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1 Kings Chapter 8 | Parsha:

1Then Solomon convoked the elders of Israel—all the heads of the tribes and the ancestral chieftains of the Israelites—before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from the City of David, that is, Zion.

2All the men of Israel gathered before King Solomon at the Feast, in the month of Ethanim—that is, the seventh month. 3When all the elders of Israel had come, the priests lifted the Ark 4and carried up the Ark of the Lord. Then the priests and the Levites brought the Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent. 5Meanwhile, King Solomon and the whole community of Israel, who were assembled with him before the Ark, were sacrificing sheep and oxen in such abundance that they could not be numbered or counted.

6The priests brought the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to its place underneath the wings of the cherubim, in the Shrine of the House, in the Holy of Holies; 7for the cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the Ark, so that the cherubim shielded the Ark and its poles from above. 8The poles projected so that the ends of the poles were visible in the sanctuary in front of the Shrine, but they could not be seen outside; and there they remain to this day. 9There was nothing inside the Ark but the two tablets of stone which Moses placed there at Horeb, when the Lord made [a covenant] with the Israelites after their departure from the land of Egypt.

10When the priests came out of the sanctuary—for the cloud had filled the House of the Lord 11and the priests were not able to remain and perform the service because of the cloud, for the Presence of the Lord filled the House of the Lord— 12then Solomon declared:
“The Lord has chosen
To abide in a thick cloud:

13I have now built for You
A stately House,
A place where You
May dwell forever.”

14Then, with the whole congregation of Israel standing, the king faced about and blessed the whole congregation of Israel. 15He said:
“Praised be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has fulfilled with deeds the promise He made to my father David. For He said,
16‘Ever since I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city among all the tribes of Israel for building a House where My name might abide; but I have chosen David to rule My people Israel.’

17“Now my father David had intended to build a House for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18But the Lord said to my father David, ‘As regards your intention to build a House for My name, you did right to have that intention. 19However, you shall not build the House yourself; instead, your son, the issue of your loins, shall build the House for My name.’

20“And the Lord has fulfilled the promise that He made: I have succeeded my father David and have ascended the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built the House for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel; 21and I have set a place there for the Ark, containing the covenant which the Lord made with our fathers when He brought them out from the land of Egypt.”

22Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole community of Israel; he spread the palms of his hands toward heaven 23and said, “O Lord God of Israel, in the heavens above and on the earth below there is no god like You, who keep Your gracious covenant with Your servants when they walk before You in wholehearted devotion; 24You who have kept the promises You made to Your servant, my father David, fulfilling with deeds the promise You made—as is now the case. 25And now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the further promise that You made to Your servant, my father David: ‘Your line on the throne of Israel shall never end, if only your descendants will look to their way and walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’ 26Now, therefore, O God of Israel, let the promise that You made to Your servant my father David be fulfilled.

27“But will God really dwell on earth? Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain You, how much less this House that I have built! 28Yet turn, O Lord my God, to the prayer and supplication of Your servant,and hear the cry and prayer which Your servant offers before You this day. 29May Your eyes be open day and night toward this House, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall abide there’; may You heed the prayers which Your servant will offer toward this place. 30And when You hear the supplications which Your servant and Your people Israel offer toward this place, give heed in Your heavenly abode—give heed and pardon.

31“Whenever one man commits an offense against another, and the latter utters an imprecation to bring a curse upon him, and comes with his imprecation before Your altar in this House, 32oh, hear in heaven and take action to judge Your servants, condemning him who is in the wrong and bringing down the punishment of his conduct on his head, vindicating him who is in the right by rewarding him according to his righteousness.

33“Should Your people Israel be routed by an enemy because they have sinned against You, and then turn back to You and acknowledge Your name, and they offer prayer and supplication to You in this House, 34oh, hear in heaven and pardon the sin of Your people Israel, and restore them to the land that You gave to their fathers.

35“Should the heavens be shut up and there be no rain, because they have sinned against You, and then they pray toward this place and acknowledge Your name and repent of their sins, when You answer them, 36oh, hear in heaven and pardon the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, after You have shown them the proper way in which they are to walk; and send down rain upon the land which You gave to Your people as their heritage. 37So, too, if there is a famine in the land, if there is pestilence, blight, mildew, locusts or caterpillars, or if an enemy oppresses them in any of the settlements of the land.
“In any plague and in any disease,
38in any prayer or supplication offered by any person among all Your people Israel—each of whom knows his own affliction—when he spreads his palms toward this House, 39oh, hear in Your heavenly abode, and pardon and take action! Render to each man according to his ways as You know his heart to be—for You alone know the hearts of all men— 40so that they may revere You all the days that they live on the land that You gave to our fathers.

41“Or if a foreigner who is not of Your people Israel comes from a distant land for the sake of Your name— 42for they shall hear about Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm—when he comes to pray toward this House, 43oh, hear in Your heavenly abode and grant all that the foreigner asks You for. Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built.

44“When Your people take the field against their enemy by whatever way You send them, and they pray to the Lord in the direction of the city which You have chosen, and of the House which I have built to Your name, 45oh, hear in heaven their prayer and supplication and uphold their cause.

46“When they sin against You—for there is no man who does not sin—and You are angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and their captors carry them off to an enemy land, near or far; 47and then they take it to heart in the land to which they have been carried off, and they repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captors, saying: ‘We have sinned, we have acted perversely, we have acted wickedly,’ 48and they turn back to You with all their heart and soul, in the land of the enemies who have carried them off, and they pray to You in the direction of their land which You gave to their fathers, of the city which You have chosen, and of the House which I have built to Your name— 49oh, give heed in Your heavenly abode to their prayer and supplication, uphold their cause, 50and pardon Your people who have sinned against You for all the transgressions that they have committed against You. Grant them mercy in the sight of their captors that they may be merciful to them. 51For they are Your very own people that You freed from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace. 52May Your eyes be open to the supplication of Your servant and the supplication of Your people Israel, and may You heed them whenever they call upon You. 53For You, O Lord God, have set them apart for Yourself from all the peoples of the earth as Your very own, as You promised through Moses Your servant when You freed our fathers from Egypt.”

54When Solomon finished offering to the Lord all this prayer and supplication, he rose from where he had been kneeling, in front of the altar of the Lord, his hands spread out toward heaven. 55He stood, and in a loud voice blessed the whole congregation of Israel:

56“Praised be the Lord who has granted a haven to His people Israel, just as He promised; not a single word has failed of all the gracious promises that He made through His servant Moses. 57May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He never abandon or forsake us. 58May He incline our hearts to Him, that we may walk in all His ways and keep the commandments, the laws, and the rules, which He enjoined upon our fathers. 59And may these words of mine, which I have offered in supplication before the Lord, be close to the Lord our God day and night, that He may provide for His servant and for His people Israel, according to each day’s needs— 60to the end that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord alone is God, there is no other. 61And may you be wholehearted with the Lord our God, to walk in His ways and keep His commandments, even as now.”

62The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep as sacrifices of well-being to the Lord. Thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the House of the Lord. 64That day the king consecrated the center of the court that was in front of the House of the Lord. For it was there that he presented the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, and the fat parts of the offerings of well-being, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, and the fat parts of the offerings of well-being.

65So Solomon and all Israel with him—a great assemblage, [coming] from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt—observed the Feast at that time before the Lord our God, seven days and again seven days, fourteen days in all. 66On the eighth day he let the people go. They bade the king good-bye and went to their homes, joyful and glad of heart over all the goodness that the Lord had shown to His servant David and His people Israel.

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