YHWH vs. Yahweh

peter_kirk at SIL.ORG peter_kirk at SIL.ORG
Sat May 1 12:44:49 EDT 1999

Well, Joseph, I am not a pastor, but I will try to be "kind, gentle, 
helpful, and understanding" anyway.

OK, I'll summarise this. In most cases in the Hebrew the name Joseph is 
written simply as YOSEF. But there is one place, Psalm 81:6, where it 
is written YEHOSEF. This looks like the type of variation we have in 
many names of kings etc. which are written in full with the short form 
of YHWH e.g. Yehoash and also in a short form e.g. Yoash. So I am 
suggesting that the original version of the name Joseph may have been 
YEHOYOSEF "may YHWH (cause to) increase", which matches Rachel's words 
in Genesis 30:24 YOSEF YHWH = "may YHWH add". The form YEHOYOSEF would 
have been shortened quickly into YEHOSEF and then later into the form 
regularly found YOSEF.

"GKC 53q" is a reference to section 53q of the standard Hebrew 
reference grammar Gesenius-Kautsch-Cowley (Oxford 1910, still in 
print, ISBN 0 19 815406 2). The other letters are the standard 
transliteration of Hebrew for this list, which you will find described 
on the list's web site. Just read " as a long E and : as a very short 
E, also F as a long A and $ as SH, and you will make sense of what I 

Peter Kirk

PS. I wrote "30:23" by mistake below when I meant "30:24" - there may 
be another explanation in Genesis 30:23 using the root )SP "take 
away". Perhaps this is the original explanation suggesting an original 
form for the name YEHOASAF [Y:HOW)FSFP], which then became shortened 
to YEHOSEF and YOSEF and then misunderstood as from the root YSP 
"increase". Well, that is a quite different hypothesis.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[3]: YHWH vs. Yahweh
Author:  gs02wmr at panther.Gsu.EDU at internet 
Date:    30/04/1999 13:01

On Fri, 30 Apr 1999 peter_kirk at SIL.ORG wrote:
> I discovered by chance that the following is not quite being fair to 
> Joseph or whatever he is called. I was surprised to find the form

SHalom Peter Kirk.

I don't mean to sound rude, but could you please explain what you wrote in 
..layman's terms? I am very interested to know what exactly you found 


Wondell M. Rachman

> BIYHOWS"P at Psalm 81:6, apparently from a theophoric variant Y:HOWS"P 
> of the regular YOWS"P. (GKC 53q treats this as a variant form of
> hiphil, but I am not convinced). So we have a similar variation to
> that we recently discussed between Y:HOW$W.A( and Y"$W.A(, though with 
> a different vowel. So it is at least possible that Y:HOWS"P was
> original and YOWS"P a contraction of it. In fact the original might 
> have been Y:HOWYOS"P (as in the explanation in Genesis 30:23), by
> analogy with Y:HOWYFKIYN, another theophoric name with a hiphil
> jussive, or perhaps Y:HOWHOSIYP, by analogy with other Yeho- names 
> which are mostly followed by a "perfect" form - both of these forms
> would naturally be shortened to Y:HOWS"P and then further to YOWS"P. 
> Peter Kirk
> ______________________________ Reply Separator 
> Subject: Re: YHWH vs. Yahweh
> Author:  jkilmon at historian.net at internet 
> Date:    27/04/1999 23:48
> yahua'sef wrote:
> <snip>
> There is much that can be corrected here but I will have to get to it 
> when I
> return (going fishing).  I will address "Joseph" since that is my name. 
> the JO- of Joseph is NOT a theophoric and therefore not "YAHU-sef."
> ywsf is the fut. of ysf (to add or augment) and therefore "Let him add." 
> Jack
> --
> ______________________________________________ 
> taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon 
> Jack Kilmon
> jkilmon at historian.net
> http://www.historian.net
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