[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 2 19:44:49 EDT 2005


On 02/08/2005 23:19, Shoshanna Walker wrote:

>He was, he is, he will be
>
>What is so mysterious about this?
>
>Shoshanna
>
>
>
>I would like to ask the members of the list, if there
>are any who would like to present what they believe is
>the best translation of this phrase.
>
>hayah  howeh  yihyeh
>
>  
>
Well, Shoshanna, that is the meaning in modern Hebrew. But in biblical 
Hebrew these verb forms were not tenses, at least certainly not in this 
simple sense. See the whole recent thread on verbs, from which you might 
well conclude that the Hebrew verb is mysterious after all. At least, 
the result of such investigations is that such a phrase is 
untranslatable without a context.

And this is a good place to remind everyone, including Vadim, that the 
"imperfect" in biblical Hebrew is not a future tense, and so the word 
yahwe, if it is a verb form, is not future. But it is imperfective (I 
think everyone would agree on that) and so implies a continuous action, 
either "he is" or "he causes to be".

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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