[b-hebrew] YHWH discussion recap

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Jul 25 22:25:53 EDT 2005

Gene Gardner wrote:
> I would like to recap some of the points that have
> been made during this discussion. If any of my
> perceptions are in error, I welcome your correction.

The following is not so much a recap as a restatement
of various points that you find may be used to prove
the "Yehowah" pronounciation.  Various points are stated
without regard to points raised against them or their 
likelihood.  You also seem to ignore completely the points
based on Greek and Babylonian transcriptions except to
argue that such are "scholarly reconstructions" (and hence

> 1)If we read the tetragrammaton as written with the
> vowel points found in the Masoretic texts (Aleppo,
> Leningrad), some of the variables would be:
> YeHWaH, YeHWiH, YeHoWiH, YeHoWaH

Furthermore, the WaH spellings occur in locations not
adjacent to "Adonai" and the WiH spellings occur in
locations adjacent (directly before or after) Adonai.  This
is a strong indication that WaH is intended to convey
Adonai and is replaced by the WiH (Elohim) when 
adjacent to Adonai to avoid a double "Adonai Adonai".
If the WaH spelling had no reading (Qere) "Adonai" why does
it avoid being adjacent to Adonai when Adonai is spelled

> 2)Yah is a valid name represented throughout the
> Psalms, but not necessarily related to the
> pronunciation "YaHWeH".

This is as much as not necessarily as the yw- prefix
in Israelite names is unrelated to yhw-.  It is also quite
possible that early (pre-Massoretic, ie, during "Biblical"
times) pronounciation of the word "Yah" was bisyllabic.
Generally, it appears to me far far far more likely that the 
name "yh" is related to "yhwh" than not.

> 5)That the pronunciation "YaHWeH", is a scholarly
> re-construction based on early Greek writings.

Any attempt here is a "scholarly" reconstruction.

> 6)That the nineteen or so tri-sylabic names found in
> the Hebrew Scriptures that have the theophoric element
> "Yeho", which are pointed the same as YHWH as found in
> the Masoretic texts, may or may not have any relation
> to the pronunciation of YHWH.

They are not pointed the same as the Massoretic pointing
of yhwh, because there is no qamats under waw.  There are
also yo- prefixes, -yah suffixes, and -yahu suffixes that you 
seem to ignore.  And finally "yeho" is a rather vague
approximation of "y:ho".

Also, there are attested readings of a word "xyhwh" in
epigraphic evidence (Lachish and apparently Arad letters
as well).  It appears to me quite unlikely that the -y- in such a 
reading has a schwa even though the above is a compound of 
"xy" and "yhwh" and in the MT, "xy" is vocalized such that the 
-y has a silent schwa.  If there was a schwa I would have
personally expected it to evolve to a tsere ("xay:h-" with "ay:"
becoming "ae") and so vocalized where this phrase appears in
the MT.  Maybe those with a stronger linguistic background 
can tell me if I'm wrong in this expectation.

Yitzhak Sapir

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