Nehemiah 8:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly.

King James Bible
Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

Darby Bible Translation
Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they observed the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.

World English Bible
Also 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.

Young's Literal Translation
And he readeth in the book of the law of God day by day, from the first day till the last day, and they make a feast seven days, and on the eighth day a restraint, according to the ordinance.

Nehemiah 8:18 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Since the days of Joshua - No feast of tabernacles since Joshua's time had been so heartily and so piously celebrated. The story of the sacred fire now discovered, which had been hidden by the order of Jeremiah in a dry well, and now, some of the mud from the bottom being brought upon the altar, was kindled afresh by the rays of the sun, which suddenly broke out, though before covered with clouds, etc., is worthy of no credit. Those who wish to see the detail may consult 2 Maccabees 1:18-36.

On the subject in Nehemiah 8:8, I beg leave to make a few observations: - So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. The Israelites, having been lately brought out of the Babylonish captivity, in which they had continued seventy years, according to the prediction of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 25:11, were not only extremely corrupt, but it appears that they had in general lost the knowledge of the ancient Hebrew to such a degree, that when the book of the law was read, they did not understand it: but certain Levites stood by, and gave the sense, i. e., translated into the Chaldee dialect. This was not only the origin of the Chaldee Targums, or translation of the law and prophets into that tongue but was also, in all probability, the origin of preaching from a text; for it appears that the people were not only ignorant of their ancient language, but also of the rites and ceremonies of their religion, having been so long in Babylon, where they were not permitted to observe them. This being the case, not only the language must be interpreted, but the meaning of the rites and ceremonies must also be explained; for we find from Nehemiah 8:13, etc., of this chapter, that they had even forgotten the feast of tabernacles, and every thing relative to that ceremony.

As we nowhere find that what is called preaching on or expounding a text was ever in use before that period, we are probably beholden to the Babylonish captivity for producing, in the hand of Divine Providence, a custom the most excellent and beneficial ever introduced among men.

What the nature of preaching or expounding the word of God was, at this early period of its institution, we learn from the above cited text.

I. They read in the book of the law of God. - The words of God, the doctrines of Divine revelation, are the proper matter of preaching; for they contain the wisdom of the Most High, and teach man the things which belong to his peace and happiness.

II. They read distinctly - מפרש mephorash, from פרש parash, to expand; they analyzed, dilated, and expounded it at large, showing the import and genuine meaning of every word.

III. They gave the sense - ושום שכל vesom sechel, they put weight to it; showed its value and utility, and how intimately concerned they were in all that was revealed: thus applying verbal criticism, and general exposition to their true and most important purposes.

IV. They caused them to understand the reading - ויבינו במקרא vaiyabinu bammikra: and they understood - had a mental taste and perception of the things which were in the reading, i. e., in the letter and spirit of the text. Thus they knew the Divine will, and approved the things that were more excellent, being (thus) instructed out of the law, Romans 2:18.

This was the ancient method of expounding the word of God among the Jews; and this mode is still more necessary for Us: -

1. Because the sacred writings, as they came from God, are shut up in languages no longer vernacular; and no translation ever did or ever can reach the force of the original words, though perhaps our own in general, comes nearest to this of all versions, whether ancient or modern.

2.-Ninety-nine out of a hundred know nothing of these languages; and consequently cannot, of themselves, reap all the requisite benefit from reading the Scriptures.

3. Sacred things are illustrated in the Bible by a reference to arts and sciences, of which the mass of the people are as ignorant as they are of the original tongues.

4. Provincial customs and fashions are mentioned in these writings, which must be understood, or the force and meaning of many texts cannot be comprehended.

5. There is a depth in the word of God which cannot be fathomed except either by Divine inspiration, or by deep study and research, for which the majority of the people have no time.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

day by day

Deuteronomy 31:10-13 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release...

a solemn assembly. Heb. a restraint. according

Leviticus 23:36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you...

Numbers 29:35 On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly: you shall do no servile work therein:

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.

Library
January 29. "Send Portions unto them for whom Nothing is Prepared" (Neh. viii. 10).
"Send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared" (Neh. viii. 10). That was a fine picture in the days of Nehemiah, when they were celebrating their glorious Feast of Tabernacles. "Neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared." How many there are on every side for whom nothing is prepared! Let us find out some sad and needy heart for whom there is no one else to think or care.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Joy of the Lord, the Strength of his People
LAST Sabbath day in the morning I spoke of the birth of our Saviour as being full of joy to the people of God, and, indeed, to all nations. We then looked at the joy from a distance; we will now in contemplation draw nearer to it, and perhaps as we consider it, and remark the multiplied reasons for its existence, some of those reasons may operate upon our own hearts, and we may go out of this house of prayer ourselves partakers of the exceeding great joy. We shall count it to have been a successful
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

The Last Days of the Old Eastern World
The Median wars--The last native dynasties of Egypt--The Eastern world on the eve of the Macedonian conquest. [Drawn by Boudier, from one of the sarcophagi of Sidon, now in the Museum of St. Irene. The vignette, which is by Faucher-Gudin, represents the sitting cyno-cephalus of Nectanebo I., now in the Egyptian Museum at the Vatican.] Darius appears to have formed this project of conquest immediately after his first victories, when his initial attempts to institute satrapies had taught him not
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

Its Effects.
Among the effects and benefits which in this life accompany and flow from being filled with the Holy Ghost, may be mentioned the following:-- 1. Courage. "Oh, I could not do so and so--I have not the courage," is a reply frequently made by Christian people when asked to undertake some piece of service or other for the Master. The first point to be settled is, "Is that the Master's will for me?" If so, lack of courage is a confession to the lack of the "Fullness of the Holy Ghost." The Spirit-filled
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Cross References
John 7:37
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.

Leviticus 23:36
For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.

Numbers 29:35
"'On the eighth day hold a closing special assembly and do no regular work.

Deuteronomy 31:11
when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing.

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