12 Furthermore, remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and so be careful to observe these statutes. 13 You must celebrate the Feast of Shelters for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest. 14 You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages. 15 You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, for he will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do; so you will indeed rejoice! 16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Shelters; and they must not appear before him empty-handed.
7 Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah—all of whom were Levites—were teaching the people the law, as the people remained standing. 8 They read from the book of God’s law, explaining it and imparting insight. Thus the people gained understanding from what was read. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priestly scribe, and the Levites who were imparting understanding to the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the law. 10 He said to them, “Go and eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 Then the Levites quieted all the people saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy. Do not grieve.”
Notes and References
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