Study Guide

Ezra and Nehemiah Nehemiah Chapter 8: Gettin' Schooled

Nehemiah Chapter 8: Gettin' Schooled

  • At the beginning of the seventh month, everyone gathers at the Water Gate in Jerusalem.
  • Ezra brings the Law of Moses and reads it to all the people.
  • He begins at sunrise morning and finishes at midday. Everyone turns off their phones and listens.
  • Nehemiah lists the people who stood on the platform next to Ezra as he read, and also the names of those Levites who helped explain the law so people could understand it.
  • Nehemiah also explains the form of this assembly, with the people standing up as Ezra opens the scroll and starts to read, and concluding with an "Amen, Amen."
  • The people weep with guilt when they hear the law being read, since they've been so disobedient. But Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites who were teaching the people tell them to rejoice rather mourn. This day is holy to the Lord, and they should eat and drink with joy.
  • So the people rejoice and ask if this stuff will be on the exam.
  • On the second day of the seventh month, the heads of the ancestral houses get together to study the law with Ezra.
  • They discover that during the seventh month they're actually supposed to be celebrating the festival of booths (Sukkot), living in booths outside their houses as taught in the book of Moses that Ezra's been reading.
  • So everyone goes to the hills to gather branches to build booths to live in temporarily.
  • No one had observed this festival since the days of Joshua, so this is a big deal.
  • They observe the holiday for seven days, and then hold a solemn festival.
  • Ezra continues teaching them the law every day during this time.

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