And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation,
&c.] Having a perfect copy of it, which the people knew, and therefore desired him to bring it; he brought it either out of his own case or chest, or out of the temple where it was laid up; some restrain this to the book of Deuteronomy; this he produced in sight of the whole assembly:
both of men and women;
adult persons of each sex, who met promiscuously; though Grotius thinks the women had a separate place:
and all that could hear with understanding;
all under age, who yet were capable of hearing the law read to some advantage to them:
upon the first day of the seventh month;
the month Tisri, answering to part of September and October; this was a high day, for not only the first of every month was a festival, but the first of the seventh month was the feast of blowing of trumpets, ( Leviticus 23:24 ) , and besides, this was New Year's day, the first day of their civil year, as the first of Nisan was of their ecclesiastical year, and was of greater antiquity than that; and so Jarchi says, this was the first day of the year; to which may be added, that this was the day on which the altar was first set up, on the Jews' return from captivity, ( Ezra 3:6 ) .