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Nehemiah 8 (New American Standard)

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Ezra Reads the Law

1 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of 1the Water Gate, and they aasked 2Ezra the scribe to bring 3the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had bgiven to Israel. 2 Then 4Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on 5the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it before the square which was in front of 6the Water Gate from cearly morning until midday , in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 Ezra opened 7the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people 8stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, "9Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands; then 10they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the law of God, dtranslating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.

``This Day Is Holy"

9 Then Nehemiah, who was the e11governor, and Ezra 12the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "13This day is holy to the LORD your God; 14do not mourn or weep." For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and 15send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved." 12 All the people went away to eat, to drink, 16to send portions and to fcelebrate a great festival, 17because they understood the words which had been made known to them.

Feast of Booths Restored

13 Then on the second day the heads of fathers' households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how the LORD had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel 18should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. 15 g19So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and 20in Jerusalem, saying, "21Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and hwild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written." 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each 22on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at 23the Water Gate and in the square at 24the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in ithem. The sons of Israel 25had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And 26there was great rejoicing. 18 27He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they 28celebrated the feast seven days, and on 29the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.
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