Nehemiah 8

Ezra Reads the Law

1And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of a  the Water Gate, and they
Lit said to
asked c  Ezra the scribe to bring d  the book of the law of Moses which the  Lord had
Lit commanded
given to Israel.
2Then f  Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on g  the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it before the square which was in front of h  the Water Gate from
Lit the light
early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
4Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which 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. 5Ezra opened j  the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people k  stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the  Lord the great God. And all the people answered l  Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then m  they bowed low and worshiped the  Lord with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. 8They read from the book, from the law of God
Or explaining
translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.

“This Day Is Holy”

9Then Nehemiah, who was the
Heb Tirshatha, a Persian title
p  governor, and Ezra q  the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people r  This day is holy to the  Lord your God; s  do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.
10Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and t  send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the  Lord is your strength.” 11So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12All the people went away to eat, to drink u  to send portions and to
Lit make a great rejoicing
celebrate a great festival w  because they understood the words which had been made known to them.

Feast of Booths Restored

13Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. 14They found written in the law how the  Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel x  should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. 15
Lit And that they will cause to be heard
z  So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and aa  in Jerusalem, saying ab  Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and
Lit oil tree, species unknown
wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.”
16So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each ad  on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at ae  the Water Gate and in the square at af  the Gate of Ephraim. 17The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in
Lit the booths
them. The sons of Israel ah  had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And ai  there was great rejoicing.
18 aj  He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they ak  celebrated the feast seven days, and on al  the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.
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