[b-hebrew] yhwh pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jul 20 18:44:29 EDT 2005

On 20/07/2005 23:11, Read, James C wrote:

>After hearing all the evidences in favour of a bisyllabic Yaho/Yahu 
>pronunciation my curiosity has been much aroused.
>Does anyone know of any examples of a final long o/u vowel with a 
>terminating vocal he?
>Is the pronunciation Yahoh/Yahuh possible?
>Is it possible that the waw only ever stood for a long vowel of 
>type o/u?
>If so, why do names comprising Yaho/Yahu emit the final he?
A word final vocal he (i.e. he with mappiq) follows the same rule as for 
het and ayin, that it must be preceded by an "a" vowel. So, if there is 
originally another vowel, a "furtive patah" is inserted giving a short 
"a" sound. Thus for example there is the rare word for "God" ELOAH, with 
a furtive patah before the vocal he - and its more common plural form 
ELOHIM, where the furtive patah has disappeared because this is no 
longer the final syllable.

Also Yahoh and Yahuh are impossible because an "a" vowel in that 
position would be shortened to sheva.

So we might expect, rather than Yahoh or Yahuh, Yehoah or Yehuah - where 
"e" represents sheva, and the final "h" is pronounced. These are indeed 
possible pronunciations of YHWH - and, yes, they are trisyllabic.

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

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