Nehemiah 7:73—Nehemiah 8:12.—Ezra instructs the people in the law.
Nehemiah 7:73.—And when the seventh month came.—Here a new subject begins, as in Ezra, whom Nehemiah copies: adopting a sentence, just as Ezra adopted the last words of the Chronicles, and with similar slight changes.
And they spake unto Ezra.—Who appears in this book for the first time, having probably been at the court for twelve years.
Upon the first day of the seventh month.—As the seventh was the most important month, in a religious sense, so the first day, the Feast of Trumpets, was the most important new moon (Leviticus 23:24).
And the ears of all the people . . . unto the book.—A general statement; the detail now follows.
The great God is Nehemiah’s expression, not Ezra’s; the sentence used is not reported.
Caused them to understand the reading.—This simply explains the former: they expounded as they read.
(13) The chief of the fathers.—Not the vast multitude now, as the great feast was not yet.
Even to understand.—To consider, or give attention to: that is, to learn the full meaning of the almost forgotten festival. The dwelling in booths had fallen into disuse.
Of the house of God.—The ministers of the Temple made these; and strangers to Jerusalem made them in the streets or open spaces near the gates.
Done so.—Though the feast had been kept (1 Kings 8; Ezra 3), it had never thus been kept with universal dwelling in booths.