2 Chronicles 7

The glory of the Lord fills the temple

1 When King Solomon had finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven. It destroyed the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices. The Lord's bright glory filled the temple. 2 The priests could not go into the Lord's temple because the Lord's glory had completely filled it. 3 All the Israelites saw the fire come down. They also saw the Lord's glory above the temple. They went down on their knees on the flat stones of the yard, with their faces towards the ground. They worshipped the Lord and they thanked him. They said, ‘He is good. His faithful love continues for ever.’

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered 22,000 cows and 120,000 sheep and goats as sacrifices. In this way the king and all the people offered the temple as a gift to God. 6 The priests and the Levites stood in their places. The Levites held the musical instruments that King David had made to thank the Lord. They sang these words to praise the Lord: ‘His faithful love continues for ever.’ The priests stood on the other side and they made music with their trumpets. All the Israelites were standing up while this was happening.

7 On the same day, Solomon gave to the Lord the yard that was in front of the temple. He offered burnt offerings and grain offerings to the Lord. He also offered the fat from the friendship offerings there. The bronze altar that Solomon had made was too small to contain all these offerings, so he made these sacrifices in the middle of the yard instead.

8 At that time, Solomon and the big crowd of Israelites who were with him had a festival for seven days. There were people from everywhere in Israel, from Hamath in the north to the Stream of Egypt in the south. 9 On the day after the festival, they all met together. For seven days, they had given offerings to make the altar holy for God. For another seven days, they had enjoyed the festival. 10 Then Solomon sent the people away to their homes. That was on the 23rd day of the seventh month. The people were very happy and full of joy because the Lord had done many good things for King David, for King Solomon and for his people, the Israelites.

7:8People came to the temple from everywhere in Israel. Lebo-Hamath was in the far north of Israel. The Stream of Egypt was the border on the south of Israel.

The Lord speaks to Solomon

11 Solomon had finished building the Lord's temple and the king's palace. He had done everything that he wanted to do for the temple and his palace. 12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night. He said to Solomon, ‘I have heard your prayer. I have chosen this place as my temple where people can offer sacrifices to me.

13 Sometimes I may stop the rain falling from the sky. I may send locusts to destroy your crops. Or I may send a bad disease to hurt my people. 14 If that happens, my people who belong to me should be humble and they should pray to me. They should turn away from their sins and try to please me. Then I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sins and I will make their land successful again. 15 Now I will watch over this place. I will answer the prayers that people offer to me here. 16 I have chosen this temple to be my special home. People will worship me there for ever. I will always be there to watch over it.

17 But you must all continue to serve me well, as your father David did. Do everything that I have commanded you to do. Obey my rules and my laws. 18 If you do that, I will always cause one of your descendants to rule as king. That is what I promised to your father David when I said, “There will always be someone from your family to rule over Israel.”

19 But if any of you turn away from me, I will punish your people. I will do that if you do not obey the laws and rules that I have given to you. I will do it if you choose to serve and to worship other gods. 20 I will remove the people from the land that I have given to them. I will turn away from this temple that I have made a special place for my people to worship me. People from all the other nations will insult them and they will laugh at them. 21 This beautiful temple will became a heap of stones. Everyone who sees it will be very surprised. They will laugh about it! They will ask, “Why has the Lord destroyed this land and this temple?” 22 People will answer, “He has done it because they have turned away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He brought their ancestors out of Egypt. But now they have chosen to worship other gods and to serve them. That is why the Lord has caused this trouble to happen to them.” ’