NET : They read from the book of God's law , explaining it and imparting insight . Thus the people gained understanding from what was read . NASB : They read from the book , from the law of God , translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading . NLT : They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read , helping the people understand each passage . NRSV : So they read from the book , from the law of God , with interpretation . They gave the sense , so that the people understood the reading . HCSB : They read the book of the law of God , translating and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was read . There , that's fairly representative of renderings of this famous verse . I think this passage is an important one when we look at translations . In fact when the Book of the Law was being read they translated it according to several of these versions . They gave the sense . They gave the meaning . Preachers are to give the sense and explain the meaning of a given text of course . But I am interested in exploring this passage in light of Bible translating . Are translations to be focused on individual words , or the sense of the sentences ? Is it more profitable to translate in a phrase-by-phrase manner instead of word-by-word ? Why or why not ?