Nehemiah Chapter 8  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Neh 8

1All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the wide place that was before the water gate, and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses that Yahweh had commanded to Israel.
  2Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
  3He read from it facing the open space that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and of those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
  4Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood that they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
  5Ezra opened 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 stood up
  6and Ezra blessed Yahweh the great God. All the people answered, “Amen, amen,” with the lifting up of their hands. They kneeled and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground.

7Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah and the Levites caused the people to understand the law, and the people stayed in their place.
  8They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and they gave the sense so that they understood the reading.
  9Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, “This day is holy to Yahweh your God. Do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.
  10Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of Yahweh is your strength.”
  11So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved.”
  12All the people went their way to eat and to drink and to send portions and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

Festival of Booths Observed

13On the second day were gathered together the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law.
  14They found written in the law how that Yahweh had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month,
  15and that they should proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain and get olive branches and branches of the pine, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees to make booths, as it is written.”
  16So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on the roof of his house and in their courtyards, and in the courtyards of the house of God and in the wide place of the water gate and in the wide place of the gate of Ephraim.
  17All the assembly of those who had come again out of the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not celebrated in that way. There was very great gladness.
  18Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.

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