Nehemiah 8 ©

An account of the religious order and manner kept by Ezra and the Levites in the reading and expounding, and by the people in the hearing of the Word of God, v. 1, etc. The people, being terrified and troubled by the words of the book of the law, are comforted by Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites, and exhorted to rejoice at God’s former and present mercies, 9. The rulers of the people do further search and inquire by Ezra into the meaning of God’s Word and, finding the law concerning the feats of the tabernacles, they and all the people keep the same with great zeal and mirth, 13.


AND all the people 1gathered themselves together as 2one man into the street that was before the 3water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of 4Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.


And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation 5both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.


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 6ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.


And Ezra the scribe stood upon a 7pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and 8Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.


And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was 9above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:


And Ezra 10blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, 11Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and 12worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.


Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the 13Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people 14stood in their place.


So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and 15gave the sense, and 16caused them to understand 17the reading.


¶And Nehemiah, which is the 18Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; 19mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, 20when they heard the words of the law.


Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them 21for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is 22your strength.


So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.


And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send 23portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.


¶And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to 24understand the words of the law.


And they found writtena in the law which the LORD had commanded 25by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:


And that they should 26publish and 27proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch 28olive branches, and 29pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of 30thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.


¶So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the 31roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the 32courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.


And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of 33Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel 34done so. And there was very great gladness.


Also day by day, from the 35first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a 36solemn assembly, according unto the manner.