[b-hebrew] YHWH

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Dec 25 20:56:40 EST 2007

On Dec 22, 2007 6:05 PM, John Wilking wrote:
> I don't know if this has been discussed.
> Can we see YHWH as equivalent to ANI as used in Isaiah
> 47:8,10?  This would make YHWH idiomatic for
> "superiority" or the like.

YHWH is not used in these verses at all.
YHWH is not equivalent to ANI in any way or form.  YHWH is the divine name
of God.  It is a noun, not a verb.  The suggestion to read it as
Hiphil of HYH is
problematic because the verb doesn't seem to have an Hiphil.  While a Hiphil
may have developed later on, the divine name is attested already in the 9th
century BCE and perhaps even earlier.  Also, the name is probably present in
the name of the king Jehu.  This seems to indicate that the first three letters
are consonantal, and the last is not.  Therefore, the proposal that the divine
name is connected to any verbal form of HYH is rather weak.  Even if it is,
the verb's sense is definitely future, third person, and probably causative.
I don't see how an equivalence to ANI would get you "superiority."  ANI is just
a pronoun.  It has no sense of superiority.
HYH as a verb is not equivalent to ANI.  Possibly we can suggest that HYH is
used for "I was" "I will be" whereas ANI is used for "I am," but this doesn't
mean that they are equivalent.  It means that Hebrew and English have different
syntax and express these terms in different ways syntactically.
The short answer to your question is a definite no, and it wouldn't make YHWH
idiomatic for superiority or anything close anyway.

Yitzhak Sapir

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