Chapter 8 is very long, possibly the longest chapter so far though I haven't been keeping track of that. The writers obviously see these events as extremely important, and indeed, this symbolism as resonated through history to the present day. The narrative strongly ties the Israelite religion to a place, a specific spot on earth. In the story from the beginning, they were first a decentralized tribal people without a clearly defined territory, then they were exiled and enslaved, then they were wanderers who carried the main symbol of their religious devotion with them, then they were conquerors but only gradually developed a centralized polity while the ark still had no fixed abode, then they established a capital and finally, built the temple and now install the ark in it's putatively permanent place.
In this mythical moment, what will become the Jewish religion, and its associated ethno-nationalist identity, becomes inseparable from the city of Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount. (Modern Rabbinical Judaism is of course very different from the religion depicted here.) The essentiality of place meant that Jesus had to die and be resurrected in Jerusalem, and that Mohammed had to visit the city. It produced the crusades, and Zionism, and the modern state of Israel, all for the sake of this symbolic association of God with a specific place on earth.
There are several flaws in the story, of course. Although Ch. 8 says that the poles of the tabernacle are "there to this day," in fact the ark disappeared with the destruction of the Temple, before this was written. Here, the only contents of the Ark are the tablets Moses brought down from the mountain, whereas in Exodus it also contains a pot of manna and Aaron's blooming rod; and in any case, we know from Samuel that anyone who looks inside it will die. We also have the usual absurd hyperbole, including sacrificing twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. Anyway, here it is.
Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes,
the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, before King
Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. 2 And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Eth′anim, which is the seventh month. 3 And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 And they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 And
King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled
before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and
oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 For
the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that
the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. 8 And
the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the
holy place before the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from
outside; and they are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
12 Then Solomon said,
“The Lord has set the sun in the heavens,
but has said that he would dwell in thick darkness.
13 I have built thee an exalted house,
a place for thee to dwell in for ever.”
14 Then the king faced about, and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. 15 And he said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying, 16 ‘Since
the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city
in all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name
might be there; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart; 19 nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’ 20 Now the Lord
has fulfilled his promise which he made; for I have risen in the place
of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 And there I have provided a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; 23 and said, “O Lord,
God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above or on earth
beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to thy servants who
walk before thee with all their heart; 24 who
hast kept with thy servant David my father what thou didst declare to
him; yea, thou didst speak with thy mouth, and with thy hand hast
fulfilled it this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord,
God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father what thou hast
promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a man before me to sit
upon the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way, to
walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let thy word be confirmed, which thou hast spoken to thy servant David my father.
will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest
heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
28 Yet have regard to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, hearkening to the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prays before thee this day; 29 that
thy eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of
which thou hast said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that thou mayest hearken
to the prayer which thy servant offers toward this place. 30 And
hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant and of thy people
Israel, when they pray toward this place; yea, hear thou in heaven thy
dwelling place; and when thou hearest, forgive.
a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and comes
and swears his oath before thine altar in this house, 32 then
hear thou in heaven, and act, and judge thy servants, condemning the
guilty by bringing his conduct upon his own head, and vindicating the
righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
thy people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have
sinned against thee, if they turn again to thee, and acknowledge thy
name, and pray and make supplication to thee in this house; 34 then
hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and
bring them again to the land which thou gavest to their fathers.
heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against
thee, if they pray toward this place, and acknowledge thy name, and
turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them, 36 then
hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, thy people
Israel, when thou dost teach them the good way in which they should
walk; and grant rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people
as an inheritance.
there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew
or locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besieges them in any of their cities; whatever plague, whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever
prayer, whatever supplication is made by any man or by all thy people
Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out
his hands toward this house; 39 then
hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and
render to each whose heart thou knowest, according to all his ways (for
thou, thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men); 40 that they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest to our fathers.
41 “Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of thy people Israel, comes from a far country for thy name’s sake 42 (for
they shall hear of thy great name, and thy mighty hand, and of thy
outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear
thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all for which
the foreigner calls to thee; in order that all the peoples of the earth
may know thy name and fear thee, as do thy people Israel, and that they
may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
44 “If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way thou shalt send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen and the house which I have built for thy name, 45 then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
they sin against thee—for there is no man who does not sin—and thou art
angry with them, and dost give them to an enemy, so that they are
carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47 yet
if they lay it to heart in the land to which they have been carried
captive, and repent, and make supplication to thee in the land of their
captors, saying, ‘We have sinned, and have acted perversely and
wickedly’; 48 if
they repent with all their mind and with all their heart in the land of
their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to thee toward their
land, which thou gavest to their fathers, the city which thou hast
chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; 49 then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause 50 and
forgive thy people who have sinned against thee, and all their
transgressions which they have committed against thee; and grant them
compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may
have compassion on them 51 (for they are thy people, and thy heritage, which thou didst bring out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace). 52 Let
thy eyes be open to the supplication of thy servant, and to the
supplication of thy people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call
to thee. 53 For
thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be
thy heritage, as thou didst declare through Moses, thy servant, when
thou didst bring our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
Solomon Blesses the Assembly
54 Now as Solomon finished offering all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had knelt with hands outstretched toward heaven; 55 and he stood, and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56 “Blessed be the Lord
who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he
promised; not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he
uttered by Moses his servant. 57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; may he not leave us or forsake us; 58 that
he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep
his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded
our fathers. 59 Let these words of mine, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. 61 Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
Solomon Offers Sacrifices62 Then the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the Lord twenty-two thousand
oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the
people of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. 64 The same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord;
for there he offered the burnt offering and the cereal offering and the
fat pieces of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was
before the Lord was too small to receive the burnt offering and the cereal offering and the fat pieces of the peace offerings.
Solomon held the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great
assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days. 66 On
the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and
went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that
the Lord had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people.