[b-hebrew] Theophoric Name: Y:HOWYFQIYM

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jan 6 16:14:52 EST 2006

Rolf Furuli wrote:

>>>The theophoric names beginning in YEHO- contain the first part of the divine
>>>name, and there is no way to know whether the O of the second syllable is an
>>>original vowel or whether it represents the third letter (WAW) of YHWH. So, 
>>>only two things
>>>seem to be quite certain, namely, that the name had three syllables and that
>>>the vowel of the second syllable was O.
>Two modern forms of YHWH are used in Bible transltations, namely, Yahweh 
>and Jehovah. They have different vowels, and the first one has two 
>syllables while the second has three. My argument has been that Yahweh 
>can be excluded as a form close to the original for two principal 
>reasons, 1) It has no basis whatsoever in unpointed Hebrew texts or in 
>the Masoretic text, and 2) it has two syllables, while the theophoric 
>names suggest that YHWH had three syllables.
>The divine name is found in three variants, in the Tanach as YHWH and 
>the shortened form YH (with qamets in MT), and in the Elephantine papyri 
>as YHW. The shortened form YH does not tell us anything about the number 
>of syllables in the full form, but the theophoric names do. It is clear 
>that the O in YE:HOYFKIN is the vowel of the second syllable of the 
>theophoric element in the name.  Two more letters occur in the divine 
>name (WH), but they are not included in the theophoric names. Regardless 
>of whether the O in the second syllable is an independent vowel or is  
>the consonat W of the divine name that now is read as a vowel,  there 
>must be one more syllable after  YE:HO.  Thus, the divine name must have 
>(at least) three syllables.  I am not saying that YE:HOYFKIN has three 
>syllables but that YHWH has three syllables.
>The Aramaic form is often read as YAHU, but that is a conjecture, since 
>we do not know the vowels. We know that the ending of the qal form of 
>second person singular masculine QATAL in unpointed texts in most cases 
>ends with taw, and the qamets must be supplied. In some cases, however, 
>the forms end in taw he, and the he stands for the qamets.  This *may* 
>also be the case with YHW.  Because of the O of the second syllable and 
>the A or E of the first, likely readings of the divine name would be 
>YAHOWA, YAHOWE, YEHOWA, or YEHOWE. And the Elephantine YHW could signify 
>one of these if the last H of YHWH represented the vowel A. Therefore, 
>YHW could be the full consonantal form of the divine name.

HH: All right. Thanks. You're saying that what seems quite certain to 
you is that the divine name had three syllables, with the second one 
being "o." Most scholars, according to reports both Catholic, 
Protestant, and Jewish, apparently believe that two syllables is closer 
to the original sound, though some allow that it could have been three 






Harold Holmyard

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