1 Solomon then summoned the leaders of all the tribes and families of Israel to assemble in Jerusalem. They were to bring the Ark of the LORD's covenant from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion, to its new place in the Temple.
2 They all assembled before the king at the annual Festival of Shelters in early autumn.*1
3 When all the leaders of Israel arrived, the priests picked up the Ark.
4 Then the priests and Levites took the Ark of the LORD, along with the Tabernacle* and all its sacred utensils, and carried them up to the Temple.2
5 King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed sheep and oxen before the Ark in such numbers that no one could keep count!
6 Then the priests carried the Ark of the LORD's covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple--the Most Holy Place--and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
7 The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles.
8 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the front entrance of the Temple's main room--the Holy Place--but not from outside it. They are still there to this day.
9 Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai,* where the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel as they were leaving the land of Egypt.3
10 As the priests came out of the inner sanctuary, a cloud filled the Temple of the LORD.
11 The priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple.
12 Then Solomon prayed, "O LORD, you have said that you would live in thick darkness.
13 But I have built a glorious Temple for you, where you can live forever!"
14 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing:
15 "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David.
16 For he told my father, `From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among the tribes of Israel as the place where a temple should be built to honor my name. But now I have chosen David to be king over my people.' "
17 Then Solomon said, "My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
18 But the LORD told him, `It is right for you to want to build the Temple to honor my name,
19 but you are not the one to do it. One of your sons will build it instead.'
20 "And now the LORD has done what he promised, for I have become king in my father's place. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
21 And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the LORD made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt."
22 Then Solomon stood with his hands lifted toward heaven before the altar of the LORD in front of the entire community of Israel.
23 He prayed, "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven or earth. You keep your promises and show unfailing love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will.
24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and today you have fulfilled it with your own hands.
25 And now, O LORD, God of Israel, carry out your further promise to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, `If your descendants guard their behavior as you have done, they will always reign over Israel.'
26 Now, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David, my father.
27 "But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built!
28 Listen to my prayer and my request, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.