Ezra Reads the Law
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And
they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had
commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both
men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of
the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate
from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and
those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the
Book of the Law.
And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all
the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the
great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And
they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the
sense, so that the people understood the reading.
This Day Is Holy
And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the
Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord
your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words
of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine
and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord.
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.