Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
“So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” vs. 8
When the people of Jerusalem wandered back to their home after the time of exile in Babylon, it wasn’t empty. Only the upper classes and nobility had been sent away–the ordinary folks had remained, but not much had been done to repair what had been destroyed. It took many months for the returnees to restore and construct new walls, and when they were done, it was the beginning of the new year–what is now known as Rosh Hashana. The leaders called on Ezra to haul out the book of the Law and read it to a gathered assembly. We’re not sure what this book was but it was likely some form of Deuteronomy which had taken shape sometime during the last days of the monarchy. It had been reshaped and edited during the Exile and no one in the gathered crowd had a clue about what it said, especially since it had been written in Hebrew, and the language of the people was Aramaic. Fortunately there were those who could make sense of it, and they interpreted it to the rest. We know that feeling when it comes to Scripture–parts are horribly difficult to understand, and we crave teachers who can make it come to life. What a blessing it is to find such a person, and then experience understanding!
Thought for the Day: Who has opened the scriptures for me?