Solomon knew it was his responsibility to build the Temple of the Lord. Therefore, he gathered a large work force and provided them all the materials they needed. He got cedar from King Hiram of Lebanon, who had been a friend of David, his father.
The entire construction took seven years to complete. During that time, there wasn’t the sound of tools at the Temple site because everything was assembled elsewhere. The inside walls were totally covered with cedar. The walls of the most Holy Place were covered with pure gold. All of the vessels, furnishings, and tools for worship were also made of gold. He also made a place for Gentiles who wanted to come to the Temple and pray.
Once the Temple was done, King Solomon assembled the leaders from all the tribes of Israel. The priests went and got the Ark of God. The only things in it at that time were the two tablets of stone that Moses had put there. As the priests carefully carried the Ark toward the Temple, sacrifices were made all along the way. Finally, they arrived, and the Ark of God was put in the Most Holy Place.
Suddenly, the glory of the Lord filled the Temple like a cloud. It was so thick the priests had to stop what they were doing.
The king gave thanks to God. He then turned to face the people and gave them a blessing and a prayer of dedication. Finally, he stood before the altar of the Lord and prayed. He asked God to hear his people when they confessed their sins and asked for forgiveness. He also asked God to hear Gentiles who prayed at the Temple.
Together, the entire nation of Israel sacrificed to God and dedicated the Temple to the Lord. This celebration lasted for fourteen days. Once it was over, the people returned to their homes with their hearts full of happiness.
God then met with Solomon a second time. He said, “I have heard your prayer and have set this house apart for myself. If you walk with me as your father did, I’ll establish your kingdom forever. But if you or your descendants disobey my commandments and start worshiping other gods, I’ll depart from this house, and it will become a disgrace. I’ll then take the people of Israel off from this land.”
For the next thirteen years, Solomon built a house for himself. After that, he built several cities. He established a great work force for all of his construction projects. There was no other king in the entire world like Solomon.