The Ark Enters the Temple
(2 Chronicles 5:1–14)
1 At that time Solomon assembled before him in Jerusalem the elders of Israel—all the tribal heads and family leaders of the Israelites—to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Zion, the City of David. 2 And all the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the feast in the seventh month, a the month of Ethanim. b
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the Tent of Meeting with all its sacred furnishings. So the priests and Levites carried them up.
5 There, before the ark, King Solomon and the whole congregation of Israel who had assembled with him sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, c beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its poles.
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, e where the LORD had made a covenant with the Israelites after they had come out of the land of Egypt.
10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD 11 so that the priests could not stand there to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
Solomon Blesses the LORD
(2 Chronicles 6:1–11)
12 Then Solomon declared:
“The LORD f has said that He would dwell
in the thick cloud.
13 I have indeed built You an exalted house,
a place for You to dwell forever.”
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His own hand what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, 16 ‘Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house so that My Name would be there. But I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’
17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 18 But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Since it was in your heart to build a house for My Name, you have done well to have this in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build it; but your son, your own offspring, will build the house for My Name.’
20 Now the LORD has fulfilled the word that He spoke. I have succeeded my father David, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised. I have built the house for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 21 And there I have provided a place for the ark, which contains the covenant of the LORD that He made with our fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
(2 Chronicles 6:12–42)
“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, keeping Your covenant of loving devotion with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 24 You have kept Your promise to Your servant, my father David. What You spoke with Your mouth You have fulfilled with Your hand this day.
25 Therefore now, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for Your servant, my father David, what You promised when You said: ‘You will never fail to have a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants guard their way to walk before Me as you have done.’ 26 And now, O God of Israel, please confirm what You promised to Your servant, my father David.
27 But will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built. 28 Yet regard the prayer and plea of Your servant, O LORD my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying before You today.
29 May Your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that You may hear the prayer that Your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place. May You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place. May You hear and forgive.
31 When a man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath, and he comes to take an oath before Your altar in this temple, 32 then may You hear from heaven and act. May You judge Your servants, condemning the wicked man by bringing down on his own head what he has done, and justifying the righteous man by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
33 When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and confess Your name, praying and pleading with You in this temple, 34 then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave to their fathers.
35 When the skies are shut and there is no rain because Your people have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and they turn from their sins because You have afflicted them, 36 then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk. May You send rain on the land that You gave Your people as an inheritance.
37 When famine or plague comes upon the land, or blight or mildew or locusts or grasshoppers, or when their enemy besieges them in their cities, whatever plague or sickness may come, 38 then may whatever prayer or petition Your people Israel make—each knowing his own afflictions and spreading out his hands toward this temple— 39 be heard by You from heaven, Your dwelling place. And may You forgive and act, and repay each man according to all his ways, since You know his heart—for You alone know the hearts of all men— 40 so that they may fear You all the days they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.
41 And as for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name— 42 for they will hear of Your great name and mighty hand and outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You. Then all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and they will know that this house I have built is called by Your Name.
44 When Your people go to war against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the LORD in the direction of the city You have chosen and the house I have built for Your Name, 45 then may You hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and may You uphold their cause.
46 When they sin against You—for there is no one who does not sin—and You become angry with them and deliver them to an enemy who takes them as captives to his own land, whether far or near, 47 and when they come to their senses in the land to which they were taken, and they repent and plead with You in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have acted wickedly,’ 48 and when they return to You with all their heart and soul in the land of the enemies who took them captive, and when they pray to You in the direction of the land that You gave to their fathers, the city You have chosen, and the house I have built for Your Name, 49 then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition, and may You uphold their cause. 50 May You forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the transgressions they have committed against You, and may You grant them compassion in the eyes of their captors to show them mercy.
51 For they are Your people and Your inheritance; You brought them out of Egypt, out of the furnace for iron. 52 May Your eyes be open to the pleas of Your servant and of Your people Israel, and may You listen to them whenever they call to You. 53 For You, O Lord GOD, as Your inheritance, have set them apart from all the peoples of the earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought our fathers out of Egypt.”
54 Now when Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the LORD, he got up before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 And he stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
56 “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses.
57 May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He never leave us nor forsake us. 58 May He incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep the commandments and statutes and ordinances He commanded our fathers.
59 And may these words with which I have made my petition before the LORD be near to the LORD our God day and night, so that He may uphold the cause of His servant and of His people Israel as each day requires, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God. There is no other!
61 So let your heart be fully devoted to the LORD our God, as it is this day, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments.”
Sacrifices of Dedication
(2 Chronicles 7:4–10)
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD. 63 And Solomon offered as peace offerings to the LORD 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house of the LORD.
64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard in front of the house of the LORD, and there he offered the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, since the bronze altar before the LORD was too small to contain all these offerings.
65 So at that time Solomon and all Israel with him—a great assembly of people from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt—kept the feast before the LORD our God for seven days and seven more days—fourteen days in all.
66 On the fifteenth day g Solomon sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things that the LORD had done for His servant David and for His people Israel.
2 a That is, the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters); similarly in verse 65; see Leviticus 23:33–36.
2 b Ethanim was the seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of September and October.
6 c Or the Holy of Holies
8 d Literally not from outside
9 e That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
12 f Some LXX manuscripts The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but
66 g Hebrew On the eighth day , probably referring to the day following the seven-day feast; see 2 Chronicles 7:9–10.