Ezra Reads the Law to the People
8 1 All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Yahweh had commanded to Israel. 2 Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 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 Yahweh, the great God. All the people answered, Amen, Amen, with the lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8 They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
9 Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to Yahweh your God; don’t mourn, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved; for the joy of Yahweh is your strength. 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved. 12 All the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
13 On the second day were gathered together the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law, how that Yahweh had commanded by 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 in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth to the mountain, and get olive branches, and branches of wild olive, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, everyone on the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the broad place of the water gate, and in the broad place of the gate of Ephraim. 17 All the assembly of those who were come again out of the captivity made booths, and lived in the booths; for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not done so. 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. They kept 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 Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth on them. 2 The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshiped Yahweh their God.
4 Then stood up on the stairs of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to Yahweh their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting; and blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You are Yahweh, even you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all; and the army of heaven worships you. 7 You are Yahweh the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, 8 and found his heart faithful before you, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed, and have performed your words; for you are righteous. 9 You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea , 10 and showed signs and wonders on Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land; for you knew that they dealt proudly against them, and made a name for you, as it is this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers you did cast into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12 Moreover in a pillar of cloud you led them by day; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way in which they should go. 13 You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and made known to them your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses your servant, 15 and gave them bread from the sky for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and commanded those who they should go in to possess the land which you had sworn to give them. 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly and hardened their neck, and didn’t listen to your commandments, 17 and refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them, but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and didn’t forsake them. 18 Yes, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt, and had committed awful blasphemies; 19 yet you in your manifold mercies didn’t forsake them in the wilderness: the pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go. 20 You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn’t withhold your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Yes, forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. 22 Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you allotted after their portions: so they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their children also multiplied you as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which you did say to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 They took fortified cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, and olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance: so they ate, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness. 26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to you, and they committed awful blasphemies. 27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before you; therefore left you them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried to you, you heard from heaven; and many times you delivered them according to your mercies, 29 and testified against them, that you might bring them again to your law. Yet they dealt proudly, and didn’t listen to your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, (which if a man do, he shall live in them), and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years you put up with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless in your manifold mercies you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keep covenant and loving kindness, don’t let all the travail seem little before you, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33 However you are just in all that is come on us; for you have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly; 34 neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept your law, nor listened to your commandments and your testimonies with which you testified against them. 35 For they have not served you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and fat land which you gave before them, neither turned they from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are servants this day, and as for the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, behold, we are servants in it. 37 It yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have power over our bodies, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
The People Covenant to Keep the Law
38 Yet for all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal to it.
9:9 or, Sea of Reeds