April 19

1 Kings 8:31 — 9:28

31 “When a man sins against his fellowman, and he actually lays a cursing upon him to bring him under liability to the curse, and he actually comes [within] the curse before your altar in this house, 32 then may you yourself hear from the heavens, and you must act and judge your servants by pronouncing the wicked one wicked by putting his way upon his own head, and by pronouncing the righteous one righteous by giving to him according to his own righteousness.

33 “When your people Israel are defeated before the enemy, because they kept sinning against you, and they indeed return to you and laud your name and pray and make request for favor toward you in this house, 34 then may you yourself hear from heaven, and you must forgive the sin of your people Israel and you must bring them back to the ground that you gave to their forefathers.

35 “When heaven is shut up so that no rain occurs, because they kept sinning against you, and they actually pray toward this place and laud your name, and from their sin they turn back, because you kept afflicting them, 36 then may you yourself hear from the heavens, and you must forgive the sin of your servants, even of your people Israel, because you teach them the good way in which they should walk; and you must give rain upon your land that you have given to your people as a hereditary possession.

37 “In case a famine occurs in the land, in case a pestilence occurs, in case scorching, mildew, locusts, cockroaches occur; in case their enemy besieges them in the land of their gates—any sort of plague, any sort of malady— 38 whatever prayer, whatever request for favor there may occur on the part of any man [or] of all your people Israel, because they know each one the plague of his own heart, and they actually spread out their palms to this house, 39 then may you yourself hear from the heavens, your established place of dwelling, and you must forgive and act and give to each one according to all his ways, because you know his heart (for you yourself alone well know the heart of all the sons of mankind); 40 to the end that they may fear you all the days that they are alive upon the surface of the ground that you gave to our forefathers.

41 “And also to the foreigner, who is no part of your people Israel and who actually comes from a distant land by reason of your name 42 (for they shall hear of your great name and of your strong hand and of your stretched-out arm), and he actually comes and prays toward this house, 43 may you yourself listen from the heavens, your established place of dwelling, and you must do according to all that for which the foreigner calls to you; in order that all the peoples of the earth may get to know your name so as to fear you the same as your people Israel do, and so as to know that your name itself has been called upon this house that I have built.

44 “In case your people go out to the war against their enemy in the way that you send them, and they indeed pray to Jehovah in the direction of the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built to your name, 45 you must also hear from the heavens their prayer and their request for favor, and you must execute judgment for them.

46 “In case they sin against you (for there is no man that does not sin), and you have to be incensed at them and abandon them to the enemy, and their captors actually carry them off captive to the land of the enemy distant or nearby; 47 and they indeed come to their senses in the land where they have been carried off captive, and they actually return and make request to you for favor in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and erred, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and they indeed return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who carried them off captive, and they indeed pray to you in the direction of their land that you gave to their forefathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built to your name; 49 you must also hear from the heavens, your established place of dwelling, their prayer and their request for favor, and you must execute judgment for them, 50 and you must forgive your people who had sinned against you and all their transgressions with which they transgressed against you; and you must make them objects of pity before their captors and they must pity them 51 (for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out from Egypt, from inside the iron furnace), 52 that your eyes may prove to be opened to the request for favor of your servant and to the request for favor of your people Israel, by listening to them in all for which they call to you. 53 For you yourself separated them as your inheritance out of all the peoples of the earth, just as you have spoken by means of Moses your servant when you were bringing our forefathers out from Egypt, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”

54 And it came about that, as soon as Solomon finished praying to Jehovah with all this prayer and request for favor, he rose up from before the altar of Jehovah, from bending down upon his knees with his palms spread out to the heavens; 55 and he began to stand and bless all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying: 56 “Blessed be Jehovah, who has given a resting-place to his people Israel according to all that he has promised. There has not failed one word of all his good promise that he has promised by means of Moses his servant. 57 May Jehovah our God prove to be with us just as he proved to be with our forefathers. May he neither leave us nor forsake us, 58 so as to incline our heart to himself to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and his regulations and his judicial decisions, which he gave in command to our forefathers. 59 And may these words of mine with which I have made request for favor before Jehovah prove to be near to Jehovah our God by day and night, that he may execute judgment for his servant and judgment for his people Israel as it may require day by day; 60 to the end that all the peoples of the earth may know that Jehovah is the [true] God. There is no other. 61 And YOUR heart must prove to be complete with Jehovah our God by walking in his regulations and by keeping his commandments as at this day.”

62 And the king and all Israel with him were offering a grand sacrifice before Jehovah. 63 And Solomon proceeded to offer the communion sacrifices that he had to offer to Jehovah, twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep, that the king and all the sons of Israel might inaugurate the house of Jehovah. 64 On that day the king had to sanctify the middle of the courtyard that is before the house of Jehovah, because there he had to render up the burnt sacrifice and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices; for the copper altar that is before Jehovah was too small to contain the burnt sacrifice and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices. 65 And Solomon proceeded to carry on at that time the festival, and all Israel with him, a great congregation from the entering in of Hamath down to the torrent valley of Egypt, before Jehovah our God seven days and another seven days, fourteen days. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they began to bless the king and to go to their homes, rejoicing and feeling merry of heart over all the goodness that Jehovah had performed for David his servant and for Israel his people.

9 And it came about that, as soon as Solomon had finished building the house of Jehovah and the house of the king and every desirable thing of Solomon that he took delight in making, 2 then Jehovah appeared to Solomon the second time, the same as he had appeared to him in Gibeon. 3 And Jehovah went on to say to him: “I have heard your prayer and your request for favor with which you requested favor before me. I have sanctified this house that you have built by putting my name there to time indefinite; and my eyes and my heart will certainly prove to be there always. 4 And you, if you will walk before me, just as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and with uprightness by doing according to all that I have commanded you, and you will keep my regulations and my judicial decisions, 5 I also shall indeed establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel to time indefinite, just as I promised David your father, saying, ‘Not a man of yours will be cut off from [sitting] upon the throne of Israel.’ 6 If YOU yourselves and YOUR sons should definitely turn back from following me and not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have put before YOU men, and YOU actually go and serve other gods and bow down to them, 7 I will also cut Israel off from upon the surface of the ground that I have given to them; and the house that I have sanctified to my name I shall throw away from before me, and Israel will indeed become a proverbial saying and a taunt among all the peoples. 8 And this house itself will become heaps of ruins. Everyone passing by it will stare in amazement and will certainly whistle and say, ‘For what reason did Jehovah do like that to this land and this house?’ 9 And they will have to say, ‘For the reason that they left Jehovah their God who had brought their forefathers out from the land of Egypt, and they proceeded to take hold of other gods and bow down to them and serve them. That is why Jehovah brought upon them all this calamity.’”

10 And it came about at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon built the two houses, the house of Jehovah and the house of the king, 11 (Hiram the king of Tyre had himself assisted Solomon with timbers of cedar trees and timbers of juniper trees and with gold as much as he delighted in,) that at that time King Solomon proceeded to give to Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 Accordingly Hiram went out from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, and they were not just right in his eyes. 13 So he said: “What sort of cities are these that you have given me, my brother?” And they came to be called the Land of Cabul down to this day.

14 In the meantime Hiram sent to the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold.

15 Now this is the account of those conscripted for forced labor that King Solomon levied to build the house of Jehovah and his own house and the Mound and the wall of Jerusalem and Hazor and Megiddo and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh the king of Egypt himself had come up and then captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and the Canaanites dwelling in the city he had killed. So he gave it as a parting gift to his daughter, the wife of Solomon.) 17 And Solomon went on to build Gezer and Lower Beth-horon, 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land, 19 and all the storage cities that became Solomon’s and the chariot cities and the cities for the horsemen, and the desirable things of Solomon that he had desired to build in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land of his dominion. 20 As for all the people remaining over from the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were no part of the sons of Israel, 21 their sons who had been left over after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had been unable to devote to destruction, Solomon kept levying them for slavish forced labor until this day. 22 And there were none of the sons of Israel that Solomon constituted slaves; for they were the warriors and his servants and his princes and his adjutants and chiefs of his charioteers and of his horsemen. 23 These were the chiefs of the deputies who were over the work of Solomon, five hundred and fifty, the foremen over the people who were active in the work.

24 However, Pharaoh’s daughter herself came up out of the City of David to her own house that he had built for her. It was then that he built the Mound.

25 And Solomon continued three times in the year to offer up burnt sacrifices and communion sacrifices upon the altar that he had built for Jehovah, and there was a making of sacrificial smoke on the [altar], which was before Jehovah; and he completed the house.

26 And there was a fleet of ships that King Solomon made in Ezion-geber, which is by Eloth, upon the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram kept sending in the fleet of ships his own servants, seamen, having a knowledge of the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28 And they proceeded to go to Ophir and take from there four hundred and twenty talents of gold and bring it in to King Solomon.