To continue the "gender in Hebrew" questions (like "meaning-of-grammatical-gender-in-hebrew-for-inanimate-objects)".

What can be more masculine than the fathers, and still, the Torah uses the feminine form in the plural (Ber 47):

"וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל־אֶחָיו מַה־מַּעֲשֵׂיכֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה
רֹעֵה צֹאן עֲבָדֶיךָ גַּם־אֲנַחְנוּ גַּם־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ"

Any sources, please?


1 Answer 1


All languages have exceptions to grammar rules. "Elokim" has a masculine plural ending and yet we are rather adament that He is one!!

See also the word "bus" in English, which ends in "s" but is singular, "mapa" in Spanish which ends in "a" but is masculine, or "livre" in French, which ends in "e" but is masculine.

  • 2
    1. The word אלהים doesn’t necessarily refer to Hashem; it’s just a word that means “powers.” 2. This doesn’t answer the question. Obviously the word אבות is an exception to the rule; the OP wants to know why.
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 4:54
  • As Sigmund Freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Jan 27, 2019 at 5:36
  • Close but cigars are probably assur. Seriously though, given how precise Hebrew is about its word usage, there’s going to be a reason behind every exception.
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 5:50
  • Your answer world be relevant if this question was posted on Hebrew language site. But here we discuss the divine intention of this "exception".
    – Al Berko
    Jan 27, 2019 at 8:45

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