The People Respond to the Reading of the Law
When the seventh month arrived and the Israelites1 were settled in their cities,2 8:1 all the people gathered together3 in the plaza which was in front of the Water Gate. They asked4 Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the
8:4 Ezra the scribe stood on a towering wooden platform8 constructed for this purpose. Standing near him on his right were Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Masseiah. On his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
8:5 Ezra opened the book in plain view9 of all the people, for he was elevated above all the people. When he opened the book,10 all the people stood up.
8:6 Ezra blessed the
8:7 Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah – all of whom were Levites11 – were teaching the people the law, as the people remained standing. 8:8 They read from the book of God’s law, explaining it12 and imparting insight. Thus the people13 gained understanding from what was read.
8:9 Then Nehemiah the governor,14 Ezra the priestly scribe,15 and the Levites who were imparting understanding to the people said to all of them,16 “This day is holy to the
8:11 Then the Levites quieted all the people saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy. Do not grieve.” 8:12 So all the people departed to eat and drink and to share their food18 with others19 and to enjoy tremendous joy,20 for they had gained insight in the matters that had been made known to them.
8:13 On the second day of the month the family leaders21 met with22 Ezra the scribe, together with all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to consider the words of the law.
8:14 They discovered written in the law that the
8:16 So the people went out and brought these things26 back and constructed temporary shelters for themselves, each on his roof and in his courtyard and in the courtyards of the temple27 of God and in the plaza of the Water Gate and the plaza of the Ephraim Gate. 8:17 So all the assembly which had returned from the exile constructed temporary shelters and lived in them. The Israelites had not done so from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. Everyone experienced very great joy.28 8:18 Ezra29 read in the book of the law of God day by day, from the first day to the last.30 They observed the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day they held an assembly31 as was required.32