[b-hebrew] YHWH is Aramaic?

Rochelle Altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Thu Jun 29 02:14:19 EDT 2006


Shoshanna,

The god of Israel does not have a name.  YHVH (or in German notation: YHWH 
-- remember, in German 'W' is pronounced 'V') is a way to refer to god; it 
is specifically not a name. Everybody else had names for their different 
gods -- with a pantheon you need names. The whole point is monotheism -- a 
single god does not need a name.

If you look at the ZOILOS inscription from Tel Dan (2nd century BCE), you 
will see that the invocation (1st line in Greek) to the god under whom the 
vow was made does not have a name -- just "theos". The text is a standard 
Greek formula; however, the vow itself, the last line, is in cursive square 
script and written by Zoilos himself (a vow must be in the hand of the 
person making the vow) and in an abbreviated form of a standard Hebrew oath 
formula.  Both the first word, the Hebrew "truth" statement and the last 
word, what was actually vowed, have been chiseled out. (It's a cancelled 
vow.) It is not in Aramaic. It was turned into Aramaic by editorial fiat -- 
on the two lacunae.

You need concrete evidence that the god of Israel had no name? Well there 
it is.

I'm leaving early tomorrow morning and cannot continue with this thread.

Dr. Rochelle Altman
US and Israel


>1.  I think that there is a strong reason to think that G-d has
>name(s) all His own - a. so that we could refer to Him, pray to Him,
>call on Him, etc.  and b. to give us some hint of various aspects of
>what Divinity consists of.
>
>2.  G-d and His name preceded ancient Hebrew
>
>3.  EhYeh asher EhYeh = I will be that which I will be.
>
>I think there was a discussion of this on this list a year or so ago.
>
>Shoshanna




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