Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple
5:2 Then Solomon convened Israel’s elders—all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families—in Jerusalem,1 so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David2 (that is, Zion).3 5:3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king during the festival4 in the seventh month.5 5:4 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the Levites lifted the ark. 5:5 The priests and Levites carried the ark, the tent where God appeared to his people,6 and all the holy items in the tent.7 5:6 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered.8
5:7 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its assigned9 place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place under the wings of the cherubs. 5:8 The cherubs’ wings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles.10 5:9 The poles were so long their ends extending out from the ark were visible from in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point.11 They have remained there to this very day. 5:10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb.12 (It was there that13 the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt.)
5:11 The priests left the holy place.14 All the priests who participated had consecrated themselves, no matter which division they represented.15 5:12 All the Levites who were musicians, including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives, wore linen. They played cymbals and stringed instruments as they stood east of the altar. They were accompanied by 120 priests who blew trumpets. 5:13 The trumpeters and musicians played together, praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they loudly praised the Lord, singing:16 “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!” Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple.17 5:14 The priests could not carry out their duties18 because of the cloud; the Lord’s splendor filled God’s temple.
6:1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 6:2 O Lord,1 I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 6:3 Then the king turned around2 and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there.3 6:4 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled4 what he promised5 my father David. 6:5 He told David,6 ‘Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live.7 Nor did I choose a man as leader of my people Israel. 6:6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place to live,8 and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 6:7 Now my father David had a strong desire to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel.9 6:8 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me.10 6:9 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’11 6:10 The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor of the Lord God of Israel 6:11 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with the Israelites.”
6:12 He stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 6:13 Solomon had made a bronze platform and had placed it in the middle of the enclosure. It was seven and one-half feet12 long, seven and one-half feet13 wide, and four and one-half feet14 high. He stood on it and then got down on his knees in front of the entire assembly of Israel. He spread out his hands toward the sky, 6:14 and prayed:15 “O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth! You maintain covenantal loyalty16 to your servants who obey you with sincerity.17 6:15 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David;18 this very day you have fulfilled what you promised.19 6:16 Now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel,20 provided that your descendants watch their step and obey my law as you have done.’21 6:17 Now, O Lord God of Israel, may the promise you made to your servant David be realized.22
6:18 “God does not really live with humankind on the earth!23 Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 6:19 But respond favorably to24 your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer25 the desperate prayer26 your servant is presenting to you.27 6:20 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live.28 May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place.29 6:21 Respond to the requests of your servant and your people Israel for this place.30 Hear from your heavenly dwelling place and respond favorably and forgive.31
6:22 “When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple,32 6:23 listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve.33
6:24 “If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy34 because they sinned against you, then if they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you,35 and pray for your help36 before you in this temple, 6:25 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.37
6:26 “The time will come when38 the skies39 are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people40 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you,41 and turn away from their sin because you punish42 them, 6:27 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly43 you will then teach them the right way to live44 and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess.45
6:28 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight, and disease, or a locust46 invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land,47 or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 6:29 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help,48 as they acknowledge their intense pain49 and spread out their hands toward this temple, 6:30 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin,50 and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of their motives.51 (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.)52 6:31 Then they will honor53 you by obeying you54 throughout their lifetimes as55 they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.
6:32 “Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your great reputation56 and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds;57 they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 6:33 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners.58 Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation,59 obey60 you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you.61
6:34 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies,62 and they direct their prayers to you toward this chosen city and this temple I built for your honor,63 6:35 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help64 and vindicate them.65
6:36 “The time will come when your people66 will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry at them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their land, whether far away or close by. 6:37 When your people67 come to their senses68 in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray69, we have done evil!’ 6:38 When they return to you with all their heart and being70 in the land where they are held prisoner and direct their prayers toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor,71 6:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help,72 vindicate them,73 and forgive your sinful people.
6:40 “Now, my God, may you be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place.74 6:41 Now ascend, O Lord God, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength! May your priests, O Lord God, experience your deliverance!75 May your loyal followers rejoice in the prosperity you give!76 6:42 O Lord God, do not reject your chosen ones!77 Remember the faithful promises you made to your servant David!”
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