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.
Ezra's Confession of Israel's Sins
9 1 And on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Jehovah their God.
4 Then stood up upon the platform of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to Jehovah their God. 5 And the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, Pethahiah, said, Stand up, bless Jehovah your God from eternity to eternity. And let [men] bless the name of thy glory, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 Thou art the Same, thou alone, Jehovah, who hast made the heaven of heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that is therein, the seas and all that is therein. And thou quickenest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. 7 Thou art the Same, Jehovah Elohim, who didst choose Abram and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; 8 and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest the covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites,—to give it to his seed; and thou hast performed thy words, for thou art righteous. 9 And thou sawest the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red Sea; 10 and didst shew signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants, and upon all the people of his land; for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them, and thou didst make thee a name, as it is this day. 11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, and they went through the midst of the sea on dry [ground]; and their pursuers thou threwest into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12 And thou leddest them in the day by a pillar of cloud, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13 And thou camest down on mount Sinai, and didst speak with them from the heavens, and gavest them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments. 14 And thou madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and prescribedst for them commandments and statutes and a law, through Moses thy servant. 15 And thou gavest them bread from the heavens for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and didst say to them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16 But they, our fathers, dealt proudly, and hardened their neck, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 17 and refused to obey, neither were they mindful of thy wonders which thou hadst done among them; but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion made a captain to return to their bondage. But thou art a +God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great loving-kindness, and thou forsookest them not. 18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy god that brought thee up out of Egypt! and they had wrought great provocation, 19 yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud departed not from over them by day, to lead them on the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. 20 Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing; their clothes grew not old, and their feet swelled not. 22 And thou gavest them kingdoms and peoples, and didst divide them by countries; and they possessed the land of Sihon, as well the land of the king of Heshbon, as the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 And their children thou didst multiply as the stars of heaven, and thou broughtest them into the land concerning which thou didst say to their fathers that they should go in to possess it. 24 And the children went in and possessed the land; and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, both their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all good things, wells digged, vineyards and olive-gardens, and fruit trees in abundance. And they did eat and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26 But they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets who testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27 And thou gavest them into the hand of their oppressors, and they oppressed them; and in the time of their distress, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from the heavens, and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their oppressors. 28 But when they had rest, they did evil again before thee; and thou didst leave them in the hand of their enemies, and they had dominion over them; and again they cried unto thee, and thou heardest [them] from the heavens, and many times didst thou deliver them, according to thy mercies. 29 And thou testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law; but they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thine ordinances (which if a man do, he shall live in them); and they withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30 And many years didst thou forbear with them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit through thy prophets; but they would not give ear: and thou gavest them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless for thy manifold mercies' sake, thou didst not make a full end of them nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. 32 And now, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and loving-kindness, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the days of the kings of Assyria unto this day. 33 But thou art just in all that is come upon us; for thou hast acted according to truth, and we have done wickedly. 34 And our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers, have not performed thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. 35 And they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land that thou didst set before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are servants this day, and the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are bondmen in it. 37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: and they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure; and we are in great distress.
The People Covenant to Keep the Law
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, [and] our priests are at the sealing.
10 1 And at the head of those that sealed were Nehemiah the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zedekiah. 2 —Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests. 9 —And the Levites: Jeshua the son of Azaniah; Binnui, of the sons of Henadad; Kadmiel, 10 and their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu. 14 —The chief of the people: Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, 15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, 19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, 24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26 and Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah. 28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the doorkeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all they that had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, every one having knowledge [and] having understanding, 29 joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and into an oath, to walk in the law of God, which had been given by Moses the servant of God, and to keep and do all the commandments of Jehovah our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes; 30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons: 31 and that if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we would not take it of them on the sabbath, or on [any] holy day; and that we would leave [the land uncultivated] the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
32 And we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God, 33 for the bread to be set in rows, and for the continual oblation, and for the continual burnt-offering, [for that] of the sabbaths [and] of the new moons, for the set feasts and for the holy [things], and for the sin-offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and [for] all the work of the house of our God. 34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood-offering, to bring [it] into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of Jehovah our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and to bring the first-fruits of our land, and the first-fruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year to the house of Jehovah, 36 and the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as it is written in the law; and to bring the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests that minister in the house of our God; 37 and that we should bring the first-fruits of our coarse meal and our heave-offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, new wine and oil, to the priests, into the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, that they, the Levites, should take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes; and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, into the chambers of the treasure-house. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the heave-offering of the corn, of the new wine and the oil, into the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the doorkeepers and the singers. And we will not forsake the house of our God.