Ezra Reads the Law to the People
8 1 all the people gathered together as one man to the open place that was before the water-gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded Israel. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation, both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read in it before the open place that was before the water-gate from the morning until midday, in presence of the men and the women, and those that could understand. And the ears of all the people were [attentive] to the book of the law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a high stage of wood, which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkijah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddana, Zechariah, Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God; and all the people answered, Amen, Amen! with lifting up of their hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshipped Jehovah with their faces to the ground. 7 And Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; and the people [stood] in their place. 8 And they read in the law of God distinctly out of the book, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, that is, the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that explained to the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to Jehovah your God: mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 And he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared; for the day is holy to our Lord; and be not grieved, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength. 11 And the Levites quieted all the people, saying, Be still! for the day is holy; neither be grieved. 12 And all the people went their way, to eat and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great rejoicing. For they had understood the words that were declared to them.
13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to gain wisdom as to the words of the law. 14 And they found written in the law which Jehovah had commanded through Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should publish and proclaim through all their cities, and at Jerusalem, saying, Go forth to the mount, and fetch olive-branches, and wild olive-branches, and myrtle-branches, and palm-branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 And the people went forth and brought [them], and made themselves booths, everyone upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the open space of the water-gate, and in the open space of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that had come back from the captivity made booths, and dwelt in the booths. For since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun until that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they observed the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.