The Meaning of Nehemiah 8:12 Explained

Nehemiah 8:12

KJV: And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

YLT: And all the people go to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they have understood concerning the words that they made known to them.

Darby: And all the people went their way, to eat and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great rejoicing. For they had understood the words that were declared to them.

ASV: And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

KJV Reverse Interlinear

And all the people  went their way  to eat,  and to drink,  and to send  portions,  and to make  great  mirth,  because they had understood  the words  that were declared  unto them. 

What does Nehemiah 8:12 Mean?

Context Summary

Nehemiah 8:1-18 - New Light From God's Law
Surely this was the first public Bible-reading! When will the people be again as hungry for the Word of God as these Jews who stood in the open space from early dawn till the scorching noon? What reverence for the Word! When Ezra opened the Book, all the people stood up. What holy worship! When he blessed the great God, all the people answered, Amen, amen! What a model to us all! They gave the sense, so that they understood. What searching of heart! The people wept when they heard the words of the law.
There is nothing which weakens us so much as does unrestrained remorse. Contriteness of heart is wholesome and helpful, but excessive grief incapacitates us for our duties. It is well therefore to cultivate holy joy; the joy of sin forgiven, of acceptance with God, of hope that anchors us to the unseen, and that cannot be ashamed. You may not be able to joy in yourself or your surroundings, but you may always rejoice in the Lord. [source]

Chapter Summary: Nehemiah 8

1  The reverent manner of reading and hearing the law
9  They comfort the people
13  The eagerness of the people to hear and be instructed
16  They keep the feast of tabernacles

What do the individual words in Nehemiah 8:12 mean?

And went their way all the people to eat and drink and to send portions and rejoice greatly because they understood the words that were declared to them -
וַיֵּלְכ֨וּ כָל־ הָעָ֜ם לֶאֱכֹ֤ל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת֙ וּלְשַׁלַּ֣ח מָנ֔וֹת וְלַעֲשׂ֖וֹת שִׂמְחָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה כִּ֤י הֵבִ֙ינוּ֙ בַּדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר הוֹדִ֖יעוּ לָהֶֽם ס

וַיֵּלְכ֨וּ  And  went  their  way 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
הָעָ֜ם  the  people 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
לֶאֱכֹ֤ל  to  eat 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: אָכַל  
Sense: to eat, devour, burn up, feed.
וְלִשְׁתּוֹת֙  and  drink 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: שָׁתָה  
Sense: to drink.
וּלְשַׁלַּ֣ח  and  to  send 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Verb, Piel, Infinitive construct
Root: שָׁלַח  
Sense: to send, send away, let go, stretch out.
מָנ֔וֹת  portions 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: מָנָה  
Sense: part, portion.
שִׂמְחָ֣ה  rejoice 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: שִׂמְחָה  
Sense: joy, mirth, gladness.
גְדוֹלָ֑ה  greatly 
Parse: Adjective, feminine singular
Root: גָּבֹול 
Sense: great.
כִּ֤י  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
הֵבִ֙ינוּ֙  they  understood 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: בִּין  
Sense: to discern, understand, consider.
בַּדְּבָרִ֔ים  the  words 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: דָּבָר  
Sense: speech, word, speaking, thing.
אֲשֶׁ֥ר  that 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
הוֹדִ֖יעוּ  were  declared 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
לָהֶֽם  to  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation