“Our Lord, you said that you
would live in a dark cloud.
2Now I've built a glorious temple
where you can live for ever.”
Solomon speaks to the people
(1 Kings 8.14–21)
3Solomon turned towards the people standing there. Then he blessed them 4-6#2 Sam 7.1–131 Chron 17.1–12and said:
Praise the Lord God of Israel! He brought his people out of Egypt long ago and later kept his promise to make my father David the king of Israel. The Lord also promised him that Jerusalem would be the city where his temple will be built, and now that promise has come true.
7When my father wanted to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel, 8the Lord said, “It's good that you want to build a temple where I can be worshipped. 9But you're not the one to do it. Your son will build the temple to honour me.”
10The Lord has done what he promised. I am now the king of Israel, and I've built a temple for the Lord our God. 11I've also put the sacred chest in the temple. And in that chest are the two flat stones on which is written the solemn agreement the Lord made with our ancestors when he rescued them from Egypt.
Solomon prays at the temple
(1 Kings 8.22–53)
12-13Earlier, Solomon had a bronze platform made that was about two metres square and over a metre high, and he put it in the centre of the outer courtyard near the altar. Solomon stood on the platform facing the altar with everyone standing behind him. Then he lifted his arms towards heaven; he knelt down 14and prayed:
Lord God of Israel, no other god in heaven or on earth is like you!
You never forget the agreement you made with your people, and you are loyal to anyone who faithfully obeys your teachings. 15My father David was your servant, and today you have kept every promise you made to him.
16 # 1 King 2.4 You promised that someone from his family would always be king of Israel, if they do their best to obey you, just as he did. 17Please keep this promise you made to your servant David. 18#2 Chron 2.6There's not enough room in all of heaven for you, Lord God. How could you possibly live on earth in this temple I have built? 19But I ask you to answer my prayer. 20#Deut 12.11This is the temple where you have chosen to be worshipped. Please watch over it day and night and listen when I turn towards it and pray. 21I am your servant, and the people of Israel belong to you, and so whenever any of us look towards this temple and pray, answer from your home in heaven and forgive our sins.
22Suppose someone accuses a person of a crime, and the accused has to stand in front of the altar in your temple and say, “I swear I am innocent!” 23Listen from heaven and decide who is right. Then punish the guilty person and let the innocent one go free.
24Suppose your people Israel sin against you, and then an enemy defeats them. If they come to this temple and beg for forgiveness, 25listen from your home in heaven. Forgive them and bring them back to the land you gave their ancestors.
26Suppose your people sin against you, and you punish them by holding back the rain. If they stop sinning and turn towards this temple to pray in your name, 27listen from your home in heaven and forgive them. The people of Israel are your servants, so teach them to live right. And send rain on the land you promised them for ever.
28Sometimes the crops may dry up or rot or be eaten by locusts#6.28 locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to crops. or grasshoppers, and your people will be starving. Sometimes enemies may surround their towns, or your people will become sick with deadly diseases. 29Please listen when anyone in Israel truly feels sorry and sincerely prays with arms lifted towards your temple. 30You know what is in everyone's heart. So from your home in heaven answer their prayers, according to what they do and what is in their hearts. 31Then your people will worship you and obey you for as long as they live in the land you gave their ancestors.
32Foreigners will hear about you and your mighty power, and some of them will come to live among your people Israel. If any of them pray towards this temple, 33listen from your home in heaven and answer their prayers. Then everyone on earth will worship you, just as your own people Israel do, and they will know that I have built this temple in your honour.
34Sometimes you will order your people to attack their enemies. Then your people will turn towards this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, and they will pray to you. 35Answer their prayers from heaven and give them victory.
36Everyone sins. But when your people sin against you, suppose you get angry enough to let their enemies drag them away to foreign countries. 37-39Later, they may feel sorry for what they did and ask your forgiveness. Answer them when they pray towards this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, here in this land you gave their ancestors. From your home in heaven, listen to their sincere prayers and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 Lord God, hear us when we pray in this temple. 41#Psa 132.8–10Come to your new home, where we have already placed the sacred chest, which is the symbol of your strength. I pray that when the priests announce your power to save people, those who are faithful to you will celebrate what you've done for them. 42Always remember the love you had for your servant David,#6.42 the love you had for your servant David: Or “how loyal your servant David was to you”. so that you will not reject your chosen kings.