The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
Scarce had Solomon finished his praying, when fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt-sacrifice, consumed all the victims; the glory of the Lord, too, filled the temple,
and the priests might not enter; his own glory was there, filling his own house.
The fire that fell, the brightness of the Lord’s visible presence, was seen by all Israel; there on the stone pavement they fell down to earth in worship, crying, Praise the Lord, the Lord is gracious, his mercy endures for ever.
King and people offered their victims in the Lord’s presence;
the beasts king Solomon slew that day, when he and all the people dedicated the Lord’s house, were twenty-two thousand bulls and a hundred and twenty thousand rams.
There stood the priests at their task, and the Levites with the instruments of sacred music, that king David had given them to praise the Lord with, playing David’s own chant of everlasting mercy, while the priests led with their trumpets, and all the people stood around.
That day, the king must needs hallow the middle part of the court before the Lord’s house, burning there the burnt-sacrifice and the fat taken from the welcome-victims; the brazen altar he had made would not suffice for these and for the bloodless offerings too.
After this, king Solomon spent seven days in keeping the feast of Tabernacles, and with him a great multitude from the whole land of Israel, that stretched from the pass of Emath down to the river of Egypt;
and the eighth day he kept as a great holiday, after seven days given up to the temple dedication, and seven to the feast.
At last, on the twenty-third day of the month, he sent the people home, rejoicing with full hearts over the mercies the Lord had shewn to David, to Solomon, and to his own people of Israel.✻
When Solomon had finished building the temple, and his own palace, and brought all his plans for one and the other to a prosperous issue,
the Lord spoke to him in a vision seen by night. I have listened to thy prayer, he said; this place, none other, shall be the home of my sacrifices.
Shut I the heavens, so that no rain should fall, give I charge to the locust to ravage the country-side, send I pestilence to destroy my people;
if they, this people of mine, thus dedicated to my name, will betake themselves to my presence in entreaty, and repent of their ill doings, I, in heaven, will listen, will pardon their sins, will bring healing to their country.
Open my eyes shall be, my ears attentive to every man’s prayer that here prays to me;
I have set this place apart and hallowed it, to be the shrine of my name for all time; never a day but my eyes shall be watching, my heart be attentive here.
Do thou guide thy steps, like thy father, as in my presence, do thou fulfil all I command, hold true to observance and decree of mine;
and I will raise up a dynasty to follow thee; such was my promise to thy father David, that he should always have an heir to sit on the throne of Israel.
But if you are content to turn your backs upon me, neglecting the decrees and commands I have given you, betaking yourselves to the service and the worship of alien gods,
then I will pluck you up by the roots out of the land I gave you, and this temple, which I have hallowed as the shrine of my name, shall be thrust away out of my sight; it shall be a proverb and a by-word among the nations.
It shall be a monument to the passers-by, and they will ask in wonder, Why has the Lord treated this land, this house so cruelly?
And the answer will come, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who rescued their fathers from the land of Egypt, and betook themselves to the worship and service of alien gods; that is why all this ruin has come upon them.✻
The Holy Bible