They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. (Nehemiah 8:8)
This passage in Nehemiah refers to a group of Levites who assisted Ezra in instructing the people from the word of God.
In many ways, the Old Testament Levites and priests are a foreshadow of the New Testament ministry of the Teacher. It was they to whom the people were instructed to go if they had a difficult question they did not know the answer to. It was they who were charged with instructing the people in the Law of God. And, importantly, it was they who were anointed in the presence of God to do the job. Nowhere, Old or New Testament, do we get the notion that such ministry was ever to be purely intellectual or academic. They had an anointing in the Spirit to impart spiritual truth.
As such, the activity of these Levites is a great example for all of us who teach or preach amongst God's people. They were to read clearly from the word of God, and to make the meaning of it plain to those who heard.
The public reading of Scripture should never be underrated. Could it be that we value our own words more than God's? I know that this would never be something we would consciously be guilty of, but what do our actions say? How much Scripture is in our preaching? How much time do we give to God's word before we prepare our own?
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. (1Ti 4:13)
[I say this as a challenge to myself, and to anyone else who will receive it. I don't have anyone else in mind.]