2 Chronicles 6–7; Psalm 136

Solomon Blesses the People

rThen Solomon said, The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. But I have built you san exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever. Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying, Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man as prince over my people Israel; tbut I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, uand I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. vNow it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to David my father, Whereas vit was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name. 10 Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 And there I have set the ark, win which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel.

Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 xSolomon had made a bronze platform five cubits1 long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court, and he stood on it. yThen he knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, 14 and said, O Lord, God of Israel, zthere is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, akeeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart, 15 bwho have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. 16 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, cYou shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, dif only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me. 17 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David.

18 But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, eheaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, 20 fthat your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 21 And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, gand when you hear, forgive.

22 If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, 23 then hear from heaven and act and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.

24 If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, 25 gthen hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their fathers.

26 hWhen heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict2 them, 27 gthen hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way3 in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

28 iIf there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, 30 gthen hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, jfor you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, 31 that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

32 Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, 33 hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house kthat I have built is called by your name.

34 If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.

36 If they sin against youlfor there is no one who does not sinand you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, 37 yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly, 38 if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity to which they were carried captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 39 then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40 Now, O my God, mlet your eyes be open nand your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.

41  And now arise, O Lord God, and go to your oresting place,

you and the ark of your might.

Let your priests, O Lord God, be pclothed with salvation,

and let your saints qrejoice in your goodness.

42  O Lord God, rdo not turn away the face of your anointed one!

sRemember your steadfast love for David your servant.

Fire from Heaven

tAs soon as Solomon finished his prayer, ufire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, vand the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, For he is good, wfor his steadfast love endures forever.

The Dedication of the Temple

xThen the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts; ythe Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lordwfor his steadfast love endures foreverwhenever David offered praises by their ministry;4 zopposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.

aAnd Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat.

At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from bLebo-hamath to the cBrook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the prosperity5 that the Lord had granted to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people.

If My People Pray

11 dThus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king's house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. 12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: I have heard your prayer eand have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 fWhen I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name ghumble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 hNow my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 eFor now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, iYou shall not lack a man to rule Israel.

19 jBut if you6 turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 kthen I will pluck you7 up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it la proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, mWhy has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house? 22 Then they will say, Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.


His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

136  wGive thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

xfor his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to ythe God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to ythe Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone zdoes great wonders,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who aby understanding bmade the heavens,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who cspread out the earth dabove the waters,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who emade the great lights,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

the sun to rule over the day,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

the moon and stars to rule over the night,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

10  to him who fstruck down the firstborn of Egypt,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

11  and gbrought Israel out from among them,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

12  with ha strong hand and an outstretched arm,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

13  to him who idivided the Red Sea in two,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

14  jand made Israel pass through the midst of it,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

15  but koverthrew1 Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

16  to him who lled his people through the wilderness,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

17  to him mwho struck down great kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

18  and killed mighty kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

19  Sihon, king of the Amorites,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

20  and Og, king of Bashan,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

21  and gave their land as a heritage,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

22  a heritage to Israel his nservant,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

23  It is he who oremembered us in our low estate,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

24  and prescued us from our foes,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

25  he who qgives food to all flesh,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

26  Give thanks to rthe God of heaven,

for his steadfast love endures forever.