The Lord’s Most Tender Inquiry

After the serpent tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve are ashamed and hide. God finds them, and though angry, does not chastise them. Instead, he asks a very simple question: “The Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you’ (Gen. 3:9)?” This is what this verse looks in the original Hebrew: 

וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶל-הָאָדָם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַיֶּכָּה

Vayikra Adonai Elohim el ha-Adam vayomer lo ayeka

One Very Special Word

The most important part of this verse is the final word: ayeka (אַיֶּכָּה) translating to, “Where are you?” But ayeka means much more than that. It is God’s gentle way of initiating a difficult conversation by asking tenderly, “What’s happened to you? Where do you stand with respect to me?” This single word powerfully expresses the broken relationship between humanity and God. 

Illuminate Scripture with Hebrew

We at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies now turn to you and ask: ayeka? Where are you? Enroll in our live, online Biblical Hebrew course today and learn to read the Scriptures in their purest original form. You will be amazed at how familiar Bible stories are illuminated with new meaning when you can read them in Hebrew!