Ezra 9:10

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,
Read Chapter 9


AD 735
This was in the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month, and all the people sat down in the courtyard of the house of God, trembling because of their sin and the rain. The ninth month is the one which is called 'Casleu' (Chislev) by the Hebrews and 'December' by the Romans. Who does not know that this month comes in the middle of winter and is rainy and surprisingly stormy? Hence we should note all the more carefully that when the people assembled in the middle of winter, it is recorded that they trembled because of their sin and the rain. For when they noticed that the rains were pouring down more than was usual even for this wet season, they were brought back to their conscience and understood that this had happened because of their sins and that heavenly wrath was imminent. Admonished by this disturbance of the sky, they grew frightened, and for this reason they had not dared to carry on their business in their own homes but sat down in the courtyard of the Lord's house and put on penitential and humble garb. This was done as a lesson for those who, even when the elements are stirred up and weather deteriorates into violent winds, floods of rain, heavy snowstorms, parching drought or even the death of men and animals, and when the judge himself threatens the force of his anger through open signs, do not at all seek to correct their behaviour so as to placate that judge and escape the destruction hanging over them, but instead merely busy themselves to find some means to avoid or overcome the adverse conditions raging outside on account of their sins. Now the people sat in the courtyard before the house of God - that is, around the court of the priests, which surrounded the Lord's house on all its sides, as we have taught above. It had on all its sides in the shape of a square very spacious courtyard buildings in which the people also, if there was need because of rain, could stand and still see what was happening within the temple doors or around the temple. For at ground level the inner walls were built in the form of a colonnade, while the outer walls were solid.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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