Esdras readeth the law before the people. Nehemias comforteth them. They celebrate the feast of tabernacles.
1 And the seventh month came: and the children of Israel were in their cities. And all the people were gathered together as one man to the street which is before the water gate, and they spoke to Esdras the scribe, to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.
2 Then Esdras the priest brought the law before the multitude of men and women, and all those that could understand, in the first day of the seventh month.
3 And he read it plainly in the street that was before the water gate, from the morning until midday, before the men, and the women, and all those that could understand: and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book.
4 And Esdras the scribe stood upon a step of wood, which he had made to speak upon, and there stood by him Mathathias, and Semeia, and Ania, and Uria, and Helcia, and Maasia, on his right hand: and on the left, Phadaia, Misael, and Melchia, and Hasum, and Hasbadana, Zacharia and Mosollam.
5 And Esdras opened the book before all the people: for he was above all the people: and when he had opened it, all the people stood.
6 And Esdras blessed the Lord the great God: and all the people answered, Amen, amen: lifting up their hands: and they bowed down, and adored God with their faces to the ground.
7 Now Josue, and Bani, and Serebia, Jamin, Accub, Sephtai, Odia, Maasia, Celtia, Azarias, Jozabed, Hanan, Phalaia, the Levites, made silence among the people to hear the law: and the people stood in their place.
8 And they read in the book of the law of God distinctly and plainly to be understood: and they understood when it was read.
9 And Nehemias (he is Athersatha) and Esdras the priest and scribe, and the Levites who interpreted to all the people, said: This is a holy day to the Lord our God: do not mourn, nor weep: for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 And he said to them: Go, eat fat meats, and drink sweet wine, and send portions to them that have not prepared for themselves: because it is the holy day of the Lord, and be not sad: for the joy of the Lord is our strength.
11 And the Levites stilled all the people, saying: Hold your peace, for the day is holy, and be not sorrowful.
12 So all the people went to eat and drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth: because they understood the words that he had taught them.
13 And on the second day the chiefs of the families of all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered together to Esdras the scribe, that he should interpret to them the words of the law.
14 And they found written in the law, that the Lord had commanded by the hand of Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in tabernacles, on the feast, in the seventh month:
15 And that they should proclaim and publish the word in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying: Go forth to the mount, and fetch branches of olive, and branches of beautiful wood, branches of myrtle, and branches of palm, and branches of thick trees, to make tabernacles, as it is written.
16 And the people went forth, and brought. And they made themselves tabernacles every man on the top of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
17 And all the assembly of them that were returned from the captivity, made tabernacles, and dwelt in tabernacles: for since the days of Josue the son of Nun the children of Israel had not done so, until that day: and there was exceeding great joy.
18 And he read in the book of the law of God day by day, from the first day till the last, and they kept the solemnity seven days, and in the eighth day a solemn assembly according to the manner.