Ezra Reads and Explains the Law

Now all (A)the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was (B)in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the (C)scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought (D)the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding (E)on the first day of the seventh month. Then he (F)read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate [a]from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people (G)stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.

Then all the people (H)answered, “Amen, Amen!” while (I)lifting up their hands. And they (J)bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, (K)helped the people to understand the Law; and the people (L)stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

(M)And Nehemiah, who was the [b]governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, (N)“This day is holy to the Lord your God; (O)do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.

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  1. Nehemiah 8:3 Lit. from the light
  2. Nehemiah 8:9 Heb. Tirshatha

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