Bereshit 18:19 starts with the words 'For I have known him (כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו)', the Sefaria website translates these words as 'For I have singled him out', Rashi as 'I know him intimately'. In line with these I also found: 'For I know him, that he will...' and 'I have given him special attention so that he will...' The focus here seems to lay on the idea Avraham is given a special role or special attention in order for him to teach his children and his household after him to keep the way of Adonai.

I'm familiar with the meaning of the root ידע. But I noticed the word יְדַעְתִּיו only occurs once in the whole Tenach. I'm not so familiar with all the grammar rules, but I noticed in my dictionary the following under the root, יֻדַּע ,ידע; to be told, to be made aware, to be informed, to become familiar with.

This is why I wondered if there is a possibility to render or understand this verse as: For I have told him, taught him, made him aware, informed him, so that he would teach etc.. in order to teach it seems logical that Avraham 'learned' and 'got familiar with', 'got knowledge of' the ways of Adonai, and it would also fit with Bereshit 26:5 Avraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.. which he would teach his children and his household after him. It would also add to the idea that Avraham is given a special role or special attention in order for him to teach.

Should I understand these words כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו , to have such meaning? Is it a idiom to express such a thing?

  • 1
    “Yuda” is of a causative verb tense. “Yidativ” is not. You can’t translate it as “I caused him to know,” as that’s not what the word means. Further, the whole point of 26:5 is that Avraham harkened to Hashem’s voice without being told - that Avraham was the first to come to Hashem on his own.
    – DonielF
    Feb 17, 2019 at 18:31
  • @DonielF would you say it means: 'For I have known him' or 'For I know Him'?
    – Levi
    Feb 17, 2019 at 21:51
  • In this context, I’m not sure present vs. present perfect makes a difference; the point is that it’s active rather than causative.
    – DonielF
    Feb 17, 2019 at 21:53
  • @DonielF found this translation of Rabbi S.R. Hirsch: “For I have given him My special Care [I have chosen Avraham because I know that he will command his children - these are my own words] so that he will command his children”. His translation of לְמַעַן – “so that he will” seems to suggest that He gave Avrohom “special Care” so that Avaham will be able to properly teach his kids.
    – Levi
    Feb 17, 2019 at 22:07
  • P.s. Onklys – Pashut translation says– “I know that he will teach”. There is so much nuance between: 'For I have known him that he will', 'For I know him that he will' and 'I know that he will' ... it's kind of confusing
    – Levi
    Feb 17, 2019 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Yes, following your previous questions, you can.

With a slightly different Nikkud (a Chirik instead of the first Shvah) it could mean "I informed him" stemming from Hebrew ליידע מישהו - to inform someone. So יידעתי אותו from the Binyan Piel just as לייגע or לדבר.

  • This isn’t just a different nikkud, you have to throw another yud on the front, too. The word in the passuk is not in Pi’el.
    – DonielF
    Feb 17, 2019 at 21:44
  • 1
    @DonielF No you don't, only in Ktiv Maleh. With vowels you can leave only one. I know that the original word is Paal, I just said with a different Nikkud it CAN be read in Piel. I think that's what the question was about. This OP already asked a serie of question about different reading/semantics.
    – Al Berko
    Feb 17, 2019 at 22:18

You must log in to answer this question.

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