1Then King Solomon called together all the elders of Israel, the heads of the family groups, and the leaders of the families of Israel. He asked them to come to him in Jerusalem. Solomon wanted them to join in bringing the Box of the Agreement from the City of David into the temple. 2So all the men of Israel came together with King Solomon. This was during the time of the special holiday ˻(the Festival of Shelters)˼ during the month of Ethanim ˻(the seventh month of the year)˼. 3All of the elders of Israel arrived at that place. Then the priests took the Holy Box. 4They carried the Holy Box of the Lord along with the Meeting Tent and the holy things that were in the tent. The Levites helped the priests carry these things. 5King Solomon and all the people of Israel met together before the Box of the Agreement. ˻They offered many sacrifices.˼ They killed so many sheep and cattle that no person was able to count them all. 6Then the priests put the Box of the Agreement of the Lord in its right place. This was inside the Most Holy Place in the temple. The Box of the Agreement was put under the wings of the Cherub angels. 7The wings of the Cherub angels were spread out over the Holy Box. They covered the Holy Box and its carrying poles. 8These carrying poles were very long. Any person that stood in the Holy Place in front of the Most Holy Place could see the ends of the poles. But no one outside could see them. The poles are still in there today. 9The only thing inside the Holy Box were the two tablets. These were the two tablets that Moses put in the Holy Box at the place called Horeb. Horeb was the place that the Lord made his Agreement with the people of Israel after they came out of Egypt. 10˻The priests put the Holy Box in the Most Holy Place.˼ When the priests came out of the Holy Place, the Cloud filled the Lord’s Temple. 11The priests could not continue their work because the temple was filled with the Glory of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said: “The Lord made the sun to shine in the sky, but he chose to live in the dark cloud. 13I have built a wonderful temple for you, a place for you to live forever.” 14All of the people of Israel were standing there. So King Solomon turned to them and asked God to bless them. 15Then King Solomon prayed a long prayer to the Lord. This is what he said: “The Lord, the God of Israel, is great. The Lord himself has done the things that he promised to my father David. The Lord told my father, 16'I brought my people, Israel, out of Egypt. But I had not yet chosen a city from among the family groups of Israel for a temple to honor me. And I had not chosen a man to be leader over my people, Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem to be the city where I will be honored. And I have chosen David to rule over my people, Israel.’ 17“My father David wanted very much to build a temple to honor the Lord, the God of Israel. 18But the Lord said to my father David, 'I know that you want very much to build a temple to honor me. And this is good that you want to build my temple. 19But you are not the one that I have chosen to build the temple. Your son will build my temple!’ 20“So the Lord has kept the promise that he gave. I am the king now in place of David my father. Now I rule the people of Israel like the Lord promised. And I built the temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. 21I have made a place in the temple for the Holy Box. Inside that Holy Box is the Agreement that the Lord made with our ancestors. The Lord made that Agreement when he brought our ancestors out of Egypt.” 22Then Solomon stood in front of the Lord’s altar. All of the people were standing in front of him. King Solomon spread his hands and looked toward the sky. 23He said: “Lord, God of Israel, there is no other god like you in the skies or on the earth. You made the Agreements with your people because you love them. And you keep your Agreement. You are kind and loyal to people that follow you. 24You made a promise to your servant David, my father. And you have kept that promise. You made that promise with your own mouth. And with your great power you have made that promise come true today. 25Now, Lord, God of Israel, keep the other promises you made to your servant David, my father. You said, 'David, your sons must carefully obey me, just like you did. If they do this, then you will always have someone from your family ruling the people of Israel.’ 26And again, Lord, God of Israel, I ask you to please continue to keep that promise to my father. 27“But, God, will you really live here with us on the earth? All the sky and the highest place in heaven cannot contain you. Certainly this house which I have built cannot contain you either. 28But 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. 29In the past you said, 'I will be honored there.’ So please watch this temple night and day. Please listen to the prayer that I pray to you at this temple. 30Lord, I and your people Israel will turn to this place and pray to you. Please hear those prayers! We know that you live in heaven. We ask you to hear our prayer there and forgive us. 31“If a person does something wrong against another person, he will be brought here to the altar. If that person is not guilty, then he will make an oath. He will promise that he is innocent. 32Then listen in heaven and judge the man. If the person is guilty, then please show us that he is guilty. And if the person is innocent, then please show us that he is not guilty. 33“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. The people will pray to you in this temple. 34Please hear them in heaven. Then forgive the sins of your people Israel, and allow them to have their land again. You gave this land to their ancestors. 35“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 make them suffer, and they will be sorry for their sins. 36So please listen in heaven to their prayer. Then forgive us for our sins. Teach the people to live right. Then, Lord, please send rain to the land you gave them. 37“The land might become very dry and no food will grow on it. Or maybe a great sickness will spread among the people. Maybe all of 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 become sick. 38When any of these things happen, if even one man is sorry ˻for his sins˼ and spreads his hands in prayer toward this temple, 39please listen to his prayer. Listen to it while you are in your home in heaven. Then forgive the people and help them. Only you know the things that people are really thinking. So judge each person and be fair to him. 40Do this so that your people will fear and respect you all the time that they live in this land that you gave to our ancestors. 41- 42“People from other places will hear about your greatness and your power. They will come from far away to pray at this temple. 43From your home in heaven please listen to their prayers. Please do all that those people from other places ask you. Then those people 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. 44“Sometimes you will command your people to go and fight against their enemies. Then your people will turn toward this city which you have chosen and the temple that I have built for your honor. And they will pray to you. 45At that time, listen to their prayers from your home in heaven, and help them. 46“Your people will sin against you. I know this because every person 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. 47In 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.’ 48They will be in that faraway land. But if they turn toward this land that you gave to their ancestors, and toward this city you chose, and toward this temple I built to honor you, 49then please listen from your home in heaven. 50Forgive your people of all their sins. And forgive them for turning against you. Make their enemies be kind to them. 51Remember that they are your people. Remember that you brought them out of Egypt. It was like you saved them by pulling them out of a hot oven! 52“Lord God, please listen to my prayers and to the prayers of your people Israel. Listen to their prayers any time that they ask you for help. 53You have chosen them from all the peoples of the earth to be your own special people. Lord, you promised to do that for us. You used your servant Moses at the time you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.” 54Solomon prayed that prayer to God. He was on his knees in front of the altar. Solomon prayed with his arms raised toward heaven. Then Solomon finished praying and stood. 55Then, in a loud voice, he asked God to bless all the people of Israel. Solomon said: 56“Praise the Lord! He promised to give rest to his people, Israel. And he has given us rest! The Lord used his servant Moses and made many good promises to the people of Israel. And the Lord has kept every one of those promises! 57I pray that the Lord our God will be with us, just like he was with our ancestors. I pray that the Lord will never leave us. 58I pray that we will turn to him and follow him. Then we will obey all the laws, decisions, and commands that he gave our ancestors. 59I hope that the Lord our God will always remember this prayer and the things I have asked. I pray that the Lord will do these things for his servant, the king, and for his people, Israel. I pray that he will do this every day. 60˻If the Lord will do these things,˼ then all the people of the world will know that the Lord is the only true God. 61You people must be loyal and true to the Lord our God. You must always follow and obey all of his laws and commands. You must continue to obey in the future like you do now.” 62Then King Solomon and all the people of Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord. 63Solomon killed 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. These were for the fellowship offerings. In this way, the king and the people of Israel showed that they had given the temple to the Lord. 64Also, that day King Solomon dedicated the yard in front of the temple. He offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat from the animals that were used as fellowship offerings. King Solomon made these offerings there in the yard. He did this because the bronze altar in front of the Lord was too small to hold them all. 65So there at the temple, King Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the holiday. All Israel was there, from as far away as Hamath Pass in the north, to the border of Egypt in the south. Many, many people were there. They ate, drank, and enjoyed themselves together with the Lord for seven days. Then they stayed for another seven days. They celebrated for a total of 14 days! 66The next day, Solomon told the people to go home. All the people thanked the king, said goodbye, and went home. They were happy because of all the good things that the Lord had done for David his servant and for his people Israel.
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