Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites1 who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep."2 For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing3 prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy4 of the LORD is your strength."
The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy,5 because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.