first temple jerusalem solomon

I Kings 8:54-66: Dedicating Solomon’s Temple

Celebrating for eight days

This haftarah is read by synagogues that celebrate Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah on separate days. The relationship of the haftarah to the holiday is made evident in the very last verse with its reference to the “eighth day.”

This English translation is reprinted with permission from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures published by the Jewish Publication Society.

8:54.         When Solomon finished offering to the LORD all this prayer and supplication, he rose from where he had been kneeling, in front of the altar of the LORD, his hands spread out toward heaven.

8:55.         He stood, and in a loud voice blessed the whole congregation of Israel:


8:56.         “Praised be the LORD who has granted a haven to His people Israel, just as He promised; not a single word has failed of all the gracious promises that He made through His servant Moses.

8:57.         May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He never abandon or forsake us.

8:58.         May He incline our hearts to Him, that we may walk in all His ways and keep the commandments, the laws, and the rules, which He enjoined upon our fathers.

8:59.         And may these words of mine, which I have offered in supplication before the LORD, be close to the LORD our God day and night, that He may provide for His servant and for His people Israel, according to each day’s needs —

8:60.         to the end that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD alone is God, there is no other.

8:61.         And may you be wholehearted with the LORD our God, to walk in His ways and keep His commandments, even as now.”

8:62.         The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD.

8:63.         Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep as sacrifices of well-being to the LORD. Thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the House of the LORD.

8:64.         That day the king consecrated the center of the court that was in front of the House of the LORD. For it was there that he presented the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, and the fat parts of the offerings of well-being, because the bronze altar that was before the LORD was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, and the fat parts of the offerings of well-being.

8:65.         So Solomon and all Israel with him  — a great assemblage, [coming] from Lebohamath to the Wadi of Egypt  — observed the Feast at that time before the LORD our God, seven days and again seven days, fourteen days in all.

8:66.         On the eight day he let the people go. They bade the king good-bye and went to their homes, joyful and glad of heart over all the goodness that the LORD had shown to His servant David and His people Israel.

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