[b-hebrew] Theophoric Name: Y:HOWYFQIYM

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Sun Jan 8 11:07:36 EST 2006


Dear Rochelle,

See my comments below.

Rochelle Altman wrote:

>At 08:55 AM 1/8/2006, Rolf Furli wrote:
>
>  
>
>>Dear Kelton,
>>
>>Arguments in favor of a particular pronunciation of a word can be tricky,
>>because pronunciation change through time, and even at the same time there
>>may be different ways of pronouncing the same word.
>>    
>>
>
>Otherwise known as dialects -- in which Semitic languages abounded... just 
>look at the different dialects recorded in Old Aramaic.
>
>[snip]
>
>  
>
>>In any case, what we can learn regarding syllable number and pronunciation
>>must come from Hebrew sources, and not from Greek and Latin or other
>>languages. Not even Aramaic, that is so close to Hebrew, is a good
>>candidate, because of the phonological differences between the two
>>languages. So we must go to the text of the Tanach and see what we find -
>>and we find names.
>>    
>>
>
>Coming from another direction, we also find songs...
>
You are perfectly right.

>[snip]
>
>  
>
>>The prefix JO evidently is an abbreviation of JE:HO and the suffix YFH is an
>>abbreviation of YAHU. The important point is that a plene O occurs in the
>>second syllable when the first part of the divine name is not abbreviated.
>>That the vowel O occurs in the first syllable of an abbreviated form does
>>not lead us is another direction, because pronunciation should be construed
>>on the basis of the full form. The evidence of theophoric names is not
>>conclusive, but it is the best we have. And it suggests that the divine name
>>had at least three syllables and that the vowel of the second syllable was
>>O.
>>    
>>
>
>I don't know about the 'O'  (and have reservations on the grounds of 
>vocalic euphony and progression) but there is one form of text in the 
>Tanakh that settles the question of the number of syllables.
>
>Look at the songs (a poem can be set to music, but a song is NOT a poem).
>
>WhiIe we do not know exactly when ADONAI was determined to be the 
>replacement for whatever was the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton, one 
>does not, repeat, DOES NOT replace a bi-syllable with a tri-syllable in a 
>song... not in its native tongue. It messes up the rhythm of the melody -- 
>turns a flowing melodic line into a tongue twister..
>
>Psalms 29, and 90-100 (definitely pre-monarchial) and other older songs 
>(e.g. Deborah, EX: 15:1-19) were simply too early to have fallen under the 
>Neo-Babylonian superstitious fear of saying a God's (or king's for that 
>matter) name. (Divine right to rule under the protection of a people's god 
>dates back to Sumer and Akkad as well as Pharonic Egypt -- and they weren't 
>afraid to say a god's name.)
>
>These pre-monarchial psalms are the closest to folk song in their 
>simplicity of vocabulary, but not in their melodic range or structure. 
>Rhythmically, Psalm 96 (for instance) is a chanty. (I suppose that some 
>will consider it blasphemous to point out that many of the songs of praise 
>are "whistle while you work" songs -- meant to be sung when rowing, 
>plowing, walking between sites...). You don't mess with the rhythms of a 
>work chanty. A change from a bi-syllable to a tri-syllable would stand out. 
>It does not occur.
>
>The Davidic Psalms are extremely sophisticated and tightly constructed. Any 
>change of syllabic divisions from a bi-syllable to a tri-syllable would 
>stand out like the proverbial sore thumb..It does not occur.
>
>Apocopation in names was (and is) very common. How turn of the Common Era 
>groups rendered YHVH in their dialects does NOT tell us the original 
>pronunciation -- or syllabic division.
>
>Song does tell us syllabic division: it was three..
>  
>
Your reasoning above is very interesting and logical, and is very 
difficult to contradict it.  My only reservation relates to "the 
Neo-Babylonian superstition".  I have never seen evidence that the 
non-use of YHWH by some groups started as early as the fifth century 
B.C.E. (althogh I know that Encyclopedia Judaica suggests an early 
start),  It seems to me that it particularly was the Greek influence 
after Alexander the Great that caused some groups to view the name of 
God as ineffable.  In A. Marmorstein. (1969) "The Old Rabbinic Doctrine 
of God" p. 17 we read: "Greek Philosophy, Jewish Alexandrian theology, 
Christian apology, and Gnostic lore concur in the idea of God´s 
namelessness.  That God had no name was taught by Aristotele, Seneca, 
Maxim of Tyre, Celsus, and Hermes Trimegistus."

 There is evidence that the Morning-bathers and the Pharisees (who 
hardly existed as a group before 150 B.C.E) and others continued to use 
the name (See L. Finkelstein. (1969) "New Light from the Prophets" pp. 
9, 10).

Again, thank you very much for your interesting post.

>  
>
>>Best regards,
>>
>>Rolf Furuli
>>University of Oslo
>>    
>>
>
>Back to lurking,
>
>Rochelle Altman, PhD.
>
>  
>

> Best regards,


Rolf Furuli Ph.D
University of Oslo



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