[b-hebrew] Questions about YHWH

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Sun Jul 17 02:54:31 EDT 2005


Martin,

The basic answer to your queries is that the tetragrammaton is a unique word -- it is not just that it represents an example of Ketiv-Qere, but that it is the name of God. As such, a tradition grew in which the divine name was not even pronounced in order to safeguard the commandment forbidding use of God's name in vain. As such, special 'rules' (or is that 'exceptions') arose in order to safeguard it against pronunciation. Thus, the fact that it has a number of conventional oddities should not surprise us -- it is meant to be so.

Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
Lecturer in Biblical Languages
Southern Cross College
Sydney, Australia


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Martin Arhelger 
  To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 2:19 AM
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Questions about YHWH



  Hello Chris,

  thanks for your answers. You wrote:

  > 1) The hatef-patah occurs as gutterals
  > can not take the shewa. However, the
  > shewa is fine under the yod.

  It is right that gutturals generally do not take Shewa. But what does this
  help here? The Hatef-patah was not meant to be with the Yod but with the
  Aleph of ADoNaY. I am not aware that the vocals of the Qere-reading were
  ever changed to fit the Ketiv-consonants.


  > 2) The Jewish scribes didn't like
  > putting anything above YHWH.

  1) I have never heard this explanation. Can you give references in
  literature?

  2) Why had the Jewish scripes no scruples to put a Holem in words like
  ELoHiM or ADoNaY ?

  3) Why are there instances where YHWH was written WITH Holem?

  Martin Arhelger



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