Nehemiah 81 And the seventh month had arrived. Now the sons of Israel were in their cities. And all the people were gathered together, like one man, in the street which is before the water gate. And they spoke to Ezra the scribe, so that he would bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had instructed to Israel. 2 Therefore, Ezra the priest brought the law before the multitude of men and women, and all those who were able to understand, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read it openly in the street which was before the water gate, from morning even until midday, in the sight of the men and women, and those who understood. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the book. 4 Then Ezra the scribe stood upon a step of wood, which he had made for speaking. And standing beside him were Mattithiah, and Shemaiah, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right. And on the left were Pedaiah, Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book before all the people. For he stood out above all the people. And when he had opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people responded, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed down, and they adored God, facing the ground. 7 Then Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, caused the people to be silent in order to hear the law. And the people were standing on their feet. 8 And they read from the book of the law of God, distinctly and plainly, so as to be understood. And when it was read, they did understand. 9 Then Nehemiah (the same is the cupbearer) and Ezra, the priest and scribe, and the Levites, who were interpreting for all the people, said: “This day has been sanctified to the Lord our God. Do not mourn, and do not weep.” For all of the people were weeping, as they were listening to the words of the law. 10 And he said to them: “Go, eat fat foods and drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who have not prepared for themselves. For it is the holy day of the Lord. And do not be sad. For the joy of the Lord is also our strength.” 11 Then the Levites caused the people to be silent, saying: “Be quiet. For the day is holy. And do not be sorrowful.” 12 And so all the people went forth, so that they might eat and drink, and so that they might send portions, and so that they might make a great rejoicing. For they understood the words that he had taught to them. 13 And on the second day, the leaders of the families of all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered together to Ezra the scribe, so that he might interpret for them the words of the law. 14 And they found written in the law, which the Lord had instructed by the hand of Moses, that the sons of Israel should live in tabernacles on the day of solemnity in the seventh month, 15 and that they should proclaim and send out a voice in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying: “Go forth to the mount, and bring olive branches, and the branches of beautiful trees, myrtle branches, and palm branches, and the branches of thick trees,” so that they might make tabernacles, just as it was written. 16 And the people went forth and brought. And they made for themselves tabernacles, each one at his own dwelling, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 Therefore, the entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made tabernacles and lived in tabernacles. For from the days of Jeshua, the son of Nun, even to that day, the sons of Israel had not done so. And there was exceedingly great rejoicing. 18 Now he read in the book of the law of God, throughout each day, from the first day even to the very last day. And they kept the solemnity for seven days. And on the eighth day, there was a gathering according to the ritual.
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