2 Chronicles 6
King Solomon speaks to the people
1 Then Solomon prayed, ‘Lord, you have said that you live in a dark cloud. 2 Now I have built a great temple for you. It is a place where you can live for ever.’
3 While all the Israelite people stood there, the king turned round towards them. He prayed that God would bless them. 4 He said, ‘Praise the Lord, Israel's God, as he deserves. He has used his power to do what he promised to do for my father David. 5 He told David, “I brought my people out of Egypt. From that time, I have not chosen a city in any of Israel's tribes to build a temple where my people would worship me. I have not chosen a man to be the leader of my people, the Israelites. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem to be the place where my people worship me. And I have chosen David to rule Israel, my people, as king.”
7 My father David wanted very much to build a temple to give honour to the Lord, Israel's God. 8 But the Lord said to my father David, “It was good that you wanted to build a temple to give me honour. 9 But you will not build the temple. Instead, one of your own sons will build it to give honour to me.”
10 Now the Lord has done what he promised to do. I now rule Israel as king on the throne of my father David, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple to give honour to the Lord, Israel's God. 11 I have put the Covenant Box there. It contains the covenant that the Lord made with the Israelites.’
Solomon prays to God
12 Then Solomon stood in front of the Lord's altar. All the Israelite people who had come together there could see him. He lifted up his hands to pray. 13 He had made a bronze stage to stand on. It was 2.3 metres long, 2.3 metres wide and 1.4 metres high. He put it in the middle of the yard and he stood on it. Then he went down on his knees where all the Israelites could see him. He lifted up his hands towards the sky. 14 He prayed,
‘Lord, Israel's God, there is no God like you, either in heaven or on the earth. You continue to do what you have promised to do for your people. You faithfully love those who want to serve you. 15 You have done what you promised to do for your servant, my father David. You have used your power to finish today everything that you said you would do.
16 Now Lord, Israel's God, there is another promise that you spoke to my father David. I pray that you will do that too. You said to David, “There will always be one of your descendants to rule Israel as my chosen king. But for this to happen, your sons must be careful to obey my law, as you have done.” 17 So now Lord, Israel's God, please cause what you promised to your servant David to happen.
18 But surely God, you do not live on the earth with people! The whole sky, or even heaven itself, is too small to contain you! So how can you live in this temple that I have built? 19 But Lord, my God, please listen to my prayer, as I ask you for help. Please answer me, your servant, because I need your help. 20 Watch over this temple and take care of it day and night. This is the place about which you said, “People will give honour to my name there.” Please answer my prayers when I turn towards this place to pray to you. 21 Hear the prayers of me, your servant, and the prayers of your people, the Israelites. Please answer us when we turn towards this place and we pray to you. Hear us from heaven, the place where you live. And when we pray, forgive us for our sins.
22 Somebody may do a bad thing against another person. Then he may come to this temple and stand in front of your altar. He may say to you that he is not guilty of any wrong thing. 23 Then listen from heaven to what these people are saying. Decide who is right. Punish the guilty person as he deserves. Show clearly that the other person is right, because he has not done any wrong thing.
24 Perhaps an enemy will win against your people, the Israelites, because we have not obeyed you. But then your people may turn back to you and worship you. They may come into this temple and pray that you will help them. 25 If they do that, please hear them from heaven! Please forgive the sins of your people, the Israelites. Please bring them back to the land that you gave to their ancestors.
26 Sometimes, there may be no rain from the sky because your people have not obeyed you. Then they may turn towards this place and pray to you. They may give honour to your name and turn away from their sins, because you have punished them. 27 If they do that, please hear them from heaven! Please forgive the sins of your servants, your people, the Israelites. Teach them to live in the right way. And please send rain onto this land that you gave to your people, to belong to them for ever.
28 Sometimes, there may be other troubles in our land. There may be a famine or a bad disease. Our crops may not grow and our animals may be ill. Locusts may destroy our crops. An enemy may attack some cities in our land. Or there may be other kinds of illness or trouble. 29 Then, some of your people may pray to you and ask you for help. If someone is very sad and in pain, he may turn towards this temple and lift up his hands in prayer. 30 If someone does that, please hear him from your home in heaven. Please forgive the sins of your people. Only you know what people are thinking. So please give to each person as they deserve. 31 Then your people will respect you and obey you all the time that they live in this land that you gave to our ancestors.
32 Foreigners, who do not belong to your people, the Israelites, will hear how great you are. They will hear about you and your power to do great things. Then they will come here from other countries far away. They will turn towards this temple and pray to you. 33 When that happens, please hear them from your home in heaven. Please answer all the prayers of these foreign people. Then people from all the nations in the world will realize how great you are. They also will respect you and obey you, as your own people do. They will understand that this temple that I have built belongs to you.
34 Sometimes, your people will go to fight against their enemies at the place where you have sent them. Then they may turn towards this city and pray to you. This is the city that you have chosen for me to build the temple to give you honour. 35 When they pray to you, please hear them from your home in heaven. Do what is right to help them win against their enemies.
36 There is nobody who never does a wrong thing. So when your people do not obey you, you will be angry with them. You will put them under the power of their enemies. Those enemies will take them away as their prisoners. Perhaps they will take them to a country that is far away. Perhaps it will be near. 37 Then your people may think about the bad things that they have done. While they are prisoners in their enemies' country, they may be sorry about their sins. They may pray to you and ask you to forgive them. They may say, “We have turned away from God and we have done wicked things.” 38 In the country where they are prisoners, they may turn back to you and worship you truly. They may turn towards this land that you gave to their ancestors. They may pray as they look towards this city that you have chosen. They may look towards the temple that I have built to give you honour. 39 If they do that, please hear them from your home in heaven. Please answer their prayers and do what is right to help them. Please forgive your people for all the sins that they have done against you.
40 Now, my God, please watch over us. Please listen to the prayers that we are praying in this place.
41 Lord God, come now and stay here, in your home. Come into the temple with the Covenant Box that shows your great power. Bless your priests as they serve you. Cause your faithful people be happy because you do good things for them. 42 Lord God do not turn away from your special chosen king. Remember the faithful love that you promised to your servant David.’