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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

No

'Ayin (אַיִן, Strong's #369), “no; not; nothing; or else, nor.” Cognates of this word appear in Akkadian, Ugaritic, and Phoenician (Punic). The word appears 789 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.

'Ayin may be used absolutely, with no suffixes and not in a construct chain. When so used the word signifies nonexistence. This is its use and significance in Gen. 2:5 (the first occurrence): “… And there was not a man to till the ground.” Preceded by the particle ‘im, the word may mean “not”: “Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exod. 17:7). In Gen. 30:1 this construction means “or else.” In other contexts the word means “nothing”: “… Mine age is as nothing before thee …” (Ps. 39:5).

In the construct state 'ayin has the same basic meaning. In one special nuance the word is virtually a predicate meaning “there is not” or “we do not have” (Num. 14:42; cf. Gen. 31:50). In several contexts the word might be translated “without”: “Without counsel purposes are disappointed …” (Prov. 15:22). Preceded by the preposition min, ‘ayin can mean “because” (Jer. 7:32). Elsewhere the word expresses simple negation: “They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths” (Ps. 135:17).

With a suffixed pronoun 'ayin negates the existence of the one or thing so represented; with the suffixed pronoun “he,” the word means “he was no longer”: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was [no longer]; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24).

This word should be distinguished from another 'ayin meaning “whence,” or “from where.”

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'No'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/n/no.html. 1940.

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