Hineni – The Hebrew Word For “Here I Am”

The Hebrew word for “here” has different meanings depending on the context. The word ‘hineni’ means ‘here’ in the Hebrew language, while ‘YHVH’ stands for God. This word can be translated as “I am” or ‘I will be’ in English. Hineni can also mean ‘I am alert’ in Hebrew.

Table of Contents show


In the Torah, the word Hineni occurs eight times, three times in the story of Abraham tying Isaac in a shackle. The Akedah, traditionally read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, describes the moment God instructs Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a sacrifice. After Isaac asks where the ram for the altar is, God summons an angel to stop Abraham from completing the sacrifice. Hineni becomes increasingly important at inflection points, requiring action.

Hineni is an adjective that means “to come.” It can also refer to a person’s physical or geographical presence. The Hebrew Scriptures use hineni with particular intensity. It indicates alertness, readiness, and willingness to serve. It is a word that has many meanings, including the response of the father to the voice of his child. Hineni occurs three times in the Bible. It is also used to describe the death of a child, as when Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

The ‘hineni’ is a response to God’s call. In response, a servant tells God his intention and is assigned a specific task. The story of Abraham reveals that the ‘hineni’ response to God’s call becomes a turning point in the life of Moses. But how exactly can he answer God’s call? Here are some examples. The word ‘hineni’ is often translated as “to come.”

When the Angel called Abraham twice from heaven, he assumed it was Eli. Because Samuel had been taught to respond to the voice of God, he responded instantly to the words of authority. However, at first Samuel was apprehensive to tell Eli the good news about his newfound identity. Once Eli said, ‘Hineni, here I am,’ Samuel had the courage to share his newfound identity with Eli.


The term “here” has two different meanings in Hebrew. The first is the common Hebrew term that means “alive”. In the second sense, the term is more figurative. It can mean anything from a place or a situation, to a person. Whether a person is “here” or not is entirely up to interpretation, but it can be used to indicate the same thing in different languages.

Main Menu