Source:Echoes:Ch7:17:Emphatic pronouns

Emphatic Pronoun

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Pronouns

Emphatic Pronoun

For purposes of emphasis, biblical Hebrew sometimes repeats the personal pronoun. This usage, termed the "emphatic pronoun," occurs when the pronoun is the subject, as in Genesis 6:17, where the Lord states, "Behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth" (emphasis added); or when the pronoun is the object, as in Genesis 27:38, where Esau implores his father to "bless me, even me also, O my father" (emphasis added). Some translators do not translate the emphatic pronoun, perhaps considering it unnatural or simply redundant in English.

The Book of Mormon also has examples of the emphatic pronoun. King Benjamin, speaking to a Nephite multitude, says, "And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are" (Mosiah 2:26; see v. 4).[1]


  1. Donald W. Parry, "Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 7, references silently removed—consult original for citations.