How many times is the word "please" used in the Torah? In the Akeida Hashem asks Abraham to "Please take your son" Are there any other places in the Torah where Hashem uses the word "please"?

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Ephraim and thanks for this first question. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 15:12
  • 1
    When asking "how many times X appears in the Torah" please specify why this may be interesting?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


A search using Sefaria seems to yield 110 instances of "נא" distributed in 97 verses in the Pentateuch ("נא" appears more than once in several verses, such as Genesis 47:29) including 64 verses in Genesis, 13 verses in Exodus (not including 12:9 where the meaning is "raw", regarding the paschal offering), 18 verses in Numbers, and two verses in Deuteronomy. Add to these the two instances of the fuller form "אנא" used in the requests for forgiveness in Genesis 50:17 and Exodus 32:31, for a total of 112 instances distributed across 98 verses. (Notably, the translation of נא as "please" is controversial at best, and would be awkward in many of these instances.)

Of those, there are 8 instances where G-d Himself is described as using נא (four times to Abraham, once to Jacob, twice to Moses, and once to Aaron and Miriam), namely: Genesis 13:14, 15:5, 18:21 (though here it is regarding "going down to inspect" the actions of Sodom, and the audience is ambiguous, but likely Abraham again, in which case it might be argued to have a similar meaning, as if G-d was, as it were, requesting Abraham's "permission" - see prior two verses), 22:2, and 31:12 (via an angel, to Jacob); and Exodus 4:6, 11:2, and Numbers 12:6.

  • All uttered by G-d?
    – Joel K
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 14:41
  • @JoelK The OP opens with: how many times it is used in the Torah (which is after all Divinely sourced). But you may be right that the OP meant to ask specifically where G-d, as it were, uses the word in dialogue as recorded in the Torah.
    – Loewian
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 14:47
  • Reminds me of the story how many times is משה in the Torah.
    – sam
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 15:16
  • @Loewian he clearly asks both.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 15:19
  • 2
    "וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֗ב הַלְעִיטֵ֤נִי נָא֙ מִן־הָאָדֹ֤ם הָאָדֹם֙ הַזֶּ֔ה" - some say נא is this pasuk also refers to raw
    – Silver
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 15:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .