The Daily Audio Bible
Ezra Reads the Law
8 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before (A)the Water Gate. And they told (B)Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest (C)brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, (D)on the first day of the seventh month. 3 (E)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. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 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. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, (F)“Amen, Amen,” (G)lifting up their hands. (H)And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 (I)Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites,[a] (J)helped the people to understand the Law, (K)while the people remained in their places. 8 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
9 And Nehemiah, who was (L)the governor, and Ezra (M)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 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 (P)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 (Q)they had understood the words that were declared to them.
Feast of Booths Celebrated
13 On the second day the heads of fathers' houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law. 14 And they found it written in the Law that the Lord had commanded by Moses (R)that the people of Israel should dwell in booths[c] during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should proclaim it and (S)publish it in all their towns and (T)in Jerusalem, “Go out to the hills and bring (U)branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each (V)on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at (W)the Water Gate and in the square at (X)the Gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day (Y)the people of Israel had not done so. And there was (Z)very great rejoicing. 18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, (AA)he read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and (AB)on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.
The People of Israel Confess Their Sin
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of (AC)this month the people of Israel were assembled (AD)with fasting (AE)and in sackcloth, (AF)and with earth on their heads. 2 (AG)And the Israelites[d] separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 (AH)And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 On the stairs of the Levites stood (AI)Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. (AJ)Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
6 [e] (AK)“You are the Lord, you alone. (AL)You have made heaven, (AM)the heaven of heavens, (AN)with all their host, (AO)the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; (AP)and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the Lord, the God (AQ)who chose Abram and brought him out of (AR)Ur of the Chaldeans (AS)and gave him the name Abraham. 8 (AT)You found his heart faithful before you, (AU)and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring (AV)the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. (AW)And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
9 (AX)“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard (AY)their cry at the Red Sea, 10 (AZ)and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that (BA)they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And (BB)you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11 (BC)And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, (BD)as a stone into mighty waters. 12 By (BE)a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 (BF)You came down on Mount Sinai (BG)and spoke with them from heaven and gave them (BH)right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 (BI)and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15 (BJ)You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and (BK)brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you (BL)told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them.
16 “But they and our fathers (BM)acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey (BN)and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.[f] But you are a God ready to forgive, (BO)gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even (BP)when they had made for themselves a golden[g] calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ (BQ)and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you (BR)in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. (BS)The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, (BT)nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 (BU)You gave your good Spirit to instruct them (BV)and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 (BW)Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.
Paul Surrenders His Rights
9 (A)Am I not free? (B)Am I not an apostle? (C)Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? (D)Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are (E)the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 (F)Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 (G)Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife,[a] as do the other apostles and (H)the brothers of the Lord and (I)Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 (J)Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? (K)Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, (L)“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written (M)for our sake, because (N)the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 (O)If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?
Nevertheless, (P)we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything (Q)rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that (R)those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that (S)those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
15 But (T)I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone (U)deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For (V)necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with (W)a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching (X)I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
13 The Lord (C)looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from (D)where he sits enthroned he (E)looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 (F)The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 (G)The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.