Ezra Reads the Law
Then all the people gathered together as one man at the open square in front of the Water Gate; and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel.
2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
3 Then he read from it, in front of the open square which was in front of the Water Gate, from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and women, those who could understand; and all the people listened carefully to the Book of the Law.
4 Ezra the scribe stood on a [large] wooden platform which they had constructed for this purpose. And beside him [on the platform] stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left.
5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above them; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; and they knelt down and worshiped the Lord with their faces toward the ground.
7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, explained the Law to the people, and the people remained in their places.
8 So they read from the Book of the Law of God, translating and explaining it so that the people understood the reading.
“This Day Is Holy”
9 Then 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 were weeping when they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then Ezra said to them, “Go [your way], eat the rich festival food, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be worried, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and your stronghold.”
11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be worried.”
12 Then all the people went on their way to eat, to drink, to send portions [of food to others] and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been communicated to them.Nehemiah 8:1-12 (AMP)