[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jul 26 08:20:52 EDT 2005

On 26/07/2005 13:20, Yigal Levin wrote:

> ...
>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).
Thank you. But I note from Yitzhak that in the Mesha stele there is also 
a final he mater lectionis for a probable "a" vowel in BLLH. So this 
suggests that the final vowel of YHWH, with he as a mater lectionis, 
could have well been "a", and by no means rules out final "e".

If the final he of YHWH is a pronounced consonant, the Name is highly 
unlikely to be related to the verb HYH/HWH in which the final he is 
always a mater lectionis, the real third root consonant being yod or vav.

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

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