8:1 all the people. Even if “all” is not taken literally, there must have been gathered here one of the largest congregations ever to hear the Scriptures read in their presence. Even the older children were included (Nehemiah 8:2).
8:1 Ezra the scribe. Ezra is here mentioned for the first time by Nehemiah, but he had been preaching to the people already for at least thirteen years.
8:1 law of Moses. “The book of the law of Moses” undoubtedly included all the Pentateuch, and possibly is used here generically for all of the Scriptures which had been received by this time. Ezra is generally believed to have been largely responsible for organizing the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures.