[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Jul 26 07:49:27 EDT 2005


> No, there is not. The earliest epigraphic evidence we have of the
> Tetragrammaton is in Mesha. But there, where, as I have written, matres
> lectionis are used only partially, final he's are used for the vowel o. So
> if the final he in YHWH was intended as a mater lectionis, it would have
> been pronounced Yahwoh. But I don't think it was. Which is why I think that
> all four letters of the Tetragrammaton were pronounced as consonants, and
> that the Name was never taken to be a verb (even if it is etymologically
> related to the verb HYH/HWH).

The Mesha stele also uses -h for apparently final -a, in bllh (in the
night, line 15).
I was more convinced this is a mater lectionis than all the -o examples because
all the -o examples are proper names: qrxh, dwdh, nbh.  Do we know if there was
no consonantal heh in those names?

Yitzhak Sapir



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