1 Then Solomon assembled before him in Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, as well as the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, to bring up the ark of the cove nant of Yahweh from the city of David, which is Zion.
The ark assembled near King Solomon
2 All the Israelites assembled near King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month. 3 When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests carried the ark of Yahweh 4 and brought it up together with the Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that were in the tent. After the priests and Levites had brought them up, 5 King Solomon with the entire congregation of Israel that had assembled before him and were with him before the Ark, sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they could neither be counted nor numbered. 6 Then the priests laid the ark of the covenant of Yahweh in its place in the inner sanctuary of the House – the Most Holy Place – under neath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, providing a covering above the ark and its poles.
8 The poles were so long that their ends were seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary but not from the outside; and they remain there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses placed there at Horeb, where Yahweh made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, such a cloud filled Yahweh’s House 11 that the priests could not continue to minister. In deed, the glory of Yahweh filled his House.
12 Then Solomon said, “Yahweh has said that he would dwell in thick dark ness. 13 So the House I have built you will be your House, a place for you to dwell in forever.”
14 The king turned and blessed the entire assembly of Israel, as they stood, 15 saying, “Blessed be Yah weh, the God of Israel, who has fulfilled by his hand what he promised personally to David my father when he said, 16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city in all the tribes of Israel in which to build a resting place for my Name, but now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, as I chose David to be the king of my people Israel.’ 17 Now David my father wanted to build a House for the Name of Yahweh, the God of Israel; 18 but Yahweh told David my father, ‘You meant well to build a House for my Name. 19 Neverthe less, not you but your son who shall be born to you shall build this House for my Name’.”
20 Yahweh has fulfilled his promise, for I have succeeded David my father and am sitting on the throne of Israel; and, as Yahweh promised, I have built this House for the Name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. 21 There I have provided a place for the ark with the covenant which Yah weh made with our fathers when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the assembly of Israel. He raised his hands towards heaven 23 and said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no God like you either in heaven or on earth! You keep your covenant and show loving- kindness to your servants who walk before you wholeheartedly. 24 You have foretold this day to your servant David, my father, and this day you have fulfilled your promise. 25 Now, O Yahweh, God of Israel, keep this other promise you made to David when you said, ‘You shall always have someone from your family on the throne of Israel, provided that your sons are careful to serve me as you have done.’ 26 Now, therefore, O God of Israel, confirm the promise you have given to David my father.
27 But will God really live among people on earth? If neither heavens nor the highest heavens can contain you, how much less can this House which I have built! 28 Yet, listen to the prayer and supplication of your servant, O Yahweh my God; hearken to the cries and pleas which your servant directs to you this day. 29 Watch over this House of which you have said, ‘My name shall rest there.’ Hear the prayer of your servant in this place.
30 Listen to the supplication of your servant and your people Israel when they pray in this direction; listen from your dwelling place in heaven and, on listening, forgive.
31 When people charged with a crime against their neighbor come and take their oath before your altar in this tem ple, 32 then hear from heaven and do justice. Condemn the guilty and let his evildoing fall upon him, but vindicate the righteous and reward him ac cord ing to his righteousness.
33 When your people Israel are defeated by the enemy for having sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and acknowledge their sins, praying and making supplications to you in this House; 34 then listen from heaven and forgive your people Israel. Bring them back to the land which you gave to their fathers.
35 When the heavens are shut and no rain falls because they have sinned against you, and they pray in this place, acknowledging and repenting of their sin because you have afflicted them, 36 then listen from heaven and forgive your servants, your people Israel, and teach them the way to live; and send rain on your land which you have given to your people as an inheritance.
37 If there is famine in the land, or pestilence such as blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemy attacks them in any of their cities; if they suffer from any plague or sickness; 38 whatever be the prayer or supplication of anyone showing re pentance and raising his hands in the direction of this House, 39 then listen from heaven, your dwelling place, and forgive. Do to each, whose heart you know, according to his conduct (for you alone know the hearts of all) 40 so that they may fear you as long as they live in the land which you gave our fathers.
41 Likewise, when a foreigner who is not from your people Israel, comes from a far country because of your Name 42 (for they shall hear of your great Name, your mighty hand and outstretched arm), and prays in this House, 43 listen from the heavens, your dwelling place, and do for the foreigner whatever he asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your Name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and may know that your name rests on this House which I have built.
44 If your people go to war wherever you send them, and they pray to Yahweh in the direction of the city which you have chosen and the House which I have built for your Name, 45 then from heaven listen to their prayers and supplications and defend their cause.
46 If they sin against you (and there is no one who does not sin), and, in your anger, you deliver them to an enemy who takes them cap tive into enemy territory, whether near or far off; 47 and if, in the land where they have been carried captive, they sincerely repent and plead with you and say, ‘We have sinned and have acted wrongly and wickedly’; 48 if they do repent with sincerity while in the land of their captors and pray to you, turning towards the land which you gave to their ancestors, the city which you have chosen, and the House which I have built for your Name; 49 then listen from heaven, your dwelling place, their prayer and supplication and defend their cause. 50 For give your people who have sinned against you; forgive all their offenses, and make their captors have compassion on them. 51 (For they are your people – your heritage which you brought out of Egypt from the heart of the iron furnace).
52 Open your eyes to the pleadings of your servant and to those of your people Israel, and listen to them whenever they call on you. 53 For you took them from among all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through Moses your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Yahweh God.”
54 When Solomon finished offering all this prayer and entreaty to Yahweh, he rose from before the altar of Yahweh where he had knelt with hands raised towards heaven and, 55 standing, blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, 56 “Blessed be Yahweh who has given rest to his people Israel as he promised; for not one of his promises, given to Moses his servant, has been broken. 57 May Yahweh our God be with us as he was with our fathers. May he not leave or forsake us; 58 may he incline our hearts towards him and make us walk in all his ways keeping his commands, his statutes and regulations which he commanded our fathers. 59 Let my prayer to Yahweh be with our God day and night. May he defend my cause and the cause of his people Israel in their daily life; 60 in this way all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh is God and there is no other. 61 As for you, let your heart be wholly true to Yahweh our God, following his laws and keeping his com mands as at this time.”
62 Then the king and all the Israelites with him offered sacrifices before Yahweh. 63 Solomon offered twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep as peace offerings to Yahweh. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated Yahweh’s House. 64 That same day, the king consecrated the middle of the court in front of Yah -weh’s House, for it was there that he offered the burnt offerings, the cereal offerings and the fat of the peace offerings since the bronze altar that was before Yahweh was too small to receive the burnt offering, the cereal offering and the fat of the peace offerings.
65 So at this time Solomon, together with a large assembly of Israelites that gathered from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, celebrated the festival before Yahweh for seven days. 66 On the eighth day, Solomon dismissed the people.
66 After bidding farewell to the king, they went home rejoicing and happy because of all the kindness that Yahweh had shown to his servant David and to his people Israel.