The Bible – Old Testament
When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the holocaust and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
But the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.
All the Israelites looked on while the fire came down and the glory of the LORD was upon the house, and they fell down upon the pavement with their faces to the earth and adored, praising the LORD, “for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.”
The king and all the people were offering sacrifices before the LORD.
King Solomon offered as sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred twenty thousand sheep.
Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests were standing at their stations, as were the Levites, with the musical instruments of the LORD which King David had made for “praising the LORD, for his mercy endures forever,” when David used them to accompany the hymns. Across from them the priests blew the trumpets and all Israel stood.
Then Solomon consecrated the middle part of the court which lay before the house of the LORD; there he offered the holocausts and the fat of the peace offerings, since the bronze altar which Solomon had made could not hold the holocausts, the cereal offerings and the fat.
On this occasion Solomon and with him all Israel, who had assembled in very large numbers from Labo of Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival for seven days.
1 On the eighth day they held a special meeting, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the feast for seven days.
On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people back to their tents, rejoicing and glad at heart at the good things the LORD had done for David, for Solomon, and for his people Israel.
Solomon completed the house of the LORD and the royal palace; he successfully accomplished everything he had planned to do in regard to the house of the LORD and his own house.
The LORD appeared to Solomon during the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for my house of sacrifice.
If I close heaven so that there is no rain, if I command the locust to devour the land, if I send pestilence among my people,
and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.
Now my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place.
And now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart also shall be there always.
“As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David did, doing all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and ordinances,
I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David when I said, ‘There shall never be lacking someone of yours as ruler in Israel.’
But if you turn away and forsake my statutes and commands which I placed before you, if you proceed to venerate and worship strange gods,
then I will uproot the people from the land I gave them; I will cast from my sight this house which I have consecrated to my honor, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
This temple which is so exalted – everyone passing by it will be amazed and ask: ‘Why has the LORD done this to this land and to this house?’
And men will answer: ‘They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they adopted strange gods and worshiped them and served them. That is why he has brought down upon them all this evil.'”
1 [9-10] The feast: of Booths, celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and followed by a solemn octave lasting through the twenty-second day (⇒ Lev 23:33-36; ⇒ Numbers 29:12-35); the people are therefore sent home on the twenty-third day (⇒ 2 Chron 7:10). The festival (⇒ 2 Chron 7:8) for the dedication of the altar and of the temple lasted for seven days before the feast of Booths, from the seventh to the fourteenth day. According to ⇒ 1 Kings 8:65-66 the people are dismissed at the end of these seven days.