Another intriguing question caught my attention today and it is something that is repeated a lot in the Torah - who is G'd? An example of this can be found in Exodus 6:10:

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

In English it reads:

יהוה spoke to Moses, saying,

I would like to know why this expression is repeated and what the difference is when using וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר and לֵּאמֹֽר ? Why to use them together?

  • 1
    I don't understand why repetition could be questioned in a relationship between God and Moses when Moses' lifetime task (of his latter forty years) was to communicate what God spoke to his people, Israel. Would we not expect a great deal of repetition of the phrase ?
    – Nigel J
    May 20 at 15:00
  • I also do not understand the question.
    – Dottard
    May 20 at 22:00
  • @NigelJ "Would we not expect a great deal of repetition of the phrase ?" The OP intends to make sense of the --at least apparent-- redundancy in the combination of יְדַבֵּ֥ר and אמֹֽר . The question is more about literary style & Hebrew language than about a trivial implication from two entities having verbal communications. I see nothing wrong with the question. If I were knowledgeable enough about Hebrew, I would definitely address this question. May 21 at 10:03
  • דבֵּר, like English "speak" cannot take a quotation as a direct argument. If you want to follow it with a quotation in English, you have to say something like And the lord spoke these words: "...", with an element of redundancy (between "speak" and "words"). In Biblical Hebrew there is a similar redundancy between דבֵּר and .אמר
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 19 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


With angelic mediation, the פֶּה אֶל־פֶּה "mouth-to-mouth" discussions of YHVH to Moshe (Numbers 12:8) is synonymous in the phrase : " וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־משֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר " in [Exodus 6:10]. During his moments of Inspiration, Moshe always hears the מַלְאַ֨ךְ Malak 'Angel' of YHVH speaking - based on [Exodus 33:20]. | YHVH sends a malak (messenger) to Moshe, saying.


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