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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 6


Then Solomon said: "The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud.


I have truly built you a princely house and dwelling, where you may abide forever."


Turning about, the king greeted the whole community of Israel as they stood.


He said: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth made a promise to my father David and by his own hands brought it to fulfillment. He said:


'Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen any city from among all the tribes of Israel for the building of a temple to my honor, nor have I chosen any man to be commander of my people Israel;


but now I choose Jerusalem, where I shall be honored, and I choose David to rule my people Israel.'


My father David wished to build a temple to the honor of the LORD, the God of Israel,


but the LORD said to him: 'In wishing to build a temple to my honor, you do well.


However, you shall not build the temple; rather, your son whom you will beget shall build the temple to my honor.'


"Now the LORD has fulfilled the promise that he made. I have succeeded my father David and have taken my seat on the throne of Israel, as the LORD foretold, and I have built the temple to the honor of the LORD, the God of Israel.


And I have placed there the ark, in which abides the covenant of the LORD which he made with the Israelites."


Solomon then took his place before the altar of the LORD in the presence of the whole community of Israel and stretched forth his hands.


1 He 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 of Israel and stretched forth his hands toward heaven.


Thus he prayed: "LORD, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth; you keep your covenant and show kindness to your servants who are wholeheartedly faithful to you.


You have kept the promise you made to my father David, your servant. With your own mouth you spoke it, and by your own hand you have brought it to fulfillment this day.


Now, therefore, LORD, God of Israel, keep the further promise you made to my father David, your servant, when you said, 'You shall always have someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided only that your descendants look to their conduct so as always to live according to my law, even as you have lived in my presence.'


Now, LORD, God of Israel, may this promise which you made to your servant David be confirmed.


"Can it indeed be that God dwells with mankind on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built!


Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication your servant makes before you.


May your eyes watch day and night over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I your servant offer toward this place.


Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they direct toward this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling, and when you have heard, pardon.


"When any man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath of execration against himself, and when he comes for the oath before your altar in this temple,


listen from heaven: take action and pass judgment on your servants, requiting the wicked man and holding him responsible for his conduct, but absolving the innocent and rewarding him according to his virtue.


When your people Israel have sinned against you and are defeated by the enemy, but afterward they return and praise your name, and they pray to you and entreat you in this temple,


listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which you gave them and their fathers.


When the sky is closed so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, but then they pray toward this place and praise your name, and they withdraw from sin because you afflict them,


listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Israel. But teach them the right way to live, and send rain upon your land which you gave your people as their heritage.


When there is famine in the land, when there is pestilence, or blight, or mildew, or locusts, or caterpillars; when their enemies besiege them at any of their gates; whenever there is a plague or sickness of any kind;


when any Israelite of all your people offers a prayer or petition of any kind, and in awareness of his affliction and pain, stretches out his hands toward this temple,


listen from your heavenly dwelling place, and forgive. Knowing his heart, render to everyone according to his conduct, for you alone know the hearts of men.


So may they fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live on the land you gave our fathers.


"For the foreigner, too, who is not of your people Israel, when he comes from a distant land to honor your great name, your mighty power, and your outstretched arm, when they come in prayer to this temple,


listen from your heavenly dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner entreats you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, fearing you as do your people Israel, and knowing that this house which I have built is dedicated to your honor.


"When your people go forth to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and pray to you in the direction of this city and of the house I have built to your honor,


listen from heaven to their prayer and petition, and defend their cause.


When they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to the enemy, so that their captors deport them to another land, far or near,


when they repent in the land where they are captive and are converted, when they entreat you in the land of their captivity and say, 'We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,'


and with their whole heart and with their whole soul they turn back to you in the land of those who hold them captive, when they pray in the direction of their land which you gave their fathers, and of the city you have chosen, and of the house which I have built to your honor,


listen from your heavenly dwelling place, hear their prayer and petitions, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you.


My God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.


And now, "Advance, LORD God, to your resting place, you and the ark of your majesty. May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful ones rejoice in good things.


LORD God, reject not the plea of your anointed, remember the devotion of David, your servant."



1 [13] This verse is not found in the Chronicler's source; cf 1 Kings 8:22-23. He has Solomon praying on a bronze platform . . . in the middle of the courtyard because at the time of the Chronicler only the priests prayed before the altar.

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