I'm translating Exodus 3:8, but I'm a bit stumped on the meaning and function of the following word:


וָאֵרֵ֞ד לְהַצִּיל֣וֹ ׀ מִיַּ֣ד מִצְרַ֗יִם וּֽלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ֮ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַהִוא֒ אֶל־אֶ֤רֶץ טוֹבָה֙ וּרְחָבָ֔ה אֶל־אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָ֑שׁ אֶל־מְק֤וֹם הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַ֣חִתִּ֔י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י וְהַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃

And I go down to deliver them from the hand of Egypt, and to cause them to go up from the land [ ??? ] to a land good and broad, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

(Exodus 3:8)

My best guess is that it's a demonstrative adjective, in which case it should be "to cause them to go up from that land". Although that's not how the YLT chooses to translate it.

What are your thoughts?


I assume your know this is the 3rd person, feminine, singular pronoun הִוא with the article . BDB defines this usage as "that." See below.

  1. With the art. הַהוּא, הַהִיא, הָהֵ֫מָּה, הָהֵם, הָהֵ֫נָּה: so regularly when joined to a subst. defined itself by the art.: Gn 2:12 הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא that land, 19:35 ובלילה ההוא and in that night, 21:22 בָּעֵת הַהִוא at that time, Dt 1:19 המדבר הגדול והנורא ההוא. Only four times does there occur the anomalous construction בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא Gn 19:33; 30:16; 32:23; 1 S 19:10.

Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 216). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Note that this is how most translations, including the LXX translate this word in Exodus 3:8.

In HALOT, it is: "10. hahûʾ, hahîʾ w. nouns, that (adj.), hāʾîš hahûʾ Jb 1:1;..."

Holladay, W. L., & Köhler, L. (2000). A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (p. 77). Leiden: Brill.

  • [הוא] is 3rd P singular masculine indicative. Not feminine. Jul 10 '18 at 20:51
  • @Cynthia With the waw you would think so, but the MT vowel points have it as hi instead of hu.
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 10 '18 at 21:14
  • @Cynthia How are you getting indicative for a pronoun?
    – Perry Webb
    Jul 10 '18 at 21:37
  • 1
    @PerryWebb Re: "...but the MT vowel points have it as hi instead of hu." See the Q&A linked under the question. It is a complex form.
    – Dɑvïd
    Jul 13 '18 at 22:01
  • Btw, the chart here is a good summary of the whole demonstrative pronoun paradigm. Also re @Dɑvïd's last point, you'll find quite a number of 3fs pronouns written with the consonants for hu but pointed for hi in the Pentateuch. My old BH professor said it was a likely relic of a more ancient form. Jul 14 '18 at 13:36

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