[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at historian.net
Sun Jul 31 06:54:58 EDT 2005

I still believe it possible that yhwh is just what it is, the qal of hwh 
from a TITLE phrase as a hypocoristicon of EL, ala Albright and Cross.  A
title like "El caused the world to come into being".  I believe so because
it is a formula seen throughout the ANE, like kheper khepera kheperu from

At some point in time YHWH passed into folk etymology as the hiph'il, 
perhaps at the time
of the Yahwist author/editor.

Sometimes I see all this NAME of God stuff as a big joke played on us by
history or, indeed, history's God.  My sense of the collective Pentateuch is
that the SOUND  of God's voice gives existence to something when he CALLS it
much like a baby did not become a person until its NAME $m was called out by
the father.  In Genesis 1:5 wayqara elohym l'owr yom w'lachoshek qara
layileh and in Genesis 1:8 wayqara elohym laraqiya shemayim.....hence
everything that was called into existence with a NAME $m was SHEMAYIM.  Now
EL was not CALLED into existence, was he?  He was not part of the shemayim.
Was he created? If HE was not created, why would he have a name?
He would just BE as he so told Moses in
the narrative.  The NAME is $m and all that is named is $mym and what we
HEAR is $m(  and $m also means what is existing because it is THERE $m and
unless God was created by being named..he has no name. l) $m.

Having added my two shekels, it is plain that we will never know how YHWH 
emerged from a very misty area of the ancient past, hence we will not know 
its original pronounciation.  One might, therefore, at first, think this 
extensive exchange is moot but every time this thread plays out on any of 
the serious lists with serious Hebrew linguists, like Rolf, Yigal and 
others,  but I find the various opinions and their various lexical 
backgrounds to be fascinating and informative.


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