[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Aug 1 14:12:24 EDT 2005


This seems to suggest that YaHo could exist by itself as could YaH and YHWH.
Just because we do not see such a form in the Tanakh does not conclusively 
mean that such a form did not exist. And I am unaware of any other naming 
component that is a shortened form that cannot be used independently.

As to your reference of a plural suffix:
A plural of what?
Didn't you propose that the name is compound of 'I/You'?
What would the plural form mean? 'I/You/We'?

-----Original Message-----
From: Vadim Cherny [mailto:VadimCherny at mail.ru]
Sent: Mon 8/1/2005 7:06 PM
To: Read, James C
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation
 
RE: [b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation> I can understand why you would expect the gamma. My wife is Ukrainian and her bible
has something like 'yegovi' as the representation of the divine name. 

I don't expect gamma. I said the sound of he in this particular environment is closer to gamma than to nil.

> When I said that IAO was a transliteration of the name, I meant possible of the shortened
form we find in names YHW (said theophoric component) and was not in any way referring to
the longer more complete version YHWH, of which we see tranliterations of the form IAOUAI.

Doesn't work. Diodorus referred to the name, not theophoric construct as Iao.

Iaouai is plural form of Iao, modeled, I think, on Elokim. There is no way to read YHWH with final "ai," evidently plural suffix.

Vadim Cherny


> But why should I avoid suggestions which give substance to the verb
> hypothesis? I am only quoting the evidence.

Iaw is no evidence. Iao spelling is not conformant with the verb hypothesis.
No one could have pronounced the verb as Iao even remotely. Since we have
independent testimonies in Diodorus and Clement, Iao is not a garbled form,
but mainstream, and cannot be a verb.

> True, they COULD have replaced it by gamma or something, as in Russian.
> But the fact is that they did not. It is abundantly clear from many
> transcriptions of biblical and other names that the normal practice was
> simply to omit he.

I wrote to James, loss of the second root he is unlikely, especially in the
environment so emphatic (other two radicals--if that is a verb-- vowelized)
that he is pronounced there even now.

> In fact the evidence is clear that Greeks transliterated
> the "h" sound as zero.

This general trend is unlikely in the present case, see above.

> >... Also, if your careful Greeks represented schwa with alpha, all
> >the more they should represent somehow the second he - much strong than
> >schwa. ...
>
> Well, my position is that the final he of YHWH is in fact silent.

It is not silent in the verb, but vowelized, and so we might a fortiori
expect alpha, if alpha was earlier used even for schwa.

> >I think, Feldman also cites Varro for Iao. It is unlikely that Romans,
too,
> >did not hear any he. ...
>
> Maybe, but very likely Varro was transliterating a Greek version of the
> name.

 I cannot deny this possibility, but is it likely? Varro had plenty of Jews
around.

Vadim Cherny

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