God's name: was Curious abut "G-d"

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Tue Jan 22 18:35:36 EST 2002


| That's exactly what I was thinking. I think the -ya(hu) suffix is generally
| thought to be a shortened form of the name, not the name itself.

True -- but the waw of the shortened form could still be marking a diphtong, in which case the waw
is a consonant, not just a mater. Otherwise, it must be a consonant. There doesn't really seem to
be much of a case for the waw ever being a mater since it is always written, even in early
inscriptional evidence. The H seems to be added later.

Interestingly, if we examine the inscriptional evidence, we see that in the south (Judah), the
theophoric element was YHW, while in the north (Israel) it seems to have been YW. The waw must have
been pronounced as a consonant. Many modern Hebrew speakers still seem to make an elision in
pronunciation. For example, "Yirmeyahu" often gets pronounced "Yriemayow". I think the best
candidates for the tetragrammaton are:

YAHAW
YAHAWE
YAHWE

But, as Shoshanna points out, we'll never be sure.

Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)





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