all the people gathered together at the square in front of the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses that the Lord had given Israel.
References for Nehemiah 8:1
On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding.
While he was facing the square in front of the Water Gate, he read out of it from daybreak until noon before the men, the women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the book of the law.
References for Nehemiah 8:3
Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform made for this purpose. Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah stood beside him on his right; to his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Ezra opened the book in full view of all the people, since he was elevated above everyone. As he opened it, all the people stood up.
Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and with their hands uplifted all the people said, "Amen, Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.