Nehemiah 8:3

3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

Read Nehemiah 8:3 Using Other Translations

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

What does Nehemiah 8:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Nehemiah 8:3

And he read therein
Some passages in it, here and there, which it was necessary the people should have knowledge of; for it can hardly be thought be began and read on just in the order in which it was: this he did

before the street;
at the top of it, at one end of it:

that was before the water gate;
which looked directly to that:

from the morning until midday;
from the rising of the sun to noon, so that he must read six hours; but very probably was relieved at times by the men with him, after mentioned:

before the men and the women, and those that could understand;
see ( Nehemiah 8:2 ) ,

and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law;
to the hearing of it read, and to the things contained in it; hence Maimonides F8 gathers, that as soon as the reader begins the reading of the law, it is not lawful to speak about anything, not even the constitutions of the law, but silently to attend to what is read.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 Hilchot Tephillah, c. 12. sect. 9.
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