Particle Interjection


An interjection is a word that expresses strong emotion.


Interjections usually appear at the beginning of a sentence or clause and are grammatically disconnected from the rest of the sentence. As in many languages, interjections are often “natural sounds”, that is, vocal gestures or sounds that a person utters when experiencing certain emotions. Interjections can be used to express both positive and negative emotions.

There is a whole family of interjections in Biblical Hebrew, and none of them occur very frequently.

הָהּ or אֲהָהּ

Example: EZE 30:2 –– expressing strong fear or anger
הֵילִ֖ילוּ הָ֥הּ לַיֹּֽום׃
helilu hah layyowm
Wail ah to-the-day!
Wail, “Woe is the coming day.”


Example: AMO 5:16 –– expressing strong sadness or lament
וּבְכָל־חוּצֹ֖ות יֹאמְר֣וּ הֹו־הֹ֑ו
uvekhol-hutsowth yomeru how-how
and-in-all_outside they-wil-say woe_woe
and they will say in all the streets, “Woe! Woe!


Example: EZE 26:2 –– expressing strong joy or gloating
הֶאָ֔ח נִשְׁבְּרָ֛ה דַּלְתֹ֥ות הָעַמִּ֖ים
he’ah nishberah dalthowth ha’ammim
Aha! Broken doors-of the-people!
Aha! The gates of the people are broken!


This term can function as an interjection, an exhortation particle, or perhaps both.

Example: EXO 32:31
אָ֣נָּ֗א חָטָ֞א הָעָ֤ם הַזֶּה֙ חֲטָאָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֔ה
‘onna hata ha’am hazzeh hata’ah gedolah
Oh it-has-sinned the-people the-this sin great
Oh, these people have committed a great sin