Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Nehemiah 8:1-3; 5-6 and 8-10

Tuesday

Read Nehemiah 8:1-3; 5-6 and 8-10

8 By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to get the book of the Law. 2 So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered—men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3 There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively.

5 As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6 Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, the great God!”

All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.

8 They gave an oral translation[a] of God's Law and explained[b] it so that the people could understand it.

9 When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the Law told all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God, so you are not to mourn or cry. 10 Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don't have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don't be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.”

Footnotes:
Nehemiah 8:8 The Law was written in Hebrew, but in Babylonia the Jews had adopted Aramaic as the language for daily life. Because of this a translation was necessary.
Nehemiah 8:8 They gave … explained; or They read God's Law and then translated it, explaining.
Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Think

People gathered from near and far to hear the scriptures read and explained.  There was no printing press, no broadcast - to hear God's word read was a sacred and special moment.  As we read our Bible via telephone / computer / conveniently bound on our bedside remember just how privileged we are to be able to open and read.

Pray

Lord I give thanks to you for your word which reveals your love and your will for me and your people.  Help me to appreciate your revelation - so that I might live in the knowledge of your love for me.


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