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Nehemiah 8:1–10:39

8 Now all athe people gathered together as one man in the open square that was bin front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the cscribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought dthe Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding eon the first day of the seventh month. Then he fread from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate 1from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people gstood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.

Then all the people hanswered, “Amen, Amen!” while ilifting up their hands. And they jbowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, khelped the people to understand the Law; and the people lstood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

mAnd Nehemiah, who was the 2governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, n“This day is holy to the Lord your God; odo not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, pand send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to qsend portions and rejoice greatly, because they runderstood the words that were declared to them.

The Feast of Tabernacles

13 Now on the second day the heads of the fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and Levites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, in order to understand the words of the Law. 14 And they found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in sbooths 3during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and tthat they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and uin Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and vbring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.”

16 Then the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the wroof of his house, or in their courtyards or the courts of the house of God, and in the open square of the xWater Gate yand in the open square of the Gate of Ephraim. 17 So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made 4booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very zgreat gladness. 18 Also aday by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast bseven days; and on the ceighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.

The People Confess Their Sins

9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of athis month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, band with 1dust on their heads. Then cthose of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and dconfessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and eread from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the 2stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:

“Stand up and bless the Lord your God

Forever and ever!

“Blessed be fYour glorious name,

Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!

6 gYou alone are the Lord;

hYou have made heaven,

iThe heaven of heavens, with jall their host,

The earth and everything on it,

The seas and all that is in them,

And You kpreserve them all.

The host of heaven worships You.

7 “You are the Lord God,

Who chose lAbram,

And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans,

And gave him the name mAbraham;

8 You found his heart nfaithful before You,

And made a ocovenant with him

To give the land of the Canaanites,

The Hittites, the Amorites,

The Perizzites, the Jebusites,

And the Girgashites—

To give it to his descendants.

You phave performed Your words,

For You are righteous.

9 “You qsaw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,

And rheard their cry by the Red Sea.

10 You sshowed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,

Against all his servants,

And against all the people of his land.

For You knew that they tacted 3proudly against them.

So You umade a name for Yourself, as it is this day.

11 vAnd You divided the sea before them,

So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land;

And their persecutors You threw into the deep,

wAs a stone into the mighty waters.

12 Moreover You xled them by day with a cloudy pillar,

And by night with a pillar of fire,

To give them light on the road

Which they should travel.

13 “You ycame down also on Mount Sinai,

And spoke with them from heaven,

And gave them zjust ordinances and true laws,

Good statutes and commandments.

14 You made known to them Your aholy Sabbath,

And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws,

By the hand of Moses Your servant.

15 You bgave them bread from heaven for their hunger,

And cbrought them water out of the rock for their thirst,

And told them to dgo in to possess the land

Which You had 4sworn to give them.

16 “But ethey and our fathers acted 5proudly,

fHardened 6their necks,

And did not heed Your commandments.

17 They refused to obey,

And gthey were not mindful of Your wonders

That You did among them.

But they hardened their necks,

And 7in their rebellion

They appointed ha leader

To return to their bondage.

But You are God,

Ready to pardon,

iGracious and merciful,

Slow to anger,

Abundant in kindness,

And did not forsake them.

18 “Even jwhen they made a molded calf for themselves,

And said, ‘This is your god

That brought you up out of Egypt,’

And worked great provocations,

19 Yet in Your kmanifold mercies

You did not forsake them in the wilderness.

The lpillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,

To lead them on the road;

Nor the pillar of fire by night,

To show them light,

And the way they should go.

20 You also gave Your mgood Spirit to instruct them,

And did not withhold Your nmanna from their mouth,

And gave them owater for their thirst.

21 pForty years You sustained them in the wilderness;

They lacked nothing;

Their qclothes did not wear out

And their feet did not swell.

22 “Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations,

And divided them into 8districts.

So they took possession of the land of rSihon,

9The land of the king of Heshbon,

And the land of Og king of Bashan.

23 You also multiplied stheir children as the stars of heaven,

And brought them into the land

Which You had told their fathers

To go in and possess.

24 So tthe 1people went in

And possessed the land;

uYou subdued before them the inhabitants of the land,

The Canaanites,

And gave them into their hands,

With their kings

And the people of the land,

That they might do with them as they wished.

25 And they took strong cities and a vrich land,

And possessed whouses full of all goods,

Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves,

And 2fruit trees in abundance.

So they ate and were filled and xgrew fat,

And delighted themselves in Your great ygoodness.

26 “Nevertheless they zwere disobedient

And rebelled against You,

aCast Your law behind their backs

And killed Your bprophets, who 3testified against them

To turn them to Yourself;

And they worked great provocations.

27 cTherefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies,

Who oppressed them;

And in the time of their trouble,

When they cried to You,

You dheard from heaven;

And according to Your abundant mercies

eYou gave them deliverers who saved them

From the hand of their enemies.

28 “But after they had rest,

fThey again did evil before You.

Therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies,

So that they had dominion over them;

Yet when they returned and cried out to You,

You heard from heaven;

And gmany times You delivered them according to Your mercies,

29 And 4testified against them,

That You might bring them back to Your law.

Yet they acted 5proudly,

And did not heed Your commandments,

But sinned against Your judgments,

h‘Which if a man does, he shall live by them.’

And they shrugged their shoulders,

6Stiffened their necks,

And would not hear.

30 Yet for many years You had patience with them,

And 7testified iagainst them by Your Spirit jin Your prophets.

Yet they would not listen;

kTherefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.

31 Nevertheless in Your great mercy

lYou did not utterly consume them nor forsake them;

For You are God, gracious and merciful.

32 “Now therefore, our God,

The great, the mmighty, and awesome God,

Who keeps covenant and mercy:

Do not let all the 8trouble seem small before You

That has come upon us,

Our kings and our princes,

Our priests and our prophets,

Our fathers and on all Your people,

nFrom the days of the kings of Assyria until this day.

33 However oYou are just in all that has befallen us;

For You have dealt faithfully,

But pwe have done wickedly.

34 Neither our kings nor our princes,

Our

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