The Meaning of Nehemiah 9:19 Explained

Nehemiah 9:19

KJV: Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

YLT: and Thou, in Thine abundant mercies, hast not forsaken them in the wilderness -- the pillar of the cloud hath not turned aside from off them by day, to lead them in the way, and the pillar of the fire by night, to give light to them and the way in which they go.

Darby: yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud departed not from over them by day, to lead them on the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

ASV: yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of cloud departed not from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.

What does Nehemiah 9:19 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 9:19 mean?

And yet You in Your mercies manifold not did forsake them in the wilderness - the pillar of the cloud not did depart from them by day to lead them on the road nor of fire by night to show light them and the way there they should go in
וְאַתָּה֙ בְּרַחֲמֶ֣יךָ הָֽרַבִּ֔ים לֹ֥א עֲזַבְתָּ֖ם בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר אֶת־ עַמּ֣וּד הֶ֠עָנָן לֹא־ סָ֨ר מֵעֲלֵיהֶ֤ם בְּיוֹמָם֙ לְהַנְחֹתָ֣ם בְּהַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וְאֶת־ הָאֵ֤שׁ בְּלַ֙יְלָה֙ לְהָאִ֣יר לָהֶ֔ם וְאֶת־ הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֵֽלְכוּ־ בָֽהּ

וְאַתָּה֙  And  yet  You 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Pronoun, second person masculine singular
Root: אַתְּ 
Sense: you (second pers.
בְּרַחֲמֶ֣יךָ  in  Your  mercies 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine singular
Root: רַחַם 
Sense: womb.
הָֽרַבִּ֔ים  manifold 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine plural
Root: רַב 
Sense: much, many, great.
עֲזַבְתָּ֖ם  did  forsake  them 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, second person masculine singular, third person masculine plural
Root: עָזַב 
Sense: to leave, loose, forsake.
בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר  in  the  wilderness 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מִדְבָּר 
Sense: wilderness.
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.
עַמּ֣וּד  the  pillar 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: עַמּוּד  
Sense: pillar, column.
הֶ֠עָנָן  of  the  cloud 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָן  
Sense: cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass.
סָ֨ר  did  depart 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: סוּר 
Sense: to turn aside, depart.
מֵעֲלֵיהֶ֤ם  from  them 
Parse: Preposition-m, third person masculine plural
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
בְּיוֹמָם֙  by  day 
Parse: Preposition-b, Adverb
Root: יׄומָם  
Sense: by day, in the daytime subst.
לְהַנְחֹתָ֣ם  to  lead  them 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive construct, third person masculine plural
Root: נָחָה  
Sense: to lead, guide.
בְּהַדֶּ֔רֶךְ  on  the  road 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
וְאֶת־  nor 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הָאֵ֤שׁ  of  fire 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
בְּלַ֙יְלָה֙  by  night 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular
Root: לַיִל 
Sense: night.
לְהָאִ֣יר  to  show  light 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive construct
Root: אֹור  
Sense: to be or become light, shine.
הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ  the  way 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
יֵֽלְכוּ־  they  should  go 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.