Nehemiah Chapter 8 (Original 1611 KJV Bible)
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1 The religious maner of reading and hearing the Law. 9 They comfort the people. 13 The forwardnesse of them to heare and be instructed. 16 They keepe the feast of Tabernacles.
1 And all the people gathered themselues together, as one man, into the street that was before the water gate, and they spake vnto Ezra the scribe, to bring the booke of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.1
3 And hee read therein before the street that was before the water gate, from the morning vntill midday, before the men and the women, and those that could vnderstand: And the eares of all the people were attentiue vnto the booke of the law.3
4 And Ezra the scribe, stood vpon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose, and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand: and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.4
7 Also Ieshua and Bani, and Sherebiah, Iamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Iozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Leuites, caused the people to vnderstand the law: and the people stood in their place.
9 ¶ And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the Priest the Scribe, and the Leuites that taught the people, said vnto all the people, This day is holy vnto the Lord your God, mourne not, nor weepe: for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.9
10 Then hee sayd vnto them, Goe your way, eat the fat, & drinke the sweet, and send portions vnto them, for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy vnto our Lord: neither be ye sory, for the ioy of the Lord is your strength.
15 And that they should publish and proclaime in all their cities, and in Ierusalem, saying, Goe foorth vnto the mount, and fetch Oliue branches, and Pine branches, and Myrtle branches, and Palme branches, and branches of thicke trees, to make boothes, as it is written.
16 ¶ So the people went foorth, and brought them, and made themselues boothes, euery one vpon the roofe of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the streete of the water-gate, and in the streete of the gate of Ephraim.
17 And all the congregation of them that were come againe out of the captiuitie, made boothes, and sate vnder the boothes: for since the dayes of Ieshua the sonne of Nun, vnto that day, had not the children of Israel done so: and there was very great gladnesse.
18 Also day by day from the first day vnto the last day, he read in the booke of the Law of God: and they kept the feast seuen dayes, and on the eight day was a solemne assembly according vnto the maner.18
View Wesley's Notes for Nehemiah Chapter 8
8:2 First day - This was the feast of trumpets, which is called a sabbath, and on which they were to have an holy convocation, #Lev 23:24|. And it was on this day, the altar was set up, after their return from captivity; in remembrance of which they had probably kept it ever since, with more than ordinary solemnity.
8:7 Understand - As well the words, which being Hebrew, now needed to be translated into the Chaldee or Syriack language, now, the common language of that people, who together with their religion, had also in a great part lost their language; as also the meaning of them: they expounded the mind and will of God in what they read, and applied it to the peoples present condition. Place - That is, In their several places and stations into which the company seems to have been distributed for conveniency of hearing; it not being likely that so vast a congregation could distinctly hear one man's voice. Or, by their stations, that is, by the several stations of the Levites, and persons last named; who seem to have had several scaffolds, by comparing this with chap.#9:4|, upon which thy stood, as Ezra did upon his pulpit, ver.#8:4|.
8:8 They - Ezra and his companions successively. Sense - The meaning of the Hebrew words, which they expounded in the common language. Thy gave - So they gave them both a translation of the Hebrew words into the Chaldee, and an exposition of the things contained in them.
8:9 Wept - Out of a sense of their guilt and danger by reason of it.
8:10 Eat - Feast before the Lord. Send - For the relief of your poor brethren. Holy - Being the feast of trumpets, and the beginning of this joyful month, wherein so many days of thanksgiving were to be observed. Strength - Rejoicing in God in serving him with chearfulness, and thankfulness, which is your duty always, but now especially, will give you that strength both of mind and body, which you greatly need, both to perform all the duties required of you, and to oppose all the designs of your enemies.
8:13 Levites - Chusing rather to confess their ignorance than vainly to pretend to more knowledge than they had: wherein they shew both humility, and serious godliness, that they were more careful to learn their duty than to preserve their reputation.
8:15 Mount - The mount of Olives, which was next Jerusalem, and stored with olive - branches, and probably with the rest: for these trees seem to have been planted hereabouts principally, for the use of the city in this very feast, which, though, long neglected, should have been celebrated every year. And this place seems to be here designed as the most eminent place, being put for any place near to the several cities of Judah, where these branches were to be procured.
8:17 Done so - So, as to the manner and circumstances. They never kept this feast so joyfully, having not only the same causes of rejoicing which they formerly had, but special causes to increase their joy; they never kept it so solemnly and religiously: for whereas at other times, only the first and last day of that feast were celebrated with an holy convocation, now there was an holy convocation, and the people assembled, and attended upon the reading of the law, every day of this feast.
Nehemiah Chapter 8 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):
1 Ezra 3.1. and 7.6.
2 Heb. that vnderstood in hearing.
3 Heb. from the light.
4 Heb. towre of wood.
5 Hebr. eyes.
9 Or, the gouernour.
13 Or, that they might instruct in the words of the Law.
14 Heb. by the hand of. , Leuit. 23. 34. deut. 16.13.
18 Heb. are straint.
* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
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