[b-hebrew] Also asking a question - Re: YHWH is Aramaic?

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 29 17:24:22 EDT 2006

    Dear Rolf Furuli,    you wrote correctly"::...the translator must use 
  the context to choose the tense in the target language. In some cases,
   such as in this case, the context is rather decisive...."
     It appears in the context of Exod. 3:14 that the author of this 
   verse simply didn't know the meaning of YHWH. Obviously 
  the name had been an object of some curiosity, and an answer 
  was sought. But the meaning of this word had been lost, 
  especially since it became truncated. Further, the  Aramaic
    form of the verb which had been brought over with some 
   Aramaic speaking anscestors was no longer used by the 
  author and his audience.  Such very different scholars as Cross
   and de Moor consider YHWH a hypocoristicon.
    The writer of these verses shifted the verb to the Hebrew 
  usage, HYH. That much was clear to him. But since the meaning
   was no longer understood, the  answer  given was the elusive 
   Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh which is really meaningless . This phrase has 
  no meaning whether one wishes to understand Ehyeh as "I am"
   or "I shall be" .  
    Thus in this specific case, it seems to me, one can translate it 
  either way.If it were a free translation, the best answer to the
   questions "What is his name?" and "What shall I tell them?" 
  in verse 13 would be: "I don't know" in verse 14. Likewise the free
   translation, further, would be "the God whose name I do not know sent me'.
    Uri Hurwitz 

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