Nehemiah 8 – Ezra Reads the Law

In Nehemiah chapter 8, Ezra the priest is summoned to read the Book of the Law of God at the Water Gate (possibly an entry into the Gihon Spring – the main water source outside the city wall), for which this passage has become known as the Watergate Revival.  It was read from early morning to mid-day, with the people gathered around in reverence; and the Levites went around explaining as needed (as was their job – see Deuteronomy 33:8-10), so that it was “clearly” understood (verses 7-8).   It was a very special and emotional occasion, and likely the first time it had been read – particularly in its entirety – to most of them.  In hearing the Law, the people would hear an account of the sins that had led to captivity.  And the completion of the wall, while striking fear in the hearts of others (Nehemiah 6:16), was an awesome event for them.  Ezra and Nehemiah, therefore,  tell the people not to weep, but to rejoice – as this day was holy to the Lord (verses 9-10).

As this was the seventh month, it was the perfect time to re-institute the Feast of Tabernacles – or “Feast of Booths” (Leviticus 23:34 and Leviticus 23:39-43), and so they gathered the commanded material and built themselves the booths (or temporary shelters) that they lived in for the entire time of the feast observance – and heard from the Law of God daily.

How blessed we are to have God’s word available to us so readily, and in so many forms!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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