Nehemiah 8

Ezra Reads the Law

1And all the people gathered as one man into the square before athe Water Gate. And they told bEzra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2So Ezra the priest cbrought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, don the first day of the seventh month. 3 eAnd he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, fAmen, Amen,” glifting up their hands. hAnd they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 iAlso Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites,
Vulgate; Hebrew and the Levites
khelped the people to understand the Law, lwhile the people remained in their places.
8They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly,
Or with interpretation, or paragraph by paragraph
and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

This Day Is Holy

9And Nehemiah, who was nthe governor, and Ezra othe priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, p“This day is holy to the Lord your God; qdo not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and rsend portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because sthey had understood the words that were declared to them.

Feast of Booths Celebrated

13On the second day the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law. 14And they found it written in the Law that the Lord had commanded by Moses tthat the people of Israel should dwell in booths
Or temporary shelters
during the feast of the seventh month,
15and that they should proclaim it and vpublish it in all their towns and win Jerusalem, “Go out to the hills and bring xbranches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” 16So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each yon his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at zthe Water Gate and in the square at aathe Gate of Ephraim. 17And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day abthe people of Israel had not done so. And there was acvery great rejoicing. 18And day by day, from the first day to the last day, adhe read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and aeon the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.

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