[b-hebrew] [b-Hebrew] YHWH Pronunciation - cholam analysis & Ben Hayim text question

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Jul 22 09:59:47 EDT 2005

On 22/07/2005 14:15, David P Donnelly wrote:

> ...
> Peter,
> My reprint of the 1866 Letteris Edition of the Hebrew Bible preserves 
> the spelling
> [yod-hatef segol-he-holem-vav-hireq-he] 305 times,
> where YHWH follows Adonay.
> I assume, but do not know for sure,
> that the same situation exists in the Ben Chayyim Hebrew text of 1525,
> which underlies the Old Testament of the King James Bible
> Below is a link to a photo from Smith's "A dictionary of the Bible" 
> published in 1863;
> Although first published in 1863, this photo shows how YHWH is pointed 
> when YHWH follows Adonay in the 1866 Leteris edition of the Hebrew Bible.
> http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/264290/JehovahSmithsBibleDictionary.jpg 
> Since the photo was first published in 1863,
> 3 years before the Letteris edition of the Hebrew Bible was published, 
> it is at least possible that it showed how YHWH was pointed when YHWH 
> followed Adonay
> in the Ben Chayyim Hebrew Text of 1525.
> Dave Donnelly

You can download an image of the Ben Chayyim text from 
http://www.bibles.org.uk/, so you don't have to rely on secondary 
indications like Smith's ancient dictionary. But my point was explicitly 
about Codex L, the basis of BHS. It seems clear that by Ben Chayyim's 
time the pointings of YHWH had been regularised, probably to just two - 
and perhaps another two after prefixes. But at the earlier stage of L 
there were at least nine different pointings, although four of these are 
found just once or twice which may indicate copying errors. (Note that 
the two occurrences of Y:EHWIH are close together ane remote from any 
other occurrence of the Elohim pronunication.) And it is going back to 
this earlier stage, before Ben Chayyim, which is helping us to 
understand the original intentions of these pointings.

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

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