Neemias 8

1 When the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their towns. All the people came together like one man into the wide place in front of the Water Gate. They requested Ezra the scribe that he would bring them the book of the Law of Moses that Jehovah gave to Israel.

2 Ezra the priest brought the law to the meeting of the people. They were all able to listen to it. It was the first day of the seventh month.

3 He read it in the wide place in front of the Water Gate from early morning till the middle of the day. Everyone who could understand it, men and women alike were able to listen to it. All the people got to hear the Book of the Law.

4 Ezra the scribe took his place on a tower podium of wood that they had made for the purpose. By his side were placed Mattithiah and Shema and Anaiah and Uriah and Hilkiah and Maaseiah on the right; and on the left, Pedaiah and Mishael and Malchijah and Hashum and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.

5 Ezra took the book and opened it before the eyes of all the people for he was higher than the people. When it was open, all the people stood on their feet.

6 Ezra praised Jehovah, the great God. And all the people said: »Amen!« With lifted hands and bent heads they worshiped Jehovah. They dropped to their faces on the earth.

7 And Jeshua and Bani and Sherebiah and Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites made the law clear to the people: and the people kept in their places.

8 They read from the book the Law of God making it clear translating it, so that their minds were able to take it in.

9 Nehemiah, who was the Tirshatha Governor, and Ezra, the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were the teachers of the people, said to all the people: »This day is holy to Jehovah your God. Let there be no sorrow or weeping.« For all the people were weeping on hearing the words of the law.

10 He said to them: »Go away now, and take the fat for your food and the sweet for your drink, and send some to him for whom nothing is made ready. This day is holy to our Lord. Let there be no grief in your hearts. The joy of Jehovah is your strong place.«

11 So the Levites made all the people quiet, saying: »Be quiet, for the day is holy; and do not give way to grief.«

12 All the people went away to take food and drink, and to send food to others, and to be glad, because the words that were said to them had been clearly communicated.

13 The second day the heads of families of all the people and the priests and the Levites came together to Ezra the scribe, to give attention to the words of the law.

14 They saw that it was recorded in the law that Jehovah gave orders by Moses, that the children of Israel were to have tents for their living-places in the feast of the seventh month:

15 They were to give an order, and make it public in all their towns and in Jerusalem, saying: Go out to the mountain and get olive branches and branches of field olives oil trees and of myrtle, and palm branches and branches of thick trees, to make tents, as it says in the book.

16 The people went out and got them and made themselves tents. Every one on the roof of his house, and in the open spaces and in the open squares of the House of God, and in the wide place of the Water Gate, and the wide place of the Gate of Ephraim.

17 All the people who had been prisoners and had come back, made tents and were living in them. From the time of Jeshua, the son of Nun, till that day, the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great joy!

18 Day by day, from the first day till the last, he read from the book of the Law of God. They kept the feast for seven days: and on the eighth day there was a holy meeting, as it is ordered in the law.