The Meaning of Psalms 78:14 Explained

Psalms 78:14

KJV: In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

YLT: And leadeth them with a cloud by day, And all the night with a light of fire.

Darby: And he led them with a cloud in the daytime, and all the night with the light of fire.

ASV: In the day-time also he led them with a cloud, And all the night with a light of fire.

What does Psalms 78:14 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalm 78:13-24 - "a Table In The Wilderness"
Throughout this wonderful recital there is a perpetual contrast between God's unswerving goodness and the incessant backsliding of His people; and as we read it, we learn that sin is not simply the violation of the divine law, but a source of pain and trouble to our Heavenly Father's heart. For us He cleaves the seas, leads us in the daytime, builds His watch-fires around us at night, and brings streams of blessing from the rocks. But we tempt Him by our incessant unbelief. We say, He certainly did thus and thus, but can He, will He, do this or that? "Can God furnish?" "Can God give bread?"
When shall we dare to believe in our Lord's assurances; first, that "with God all things are possible;" and second, that "all things are possible to him that believeth"? But we must live habitually in fellowship with God before we are able to exercise this faith. As we nourish our souls by feeding on the promises, and studying what He has done in the lives of others, out faith removes all the boundaries with which it had limited the Holy One, and cries, "Thou canst and thou wilt!" [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 78

1  An exhortation both to learn and to preach, the law of God
9  The story of God's wrath against the incredulous and disobedient
67  The Israelites being rejected, God chose Judah, Zion, and David

What do the individual words in Psalms 78:14 mean?

And He led them with the cloud in the daytime and all the night with a light of fire
וַיַּנְחֵ֣ם בֶּעָנָ֣ן יוֹמָ֑ם וְכָל־ הַ֝לַּ֗יְלָה בְּא֣וֹר אֵֽשׁ

וַיַּנְחֵ֣ם  And  He  led  them 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine plural
Root: נָחָה  
Sense: to lead, guide.
בֶּעָנָ֣ן  with  the  cloud 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עָנָן  
Sense: cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass.
יוֹמָ֑ם  in  the  daytime 
Parse: Adverb
Root: יׄומָם  
Sense: by day, in the daytime subst.
וְכָל־  and  all 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
הַ֝לַּ֗יְלָה  the  night 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: לַיִל 
Sense: night.
בְּא֣וֹר  with  a  light 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: אֹור  
Sense: light.
אֵֽשׁ  of  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.