The Shekinah Glory
1When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the [#This term is not found in the Bible, but was used by the ancient rabbis to refer to the divine presence.Shekinah] glory and brilliance of the Lord filled the house. 2The priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory and brilliance of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3When all the people of Israel saw how the fire came down and saw the glory and brilliance of the Lord upon the house, they bowed down on the stone pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.”
4Then the king and all the people offered a sacrifice before the Lord. 5King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. In this way the king and all the people dedicated God’s house. 6The priests stood at their posts [ready for service], and the Levites also, with the musical instruments of the Lord which King David had made to praise the Lord, saying, “For His lovingkindness and mercy endure forever,” whenever David offered praise through their ministry. The priests were opposite the Levites blowing the trumpets and all Israel was standing.
7Moreover, Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the house of the Lord, for it was there that he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings because the bronze altar which he had made was not sufficient to hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat [all together].
The Feast of Dedication
8At that time Solomon observed the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very large assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt. 9On the eighth day they held a celebration, for they had observed the dedication of the altar for seven days, and the feast for seven days. 10And on the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy in heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David, to Solomon, and to His people Israel.
God’s Promise and Warning
11And so Solomon finished the house (temple) of the Lord and the palace of the king. He successfully accomplished all that he had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his palace.
12Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13If I shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence and plague among My people, 14and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. 15Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. 16For now I have chosen and sanctified and set apart for My purpose this house that My Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually. 17As for you [Solomon], if you will #I.e. conduct yourself, live your life.walk before me as your father David walked, and do everything that I have commanded you, and observe My statutes and My ordinances, 18then I will establish your royal throne just as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You will not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’
19“But if you [people] turn away and abandon My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and you go and serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot Israel from My land which I have given them; and I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations. 21And as for this house, which was so exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, 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 adversity and evil on them.’ ”