Nehemiah 8-9

What does it say?
Ezra the priest and scribe brought out the book of the law of Moses, he stood up on a platform, opened the book the people stood up, he blessed the Lord, he read the word from early morning to midday and the Levites explained the law to the people. The people began to cry but Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites told the people to rejoice and they did celebrating a festival to the Lord because they understood the word. The leaders gathered in a council regarding the words of the law and proclaimed a proclamation that the feast of booths should be observed, so the people made booths of olive branches and lived in them for seven days; during the feast Ezra read from the book of the law of God daily and on the eight day they had a solemn assembly. The people confessed their sins and they wore sackcloth with dirt upon them. The Levites commanded the people to arise and recounted the entire history of the Old Testament before the assembly in prayer to the Lord; blessing the Lord for his lovingkindness, confessing the sins of Israel and confessing that the leaders are agreeing in writing to keep the covenant. 

What does it mean?
The Scriptures must be translated into the language of the people so that the people may understand the word of God. Trained men are to explain the text to the people. Once the word is understood, the response of the hearer should be rejoicing, confession of sin, repentance and observance of the word of God.

What shall I do?
Learned men have translated the Scriptures from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, so that I can read the word in my own language. I have studied in a seminary, so that I might explain the text to others. I shall continue to read the word and explain the word to others. I know that understanding in the hearer should cause rejoicing, confession of sin, repentance and observance of the word of God.

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