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Sunday, September 21 2014

Nehemiah 8: The Water Gate Reading

"All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate"

The restoration of the walls and gates of Jerusalem (see The Fifty Two Days of The Wall) in the era of Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah) was completed just in time for the Christian Holy Days that are celebrated in autumn (see the Fact Finder question below).

It began that year with Ezra doing a public reading of the Messiah's Law on "the first day of the seventh month" - a Holy Day that will be fulfilled in the yet-future when the Messiah Himself returns to Jerusalem (see the Fact Finder question below).


"8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them." (Nehemiah 8:1-12 KJV)

The people then celebrated "the feast of the seventh month" - which will be fulfilled after the Messiah has returned to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God and the Fact Finder question below).

"8:13 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. 8:14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 8:17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

8:18 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." (Nehemiah 8:13-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What is the Christian Holy Day that is observed on "the first day of the seventh month"? (b) What is the Christian celebration that is observed as "the feast of the seventh month"?
(a) See The Christian Feast Of Trumpets: The First Day Of Salvation
(b) See Why Christians Observe The Messiah's Feast Of Tabernacles

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This Day In History, September 21

454: Flavius Aetius, Roman general and statesman, died. He was a commander against the Hunnish, Frankish, Burgundian and Gothic tribes of central Europe (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

455: Amidst the decline and fall of the original Roman Empire, Emperor Avitus entered Rome with a Gallic army to unify his rule. Over the following centuries, the prophetic Roman Empire was continued by Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire
1338: The Battle of Arnemuiden during the Hundred Years' War. It was the first naval battle in history using artillery.

1451: Jews in the Netherlands were forced to wear an identifying badge.

1520: Suleiman "the Magnificent" became the Ottoman sultan. The Ottoman Empire held Jerusalem for centuries before it was liberated by the British during the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate; also listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1435: Charles VII of France and Philip the Good agreed to end the alliance between the English and Burgundy in the Hundred Years' War.

1643: Abahai, Chinese military leader and emperor, died at age 51. He established the Ch'ing Dynasty that ruled China from 1644 to 1911.

1745: The Battle of Prestonpans. Hanoverian forces under Sir John Cope were defeated by the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

1792: The First French Republic was proclaimed when the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

1897: The New York Sun published its famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" (the present-day lie of "Santa Claus" was invented in New York; the myth of the "jolly old elf" was based upon a violent, fanatical Turkish bishop of the Church of Rome who lived centuries earlier; see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?).

1915: The ancient stone monuments at Stonehenge were sold at auction to an Englishman, who later donated the site to the nation.

1931: Britain went off the gold standard i.e. currency was of monetary value based solely upon the government's word.

1934: A typhoon struck western Honshu, Japan, killing over 3,000 people.

1938: A hurricane struck parts of New England, causing widespread damage and claiming more than 600 lives.

1949: The People's Republic of China was proclaimed by its Communist revolutionary leaders Mao Tse-Tung.

1949: Germany was officially split into 2 separate countries - West Germany (under western allies control) and East Germany (under the control of the Soviet Union). The division of Germany didn't last, as it never did before (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro! and listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1964: Malta became independent from the United Kingdom.

1972: As a response to his losing control of his U.S.-backed dictatorship, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signed a proclamation to place the Philippines under martial law.

1978: Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after 96 days in orbit.

1991: Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union.

1993: Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspended Parliament and discarded the constitution, thereby beginning the Russian constitutional crisis of that year.


Copyright © Wayne Blank