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2 Chronicles 6

Solomon prays

1 Then King Solomon prayed. He said, ‘The LORD has said that he would live in the dark clouds. 2 But I have built a beautiful house for you. It is a place for you to live for all time.’

Solomon speaks to the people

3 All the Israelites were standing there together. Then the king turned round and he blessed all the Israelites. 4 He said, ‘Praise the LORD, the God of Israel. He promised something to my father David. And he has done it. He said, 5 “I brought my people out of the country called Egypt. Since then I have not chosen any city in Israel for you to build a house for my name. And I have not chosen a man to be the leader of my people called Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem to become the place where they give honour to my name. And I have chosen David to rule my people called Israel.”

7 My father David wanted to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 8 But the LORD said to my father David, “You were good to think that you might build a house for my name. 9 But you will not build the house. But your son who will be born in your own family will build the house for my name.”

10 And the LORD has done what he promised to do. I have become king after my father David. And now I sit on the king's seat in Israel, as the LORD promised. And I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 11 I have put the Covenant Box there. The LORD's covenant that he gave to the Israelites is in it.’

Solomon prays to God

12 Then Solomon stood in front of the altar of the LORD. He held out his hands in front of all the Israelites. 13 He had made a bronze box to stand on. It was about 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) long and 2.3 metres wide. It was about 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) high. He put it in the middle of the yard and he stood on it. And then he went down on his knees in front of all the Israelites. He held out his hands to heaven. 14 He said, ‘LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth. Your servants really try to obey you. And you do what you have promised to those people. You love them and you are very kind to them. 15 You have done what you promised to your servant David my father. You spoke with your mouth. And now, today you have done what you said.

16 Now LORD the God of Israel, please do what you promised to your servant David my father. You said, “Your sons must be careful to obey my rules as you have done. If they do that, a man among your descendants will always sit on the king's seat in Israel.” 17 LORD the God of Israel, you promised that to your servant David. So now please cause it to happen as you said.

18 But I do not know how it can be possible for God to live on earth with men. Neither the sky, nor the highest heavens can contain you. And this house that I have built is so much smaller than them. 19 So please listen to my prayer. I am your servant. I am asking you to be kind to me, LORD my God. Please listen to what I am saying. And please hear the prayer that I am praying in front of you here. 20 I am asking you to watch this temple always, day and night. You have said that you will put your name here. Listen to the words that your servant is praying towards this place. 21 Your servant and your people Israel will ask for things as they turn towards this place. Please hear them from your home in heaven. And when you hear, please forgive them.

Solomon asks God to forgive people's sins if they are sorry

22 A man may do something wrong to another Israelite. Then people will tell him that he must promise to speak truly. He must speak in front of your altar in this temple. 23 Then, please hear from heaven and be the judge of the two people. Punish the bad man. Do to him as he has done to the other man. But tell everyone that the good man has not done anything wrong. And give to him what good people should have.

24 The Israelites may sin against you. Then you might punish them. You might cause their enemies to win a fight against them. But then they might come to you. And they might give honour to you. They might come to this temple. They might pray in this temple and they might ask you to help them. 25 Then please hear them from heaven and forgive the sin of your people, the Israelites. And cause them to return to the country that you gave to them and to their ancestors.

26 Perhaps you will punish your people for their sin against you. And there will not be any rain. Then they may turn away from their sin and they may pray towards this place. And they may return to give you honour because you are punishing them. 27 When they return, please listen from heaven. And please forgive your servants, the Israelites. Teach them the right way to live. And send rain on your land that you have given to your people to be theirs.

28 Many bad things might happen to your people or to their land. They might have no food, or many people might be very ill. They may have troubles with their plants. Insects may eat their food plants or enemies may attack their towns. Or there might be very bad illnesses in the country. 29 Then any Israelite might pray towards this house. Or all the people might pray. They might ask you to help. Each person might ask for help about the bad things that are hurting him. 30 Then please hear them from your home in heaven. Please forgive them. You, and only you, know what each person is thinking inside himself. So please do what is right for each person. 31 Then they will be afraid to make you angry. And they will do the things that give pleasure to you. They will obey your rules all the time that they live in their country. It is the country that you gave to our ancestors.

32 A man from a foreign country, not somebody from Israel, may come here. He might have come a long way because of your great name. Someone has told him that you are very strong. He may come and he may pray towards this house. 33 Then please hear him from your home in heaven. And do the thing that he is asking you for. So the people in all the nations on the earth will know your name. They will be afraid to make you angry as the Israelites are afraid to make you angry. And they will know that this house is called by your name. That is why I built it.

34 Your people may go to fight their enemies in a place where you send them. Then they will pray to you. They will pray towards this city that you have chosen. And they will pray towards this house that I have built for your name. 35 Then, from heaven, listen to their prayer. Please hear what they are asking you to do. And help them.

36 There is nobody who does not sin. So they will sin against you. And you will be angry with them. You will let their enemies win the fight. And they will take them away to a country that is near or a long way from here. 37 Then they may change their ideas in that country. And they may be sorry about their sin. They may ask you for help from that country. They may say, “We have sinned and we are very bad. We have done many things that are wrong.” 38 Then they will return to you in their minds. They will want to do only the things that give pleasure to you. They will pray from the country where their enemies took them. They will pray towards their country that you have given to their ancestors. And they will pray towards the city that you have chosen. And they will pray towards the house that I have built for your name. 39 Then hear their prayer from your home in heaven. Please listen to what they are asking you for. And help them. And forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 Now, my God, will you please look at us. And please listen to the words that we are praying in this place.

Solomon asks God to come into his temple

41 Now, LORD God, come up and stay in this, your place. Come with your strong Covenant Box.

LORD God, make your priests holy and good. Let your holy people be happy because you are good.

42 LORD God do not turn away from your anointed king. Remember the great love that you had for your servant David.’