What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)?

When used with the first person it as a cohortative meaning, but what's the difference with the imperative (second person)?

  • It is in Psalms 108:6, not 5 Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 7:55
  • Fassberg's opinion seems to fit Gen 39.7 where Potiphar's wife tempts Joseph to sleep with her: שׁכבה עמי
    – user14145
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


There are a few opinions in the literature (see Fassberg's paper on the lengthened imperative which has a huge number of excellent references). A summary of the opinions presented looks more or less as follows:

  • None
  • Emphasis (paralleled to the Arabic), similar to the cohortitive meaning
  • Emphasis originally, although the distinction became more stylistic than functional
  • Euphony
  • Used as a polite/honorary form, respecting the subject (usually God or a priest etc.), potentially meaning "please"
  • The insightful opinion of Fassberg himself, that the lengthened imperative is used when the action (i.e. the result) or object of the imperative is of interest or closely related to the speaker, or if the speaker will partake in that particular action (which is then often followed by the 1st person plural cohortative)
  • Thank you. Is this the article you are refering to ? “The Lengthened Imperative קָטְלָה and the Regular Imperative קְטֹל in Biblical Hebrew,” Hebrew Through the Ages in Memory of Shoshanna Bahat [Studies in Language II], 71-77. Ed. M. Bar-Asher. Jerusalem: Academy of Hebrew Language, 1997 (in Hebrew). Translated into Korean in Linguistic Studies in Biblical and Post-Biblical Hebrew: A Collection of Articles Translated from Hebrew into Korean, trans. Mi-Sop Park. Seoul: Han DL, 1999."
    – YoMrWhite
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 5:48
  • Presumably it has the same content, although the title looks a little different. The article I'm familiar with can be found jstor.org/discover/10.2307/… or muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/…
    – bjorne
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 8:30
  • In support of Fassberg's views, see also Jan Joosten, "The Lengthened Imperative with Accusative Suffix in Biblical Hebrew", Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Volume 111, Issue 3, (1999): 423–426.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 13:06

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