Mesha Stele and the Tetragrammaton

Rolf Furuli furuli at
Thu Feb 15 11:50:48 EST 2001

Charles David Isbell wrote:

>Dear Eduardo,
>What does your perception of Ieoua do with the shortened forms YaH and YaHu?
>Also, how do you account for LXX  YABE?
>Charles David Isbell
>> The absence of vowels is valid for the entire biblical hebrew, not only
>> for the name of God. It is also the same for the name of Judah: YHWDH,
>> which is the name of God plus a Daleth. Therefore, the most likely
>> pronunciation of YHWH is: Ieoua. Just by eliminating the D from Ieouda
>> (modern, Judah).
>> Eduardo.

Dear Charles,

None of the LXX-manuscripts (or better, LXX-like manuscripts) from the BCE
and the first century CE found in the Dead Sea area and in Egypt has
KURIOS, but they either have the tetragrammaton in Old Hebrew or Aramaic
script or as the phonetic transcription IAW. In the second century CE the
tetragrammaton was changed to KS (KURIOS) in the LXX manuscripts, and other
divine designations were shortened as well. This is the reason why it is
commonly believed that the LXX translated the tetragrammaton with KURIOS,
but this is not correct.

 A phonetic transcription indicates pronunciation, and IAW  probably stands
for /iahu/, /iehu/, /iaho/ or /ieho/; and this is similar to how the
Aramaic-speaking Jews at Elephantine in the 5th century BCE pronounced it.
This may be a shortened form, but we do not know how the longer form was
pronounced, that is, we do not know how YHWH was pronounced. The form YAVEH
comes from the Greek Church fathers and from a Samaritan tradition, but the
form is artificial.



Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list