And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, (A)“Amen, Amen,” (B)lifting up their hands. (C)And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. (D)Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites,[a] (E)helped the people to understand the Law, (F)while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly,[b] and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

This Day Is Holy

And Nehemiah, who was (G)the governor, and Ezra (H)the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, (I)“This day is holy to the Lord your God; (J)do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and (K)send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because (L)they had understood the words that were declared to them.

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Footnotes

  1. Nehemiah 8:7 Vulgate; Hebrew and the Levites
  2. Nehemiah 8:8 Or with interpretation, or paragraph by paragraph

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