[b-hebrew] cholam in YHWH

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Jul 18 17:11:41 EDT 2005

Alexander Oldernes  wrote:
> > Martin has posted the complete list of occurrences
> Not actually complete. There are several more occurences of Holam in YHWH...
> WaYHoWaH
> Gen. 18:17
> LaYHoWaH
> Exo. 13:12
> Lev. 23:34
> Jer. 4:4
> Eze. 46:13
> YeHoWiH
> Jdg. 16:28
> YeHoWiH
> 1 Ki. 2:26
> Ps. 73:28; 140:8
> Isa. 50:4
> Jer. 1:6; 7:20
> Ezek. 2:4; 3:11, 27; 5:5; 8:1; 12:10; 13:16; 14:21, 23; 16:36; 17:9; 20:39;
> 21:33; 22:31; 23:32; 24:6, 14; 26:21; 28:2; 30:22; 33:25; 39:17; 43:27;
> 46:16
> Zech. 9:14

Hi all,

I am not sure what brought upon the failure to look them up but
perhaps it was that
Martin Arhelger searched for occurences with only schwa, holam,
kamats, and no prefix
to the word, whereas Alexander was more flexible, allowing prefixes,
and other pointings
besides schwa and kamats.  The following post is written without
consulting L, but
basing myself on the assumption that Martin's list is all with an
ending kamats and
Alexander's list provides the only examples of an ending hirik.

In any case, the list with a hirik at the end clearly suggests that
the pointing is related
to a Qere "Adonai" because all examples of hirik are of cases where
the Tetragram is
adjacent to the word Adonai.  Thus, in this case, instead of  "Adonai"
the Massoretes
pronounced "Elohim" to prevent a double pronounciation "Adonai
Adonai."  This is a very
strong indication that from L's viewpoint, the Qere of the Tetragram
was indeed Adonai.

Since Gerard Gertoux who has been referenced here, cites in the quoted page 144,
that schwa-kamats "became" schwa-holam-kamats and schwa-hirik became 
schwa-holam-hirik, it seems that even manuscripts that didn't have a
holam, intended
this Qere if they differentiated schwa-kamats and schwa-hirik based on
whether the
word Adonai was adjacent.

To argue the proposition that schwa-kamats or schwa-holam-kamats or schwa-hirik
or schwa-holam-hirik has any basis is some "real" pronounciation of
the Tetragram,
one would have to show that the spelling is used independently of whether the
Tetragram is adjacent to the word Adonai.  As can be seen above, this is most
conspicuous in Ezekiel.  So this means that this proposition can
probably only be
tested on manuscripts containing Ezekiel and Jeremiah (which together appear to 
contain sufficient instances of both adjacent and non-adjacent).

How does Gertoux explain the fact that the words are differentiated already in L
based on whether the Tetragram is adjacent to Adonai?  In any case, in
light of the
above list, it appears to me that the proposition that the vowels
represent a Qere
of "Adonai" is very well founded.

Yitzhak Sapir

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list