[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sun Jul 31 13:22:08 EDT 2005

On 31/07/2005 11:54, Jack Kilmon wrote:

>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.

I'm confused. If the meaning of YHWH is "(El) caused the world to come
into being", then surely this corresponds to the hiphil of HWH/HYH, not
its qal.

>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.

Are you suggesting that shemayim, or more precisely shamayim at least in
Genesis 1:8 which you (mis)quote, is a plural of "shem"? This is highly
unlikely as shamayim is from a distinct Semitic root from shem, as is
clear for example from their distinct Arabic cognates (samaa' vs. 'ism);
and shema` = "hear" is yet another root. Or are you simply making a word
play, or suggesting that the author of Genesis is doing so?

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

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