Nehemiah 8-9 Young’s Literal Translation

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Ezra Reads the Law to the People

8 1  And all the people are gathered as one man unto the broad place that 'is' before the water-gate, and they say to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, that Jehovah commanded Israel. 2  And Ezra the priest bringeth the law before the assembly, both of men and women, and every one intelligent to hear, on the first day of the seventh month, 3  and he readeth in it before the broad place that 'is' before the water-gate, from the light till the middle of the day, over-against the men, and the women, and those intelligent, and the ears of all the people 'are' unto the book of the law. 4  And Ezra the scribe standeth on a tower of wood that they made for the purpose, and Mattithiah standeth near him, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right; and on his left Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddana, Zechariah, Meshullam. 5  And Ezra openeth the book before the eyes of all the people—for above all the people he hath been—and at his opening 'it' all the people have stood up, 6  and Ezra blesseth Jehovah, the great God, and all the people answer, 'Amen, Amen,' with lifting up of their hands, and they bow and do obeisance to Jehovah—faces to the earth. 7  And Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, giving the people understanding in the law, and the people, 'are' on their station, 8  and they read in the book, in the law of God, explaining—so as to give the meaning, and they give understanding to the convocation.

9  And Nehemiah—he 'is' the Tirshatha—saith (and Ezra the priest, the scribe, and the Levites who are instructing the people) to all the people, 'To-day is holy to Jehovah your God, do not mourn, nor weep:' for all the people are weeping at their hearing the words of the law. 10  And he saith to them, 'Go, eat fat things, and drink sweet things, and sent portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for to-day 'is' holy to our Lord, and be not grieved, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength.' 11  And the Levites are keeping all the people silent, saying, 'Be silent, for to-day 'is' holy, and be not grieved.' 12  And all the people go to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they have understood concerning the words that they made known to them.

13  And on the second day have been gathered heads of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to act wisely concerning the words of the law. 14  And they find written in the law that Jehovah commanded by the hand of Moses, that the sons of Israel dwell in booths in the feast, in the seventh month, 15  and that they proclaim and cause to pass over all their cities, (and in Jerusalem,) saying, 'Go ye out to the mount, and bring leaves of the olive, and leaves of the oil tree, and leaves of the myrtle, and leaves of the palms, and leaves of thick trees, to make booths as it is written.' 16  And the people go out, and bring in, and make for themselves booths, each on his roof, 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  And they make—all the assembly of the captives of the captivity—booths, and they sit in booths; for the sons of Israel had not done, from the days of Jeshua son of Nun, so unto that day, and there is very great joy. 18  And he readeth in the book of the law of God day by day, from the first day till the last day, and they make a feast seven days, and on the eighth day a restraint, according to the ordinance.

Ezra's Confession of Israel's Sins

9 1  And in the twenty and fourth day of this month have the sons of Israel been gathered, with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth upon them; 2  and the seed of Israel are separated from all sons of a stranger, and stand and confess concerning their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers, 3  and rise up on their station, and read in the book of the law of Jehovah their God a fourth of the day, and a fourth they are confessing and bowing themselves to Jehovah their God.

4  And there stand up on the ascent, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, Chenani, and they cry with a loud voice unto Jehovah their God. 5  And the Levites say, 'even' Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, Pethahiah, 'Rise, bless Jehovah your God, from the age unto the age, and they bless the name of Thine honour that 'is' exalted above all blessing and praise. 6  Thou 'art' He, O Jehovah, Thyself—Thou hast made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that 'are' on it, the seas and all that 'are' in them, and Thou art keeping all of them alive, and the host of the heavens to Thee are bowing themselves. 7  'Thou 'art' He, O Jehovah God, who didst fix on Abraham, and didst bring him out from Ur of the Chaldeans, and didst make his name Abraham, 8  and didst find his heart stedfast before Thee, so as to make with him the covenant, 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 Thou dost establish Thy words, for Thou 'art' righteous, 9  and dost see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and their cry hast heard by the sea of Suph, 10  and dost give signs and wonders on Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land, for Thou hast known that they have acted proudly against them, and Thou makest to Thee a name as 'at' this day. 11  And the sea Thou hast cleaved before them, and they pass over into the midst of the sea on the dry land, and their pursuers Thou hast cast into the depths, as a stone, into the strong waters. 12  And by a pillar of cloud Thou hast led them by day, and by a pillar of fire by night, to lighten to them the way in which they go. 13  'And on mount Sinai Thou hast come down, even to speak with them from the heavens, and Thou dost give to them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commands. 14  And Thy holy sabbath Thou hast made known to them, and commands, and statutes, and law, Thou hast commanded for them, by the hand of Moses Thy servant; 15  and bread from the heavens Thou hast given to them for their hunger, and water from a rock hast brought out to them for their thirst, and dost say to them to go in to possess the land that Thou hast lifted up Thy hand to give to them. 16  'And they and our fathers have acted proudly, and harden their neck, and have not hearkened unto Thy commands, 17  yea, they refuse to hearken, and have not remembered Thy wonders that Thou hast done with them, and harden their neck and appoint a head, to turn back to their service, in their rebellion; and Thou 'art' a God of pardons, gracious, and merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in kindness, and hast not forsaken them. 18  'Also, when they have made to themselves a molten calf, and say, this 'is' thy god that brought thee up out of Egypt, and do great despisings, 19  and Thou, in Thine abundant mercies, hast not forsaken them in the wilderness—the pillar of the cloud hath not turned aside from off them by day, to lead them in the way, and the pillar of the fire by night, to give light to them and the way in which they go. 20  'And Thy good Spirit Thou hast given, to cause them to act wisely; and Thy manna Thou hast not withheld from their mouth, and water Thou hast given to them for their thirst, 21  and forty years Thou hast nourished them in a wilderness; they have not lacked; their garments have not worn out, and their feet have not swelled. 22  'And Thou givest to them kingdoms, and peoples, and dost apportion them to the corner, and they possess the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23  And their sons Thou hast multiplied as the stars of the heavens, and bringest them in unto the land that Thou hast said to their fathers to go in to possess. 24  'And the sons come in, and possess the land, and Thou humblest before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and givest them into their hand, and their kings, and the peoples of the land, to do with them according to their pleasure. 25  And they capture fenced cities, and fat ground, and possess houses full of all good, digged-wells, vineyards, and olive-yards, and fruit-trees in abundance, and they eat, and are satisfied, and become fat, and delight themselves in Thy great goodness. 26  'And they are disobedient, and rebel against Thee, and cast Thy law behind their back, and Thy prophets they have slain, who testified against them, to bring them back unto Thee, and they do great despisings, 27  and Thou givest them into the hand of their adversaries, and they distress them, and in the time of their distress they cry unto Thee, and Thou, from the heavens, dost hear, and, according to Thine abundant mercies, dost give to them saviours, and they save them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28  'And when they have rest, they turn back to do evil before Thee, and Thou dost leave them in the hand of their enemies, and they rule over them; and they turn back, and call Thee, and Thou from the heavens dost hear, and dost deliver them, according to Thy mercies, many times, 29  and dost testify against them, to bring them back unto Thy law; and they—they have acted proudly, and have not hearkened to Thy commands, and against Thy judgments have sinned,—which man doth and hath lived in them—and they give a refractory shoulder, and their neck have hardened, and have not hearkened. 30  'And Thou drawest over them many years, and testifiest against them by Thy Spirit, by the hand of Thy prophets, and they have not given ear, and Thou dost give them into the hand of peoples of the lands, 31  and in Thine abundant mercies Thou hast not made them a consumption, nor hast forsaken them; for a God, gracious and merciful, 'art' Thou. 32  'And now, O our God—God, the great, the mighty, and the fearful, keeping the covenant and the kindness—let not all the travail that hath found us be little before Thee, for our kings, for our heads, and for our priests, and for our prophets, and for our fathers, and for all Thy people, from the days of the kings of Asshur unto this day; 33  and Thou 'art' righteous concerning all that hath come upon us, for truth Thou hast done, and we have done wickedly; 34  and our kings, our heads, our priests, and our fathers, have not done Thy law, nor attended unto Thy commands, and to Thy testimonies, that Thou hast testified against them; 35  and they, in their kingdom, and in Thine abundant goodness, that Thou hast given to them, and in the land, the large and the fat, that Thou hast set before them, have not served Thee, nor turned back from their evil doings. 36  'Lo, we—to-day—'are' servants, and the land that Thou hast given to our fathers, to eat its fruit and its good—lo, we 'are' servants on it, 37  and its increase it is multiplying to the kings whom Thou hast set over us in our sins; and over our bodies they are ruling, and over our cattle, according to their pleasure, and we 'are' in great distress.

The People Covenant to Keep the Law

38  And for all this we are making a stedfast covenant, and are writing, and over him who is sealed 'are' our heads, our Levites, our priests.'

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