Chat about Nehemiah topics that are off thread here
Djacque and Class,
Yes, there are some "Physical Factors" that were interesting to read about in the next group of verses that are before us.
Remember, they were gathered as "One Man". They were in "Unity" with each other. There was no Tribal bickering or backbiting which usually is found within People Groups. They had just finished Building A Temple and a Wall with Gates and were on the same team with "Team Work" as their Daily Motto for some time. So when you have people with this kind of togetherness there is no need to divide them up. It was just Judah and Benjamin that were identified as two but were they actually are One at this point in History.
It seems that this box was larger than the normal soap box that was used by The Evangelist, that we in The West seem to depict from our Early American History.
As some may remember that when America was a bunch of Small European Colonies, most of them being Dutch or English Speaking, and with the rest from other Languages like Spanish or French.
The Evangelist would go from one colony to another preach that we should all be "One in Christ", uniting all with a desire to be One in Christ was what drew this Country together and was the catalyst which changed Our History. This is where we get the idea of a soap Box Pulpit. The Evangelist, from almost every Denomination would use any kind of place that could be used at each town visited, to teach from, as he would usually ride into town with only what he could put on his horse.
However Ezra had something vastly different in the presentation of The Torah from this Chapter of Nehemiah. As we know from the location if Jerusalem, that it is located on top of a Hill. This hill is called The Ophel, and it is elevated from its surroundings. The Nethinim lived on The Hill. On this hill, The Temple was situated also. The Water Gate is behind The Box that Ezra is Teaching Torah from and in front of him is where The People are standing or sitting, in The Plaza and listening to what was read to them.
This point just before the top of the mountains had a sea breeze which would come from the cooler coastal waters and be drawn by the hotter rising air from the dryer regions East of The Jordan River(The Descender). This would pick up in the afternoon. In the morning the breeze was to the West and the Mediterranean Sea. This Breeze(off shore breeze) was usually used with large gatherings to carry the words of The Voice of The Speaker, on the wind. This reverses in the afternoon and that was when the Festive part of the day began.
Remember I use the expression of The Ophel because it was a Fortified hill and it had a protected water source just outside the Gate, sense the name Water Gate. The source of the water, the spring, seems to be named Ophel too. So they were gathered by this gate in the Court of The Temple to hear The Words of Torah.
Some Jewish Scholars think Ezra had several different people on this Box with him, so there is much to be learned from some of the Old Oral History of The Jews.
Ill try to teach a small bit on this as it is right around the corner in this Chapter of Nehemiah.