[b-hebrew] yhwh pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jul 19 22:08:46 EDT 2005

On 19/07/2005 23:03, Rolf Furuli wrote:

>The form YHW is found in the Aramaic Elephantine Papyri from the fifth 
>century B.C.E. Wowels are lacking, so we do not know whether it was 
>peronounced as YEHU, YAHU, YEHO, YAHO, or even with other vowels. ...

Or indeed this form could have been pronounced YAHWE, as these letters 
predated the wide use of matres lectionis, and most interpreters 
understand the final he of YHWH (however it is pronounced) as a mater 


>A little less than 150 names in the OT ends in YAH, and a few begins 
>with YAH. But those beginning with YAH never have "o" or "u" as the next 
>vowel (e.g. YAHO-; YAHU-). But there are several names that begins with 
>YEHO-. This means that an argument in favor of shewa being the first 
>vowel of YHWH is much stronger than the argument in favor of "a". ...

Not at all. There is a general phonological rule by which an original 
qamats in this position is reduced to sheva, and a patah is impossible 
in this position.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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