The verse in Genesis (22:14) states: "And Abraham called the name of the site 'Hashem Yir'eh' as it is said to this day, on the mountain Hashem will be seen."

וַיִּקְרָ֧א אַבְרָהָ֛ם שֵֽׁם־הַמָּק֥וֹם הַה֖וּא ה' יִרְאֶ֑ה אֲשֶׁר֙ יֵאָמֵ֣ר הַיּ֔וֹם בְּהַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה יֵרָאֶֽה

The Masoretic taamim (punctuating tune) on the end of the verse combines the words 'mountain' and 'Hashem' and separates 'Hashem' from 'will be seen'. This seems strange because if the translation is really "on the mountain Hashem will be seen" then 'Hashem' and 'will be seen' should be combined.

Are there any explanations for this phenomenon or alternative texts that in an way obviate this problem?

3 Answers 3


First of all, the plain-sense meaning of the verse (even without the te'amim) is that בהר and יי are in construct ("the mountain of God"), as is evidenced by the niqqud. As mevaqesh noted in a comment on the previous answer, "on the mountain" is בָּהַר (bahar), while בְּהַר (behar) means "on the mountain of". So the niqqud and the te'amim are, in this instance at least, consistent. The verse reads, "on the mountain of God, he/it will be seen".

As to who the referent of the verb is, you could take it as God if you like. That will produce something that means that "on the mountain of God, he [ie: God] will be seen". That seems to have been the interpretation of Targum "Yonatan", which expands the clause as follows: בטוורא הדין כפת אברהם ית יצחק ברה ותמן אתגלית עלוי שכינתא דיי, "on this mountain, Abraham bound his son Isaac, and there the shekhinah of God was revealed to him".

You can see similar interpretations in Rashi (בהר זה יראה הקדוש ברוך הוא לעמו) and in Rashbam (בהר יי נראה הקב״ה לאברהם), amongst other places.

Finally, the translation that you have provided is that of Artscroll. Artscroll's translation is what is known as a "dynamic equivalence" translation, in that it aims to convey the literal sense of the passuk (based on Chazal), rather than render it literally into English. In this instance, it is deliberately not following the niqqud/te'amim in order to present something that means the same as what an adherence to the niqqud/te'amim together with the interpretations of particular mefarshim will produce.

You can compare this to the translation of JPS, which is more of a "formal equivalence" translation. They render this clause as, "On the mount of the Lord there is vision".

  • Doesn't bahar have two _kamatz_es?
    – msh210
    Nov 15, 2016 at 20:51

Chazal state that Har Hamoriah and the place Yaakov slept were identical to Har Sinai, which is called "Har Hashem." Matan Torah was the point where Hashem "made himself seen on the Mountain of Hashem," which would be the literal interpretation of the text when using the masoretic taamim. He also appeared to Yaakov at that location, who identified the place as Beit El (see the above link).

See Rashi on your verse for a number of different interpretations, some of which point to other explanations.

  • 1
    According to the reading of "on the mountain Hashem will be seen" then shouldnt it say "bahar" not "b'har"?
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 16, 2015 at 2:38
  • 3
    That would be why Rashi adds in the word "zeh" when discussing it under "asher ye'amer hayom" - they will say on that day that "on this mountain," which would preclude the need to add the definite article present in "bahar." Alternately, that would only be true if we were identifying WHICH mountain we meant. When referring to a definite place name we don't need a definite article - We say BiYirushalayim, not BaYirushalayim. So beHar Hashem refers to a known, definite place name and not just a description of a random mountain. Feb 16, 2015 at 2:55

Rav Hirsch (using the English translation of the German by his grandson Rabbi Isaac Levi) translates the pasuk

On the mount of Hashem one is seen

In the commentary, Rav Hirsch connects this with Aliyas Haregel

Thrice yearly יראה, every son of Abraham, Isaac, must be seen on this mount, and not ריקם, with mere inner, passing devotion, but with the sacrificing dedication of the whole of his being as expressed in עןלת ראיה.

Thus we actually take part in the akeidah ourselves at the same place that Avraham and Yitzchak brought the korbon.

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