Hebrew Tidbit #8 (hin-ay)

Genesis 19:21

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו הִנֵּה֙ נָשָׂ֣אתִי פָנֶ֔יךָ גַּ֖ם לַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה לְבִלְתִּ֛י הָפְכִּ֥י אֶת־הָעִ֖יר אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּֽרְתָּ׃

The word of focus here is the bolded one above.

It is often referred to as an interjection, often translated as “Behold!” However, it is not always translated directly into English. Nevertheless, it serves an important role of calling to attention to what is going on in the text, often to the following noun, pronoun, etc.

Not only is attention drawn but it serves to slow down the sentence and force a pause.

NASB translates the above as follows:

He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the the town of which you have spoken.”

In this case, הִנֵּה֙ is translated as an interjection, calling our attention to the action of granting Lot’s request. This is an important point. God is not leaving Lot to perish but a way is being made for him and it includes Lot’s personal request to go to a nearby town.

Note: (hin-ay) is a rough English transliteration made for pronouncing it. It is not an official transliteration (which could show up as hinei).

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