[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Stephen Segall segall at umich.edu
Wed Jul 27 16:51:21 EDT 2005

The pronunciation was based on diaries kept by traders who lived with the 
Cherokees for decades and detailed their customs and religion.

On Wed, 27 Jul 2005, Read, James C wrote:

> This is very interesting indeed. On what primary sources is
> this pronunciation based?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen Segall [mailto:segall at umich.edu]
> Sent: Wed 7/27/2005 9:00 PM
> To: Read, James C
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: YHWH pronunciation
> While many ancient sources have been used to try to understand the
> pronunciation of YHWH, there is one source that no one seems to be aware
> of in which an actual pronunciation has been preserved.
> After the Bar Kochba rebellion was crushed by the Romans in 135 CE many
> Jews fled the land of Israel to places that were not under Roman rule,
> such as the Arabian Penninsula and the lands of the Persian Empire. One
> group of Jewish refugees appears to have fled by boat as far as North
> America. Evidence for this includes Bar Kochba era coins discovered along
> the Ohio River and a Canaanite Hebrew inscription on a headstone in an
> undisturbed burial mound found in a controlled archeological dig conducted
> by the Simthsonian Bureau of Ethnology in the late nineteenth century.
> This might be considered nothing more than an interesting historical
> footnote except for the fact that the religion of the Cherokee Indians
> before the arrival of European settlers was very similar in beliefs to
> Phariseeic Judaism. Cherokee legends included the story of Adam and Eve,
> the Great Flood, the tower of Babel, Abraham, Moses and wandering in the
> wilderness. The number 7 had special meaning for the Cherokees who
> observed a sabbath every seventh day. They believed in a single spirit
> god, life after death and heaven and hell.
> One of the most interesting things about the Cherokee religion was the
> belief that the name of God was sacred and was only to be spoken by the
> high priest on special religious occasions. The name of the Cherokee god
> was Ye ho waah. To the extent that this name and its pronunciation have
> been accurately preserved by the Cherokees, we have evidence that the name
> YHWH had three syllables and was pronounced Ye ho waah at the time of the
> Bar Kochba rebellion. If this is the case, there is no obvious reason to
> believe that it was pronounced differently at earlier times.
> A chapter describing the Cherokee religion is included in the book
> "Understanding the Exodus and Other Mysteries of Jewish History" that can
> be obtained from the website www.etzhaimpress.com. A number of references
> are included in this chapter.
> Stephen Segall
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