Ezra Reads the Book of the LawAnd all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they said to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which Yahweh had commanded to Israel. 2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could understand when listening, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the ears of the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 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 Then Ezra blessed Yahweh the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, were providing understanding of the law to the people while the people stood in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the law of God, explaining and giving insight, and they provided understanding of the reading.
This Day Is Holy9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites, who provided the people with understanding, said to all the people, “This day is holy to Yahweh your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of Yahweh is your strength.” 11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 Then all the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to celebrate with great gladness, because they understood the words which had been made known to them.
Feast of Booths Restored13 Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. 14 They found written in the law how Yahweh had commanded by the hand of Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should make the report heard and make a proclamation of it pass throughout all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was exceedingly great gladness. 18 And he read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the legal judgment.