[b-hebrew] YHWH & Elohim - Equivalence

tladatsi at charter.net tladatsi at charter.net
Sun Aug 7 14:24:53 EDT 2005


Vadim,

Thank you for your email.  I would agree that all of the 
divine names are equivalent in as much as they refer to the 
same object, the God of Isreal.  What I think may have been 
the case is that the authors of the OT did not think them 
equivalent for writing purposes.  I am guessing that the 
ancient scribes and priests perferred to write the name of 
God as either Elohim, Eloah, or Yahweh and not as El, Yah, 
or Yahu.  I would also guess that this changed occurred 
after many of individuals named in the OT were given their 
names.  It would not be possible to go back and * correct * 
Samuel or Isaiah's names.  Further, the average person may 
not have been aware of this shift in practice and continued 
to use the old, more common names, both to refer to the 
Deity and for theophoric personal names.  This is a nuance 
I know, but perhaps an important one.

 
> From: "Vadim Cherny" <VadimCherny at mail.ru>
> Date: 2005/08/07 Sun PM 12:45:42 EDT
> To: "Read, James C" <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk>,  <
tladatsi at charter.net>
> CC: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH & Elohim - A Bit More
> 
> Jack's reasoning makes sense for me. But, then, I assume 
that Yah/ Yahu/
> Yaho is just a variant spelling of YHWH, incorporating 
the same Iao base of
> 1-2-3 pronoun suffixes.
> 
> Vadim Cherny
> 
> >
> > I was actually thinking of personal names rather than 
place
> > names.  Sorry I was not clear. My note was just an 
initial
> > observation and a thought, it is not in opposition to 
much
> > of anything yet.
> >
> > Here are my initial thoughts in regards to your email.
> >
> > 1) What is the point of shortening the full formal 
personal
> > name to begin with?  The ancient Israelites did not 
seem
> > particularly adverse to having long formal personal 
names.
> > Obviously shortened nick-names were probably quite 
common
> > but those only make sense relative to the full formal 
name.
> > I would expect in the context of the OT, the authors 
would
> > have naturally favored the more formal names over nick-
> > names.  Even if some of these names are nick-names 
surely
> > there should be at least some theophoric names that 
were
> > not shortened?  There should be a few personal 
theophoric
> > name that include YHWH or Elohim if shortening were the
> > process.
> >
> > 2) If one wished to shorten a theophroic name, I do not 
see
> > any particular motive to shorten the divine portion of 
a
> > theophoric name.  It seems to me that the only point of
> > having a theophoric name is to include God?s name.
> > Shortening the divine element of a person?s theophoric 
name
> > seems to defeat the entire purpose of having a 
theophoric
> > name. Why not shorten the non-divine elements?
> >
> > 3) If the names were shortened, they were not shortened 
by
> > much, if at all in many cases.  For example Yahu-
natan(Yahu
> > gave)is no shorter than Yahweh-natan when spoken (four
> > syllables each)and only one letter shorter when 
written.
> > Yesha ? Yah (Yah saved)is but one syllable shorter than
> > Yesha ? Yahweh.  Shama-El is significantly shorter than
> > Shama-Eloah or Shama-Elohim.
> >
> >
> >
> > > From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> > > Date: 2005/08/06 Sat PM 06:43:33 EDT
> > > To: tladatsi at charter.net
> > > CC: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH & Elohim
> > >
> > > On 06/08/2005 23:20, tladatsi at charter.net wrote:
> > >
> > > >...
> > > >Even more interesting, YHWH and Elohim never occur 
in
> > > >theophoric names, at least I found none. ...
> > > >
> > >
> > > There is Gibeath-haElohim or Gibeah of God in 1 
Samuel
> > 10:5.
> > >
> > > ...
> > >
> > > >The logic of lengthening a short name to a longer 
name
> > is
> > > >pretty obvious.  It is both visually more impressive 
and
> > > >sounds better. ...
> > > >
> > >
> > > I see your point. But isn't there an even more 
obvious
> > logic to
> > > shortening a long name, especially when it is
> > incorporated within a
> > > compound name? In that case YHWH and Eloah/Elohim 
would
> > have been the
> > > original full forms, and YH/YHW and El abbreviated
> > versions used largely
> > > in names and (perhaps where it fits the "metre" 
better)
> > in poetry.
> > >
> > > So why is your suggestion better than my tentative 
one?
> > >
> > > -- 
> > > Peter Kirk
> > > peter at qaya.org (personal)
> > > peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> > > http://www.qaya.org/
> > >
> >
> > Jack Tladatsi
> > _______________________________________________
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> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
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> 

Jack Tladatsi



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