[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Aug 2 18:42:07 EDT 2005

A native speaker of modern Hebrew would vocalize YHWH as the verb Yehaveh,
3rd person sing. masc. niph'al of HYH/HWH, meaning somthing like "will
constitute" (as opposed to the qal Yihyeh, "will be"). He would only assume
YHWH to be the Divine Name if it were written in context of scripture or
prayer, and then he would vocalize either "Adonai" or "Hashem". The only
Israelis, including those who are not religiously observant, who would
vocalize "Yahweh" or the like are those who studied Bible in a non-Israeli
and non-Jewish academic institution.

By the way, many modern Jewish, and especially Israeli, Bibles and paryer
books leave the Tetragrammaton undotted, precisely to show that the vowels
added by the Mesorah are not intended to be vocalized.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Awohili at aol.com>
To: <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk>; <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:08 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

> I do not wish to belabor the point, but many Jews today read unpointed
> (voweless) texts with complete comprehension, and this was the case even
> the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language in Israel.
> So, would the average  Tsabra instinctively know how to  pronounce YHWH
> correctly?
> Solomon Landers
> In a message dated 08/02/2005 10:54:56 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
> K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk writes:
> As with all  other verbs instincts would have guided a first language
> to the  correct pronunciation.
> This is why the texts never needed a vowel  system.
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