Nehemiah - Chapter 8
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3 In the square in front of the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and of those old enough to understand, he read from the book from dawn till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
4 The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose; beside him stood, on his right, Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; on his left, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5 In full view of all the people -- since he stood higher than them all -- Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
6 Then Ezra blessed Yahweh, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, 'Amen! Amen!'; then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before Yahweh.
7 And Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabab, Hanan, Pelaiah, who were Levites, explained the Law to the people, while the people all kept their places.
8 Ezra read from the book of the Law of God, translating and giving the sense; so the reading was understood.
9 Then His Excellency Nehemiah and the priest-scribe Ezra and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people, 'Today is sacred to Yahweh your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.' For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 He then said, 'You may go; eat what is rich, drink what is sweet and send a helping to the man who has nothing prepared. For today is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of Yahweh is your stronghold.'
11 And the Levites calmed all the people down, saying, 'Keep quiet; this is a sacred day. Do not be sad.'
13 On the second day, the heads of families of the whole people, and the priests and Levites, gathered round the scribe Ezra to study the words of the Law.
15 So they issued a proclamation and had it circulated in all their towns and in Jerusalem: 'Go into the hills and bring branches of olive, pine, myrtle, palm and other leafy trees to make shelters, as it says in the book.'
16 The people went out; they brought branches and made shelters for themselves, each man on his roof, in their courtyards, in the precincts of the Temple of God, in the square of the Water Gate and in the square of the Ephraim Gate.
17 The whole assembly, all who had returned from the captivity, put up shelters and lived in them; this the Israelites had not done from the days of Joshua son of Nun till that day, and there was very great merrymaking.
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