The Particles הנה and והנה in Biblical Hebrew

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Abstract:The paper contributes to the understanding of the meaning of the biblical Hebrew particles הנה and והנה, the contextual restrictions in which they serve, and their syntactical status. The particles הנה and והנה share one meaning, that of a presentative, as indicated in the majority of biblical Hebrew dictionaries and other relevant works. However, these particles do not share the contexts in which they appear. The particle הנה is found to appear with the verb אמר only, introducing direct speech. The particle והנה is found to occur with verbs of sight and related contexts only, introducing content clauses which include a circumstantial nuance. It is also suggested that there is a resemblance between the dichotomy in the usage of biblical Hebrew הנה and והנה and that of Arabic إڼand ٱڧThe syntactical status of both particles is mostly that of an introductory particle. Both can introduce nominal clauses, verbal clauses, clauses including a participle, or one-member clauses, but they do not play any syntactical role within the clause which follows. Only הנה may occasionally serve as a predicate within a clause. This occurs whenever the other sentence part is definite, which may indicate that it is the subject of a one-member clause, leaving the predicate role for הנה.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalHebrew Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Oct 1996


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