Gather the people together, men, and women, and children
At the three grand festivals in other years, only males were obliged to appear; women might if they would, but they were not bound to it; but at this time all of every age and sex were to be summoned and assembled together; and it is said F26, when the king read in the book of the law, all the people were obliged to come and bring their families, as it is said ( Deuteronomy 31:12 ) ; "gather the people" and as it could not be done when it happened on the sabbath day, the reading of the section was put off to the day following:
and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates;
not only the proselyte of righteousness, but the proselyte of the gate that renounced idolatry, for his further conviction and thorough conversion to the religion of the true God; or, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it, that they might see the honour and glory of the law. The end is more fully expressed as follows,
that they may hear;
all the laws which God had given:
and that they may learn;
and attain unto the true knowledge and right understanding of them:
and fear the Lord your God;
serve and worship him internally and externally, according to these laws:
and observe to do all the words of this law;
so take notice of them as to put them in practice; and reading them in such a solemn and reverent manner made them the more servable, and raised the greater attention to them, to the importance of them; otherwise they were read in their families, and on sabbath days in their synagogues; see ( Deuteronomy 6:7 ) ( Acts 13:15 ) ( 15:21 ) .
F26 Bartenora in Misn. Megillah, c. 1. sect. 3.