[b-hebrew] Theophoric Name: Y:HOWYFQIYM

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Jan 7 15:18:43 EST 2006

Dear Karl,

Here is an idea Rolf mentioned in passing, but this is not Rolf writing 
the following:

Recently I had been reading up on a lot of archaeological discovered 
letters and inscriptions found throughout the entire Levant to Egypt 
dating from the 9th-8th centuries BCE all the way to the end of the 5th 
century BCE (Persian Period). These letters were written in both the 
Hebrew and Aramaic tongue. . . .

I had stumbled upon letters dating throughout the Persian occupation 
period of Egypt that spoke of the Temple of YHWH at Yeb (the ancient 
name for Elephantine....an island in the Nile located in Upper Egypt 
[southern Egypt]). By the end of the 5th century the Egyptian had 
destroyed the temple and it is believed that the reason for this is 
because the Egyptian disliked the animal sacrifices (the Egyptian held 
much respect for animals and mummified them so it would be natural for 
them to see this with disgust). In these inscriptions, the temple of 
YHWH was said to have been built during the time of the Pharaoh Kings 
(before the Neo-Babylonian Empire). To this day scholars are baffled as 
to when this temple was built and how the Jews migrated there and when.

These inscriptions offered a clue to a possible PROPER pronunciation of 
YHWH. In all the Aramaic written inscriptions...the temple of YHWH was 
written as (imagine right-to-left) YHW and also YHH. I will explain the 
possible pronunciation below and whether this was the original or a 
corrupted form is still questionable.

You see...scholars believe that in YHW we have a clue that the waw 
served as a matres lectiones to show us a vowel like pronunciation. Such 
as a 'u' sound giving us Yahu. The YHH may be a possible confirmation to 
that. I am not able to do so currently for I am at work but if anybody 
wishes for me to post some of the inscriptions, I would be happy to do so.

HH: Here's a site he cross-references later:


HH: Here is more ancient data on the standard view of Yahweh that 
supports the Epiphanius, Samaritan, and Aramaic magical text pronunciations:

New Bible Dictionary (1962) " The pronounciation Yahweh is indicated by 
transliterations of the name into Greek in early Christian literature, 
in the form iaoue (Clement of Alexandria) or iabe (Theodoret; by this 
time Gk. b had the pronunciation of v)"

HH: As far as an etymological fallacy by linking the divine name to the 
verb hwj, that seems an unnecessary charge, since the context in Exodus 
3 makes the connection quite natural. The BDB lexicon says that hwh is 
the root behind the name hwhy.

HH: Here is what another Jewish source (not the Jewish Encyclopedia) 
says about that Exodus context in relation to hwhy:

God's personal name--YHVH--can be "defined" etymologically or 
grammatically. Hebrew linguists believe yhvh is a form of the verb 
havah, meaning to be or become.   Specifically, many linguists say yhvh 
is a Qal imperfect third masculine singular. Following normal Hebrew 
grammar patterns, the vowels "a" and "e" would be added to these 
consonants, giving us the word "YaHVeH." This pronunciation is supported 
by early Greek biblical texts that spell the name "Iaoue" (Ya-oo-eh) and 
"Iabe" (Yabe; there is no "v" sound in Greek).
What does "Yahveh" mean?

As he revealed it to Moses, God's full name is actually Ehyeh asher 
Ehyeh--"I will be what I will be." Ehyeh is the Qal imperfect first 
person form of the verb havah: "I will be." God thus says to Moses: 
"Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'Ehyeh--I will be' has 
sent me to you" (Exodus 3:14-15). Ehyeh by itself is God's shortened 
name: when he speaks of himself in the first person.
In contrast, when people refer to God in the third person, he taught 
them to say "Yahveh--He will be" (not "I will be"). [Insights from 
Gerald H. Wilson, Psalms Volume 1 (Zondervan, 2002), p. 210.]

Harold Holmyard

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