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The final verb in Psalm 146:10 (יבﬧכוכה - "And Thy Godly ones shall bless Thee") doesn't make sense to me. I would have expected a 'ך' (final 'כ') instead of 'כה.' Does its coming at the end of the verse have anything to do with this form of suffix?

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I believe you meant Ps 145:10 (Or perhaps certain numbers of the Psalms are different). In any event, the terminal Caph-Hey indicates the optative mood. The verse could be translated as follows:

  • All the creatures you made will acknowledge you
  • May your pious Bless (through) you

An example of the last verse is that when someone asks "How are you" they respond "Blessed be God"

Russell Jay Hendel; RHendel@Towson.edu

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  • Thanks Russell! I'm more familiar with the optative in Greek than in Hebrew but I'll further into this. Again, thank you!
    – ed huff
    Nov 25 at 13:40
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Actually, it's that כה (your in masculine singular) and ך mean the same thing, as we see in the History of Hebrew Language here https://www.adath-shalom.ca/history_of_hebrew3.htm

Indeed, כה is rarely used.

I would like to add some phrases to prove this (in Psalms 139:5):

אָח֣וֹר וָקֶ֣דֶם צַרְתָּ֑נִי וַתָּ֖שֶׁת עָלַ֣י כַּפֶּֽכָה׃

which means:

You hedge me before and behind; You lay Your hand upon me.

Above כַּפֶּֽכָה (your hand) is formed by כַּף (palm of hand) and the suffix כָה (your).

Another example is (Proverbs 24:10):

הִ֭תְרַפִּיתָ בְּי֥וֹם צָרָ֗ה צַ֣ר כֹּחֶֽכָה׃

כֹּחֶֽכָה which is the junction of כֹּחַ (power, strengh) and the suffix כָה (your).

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  • Thank you João. I'll look into verses!
    – ed huff
    Nov 25 at 13:39
  • If it did help, it's good to upvote ed huff in all answers. Nov 25 at 13:59
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What a delightful discussion. Would like to suggest to Joao that the optative would nicely fit here. Here are the two verses with the optative mood indicated by the terminal hey in the translation

Ps 139:5 You have fashioned me both in the past and in the future. Oh, I wish your hand to always support me [Note: The linking word of "hand" in v5 and v10]

Prv 24:10 You have become lazy/lax? [Then] I wish you to be in straights on a day of straights. [Note the pun: "be in straights" "day of straights"

Personally, I have always advocated a careful nuanced reading of verses with translations that capture mood. How dry it is to simply make everything sentence indicative.

Russell Jay Hendel

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  • Thanks Russell. I'll do more digging into the optative by checking in with Gesenius. Also, should 'straight' be 'strait' as in dire straits (my fav band from long ago!)?
    – ed huff
    Nov 27 at 3:40

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