“Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people.
‘This day is holy to Yahweh your God.
Do not mourn or weep!’
All the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them.
‘Go your way!
Eat the fat!
Drink sweet wine!
Send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared.
This day is holy to Yahweh.
Do not be grieved!
The joy of Yahweh is your strength.’
So the Levites stilled all the people, saying.
This day is holy!
Do not be grieved!’
All the people went their way to eat and drink. They sent portions to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.”
The roles of Nehemiah and Ezra are very clear here. Nehemiah is the governor and Ezra is the priest scribe. Ezra is the scholar while Nehemiah is the administrator. They wanted to make this reading of the Law of Moses a holy day. They wanted a celebration rather than weeping and a day of mourning, which it had become. The Levites joined in remind people that they should not be upset. Thus they understood the Law of Moses and began to eat and drink.