[b-hebrew] IaBe = YHWH or IaBe = Jove?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Jul 23 09:17:31 EDT 2005

On 23/07/2005 11:40, David P Donnelly wrote:

>Does "IaBe" = "YHWH" or does "IaBe" =  "Jove"?
>Josephus Book 12, Chapter 5 quotes the Samaritans as saying [under
>... let our temple which at present hath no name at all,
>be named the Temple of Jupiter Hellenius.
>The God of Jupiter is said to be named “Jove”.
>“Jove” is thought to be pronounced similar to “IaBe”
>Some sources recommend pronouncing the "o"  in "Jove" as "ah",
>but instead try pronouncing the “o” in “Jove”,  like the “o” in “Joshua”
>e.g. J(awe)v(eh) 
>To be redundant:
>Does "IaBe" = "YHWH" or does "IaBe" =  "Jove"?

Well, there are several underlying issues here.

Could the Samaritans' use of the name YHWH have been derived from the 
Latin Jupiter (i.e Iu-father) or Jove (Latin stem form Iou-)? No, surely 
not, for the name YHWH was in use long before the Romans came to the area.

Could the Latin Jupiter/Jove be derived from the name YHWH? Possibly. 
Early Rome was certainly strongly influenced by Phoenicians, who may 
have included some worshippers of YHWH, cf. the probably Phoenician 
sailors in the book of Jonah, who, while polytheists, seem to have 
recognised YHWH as the creator God and prayed to him to save them (Jonah 

Could the Samaritans have chosen to allow their temple to be named after 
Jupiter because of the similarity of names? This one is entirely 
possible - and also they may have considered that Jupiter, the chief god 
of the Romans, was the best Roman parallel to YHWH in his general 
characteristics rather than his name.

Could the name IABE quoted by Theodoret in fact be a form of 
Jupiter/Jove? This seems unlikely. I think that Greek authors generally 
replaced the name Jupiter/Jove by Zeus. But if one had attempted to 
render the form Jove in Greek letters, he or she would surely have used 
an "o" or "u" vowel, rather than "a", in the first syllable.

What is your evidence that the name Jove was ever pronounced with an "a" 
vowel? This is certainly not regular pronunciation of Latin "o".

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list