The Temple Dedicated to the Lord
1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from the sky and burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The Glory of the LORD filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the LORD’S Temple because the Glory of the LORD filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire come down from heaven and the Glory of the LORD on the Temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces low to the ground. They worshiped and thanked the LORD, singing,
“The LORD is good.
His faithful love will last forever.”
4 Then King Solomon and all the Israelites offered sacrifices to the LORD. 5 King Solomon offered 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep. So the king and the people showed that they had dedicated the Temple to God. 6 The priests stood ready to do their work. The Levites stood with the instruments they would use to play music to the LORD. King David had made these instruments to use when they gave thanks to the LORD and sang, “His faithful love will last forever.” The priests blew their trumpets as they stood across from the Levites. And all the Israelites were standing.
7 King Solomon also dedicated the middle of the courtyard, the part that is in front of the Temple of the LORD. There he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat from the animals that were used as fellowship offerings. He did this because the bronze altar he had built was too small to hold all these offerings.
8 So there at the Temple, King Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the festival.* festival This was probably Passover. People came from as far away as Hamath Pass in the north and the border of Egypt in the south. This huge crowd of people enjoyed themselves for seven days. 9 On the eighth day, they had a holy meeting because they had celebrated for seven days. They made the altar holy and it was to be used only for worshiping the Lord. And they celebrated the festival for seven days. 10 On the 23rd day of the seventh month, Solomon told the people to go home. All the people thanked the king, said goodbye, and went home. They were happy because of all the good things that the LORD had done for David his servant and for his people Israel.
The Lord Comes to Solomon
11 So Solomon finished building the LORD’S Temple and the king’s palace. Solomon did everything that he had planned to do in building a house for the LORD and for himself. 12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him,
“Solomon, I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for myself to be a house for sacrifices. 13 When I close the sky so that there is no rain, or command the locusts to destroy the land, or send sicknesses to my people 14 and if my people who are called by my name become humble and pray, and look for me, and turn away from their evil ways, then I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now, my eyes are open, and my ears will pay attention to the prayers prayed in this place. 16 I have chosen this Temple, and I have made it a holy place. So I will be honored there forever. I will watch over it and think of it always. 17 You must serve me with a pure and honest heart, just as your father David did. You must obey my laws and do everything that I commanded you. If you obey all I have commanded, and if you obey my laws and rules, 18 then I will make you a strong king and your kingdom will be great. That is the agreement I made with David your father when I told him that Israel would always be ruled by one of his descendants.
19 “But if you don’t obey my laws and commands that I gave you, and if you worship other gods and serve them, 20 then I will take the Israelites out from my land that I gave them. And I will leave this Temple that I have made holy for my name. I will make this Temple something that all the nations will speak evil about. 21 Everyone who sees it will be amazed. They will ask, ‘Why did the LORD do this terrible thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will say, ‘This happened because they left the LORD, the God of their ancestors. He brought them out of Egypt, but they decided to follow other gods. They began to worship and to serve those gods. That is why he caused all these bad things to happen to them.’ ”
*7:8 festival This was probably Passover.