1a Then Solomon said:
“The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud;
2I have built you a princely house,
the base for your enthronement forever.”
3b The king turned and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while the whole assembly of Israel stood. 4He said: “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth spoke a promise to David my father and by his hand fulfilled it, saying: 5Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of any tribe of Israel for the building of a house, that my name might be there; nor have I chosen any man to be ruler of my people Israel; 6but now I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name may be there, and I have chosen David* to rule my people Israel. 7When David my father wished to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, 8the LORD said to him: In wishing to build a house for my name, you did well. 9But it is not you who will build the house, but your son, who comes from your loins: he shall build the house for my name.
10“Now the LORD has fulfilled the word he spoke. I have succeeded David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD has said, and I have built this house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 11I have placed there the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with the Israelites.”
Solomon’s Prayer. 12c Then he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and stretched forth his hands. 13* Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, which he had placed in the middle of the courtyard. Having ascended it, Solomon knelt in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and stretched forth his hands toward heaven. 14He said: “LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth; you keep the covenant and love toward your servants who walk before you with their whole heart, 15the covenant that you kept toward your servant, David my father. That which you promised him, your mouth has spoken and your hand has fulfilled this very day. 16And now, LORD, God of Israel, keep toward your servant, David my father, what you promised: There shall never be wanting someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your descendants keep to their way, walking by my law, as you have. 17Now, LORD, God of Israel, may the words which you spoke to David your servant be confirmed.
18“Is God indeed to dwell with human beings on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house which I have built! 19Regard kindly the prayer and petition of your servant, LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you. 20May your eyes be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have decreed your name shall be; listen to the prayer your servant makes toward this place. 21Listen to the petition of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer toward this place. Listen, from the place of your enthronement, heaven, and listen and forgive.
22“If someone sins against a neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, and comes and takes the oath before your altar in this house, 23listen in heaven: act and judge your servants. Condemn the wicked, requiting their ways; acquit the just, rewarding their justice. 24When your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and then they turn, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this house, 25listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave them and their ancestors. 26When the heavens are closed so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, but they pray toward this place and praise your name, and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 27listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. (For you teach them the good way in which they should walk.) Give rain upon this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage.
28“If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or locusts swarm, or caterpillars; when their enemies besiege them at any of their gates; whatever plague or sickness there may be; 29whatever prayer of petition any may make, any of your people Israel, who know affliction and pain and stretch out their hands toward this house, 30listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement, and forgive. Render to each and all according to their ways, you who know every heart; for it is you alone who know the heart of every human being. 31So may they revere you and walk in your ways as long as they live on the land you gave our ancestors.
32“To the foreigners, likewise, who are not of your people Israel, but who come from a distant land for the sake of your great name, your mighty hand and outstretched arm, and come in prayer to this house, 33listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may revere you as do your people Israel, and may know that your name has been invoked upon this house that I have built.
34“When your people go out to war against their enemies, by whatever way you send them, and they pray to you toward the city you have chosen and the house I have built for your name, 35listen from heaven to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause. 36When they sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to an enemy, so that their captors carry them off to another land, far or near, 37and they have a change of heart in the land of their captivity and they turn and entreat you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,’ 38if with all their heart and soul they turn back to you in the land of those who took them captive, and pray toward their land which you gave their ancestors, the city you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name, 39listen from heaven, the place of your enthronement, to their prayer and petitions, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears be attentive to the prayer of this place. 41And now:
“Arise, LORD God, come to your resting place,
you and your majestic ark.
Your priests, LORD God, will be clothed with salvation,
your faithful ones rejoice in good things.
42LORD God, do not reject the plea of your anointed,
remember the devotion of David, your servant.”d
* [6:6] Jerusalem…David: Ps 132:11, 13 puts in parallel the Lord’s choice of David and Zion, the royal house of David and the mountain in Jerusalem as the site for the Lord’s house.
* [6:13] This verse has no equivalent in 1 Kgs 8:22–23, the Chronicler’s source. Solomon is depicted as praying on “a bronze platform…in the middle of the courtyard” because in the time of the Chronicler only priests were permitted to pray before the altar.
a. [6:1–2] 1 Kgs 8:12–13.
b. [6:3–11] 1 Kgs 8:14–21.
c. [6:12–40] 1 Kgs 8:22–53.