Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites(A) who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.”(B) For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing(C) prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy(D) of the Lord is your strength.”

11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy,(E) because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

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