The Meaning of Nehemiah 9:12 Explained

Nehemiah 9:12

KJV: Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

YLT: And by a pillar of cloud Thou hast led them by day, and by a pillar of fire by night, to lighten to them the way in which they go.

Darby: And thou leddest them in the day by a pillar of cloud, and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

ASV: Moreover in a pillar of cloud thou leddest them by day; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

What does Nehemiah 9:12 Mean?

Context Summary

Nehemiah 9:1-21 - God's Hand In History
What a blessed result of the Bible-study of the previous chapter. It led to confession, separation from evil association and worship. It is good to review the dealings of God with us and with our people in bygone days. There are hilltops in our experience where the air is clear, and we can see the way by which we have been led. At such times we look beyond second causes to the great Orderer of our lives, and our history is one perpetual assertion of THOU. The history of God's dealings with Israel is an epitome of His dealings with ourselves. The choice in Ur, the redemption from Egypt, the wilderness wanderings, the land of rest-all these have their counterparts in our life-story. Side by side with the story of God's care runs the story of transgression, Nehemiah 9:16-18. The gold and black strands are closely interwoven. In the midst of God's best gifts, we break out into sin; yet He still gives us His good spirit, and withholds not the manna which He promised, Nehemiah 9:20. [source]

Chapter Summary: Nehemiah 9

1  A solemn fast, and repentance of the people
4  The Levites make a confession of God's goodness, and their wickedness

What do the individual words in Nehemiah 9:12 mean?

Moreover with a pillar cloudy You led them by day and with a pillar of fire by night to give light them - on the road which they should travel in
וּבְעַמּ֣וּד עָנָ֔ן הִנְחִיתָ֖ם יוֹמָ֑ם וּבְעַמּ֥וּד אֵשׁ֙ לַ֔יְלָה לְהָאִ֣יר לָהֶ֔ם אֶת־ הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֵֽלְכוּ־ בָֽהּ

וּבְעַמּ֣וּד  Moreover  with  a  pillar 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: עַמּוּד  
Sense: pillar, column.
עָנָ֔ן  cloudy 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָן  
Sense: cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass.
הִנְחִיתָ֖ם  You  led  them 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, second person masculine singular, third person masculine plural
Root: נָחָה  
Sense: to lead, guide.
יוֹמָ֑ם  by  day 
Parse: Adverb
Root: יׄומָם  
Sense: by day, in the daytime subst.
וּבְעַמּ֥וּד  and  with  a  pillar 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: עַמּוּד  
Sense: pillar, column.
אֵשׁ֙  of  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
לַ֔יְלָה  by  night 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: לַיִל 
Sense: night.
לְהָאִ֣יר  to  give  light 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive construct
Root: אֹור  
Sense: to be or become light, shine.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ  on  the  road 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
יֵֽלְכוּ־  they  should  travel 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.