[b-hebrew] YHVH Derivation

Dora Smith villandra at austin.rr.com
Wed May 4 09:40:18 EDT 2005

We have discussed this extensively on the ancient Bible history list at

YHVH or YHWH was most likely pronounced Yahouwah.     It was a variation on
the pronunciation of a god ancient and commonly worshipped throughout
Palestine and Syria.    Yah, Ea, and Yahu were other versions of the name.
He evolved from the Sumerian god Enki.   He was a god of the sea,
underground water, and desert storms.   He was a son of El, and brother to
Baal.    Baal and Yah/ Yahweh competed for power.    Syrian stories about
the two of them provide some of hte history of this god's name changes.

Wherever one god or the other won, they incorporated each others' myth,
functions, and prayers.   A number of our psalms were once prayers to Ba'al.

Then there was Baal Berith - Lord of the Covenant.  He was probably
originally the Hurrian god Mitras!   Their Indo-Aryan rulers brought him
with them....    Israel appears to ahve been founded at Shechem, and many
aspects of Israel's covenantal theology are classically Hurrian.
Dora Smith
Austin, Texas
villandra at austin.rr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon at historian.net>
To: "Gary Hedrick" <gary at cjf.org>; <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHVH Derivation

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gary Hedrick" <gary at cjf.org>
> To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 9:53 PM
> Subject: [b-hebrew] YHVH Derivation
> >          Is there any etymological connection between the Tetragrammaton
> > and the idea of "breathing" or "breath"?  The Siddur says, "The
> > of
> > all life praises thy Name," and I'm wondering if this might be more than
> > merely a platitude.  Could there be an actual connection between YHVH
> > "breath"?
> First, Gary,  there is no "V."  There was no vav in Biblical Hebrew.  I
> don't think there is a connection between yhwh and "breath."
> Isn't it possible that yhwh is just what it is, the hiph'il of hwh taken
> from a TITLE phrase as a hypocoristicon of EL...
> HYH is Hebrew but the roots being discussed HWH is NOT...it is Aramaic.  A
> Hiph'il form of HYH is, as far as I know, non-attested.  There is an Hafel
> of HWH in Daniel 5:12 yhhwh.  It is possible that HWH was "proto-Hebrew"
> later assimilated as HYH?  It is the antiquity I am going for here.
> El and Yhwh may have been merged as an hypocoristicon. The Qal  of hwh
> from a TITLE phrase as a hypocoristicon of EL, ala Albright and Cross?  A
> title like "El causes something to come into
> being".
> Jack
> Jack Kilmon
> San Marcos, Texas
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