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Ezra reads the Law; the people celebrate the Feast of Shelters, confess their sins, and promise to start observing the Law: Nehemiah 8–10

After 70 years of exile, and more of rebuilding, the returned exiles finally wanted to know how they should live.  So they asked Ezra to read the Law to them, including women and children:

Nehemiah 8:3 [Ezra] faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

After this reading, the Levites read through the Law again, carefully explaining the meaning of each passage, after some tears of repentance:

Nehemiah 8:12 So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.

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