1 Kings 8
Solomon dedicates the Temple
A home for the Ten Commandments1Solomon’s workers finished building the Temple. Now, Solomon wanted to move the chest that held the Ten Commandments  into the Temple. David had kept the chest in the lower part of the city, known as the City of David or Mount Zion. Solomon called on Israel’s leaders to come to town and join the ceremony. Tribal leaders came, along with many of Israel’s older leaders and heads of extended families.
2It was autumn. Israel’s people came from all over to mark this event during Ethanim,  the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. 3Israel’s leaders came. Priests carried the chest up the hill to the Temple. 4Israel had been worshiping at a tent in the City of David. But now, they moved everything to the Temple. They brought the chest of the Ten Commandments along with all the tent’s sacred furnishings and utensils. Priests and their associates, the Levites, carried them up the hill.
5King Solomon and the crowd of Israel’s people sacrificed too many cattle and sheep to count. 6Priests carried the chest into the Temple’s holiest room. That was the Most Holy Place, at the back of the Temple’s main room. They set it under the wings of the huge golden cherubim.  7Wings of the cherubim were so large that they provided a covering for the entire chest and the attached poles that priests used to carry it. 8Poles attached to the chest were so long  that priests inside the Temple’s main room could see them from the Most Holy Place. But people outside the building couldn’t see them.
9After all these years since the time of Moses, there was nothing inside the chest  but the stone tablets Moses put there at Mount Sinai. That’s where God made a contract with Israel.
Smoked out of the Temple10When the priests came back out of the Most Holy Place, the room filled with a cloud  of smoke. 11It became so thick that priests inside couldn’t breathe, let alone perform their ministry.  The LORD’s presence filled the room, too.
“LORD, you live among us
Under the cover of thick darkness. 
A home for you forever.” 
Solomon credits God for keeping his promise14The king turned from the altar, toward the crowd. The people rose to their feet. 15Solomon said, “The LORD, the God of Israel, deserves our thanks and gratitude. He made a promise to my father, David, and he kept it. 16He told my father, ‘In all these years that I have been with your people—since the day I led them out of Egypt—I haven’t chosen a king or a capital. But now, I’m choosing both. I choose Jerusalem as the city that people will most associate with me—because it’s my town. And I’m choosing you as the ruler of my people, Israel.’
17My father David wanted to build the Temple for the LORD, the God of Israel. 18But the LORD said, ‘That’s an honorable idea, to build a temple devoted to me. 19But you’re not the one to build it. That’s a job for your son. He’ll build my Temple.’
20Well, it’s finished. The LORD saw to it. He’s the reason I became your king after my father. He’s the reason I built the Temple. It’s for him, the LORD, and God of Israel. 21Here in this Temple is where we’ll keep the chest that hold the Ten Commandments. These laws represent our obligations—our part of the contract God made with our ancestors when he led them out of slavery in Egypt.”
Solomon begins a prayer dedicating the Temple22Solomon stood in front of the Temple altar, with his hands stretched out toward the sky. 23He said, “LORD, God of Israel, you are one of a kind. We’ll never find another you in the sky, on the ground, or in the deepest cave. You keep the promises you made. You do it because you love us. We are devoted to you.
24The contract you made with my father, David, was a spoken agreement. Today you have honored your word. You kept your promise. 25So now I’m asking you to keep the rest of the promise you made to my father. You told him, ‘From now on, one of your descendants will rule Israel. All they have to do is follow me—walk the path I’ve mapped out for them.’
26God of Israel, make it so. Do what you told my father you would do.
Solomon’s question: How can a temple hold God?27I’ve built this house for you. Yet I wonder how you could live there. Even the sky and heaven above can’t hold you, much less a single house on earth. 28Please LORD, hear me today. You are my God, and I’m asking you to do this for me. 29Watch over this Temple and all that happens here. This is the place where people will honor your name. So, please listen to me now.
Forgive our sins30And listen to everyone in Israel whenever they come here to pray. From your home in heaven, hear our prayers and forgive our sins. 31There may be times when someone here will hurt another, and they end up standing by this altar and swearing they did nothing wrong. 32Listen to them and show them justice. If they are guilty, hold them accountable. If they are innocent, declare them not guilty.
33What if Israel sins and our enemies defeat us, and if we come back to you confessing and pleading here at this altar? 34Please hear us if that happens. From heaven, forgive us. And if we lose the land, give it back—this land you promised to our ancestors.
35And if you send a drought to punish Israel for her sins, and then the people come here to confess and stop sinning, 36please hear them. Forgive them. Teach them how to live in this world. And give them back their rain.
Don’t abandon us when we sin37Your people may suffer tough times ahead. Drought. Famine. Plant disease. Or some other crop-killing blight, like locusts and hungry caterpillars. They might find themselves attacked and surrounded by an enemy. Whatever their suffering or their sickness 38Listen to them when they pray at this altar. And do this whether it’s one person or the entire nation. 39From heaven, forgive them. You know what’s in their hearts. You’re the only one who does.
40Do this so they will honor and respect you for the rest of their lives in this land you first gave to their ancestors.
God, listening to prayers of all people41What you do for your people here in Israel, do for anyone who comes here because of what they’ve heard about you. 42For they will certainly hear about you. They’ll hear about your power. And they’ll hear about your open arms of welcome for people everywhere. 43So, when they come here to pray, give them what they ask so others will come to respect you and to honor this Temple as a place where people express their devotion to you.
44If Israel goes to war, please do this for them. If they turn and face this city and this Temple you asked me to build, 45Listen to them when they pray. Let them defeat their enemies.
Everyone sins, so please forgive them46Your people may sin against you—everyone does. And you may exile them to another country, where they’re carried off as captives. 47But when they come to their senses and pray, listen to them. ‘We admit it,’ they may say. ‘We knew it was wrong and we did it anyhow. It was a terrible thing to do, and we did it.’
48If they confess and stop doing what they shouldn’t have done in the first place, listen to them when they look toward this Temple ask you to give them back the land you gave their ancestors. 49From heaven, give them what they desperately want. 50Forgive them for what they did. And let their enemies show them compassion. 51They are your people, the nation you brought out of Egypt, where they worked as slaves under the burning sun. 52Look after your people. Listen when they pray to you.
53Out of all the nations in the world, you chose these people first.  They belong to you. You explained  that to Moses who led our ancestors out of Egypt.”
Solomon’s wish for Israel54Solomon ended his prayer by standing, turning from the altar, and facing the people. He raised his hands high in the sky. 55He spoke to the crowd in a loud voice, 56“Thank the LORD. He has given us peace in this land. And he has kept every word of the promises he made to us through Moses. 57The LORD our God is with us, like he was for our ancestors. May he never leave us.
58But we need to point our hearts in his direction. We need to obey the law and follow the rules and teachings he gave us. 59May these words I’ve just spoken to God and to you find a home with God. May he keep them in mind and take care of the king and the kingdom—and all the people of Israel.
60And may the world discover that there is only one true God. He’s the LORD, the God of Israel. 61Do what God says. Your devotion belongs to him.”
Solomon’s extreme sacrifice62Solomon and the people sacrificed animals at the altar. 63First, Solomon made peace offerings  to the LORD. He sacrificed 22,000  cattle and 120,000 sheep. Solomon and the people did this in dedication of the Temple.
64That same day, Solomon also dedicated the courtyard in front of the Temple building. That’s where he offered the sacrifices, because the location of the bronze altar just in front of the Temple was too small for everything he brought to sacrifice. He brought burnt offerings,  grain, and fat  from the peace offerings.
65Solomon hosted this festival, a weeklong celebration for everyone in Israel who came. People came from as far away as Lebo-hamath  in the north, and from the normally dry riverbed called the Wadi of Egypt, in the south. 66Solomon sent the people home on the eighth day. They left praising the king. They were glad to see the LORD show so much kindness to David’s family—and to his people in Israel.
Also known as the Ark of the Covenant, Israel’s most sacred relic.
He got his wood from Lebanon, the famous Cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 5:6).
In metrics, that’s 44 by 22 by 13.5 meters. In ancient Hebrew measurement, 100 by 50 by 30 cubits. In football, that’s half as long and half as wide as a football field.
It’s impossible to accurately describe in detail how this room or others in the palace looked. That’s because the writer describes the buildings with many ancient words that no one can interpret. So, the scholars must guess about things like where builders put the windows or doors.
That’s 22 meters by 13.5 meters. In ancient Hebrew measurement, it’s 50 cubits by 30 cubits.
That’s about four and a half meters or three and a half. In Hebrew, eight or 10 cubits.
If this Hiram was King Hiram of Tyre, the writer would have said so, most scholars agree. Their guess is that Tyre was big enough for two Hiram’s, and maybe more.
In metrics, the numbers are eight meters tall, almost two meters in diameter, and more than five meters in circumference.
A little more than two meters.
Over two meters deep, 4.5 meters across, and 13.25 meters in circumference. This bowl was the Temple’s water tank, a reservoir that held 11,000 gallons (about 40,000 liters). That’s a little more half the water in the typical swimming pool. Much of the water was probably used for cleaning up after a sacrifice.
About 20 gourds per meter.
About 75 millimeters.
About 426,999 liters.
Two meters long and wide, and over a meter high.
Eighteen inches is 45 centimeters, and two feet is about 60 centimeters.
About 68 centimeters.
800 liters. That’s about five bathtubs, with or without bubbles. Preferably with.
These neighboring towns are about 30 miles (47 km) north of Jerusalem, a day and a half walk. They are on opposite sides of the river, with Succoth east, near a popular river crossing at Adam, now Damia Bridge.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.