[b-hebrew] Meaning of YHWH

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Aug 5 04:30:03 EDT 2005

I have no problem with the two forms being verbs.

What I don't understand is how one can be Qal and the other Hiphil. This 
seems to drastically change the meaning of the verb. I have no problem with
Yah naming himself in the 1st person and then others in the 3rd person. This
is completely logical and seems to make perfect sense. What doesn't make 
sense is that when addressing him in the 3rd person, the meaning of his 
name completely changes.

ehyeh = I exist (past,present,future) i.e. 'I am eternal'
ywhw  = He causes to become (past,present,future) i.e 'He creates'

So, if the two really are related the understanding of at least one of the forms 
is wrong. Both translations 'I am eternal' and 'He creates' seem to adequately 
describe qualities of the god of the bible and the 'I am eternal' meaning seems 
to be in great agreement with Rev1:8 theology and the LXX's pragmatic translation.

Another confusing factor is that proponents of the Hiphil form say that the name
indicates that Yah causes *himself* to become whatever is needed in order to 
save his people. This adds much more confusion to the matter because this would 
require the verb to be reflexive as Yah would be acting upon *himself* by causing 
*himself* to become something he previously wasn't. To the best of my knowledge 
the Hiphil cannot express a reflexive action and this interpretation would call 
for another form.
-----Original Message-----
From: Vadim Cherny [mailto:VadimCherny at mail.ru]
Sent: Fri 8/5/2005 7:29 AM
To: Read, James C; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Meaning of YHWH
James, the reasoning is fairly simple. *If* ehie in Ex3:14 is the name, not
a common verb, and *if* ihwe is also the name, then this variation could be
only explained by the name being a verb, 1s and 3ms, respectively.

*If*, however, we translate Ex3:14 literally--and it makes more sense
literally--then ehie is a common verb, not the name, and ihwe doesn't have
to be a verb, either.

Vadim Cherny

> I hate to keep pressing the point but does anyone know why there is an
> that YHWH is 3ms hiphil of ehyeh Qal?
> This seems very odd to me and recent discussions have made me start to
> change my understanding of the name.

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