[b-hebrew] theophoric prefixes (YH~YHW)

Joel Stucki joel at stucki.ws
Thu Aug 10 20:40:42 EDT 2006

On 8/9/06, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
>  The epigraphic evidence, while limited, does show that at least for
> suffixes the preference in Israel was YW (such as the in the Samaria Ostraca
> names GDYW and $MRYW), while the preference in pre-exilic Judah was YHW.
> This probably has to do with the same diphtong contraction shown in other
> words in Israelean inscriptions, such as YN for "wine" instead of YYN.
> Post-exilic
>  Judah prefered YH.

I have to admit the term "Israelean" is kind of cute. Israelite and
Israeli just don't work for you?

If I understood Larry correctly, it was believed that the YHW was used
in the north and YH was used in the south.
It seems you are saying that both were used in the south but at
different times and YW was used in the north. If this were a hard and
fast rule names like Elijahu would have to have been altered as they
were recorded (assuming of course that it was a northern story to
begin with).

Personally, I don't think there is enough data to reach a conclusion,
but it is an interesting hypothesis. Either way, my point was both YH
and YHW were present in the south which you seem to agree with.

> The forms given in the Bible are no proof of anything, since the Bible is
> Judahite, and even the "pre-exilic" books were as least heavily edited in
> the post-exilic period.
>  All this was noted by Tur-Sinai decades ago, when he published the Lachish
> ostraca found in the 1930's.
Seems like a sweeping generaliziation Yigal. There is such a large
corpus of data and many different origins. I would find it
unbelievable to say it is all just Judahite. Surely some of the books
originated from the north and would have preserved some of their
character as such. I would agree though that it might be quite a
jigsaw puzzle at this point to decipher dialects in the recieved text.
I believe some studies have been done on proper names from the Israel
and Judah kingdoms in the Tanakh and some trends were noted.
Unfortuately, I don't have a reference on hand.

Joel Stucki

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