8 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chiefs of the fathers’ houses of the Israelites, before the king in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Zion, the City of David.
2 All the men of Israel assembled themselves before King Solomon at the feast in the seventh month, Ethanim.
3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.
4 And they brought up the ark of the Lord, the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up.
5 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel who had assembled before him were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, so many that they could not be reported or counted.
6 And the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place in the Holy of Holies of the house, under the wings of the cherubim.
7 For the cherubim spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its poles.
8 The poles were so long that the ends of them were seen from the Holy Place before the Holy of Holies, but they were not seen outside; they are there to this day.
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt.(A)
10 When the priests had come out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Lord’s house,
11 So the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.
12 Then Solomon said, The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness.
13 I have surely built You a house of habitation, a settled place for You to dwell in forever.
14 And the king turned his face about and blessed all the assembly of Israel, and all the assembly of Israel stood.
15 He said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who spoke with His mouth to David my father and has with His hand fulfilled it, saying,
16 Since the day that I brought forth My people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My Name [and My Presence] might be in it, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.
17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the Name [the Presence] of the Lord, the God of Israel.
18 And the Lord said to David my father, Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for My Name, you did well that it was in your heart.
19 Yet you shall not build the house, but your son, who shall be born to you, shall build it to My Name [and My actively present Person].
20 And the Lord has fulfilled His promise which He made: I have risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built a house for the Name (renown) of the Lord, the God of Israel.
21 And I have made there a place for the ark [the token of [a]His presence], in which is the covenant [the Ten Commandments] of the Lord which He made with our fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.(B)
22 Then Solomon stood [in the court] before the Lord’s burnt offering altar in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven
23 And he said, O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing mercy and loving-kindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart.
24 You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father. You also spoke with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day.
25 Therefore now, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father what You promised him when You said, There shall not fail you a man before Me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have done.
26 Now, O God of Israel, let Your word which You spoke to Your servant David my father be confirmed [by experience].
27 But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, the heavens and heaven of heavens [in its most extended compass] cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built?
28 Yet graciously consider the prayer and supplication of Your servant, O Lord my God, to hearken to the [loud] cry and prayer which he prays before You today,
29 That Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, My Name [and the token of My presence] shall be there, that You may hearken to the prayer which Your servant shall make in [or facing toward] this place.
30 Hearken to the prayer of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray in or toward this place. Hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.
31 Whenever a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears the oath before Your altar in this house,
32 Then hear in heaven and do and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his guilt upon his own head and justifying the [uncompromisingly] righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness (his uprightness, right standing with God).
33 When Your people Israel are struck down before the enemy because they have sinned against You, and they turn again to You, confess Your [b]name (Your revelation of Yourself), and pray, beseeching You in this house,
34 Then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel and return them to the land You gave to their fathers.
35 When heaven is shut up and no rain falls because they have sinned against You, if they pray in [or toward] this place and confess Your name (Your revelation of Yourself) and turn from their sin when You afflict them,
36 Then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, when You teach them the good way in which they should walk. And give rain upon Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
37 If there is famine in the land or pestilence, blight, mildew, locust, or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,
38 Whatever prayer or supplication is made by any or all of Your people Israel—each man knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading forth his hands toward this house [and its pledge of Your presence]—
39 Then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart You know, for You and You only know the hearts of all the children of men,
40 That they may fear and revere You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
41 Moreover, concerning a stranger who is not of Your people Israel but comes from a far country for the sake of Your name [and Your active Presence]—
42 For they will hear of Your great name (Your revelation of Yourself), Your strong hand, and outstretched arm—when he shall pray in [or toward] this house,
43 Hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger asks of You, so that all peoples of the earth may know Your name [and [c]Your revelation of Your presence] and fear and revere You, as do Your people Israel, and may know and comprehend that this house which I have built is called by Your Name [and contains the token of Your presence].
44 If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You shall send them, and shall pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name [and Your revelation of Yourself],
45 Then hear in heaven their prayer and supplication, and defend their cause and maintain their right.
46 If they sin against You—for there is no man who does not sin—and You are angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the enemy’s land, far or near;
47 Yet if they think and consider in the land where they were carried captive, and repent and make supplication to You there, saying, We have sinned and have done perversely and wickedly;
48 If they repent and turn to You with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your Name;
49 Then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven, Your dwelling place, and defend their cause and maintain their right.
50 And forgive Your people, who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions against You, and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have pity and be merciful to them;
51 For they are Your people and Your heritage, which You brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace.
52 Let Your eyes be open to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, to hearken to them in all for which they call to You.
53 For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your heritage, as You declared through Moses Your servant when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.
54 When Solomon finished offering all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the Lord’s altar, where he had knelt with hands stretched toward heaven.
55 And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with 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 His good promise which He promised through Moses His servant.
57 May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us,
58 That He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His precepts which He commanded our fathers.
59 Let these my words, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause and right of His servant and of His people Israel as each day requires,
60 That all the earth’s people may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.
61 Let your hearts therefore be blameless and wholly true to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as today.
62 And the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifice before the Lord.
63 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 court that was before the Lord’s house; there he offered burnt offerings, cereal offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to receive [all] the offerings.
65 So at that time Solomon held the feast, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, for seven days [for the dedication] and seven days [for the Feast of Tabernacles], fourteen days in all.
66 On the eighth day he sent the people away; they blessed the king and went to their tents with greatest joy and gratitude for all the goodness the Lord had shown to David His servant and Israel His people.
- 1 Kings 8:21 God acknowledged the ark as a token of His presence (Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Holy Bible). The ark of the covenant is the pledge of the divine gracious presence, and the cloud that filled the house (I Kings 8:10) is the sign that Yahweh will dwell here (J.P. Lange, A Commentary).
- 1 Kings 8:33 See footnote on Exod. 3:15.
- 1 Kings 8:43 See footnote on Exod. 3:15.