1 Then Solomon said, “Yahweh, you said that you would live in a dark cloud. 2 But now I have built a glorious temple for you to live in forever!”
3 Then while all the people stood there, Solomon turned toward the people and he asked God to bless them. 4 He said to them,
“Praise Yahweh, the God to whom we Israelis belong, who has caused to happen what he promised to my father David. What he said to David was this:
5 ‘From the time that I brought my people out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city in Israel in which a temple should be built for people to worship me there. Nor did I choose anyone to be the leader of my Israeli people. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem to be the place for people to worship me, and I have chosen you to rule my Israeli people.’ ”
7 Then Solomon said, “My father David wanted to build a temple for Yahweh, the God to whom we Israelis belong. 8 But Yahweh said to him, ‘You have wanted to build a temple for me, and what you wanted to do was good. 9 However, you are not the one who I want to build the temple; it is one of your own sons who I want to build a temple for me.’
10 “And Yahweh has done what he promised to do. I have become the king of Israel to succeed my father, and I am ruling the people, like Yahweh promised, and I have arranged for this temple to be built for us to worship Yahweh, the God to whom we Israelis belong. 11 I have put the Sacred Chest in the temple, in which are the stone tablets on which are engraved the Ten Commandments of the agreement that Yahweh made with us Israeli people.”
Solomon’s prayer to dedicate the temple
12 Then Solomon stood in front of the altar which was in front of the people of Israel who had gathered there. 13 His workers had built a bronze platform there for him to stand on, which was 7-1/2 feet long and 7-1/2 feet wide and 4-1/2 feet high. They put it in the outer courtyard. Solomon stood on that platform and then knelt down in front of all the people of Israel who had gathered there, and he spread out his arms toward heaven, 14 and he prayed,
“Yahweh, the God to whom we Israeli people belong, there is no God like you in heaven or on the earth. You solemnly promised that you would faithfully love us, and that is what you have done for us who earnestly do what you want us to do.
15 “You have done the things that you promised my father David, who served you very well, that you would do. Truly, you promised to do those things for him, and today we see that by your power you have caused it all to happen.
16 “So now, Yahweh, the God we Israelis belong to, please do the things that you promised to my father David that you would do. You said that there would always be some of his descendants to rule Israel, if they faithfully conduct their lives as he did. 17 So now, God of us Israeli people, cause what you promised David, who served you well, to happen.
18 “But, my God, will you really live on earth among people? There is surely not enough space for you in the sky, or even in the heaven! So there is surely not enough space for you to live in this temple that my workers have built. 19 But Yahweh, my God, please listen to my prayer, while I am pleading with you this day and do what I am requesting. 20 Please protect this temple day and night. This is the place about which you have said, ‘I will always be there.’ Please listen to my prayer about this place. 21 Listen to me when I pray, and listen to your Israeli people when they pray. Listen from heaven, where you live; and when you hear us pray, forgive us.
22 “If someone is accused of doing something wrong to another person, and they bring him to testify in front of your altar outside this holy temple, and if he says, ‘I did not do that; may God punish me if I am not telling the truth,’ 23 then you listen from heaven, and you decide who is telling the truth. Then punish the person who is guilty as he deserves to be punished, and declare that the other person is innocent.
24 “And when your Israeli people are defeated by their enemies because they sinned against you, and forced to go to some distant country, if they turn away from their sinful behavior and turn toward this temple and admit that you have justly punished them, and plead that you will forgive them, 25 listen to them from heaven and forgive your Israeli people for the sins that they have committed, and bring them back to this land that you gave to our ancestors.
26 “When you do not allow any rain to fall because your people have sinned against you, if they turn toward this temple and admit that you have justly punished them, and turn away from their sinful behavior and humbly pray to you, 27 hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your Israeli people. Teach them the right way to conduct their lives. Then cause it to rain here on the land that you gave to your people to belong to them permanently.
28 “And when the people of this land experience famines or if there is a plague, or when their crops are destroyed by very hot winds or by mildew or by locusts or grasshoppers, or when their enemies surround any of their cities in order to attack them, if any of those bad things happen to them, 29 when your Israeli people earnestly plead with you, knowing in their inner beings that they are suffering because they have sinned, if they stretch out their hands toward this temple and pray, 30 hear from your home in heaven, and forgive them. You alone know what each person is thinking, so reward each person according to everything that he does, 31 in order that they will revere you and conduct their lives as you want them to, all the time that they live in this land that you gave to our ancestors.
32 “There will be some foreigners who do not belong to your Israeli people who have come here from countries far away because they have heard that you are very great and that you perform great miracles. If they turn toward this temple and pray, 33 from your home in heaven listen to their prayer, and do for them what they request you to do. Do that in order that all the people-groups in the world will know about you and revere you, like we, your own Israeli people do. And then they will know that this is the temple that I have caused to be built for you.
34 “When you send your people to go to places to attack their enemies, if they pray to you, wherever they are, if they turn toward this city that you have chosen and toward this temple that I have caused to be built to honor you, 35 listen in heaven to their prayers; listen to what they plead for you to do, and assist them.
36 “It is true that everyone sins. So, when your people sin against you, and you become angry with them, you may allow their enemies to capture them and take them to their countries, even to countries that are far away. 37 When that happens, while they are in the countries to which they were forced to go, if they are sorry for having sinned, if they say, ‘We have sinned; we have done things that are wrong and have done things that are very wicked,’ 38 if they repent very sincerely, and if they turn toward this land that you gave to our ancestors, and toward this city that you have chosen to be the place where we should worship you, and toward this temple that I have caused to be built for you and pray, 39 then from your home in heaven hear their prayer, and listen to them while they plead for your help, and do what they ask you to do, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 “Now, my God, look at us and listen to us as we pray to you in this place.
41 Yahweh our God, come and stay in this place with the Sacred Chest,
the chest that shows that you are powerful.
Yahweh God, cause your priests to know clearly that you have blessed them.
Cause us your people to rejoice because of all the good things that you do for us.
42 Yahweh God, do not reject me the king whom you have appointed to be the king of Israel;
do not forget that you greatly loved David, who served you very well.”