The Use Of כֹּל With Negative Particles -- By: C. M. Mead

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 031:123 (Jul 1874)
Article: The Use Of כֹּל With Negative Particles
Author: C. M. Mead

The Use Of כֹּל With Negative Particles1

Rev. C. M. Mead

The following is an attempt to ascertain the Hebrew usus loquendi in the matter of universal and partial negations. The subject is but lighly touched upon in the Hebrew grammars. E.g. Bush simply says, “The particles וֹּא and אַיִן (ין), not, when used with כֹּל all denote a universal negation.” Similarly, Kalisch, “In connection with Vs the particle of negation has the meaning of none, nothing” Gesenius says, “In connection with כֹל, when the latter is not followed by the article and therefore means any one, anything, it [לאֹ] expresses the Latin nuttus, none. … But the case is different when כֹּל is made definite, where it means all, the whole” Ewald

says, “When Vs in a negative clause has the meaning omnis, the two words present the notion of nullus….But when כֹּל signifies totus, this notion alone is denied.” From Gesenius’s statement one would gather the impression that, whenever in a negative clause כֹּל has the article or is construed with a definite noun, the negation is partial. Ewald’s statement, though similar, is more guarded, for he says that כֹּל has sometimes the meaning of omnis even before a definite noun. How far either of these statements needs to be modified will appear after the passages in which כֹּל is used with negatives have been collated and examined. Noldius, who is perhaps the only one who has heretofore undertaken to collect the passages in which this construction occurs, adduces only ninety-three. He gives no systematic analysis of them, however, merely dividing them into two classes, according as the negative precedes or follows כֹּל, and specifying three passages as instances of partial negation. But of these, two (Deut. 18:1 and 1 Sam. 14:24) are as clear instances of universal negation as any others. It is hoped that the following list is nearly, if not quite, complete. In regard to the classification adopted, it may be said that it was assumed that, if there is any law according to which a negation can be determined to be partial or universal, it would be discovered by observing what position You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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