Is there someone who discusses the differences between pronoun synonyms?

I'm thinking of two sets as examples, both of which occur within a few pesukim of each other in perek 5 of Shir HaShirim:

  1. 5:4 has וּמֵעַי הָמוּ עָלָיו. The phrasing is similar to that in Yirmiyahu 31:20 עַל־כֵּן הָמוּ מֵעַי לוֹ, but one uses עָלָיו and the other uses לוֹ.

  2. 5:6 בִּקַּשְׁתִּיהוּ וְלֹא מְצָאתִיהוּ קְרָאתִיו וְלֹא עָנָנִי is very similar to Shir HaShirim 3:1 and 3:2, בִּקַּשְׁתִּיו וְלֹא מְצָאתִיו -- what is the difference between בִּקַּשְׁתִּיהוּ/בִּקַּשְׁתִּיו and מְצָאתִיהוּ/מְצָאתִיו?

I could not find anyone who discusses this and would be grateful for any sources!

  • Are you looking for parshanut or for a historical explanation?
    – magicker72
    Commented Jun 21 at 3:43
  • Either would work. Thanks! :) Commented Jun 21 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Regarding יו- and יהו-, it is important to remember that in ancient Hebrew the letter ו is pronounced w/u. Thus, בקשתיו would be pronounced biqashtiu, quite similar to בקשתיהו - biqashtihu. Compare Shoftim 4:10 ״וירד אביהו אל האשה״.

  • It's still not clear to me why there would be a switch in the language or what that switch would indicate ... ? Commented Jun 24 at 14:19
  • @good_morning I don’t have the data to back this up, but as I understand it, the suffix יהו- is used in a more poetic setting, in the manner that למו is used in place of להם. Perhaps it’s a more archaic form of the word, similar to the way we use archaic terms in poetry (although I’m sure there are many hidden meanings in the difference between them).
    – Yø-c Ro
    Commented Jun 26 at 0:28

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