Nehemiah chapter 8

Ezra reads the Law. The joy of the LORD is your strength. They celebrate the Feast of Booths.





VERSE 1. All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the wide place that was in front of the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the scroll of the Torah of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.


VERSE 2. Ezra 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.


VERSE 3. He read from it before the wide place that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand. The ears of all the people were attentive to the scroll of the Torah.


VERSE 4. Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, 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, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood. Ezra is the first preacher. He stands on a pulpit. It is high and center. People encircle him and listen attentively.


VERSE 5. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people), and when he opened it, all the people stood up.

when he opened it, all the people stood up. Some of the liturgical churches imitate this.

The people are instructed to stand up when the leader reads a gospel text. It elicits a sense of solemnity.


VERSE 6. Then 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.


VERSE 7. Also Yeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; and the people stayed in their place.

the Levites, caused the people to understand the law. The job of the Levites was to explain the Law. That is, they are Bible teachers!


VERSE 8. They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.

They read in the book. That is, the read directly from the Bible.

they gave the sense. Ezra would have been reading the Scriptures in Hebrew. Then he paraphrased it and explained it in Aramaic.

so that they understood the reading. People want to know the Word of God. We can share it with them!


VERSE 9. Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Don’t mourn, nor weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.




VERSE 10. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for today is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Nehemiah and from the entire Bible.

Don’t be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Some Christians have a sad face and a somber demeanor. We wish they could know the joy of their Lord. Holiness is marked by joy. Joy equals strength! Read more »


VERSE 11. So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Hold your peace, for the day is holy. Don’t be grieved.”


VERSE 12. All the people went their way to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to celebrate, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.




VERSE 13. On the second day, the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered together to Ezra the scribe, to study the words of the law.


VERSE 14. They found written in the Torah how the LORD had commanded by Moses that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month;


VERSE 15. and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and get olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make temporary shelters, as it is written.”


VERSE 16. So the people went out, and brought them, and made themselves temporary shelters, everyone on the roof of his house, in their courts, in the courts of God’s house, in the wide place of the water gate, and in the wide place of Ephraim’s gate.


VERSE 17. All the assembly of those who had come back out of the captivity made temporary shelters, and lived in the booths; for since the days of Yeshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great gladness.


VERSE 18. Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the scroll of the Torah of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.

They kept the feast seven days. You might think you’ve heard long sermons. But Ezra preached for seven days!


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CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 1112, 13

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, MemorizeThree Returns, Fasting

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.