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  Discovery Box

Nehemiah 9:12-21

Context
9:12 You guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and with a pillar of fire by night to illumine for them the path they were to travel.

9:13 “You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. You provided them with just judgments, true laws, and good statutes and commandments. 9:14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath; you issued commandments, statutes, and law to them through 1  Moses your servant. 9:15 You provided bread from heaven for them in their time of hunger, and you brought forth water from the rock for them in their time of thirst. You told them to enter in order to possess the land that you had sworn 2  to give them.

9:16 “But they – our ancestors 3  – behaved presumptuously; they rebelled 4  and did not obey your commandments. 9:17 They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. 5  But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. 6  You did not abandon them, 9:18 even when they made a cast image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up from Egypt,’ or when they committed atrocious 7  blasphemies.

9:19 “Due to your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. The pillar of cloud did not stop guiding them in the path by day, 8  nor did the pillar of fire stop illuminating for them by night the path on which they should travel. 9:20 You imparted your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths; you provided water for their thirst. 9:21 For forty years you sustained them. Even in the desert they never lacked anything. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.

1 tn Heb “by the hand of.”

2 tn Heb “had lifted your hand.”

3 tn Heb “and our fathers.” The vav is explicative.

4 tn Heb “they stiffened their neck” (so also in the following verse).

5 tc The present translation follows a few medieval Hebrew MSS and the LXX in reading בְּמִצְרָיִם (bÿmitsrayim, “in Egypt”; so also NAB, NASB, NRSV, TEV, NLT) rather than the MT reading בְּמִרְיָם (bÿmiryam, “in their rebellion”).

6 tc The translation follows the Qere reading חֶסֶד (khesed, “loyal love”) rather than the Kethib reading וְחֶסֶד (vÿkhesed, “and loyal love”) of the MT.

7 tn Heb “great.”

8 tn Heb “did not turn from them by day to guide them in the path.”



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