Search This Blog

Why was reading from the Book of the Law a big deal?

He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:3

            The Book of the Law was not distributed like our Bibles are today.  There were few copies (maybe only one at the time).  The priests were literate and could read and understand what it meant.  Also, they had been in exile for over seventy years, so a generation did not perform the sacrifices in the temple.  This was all new to them.  They had gotten out of their routine and now discovered, as Ezra read, what they needed to be doing.