1Then Solomon said, “The Lord chose to live in a dark cloud. 2But, Lord, I have built a beautiful house for you to live in forever.”
Solomon’s Speech
3King Solomon turned around and blessed all the Israelites gathered in front of him. 4He said,
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has done what he promised my father David. The Lord said, 5‘I led Israel out of Egypt long ago. And in all that time, I have not chosen a city from any tribe of Israel for a place to build a house for my name. I have not chosen a man to lead my people, the people of Israel. 6But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place for my name, and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’
7“My father David wanted to build a temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8But the Lord said to my father, ‘David, it is good that you want to build a temple for my name, 9but you cannot build the Temple. Your son will build the Temple for my name.’ 10Now, the Lord has done what he said he would do. I am the new king in my father’s place. David was my father. Now I am Israel’s king. That is what the Lord promised, and I have built the Temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11I have put the Box of the Agreement in the Temple. The Lord’S Agreement with Israel is in that box.”
Solomon’s Prayer
12-13Solomon had made a bronze platform and placed it in the middle of the outer courtyard. The platform was 5 cubits#6:12-13 5 cubits 8' 6" (2.6 m). long, 5 cubits wide, and 3 cubits#6:12-13 3 cubits 5' 1 3/16" (1.55 m). tall. Solomon stood on the platform and faced the Lord’S altar. In front of all the Israelites who were gathered together, Solomon kneeled, spread his hands out toward heaven, 14and said,
Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth. You keep the agreement that you made with your people. You are kind and loyal to those who follow you with all their heart. 15You made a promise to your servant, my father David, and you kept that promise. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you made it come true today. 16Now, Lord, God of Israel, keep the other promises you made to your servant David, my father. You said, ‘David, if your sons carefully obey me as you did, you will always have someone from your family ruling the people of Israel.’ 17Again, Lord, God of Israel, I ask you to keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David.
18“But, God, will you really live here with us on the earth? The whole sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you. Certainly this house that I built cannot contain you either. 19But please listen to my prayer and my request. I am your servant, and you are the Lord my God. Hear this prayer that I am praying to you today. 20In the past you said, ‘I will be honored there.’ So please watch over this Temple, night and day. And listen to my prayer as I turn toward this Temple and pray to you. 21And please listen to our prayers in the future when I and your people Israel turn to this place and pray to you. We know that you live in heaven. We ask you to hear our prayer there and forgive us.
22“Whoever does wrong to someone will be brought to this altar. If they are not guilty, they will make an oath and promise that they are innocent. 23Please listen from heaven and judge them. If they are guilty, please show us that they are guilty. And if they are innocent, please show us that they are not guilty.
24“Sometimes your people Israel will sin against you, and their enemies will defeat them. Then the people will come back to you and praise you. They will pray to you in this Temple. 25In heaven, please listen to the prayers of your people Israel. Forgive them for their sins and let them have their land again. You gave this land to their ancestors.
26“Sometimes they will sin against you, and you will stop the rain from falling on their land. Then they will pray toward this place and praise your name. You will make them suffer, and they will be sorry for their sins. 27So please listen in heaven to their prayer. Then forgive us for our sins. Teach the people to live right. Then, please send rain to the land you gave them.
28“The land might become very dry so that no food will grow on it. Or maybe a great sickness will spread among the people. Maybe all the food that is growing will be destroyed by insects. Or your people might be attacked in some of their cities by their enemies. Or many of your people might get sick. 29When any of these things happen, people feel the need to spread their hands in prayer toward this Temple. 30Please listen to their prayer while you are in your home in heaven and forgive them and help them. Only you know what people are really thinking, so only you can judge them fairly. 31Do this so that your people will fear and respect you all the time that they live in this land you gave to our ancestors.
32“People from other places will hear about your greatness and your power. They will come from far away to pray at this Temple. 33From your home in heaven, please listen to their prayers. Please do everything those from other places ask you. Then they will fear and respect you the same as your people in Israel. Then all people everywhere will know that I built this Temple to honor you.
34“Sometimes you will command your people to go and fight against their enemies. Then your people will turn toward this city that you have chosen and the Temple that I built in your honor, and they will pray to you. 35Listen to their prayers from your home in heaven, and help them.
36“Your people will sin against you. I know this because everyone sins. And you will be angry with your people. You will let their enemies defeat them. Their enemies will make them prisoners and carry them to some faraway land. 37In that faraway land, your people will think about what happened. They will be sorry for their sins, and they will pray to you. They will say, ‘We have sinned and done wrong.’ 38They will be in that faraway land of their enemies, but they will turn back to you. They will feel sorry for their sins with their whole heart and soul. They will turn toward the land you gave their ancestors. They will look toward the city you chose and toward the Temple I built, and they will pray to you. 39Please listen from your home in heaven. Accept their prayers when they beg for help, and help them. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40Now, my God, I ask you, open your eyes and your ears. Listen and pay attention to the prayers we are praying in this place.
41“Now, Lord God, get up and come to your special place,
the Box of the Agreement that shows your strength.
Lord God, may your priests be dressed with salvation,
and may your true followers be happy about these good things.
42Lord God, accept your anointed king.
Remember your loyal servant David.”
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