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 disconnectedfrom the rest of the sentence. As in many other languages, interjections in Biblical Hebrew are most likely “natural sounds”, i.e. vocal gestures or sounds that a person utters when experiencing certain emotions. Interjections can be used to express both positive and negative emotions; but in the Hebrew Bible, it is usually some kind of sadness. 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