1 THEN ALL the people gathered together as one man in the broad place before the Water Gate; and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel.
2 And Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first of the seventh month.
3 He read from it, facing the broad place before the Water Gate, from early morning until noon, in the presence of the men and women and those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
4 Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden pulpit which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5 Ezra opened the book in sight of all the people, for he was standing above them; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to the ground.
7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah–the Levites–helped the people to understand the Law, and the people [remained] in their place.
8 So they read from the Book of the Law of God distinctly, faithfully amplifying and giving the sense so that [the people] understood the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all of them, This day is holy to the Lord your God; mourn not nor weep. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.
11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, Be still, for the day is holy. And do not be grieved and sad.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, drink, send portions, and make great rejoicing, for they had understood the words that were declared to them.
13 On the second day, all the heads of fathers' houses, with the priests and Levites, gathered to Ezra the scribe to study and understand the words of divine instruction.
14 And they found written in the law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month
15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written. [Lev. 23:39, 40.]
16 So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each on the roof of his house and in their courts and the courts of God's house and in the squares of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephraim.
17 All the assembly of returned exiles made booths and dwelt in them; for since the days of Jeshua (Joshua) son of Nun up to that day, the Israelites had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing.
18 Also day by day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast for seven days; the eighth day was a [closing] solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.