Nehemiah 8:13-18

The Feast of the seventh month

13 On the second day of the seventh month, the leaders of families met together. They met with the priests, the Levites and with Ezra. They wanted to study the message of God's Law. 14 They discovered what the Lord had commanded about a certain feast. The Lord had told Moses that the Israelites should live in huts during this feast. They should do that in the seventh month of each year.

8:14God brought the Israelites out of Egypt in the seventh month. So they must remember this with a special feast. We read about this in Leviticus 23:33-43.

15 They discovered that they must send a message to everyone in Jerusalem and all Judah's cities. They must tell people, ‘Go into the hill country. Bring back branches from olive trees, wild olive trees, myrtle trees, palm trees and other trees with lots of leaves. Use these branches to build huts to live in. That is what God's Law teaches.’

16 So the people went out and they brought back branches. They built huts on their roofs and in the yards of their houses. They also built them in the yards of the temple and in the open places near the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephraim. 17 Everyone who had returned from exile built a hut. They lived in them during the feast and they were very happy. The Israelites had not done this before, since the time of Nun's son, Joshua.

18 Every day of the feast, Ezra read aloud from the Book of God's Law. The feast continued for seven days. On the eighth day, the people all met together, as the Law said that they should do.