[b-hebrew] YHWH Derivation - a dead end

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu May 5 04:53:41 EDT 2005

> Do we know the etymology of most other
> ANE dieties? Hadad/Adad? Chemosh? Anat? Ashur (yes, that's also a 
> toponym, but which came first?)? Marduk? Qws? I could go on and 
> on....

I think that your list is "doctored" to include gods with more obscure
names.  Would we doubt the etymology of the gods Dagan, El, 
Yam, Ba(al, Shamash, Shaxar, and Mot?  Other ANE dieties not 
related to the Canaanite pantheon also have clear identifiable 
etymoligies: Ahura Mazda, Zeus/Jupiter.  For the above gods, I have
read etymologies that link Hadad with a root hdd - thunder (ie, a
god of thunderstorms), or (nt with the word (onah in Ex 21:10.   So
it doesn't seem to me to be a "dead end pursuit" to attempt to
identify the etymology of the name of YHWH, as well.  In this regard,
it is necessary to point out that the Biblical authors themselves
apparently related it to the verb h.y.h and that the name does often
appear as part of a larger name: yhwh cb)wt.  

Yitzhak Sapir

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