8:9 Then Nehemiah the governor, 1 Ezra the priestly scribe, 2 and the Levites who were imparting understanding to the people said to all of them, 3 “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the law. 8:10 He said to them, “Go and eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. 4 Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
8:11 Then the Levites quieted all the people saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy. Do not grieve.” 8:12 So all the people departed to eat and drink and to share their food 5 with others 6 and to enjoy tremendous joy, 7 for they had gained insight in the matters that had been made known to them.
1 tc The unexpected reference to Nehemiah here has led some scholars to suspect that the phrase “Nehemiah the governor” is a later addition to the text and not original.
2 tn Heb “the priest, the scribe.”
3 tn Heb “the people.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
4 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).
5 tn Heb “to send portions.”
6 tn The Hebrew text does not include the phrase “with others” but it has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “to make great joy.”
8 tn Heb “the heads of the fathers.”
9 tn Heb “were gathered to”; NAB, NIV “gathered around”; NRSV “came together to.”