Curious abut "G-d"

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at
Tue Jan 22 11:27:54 EST 2002

I agree with Ian 100%.
Thanks Ian.
It should be noted in addition that Blenkinsopp
in his new Isaiah commentary spells the tetragrammaton
YHVH only to be consistent with modern Hebrew usage.
Jews from Arab countries pronounce it as waw, presumably
supporting the notion of German influence for the vav.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
> Sent: Tue, January 22, 2002 10:47 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Curious abut "G-d"
> >Wouldn't the letters of the Tetragrammaton be YHVH, not YHWH? The third
> >letter is for 'vav' if I'm not mistaken, right?
> >
> >
> >
> >Right - vav
> Sorry, there's no reason to believe that this is the case. One cannot use
> the mores of modern Hebrew to say how things were pronounced in ancient
> times. vav as an ancient rendering of the sound makes little sense when
> one considers the ancient use of waw as a vowel /u/, especially
> in the DSS.
> This strongly indicates a bilabial liquid consonant related to
> the /u/, ie
> /w/, for when you make a /w/ the mouth is in the right state also to make
> the vowel sound /u/. As a /v/ is a (labio-dental) fricative, it uses a
> different mechanism to provide sound and puts the mouth in no state
> reminiscent of a /u/. Perhaps one could supply a *phonological*
> connection
> between waw and its vocalic use some other way, but I haven't
> seen it done
> and can't imagine one.
> We do have a strong analogy to the w/u relationship, when yod is
> used as a
> vowel yielding /i/, for when you make a /y/ the mouth is in the
> right state
> also to make an /i/.
> waw as vav seems unjustified to me, so I'd say "wrong".
> Didn't we get vav from waw after the German sound shift /w/ -> /v/?
> Ian
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