Friday, January 30, 2015

Hebrew grammar matters

Ps 118:25 provides us with a clear example of the author’s ultimate respect, politeness, and gratitude toward God, with its use of two נָא particles, two ָאנָּא particles, and two long imperatives. This verse appears as the climax of a very emotionally charged outburst of thanksgiving to God: אָנָּ֣א יְ֭הוָה הֹושִׁ֘יעָ֥ה נָּ֑א אָֽנָּ֥א יְ֝הוָ֗ה הַצְלִ֘יחָ֥ה נָּֽא׃ ‘Please, O Lord, please save (me); please, O Lord, please grant (me) success!’—The Syntax of Volitives in Biblical Hebrew and Amarna Canaanite Prose, page 73 n. 152

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