New Heart English Bible
1All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the square that was before the Water Gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the scroll of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. 2Ezra 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. 3And he read in it before the square 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 scroll of the law. 4Ezra 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. 5Ezra opened the scroll in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 6and Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. All the people answered, "Amen, Amen," with the lifting up of their hands. They bowed their heads, and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people, and the people stayed in their place. 8They read in the scroll, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
9Nehemiah, 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 the LORD your God. Do not mourn, nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved; for the joy of the LORD is your strength." 11So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, "Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved." 12All 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.
13On the second day were gathered together the heads of ancestral houses of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law. 14They found written in the law, how that the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; 15and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out 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." 16So the people went out, and brought them, and made themselves booths, everyone on the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of God's house, and in the broad place of the Water Gate, and in the broad place of the Ephraim Gate. 17All the assembly of those who had 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. 18Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the scroll of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.