And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites…
I. A NOTABLE INSTANCE OF NEGLECT. The commandment was plainly written, but "since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun the children of Israel had not done so. How much they lost? - gladness, fellowship, help to their remembrance of Divine mercy, food of faith. We should follow the directions of God's book without question. Much yet to break forth from the written pages.
II. An illustration of the DEPENDENCE OF GOD'S PEOPLE ON ONE ANOTHER. The council of fathers, priests, Levites, and Ezra the scribe gathered together to understand the words of the law." All cannot pursue the same inquiries. The progress of the Church is greatly advanced by the consecration of some to the study of the Scriptures. All councils and conferences should be held with a practical end in view, to understand in order to reformation of life and manners. Much of the deliberation of learned men has failed of God's blessing because it has been merely speculative or controversial. We can scarcely doubt that Ezra was the leading spirit. One eminent man of God can wonderfully animate and direct his Church in great crises. The true leader will never despise counsel, but be only primus inter pares.
III. A TYPICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE BELIEVING LIFE OF GOD'S PEOPLE. The festival in the green booths fetched from the mount.
1. Grateful memory and pilgrim expectation.
2. Free fellowship and happy intercourse, with Jerusalem as the centre. Church life ought to be real root of all other life. We go from our own cities to Jerusalem, and return with the sanctity of the feast, to be distributed over all the common ways and facts of an every-day existence.
3. Consecrated seasons, festival times, needed in all service of God. For the heart must be lifted up that the hands may be kept busy. Function of praise in the life. They of the captivity do well to recognise one another in their freedom. God invites us to turn nature into joy. Consecrate the very trees to him. Rejoice under the open heaven in his loving-kindness. Connect his holy mount with the simple tent that covers our head. He waits not for splendid ritual or temple, but delights in the homely praise of those who spread the beauty of his name over all the earth. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.