Exhortative particles strengthen the emotion of a command or request.
Exhortation particles are words that add emotive force to a command or request. These particles are similar to interjections but function to strengthen a specific call to action, while an interjection is used as a more general expression of emotion. Similar to demonstrative particles, exhortation particles are sometime left untranslated, depending on the specific context.
When used with a command, נָא is usually translated as “now” in English (or left untranslated).
|לָכֵ֛ן שִׁמְעִי־נָ֥א זֹ֖את|
|lakhen shim’i-na zoth|
|Therefore listen_now this|
|But now hear this|
When used as part of a request, נָא is usually translated as “please” in English (or left untranslated).
|אֲדֹנָ֤י יְהוִה֙ סְֽלַֽח־נָ֔א|
|‘adonay yehwih selah-na|
|Lord Yahweh forgive_please|
|Lord Yahweh, please forgive|
In some instances a translation with “now”, “please”, or “oh” is possible, but not necessary. The emotive context of each attestation must determine whether to render the word in translation or to leave it untranslated.
|do not let us perish|
This is a stronger and more emotive form of the particle נָא. The two particles are sometimes paired together to express extreme urgency or desperation, as in the example below. In some instances, this particle could also be classified as an interjection.
|‘onna yehwah howshi’ah na ‘anna yehwah hatslihah na|
|Please Yahweh give-help oh please Yahweh make-succeed oh!|
This particle appears the same but should not be confused with the preposition בְּ with 1st common singular Suffix Pronominal.
When paired with a vocative, the word בִּי strengthens the emotive force of the statement that follows. It is used for addressing someone who is superior. In English, it can be translated as “oh” or “pray” or “please”, etc.
|בִּ֣י אֲדֹנִ֗י תְּנוּ־לָהּ֙ אֶת־הַיָּל֣וּד הַחַ֔י|
|bi ‘adoni tenu-lah ‘eth-hayyalud hahay|
|Oh my-master give_to-her [dir.obj]_the-child living|
|Oh, my master, give her the living child|