And all the people gathered themselves together as one
into the street that was before the watergate
A large and commodious street for such a company of people, which led to the water gate, of which see ( Nehemiah 3:26 ) hither the people gathered with great unanimity, zeal, and affection:
and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe;
the same who is called Ezra the priest, and scribe of the law of God, and said to be a ready one, ( Ezra 7:6 Ezra 7:11 Ezra 7:12 ) , who came to Jerusalem thirteen years before this time; but very probably returned to Babylon again, and was lately come from thence:
to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had
to observe what was commanded in it, and which he had ordered to be read, particularly every seventh year, at the feast of tabernacles, ( Deuteronomy 31:10 Deuteronomy 31:11 ) which was now drawing near, though this was not the precise time of reading it; hence some have thought this year was the sabbatical year; see ( Nehemiah 5:11 ) .