pray towards this temple, 33then hear from heaven, your dwelling-place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house that I have built bears your Name.
34‘When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to you towards this city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 35then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
36‘When they sin against you – for there is no one who does not sin – and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; 37and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, “We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly”; 38and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray towards the land that you gave their ancestors, towards the city you have chosen and towards the temple that I have built for your Name; 39then from heaven, your dwelling-place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you.
40‘Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
41‘Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.
42Lord God, do not reject your anointed one.
Remember the great love promised to David your servant.’