Fw: [b-hebrew] Biblical Pronunciation of Waw and Ayin

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Aug 12 07:11:34 EDT 2004

On 12/08/2004 10:01, Yigal Levin wrote:

>However, since Greek did not have a "V" sound (it does now - Beta in modern
>Greek is pronounced Veta), it transliterated most consonantal Vav's with an
>Upsilon. ...

Are you sure? I would expect omicron-upsilon rather than just upsilon, 
because this combination was generally used for the W sound, e.g. in the 
Greek word OUAI "woe". There are not many proper names with consonantal 
Vav to test this hypothesis with.

Numbers 13:14: Vophsi > IABI
Numbers 21:14: Waheb > ZWOB !!
Ezra 10:36: Vaniah > OUIECWA (2 Esdras 10:36)
Esther 1:9: Vashti > ASTIN
Esther 9:9: Vaizatha > ZABOUQAIA !!

And then there is the controversial YHWH > IAOUE, according to Clement 
of Alexandria, in which "OU" are clearly intended to go together to 
represent the W sound.

I can only conclude that the Greek translators had no idea what to do 
with consonantal Vav, or perhaps that most of these names beginning with 
Vav result from textual errors - perhaps a couple of them with Zayin 
misread as Vav.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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