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1 Kings 8:22–53

Solomon’s Prayer to Yahweh

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all of the assembly of Israel, and he spread out his hands to the heavens, 23 and he said, “O Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no god like you in the heavens above or on the earth beneath, keeping the covenant and the loyal love for your servants who are walking before you with all their heart. 24 You have kept for your servant David my father what you promised to him, and you have spoken with your mouth, and with your hand you have fulfilled it this very day. 25 So then, O Yahweh, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you promised to him, saying, ‘For you, no man will be cut off from before me who will be sitting on the throne of Israel, if only your sons keep their ways to walk before me just as you have walked before me.’ 26 So then, O God of Israel, please let your word be confirmed which you have promisedn to your servant David my father. 27 For will God really dwell on the earth? Behold, the heavens and the heaven of heavens could not contain you! How couldo this house that I have built? 28 You must regard the prayer of your servant and his plea! O Yahweh my God, listen to the pleading and to the prayer that your servant is praying before you this day, 29 so that your eyes will be open to this house night and day, to the place which you said, ‘My name will be there,’ to hear the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 You must listen to the plea of your servant and your people Israel which they pray toward this place; and you must hear from the place where you live, from heaven you must hear and you must forgive. 31 If a man sins against his neighbor and he pronounces an oath against him to curse him, and the curse comes before your altar in this house, 32 then you shall hear in heaven and you shall act and you shall judge your servant, to declare the wicked guilty by bringing his way upon his head and to declare the righteous innocentp by rewarding him according to his righteousness. 33 When your people Israel are defeated before the enemy becauseq they sinned against you, and when they turn to you and confess your name and pray and beg for mercy from you in this house, 34 then you shall hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and you shall bring them back to the ground which you gave to their ancestors.r 35 When you shut up the heavens so there is no rain because they have sinned against you, then they pray to this place and they confess your name and they return from their sin because you punished them, 36 then you shall hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and your people Israel, for you will teach them the good way in which they should go, and you will give rain upon your land which you have given to your people as an inheritance. 37 If there should be in the land famine or disease, if there should be blight or mildew or locust or caterpillars, if it happens that his enemy lays siege against him in the land of his gates, if any plague or any disease, 38 any prayer or any plea which is offered by any person for all of your people Israel, who each knows the infestation of his own heart and spreads out his palms to this house, 39 then you shall hear in heaven the place of your dwelling, and you shall forgive and act and give to the man whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you alone know the heart of all the sons of man. 40 Do these things so that they may fear you all the days that they live on the face of the land that you gave to our ancestors.s 41 Also for the foreigner who is not from your people Israel, and he comes from a distant land because of your name, 42 (for they shall hear of your great name and your powerful hand and your outstretched arm), and he shall come and pray toward this house, 43 you shall hear in heaven, the place of your dwelling, and act according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, to fear you as your people Israel, and to know that your name has been invoked over this house that I have built. 44 If your people go out to battle against his enemy in the way that you shall send them and they pray to Yahweh, toward the city which you have chosen and the house which I have built for your name, 45 then you shall hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and you shall vindicatet them.

46 “If they sin against you (for there is not a person who does not sin) and you are angry with them and you give them to an enemy and they take them captive to the land of the enemy far or near, 47 and then they return their heart in the land where they have been taken captive and they return and plead to you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned and we did wrong. We acted wickedly,’ 48 if they return to you with all of their heart and with all of their soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive and they pray to you toward their land which you gave to their ancestors,u the city that you have chosen and the house that youv built for your name, 49 then you shall hear in heaven, the place of your dwelling, their prayer and their plea, and you shall vindicate them.w 50 You shall forgive your people who sinned against you, even for all their transgressions which they committed against you. You shall give them compassion before their captors so that they may have compassion on them, 51 for they are your people and your inheritance whom you brought from Egypt from the middle of the smelter of iron. 52 O, that your eyes may be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, to listen to them in all things when they call to you. 53 For you have separated them for yourself as an inheritance from all the peoples of the earth, as you promised through the hand of Moses your servant when you brought out our ancestorsx from Egypt, my Lord Yahweh!”

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