Old Testament in a year – Day 353

Nehemiah 7: 73 - 9: 37

73So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their cities.
When the seventh month had come, the children of Israel were in their cities.
1All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the wide place that was in front of the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. 2Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it before the wide place that was in front of the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand. The ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people (for he was above all the people), and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God.
All the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” with the lifting up of their hands. They bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law; and the people stayed in their place. 8They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
9Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Don’t mourn, nor weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for today is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
11So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Hold your peace, for the day is holy. Don’t be grieved.”
12All the people went their way to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to celebrate, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
13On the second day, the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests, and the Levites were gathered together to Ezra the scribe, to study the words of the law. 14They found written in the law how the LORD had commanded by Moses that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month; 15and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the mountain, and get olive branches, branches of wild olive, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make temporary shelters, as it is written.”
16So the people went out, and brought them, and made themselves temporary shelters, everyone on the roof of his house, in their courts, in the courts of God’s house, in the wide place of the water gate, and in the wide place of Ephraim’s gate. 17All the assembly of those who had come back out of the captivity made temporary shelters, and lived in the temporary shelters; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great gladness. 18Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.
1Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, with sackcloth, and dirt on them. 2The offspring of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. 4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani of the Levites stood up on the stairs, and cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God.
5Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting! Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise! 6You are the LORD, even you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army, the earth and all things that are on it, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all. The army of heaven worships you. 7You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram, brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, gave him the name of Abraham, 8found his heart faithful before you, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his offspring, and have performed your words; for you are righteous.
9“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea, 10and showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, and against all his servants, and against all the people of his land; for you knew that they dealt proudly against them, and made a name for yourself, as it is today. 11You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the middle of the sea on the dry land; and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12Moreover, in a pillar of cloud you led them by day; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way in which they should go.
13“You also came down on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and made known to them your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, statutes, and a law, by Moses your servant, 15and gave them bread from the sky for their hunger, and brought water out of the rock for them for their thirst, and commanded them that they should go in to possess the land which you had sworn to give them.
16“But they and our fathers behaved proudly, hardened their neck, didn’t listen to your commandments, 17and refused to obey. They weren’t mindful of your wonders that you did amongst them, but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and didn’t forsake them. 18Yes, when they had made themselves a moulded calf, and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed awful blasphemies; 19yet you in your manifold mercies didn’t forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither did the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go. 20You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn’t withhold your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.
21“Yes, forty years you sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. 22Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you allotted according to their portions. So they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23You also multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which you said to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24“So the children went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they pleased. 25They took fortified cities and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.
26“Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, cast your law behind their back, killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to you, and they committed awful blasphemies. 27Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them. In the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviours who saved them out of the hands of their adversaries. 28But after they had rest, they did evil again before you; therefore you left them in the hands of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them; yet when they returned, and cried to you, you heard from heaven; and many times you delivered them according to your mercies, 29and testified against them, that you might bring them again to your law. Yet they were arrogant, and didn’t listen to your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances (which if a man does, he shall live in them), turned their backs, stiffened their neck, and would not hear. 30Yet many years you put up with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not listen. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31“Nevertheless in your manifold mercies you didn’t make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God.
32Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness, don’t let all the travail seem little before you, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, on our priests, on our prophets, on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33However you are just in all that has come on us; for you have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly. 34Also our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law, nor listened to your commandments and your testimonies with which you testified against them. 35For they have not served you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land which you gave before them. They didn’t turn from their wicked works.
36“Behold, we are servants today, and as for the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, behold, we are servants in it. 37It yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. Also they have power over our bodies and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
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