[b-hebrew] YHWH

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Dec 25 23:10:48 EST 2007

Dear Ted,

1. Please remember to sign your posts with your full name.

2. In my oppinion, 'EHYEH ASHER 'EHYEH is a pun, not an etymology.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <TedBro at aol.com>
To: <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>; <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 5:32 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH

> Yitzhak:
> I agree that there is no reason to think that YHWH is idiomatic for 
> superior
> or that it is semantically connected to ANI. Also seeing YHWH as a  Hiphil 
> of
> HYH is speculative as it is, to my knowledge, unattested elsewhere. 
> However,
> don't you think the expression 'EHYEH ASHER 'EHYEH (Exodus 3:14) shows 
> some
> kind of verbal etymology, even though the proper name itself would clearly 
> be
> a noun.
> Cheers,
> ted
> In a message dated 12/25/2007 8:57:02 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> yitzhaksapir at gmail.com writes:
> 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 
> idiomatic for  superiority or anything close anyway.
> Yitzhak  Sapir
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