In 1977, T. C. Vriezen published in Dutch an important study on the Hebrew existential/negative particle אין. He mainly focused on its absolute form, אַיִן, and drew attention to the rich semantic potential of the particle, its primary meaning “non-existence,” and the impact of its position in clauses on its meaning. This study examines Vriezen’s comments on the uses and meanings of אין and the arguments he espouses in support of his views. The goal of the contribution is to move toward a better understanding of אין in the Hebrew Bible by revisiting Vriezen’s treatment of selected passages that feature the absolute form of the particle. It builds on, refines, and revises Vriezen’s insights by means of syntactical, philological, and text-critical comments on verses from the Hebrew Bible that contain וָאַיִן clauses, אִם־אַיִן clauses, and clauses with אַיִן in non-initial position. The study concludes that further analysis of אין is necessary to better elucidate its polysemous nature and its rich semantic potential.


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pp. 17-38
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