[b-hebrew] Linguistic, historical, cultural origins of yahweh

Guy Zed atdgz at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 2 13:24:32 EST 2008

I am new here, and managed to find some previous incomplete threads on this age-old issue.

I do wonder, though, if there is any consensus on the issue of the linguistic, historical, cultural origins of yahweh.

I have read in this list, I believe, that the earliest references to a similar root appeared as a name indicator associated with the Shasu and/or locations South-East to Canaan, and or the Midianites.

Is, there, however, a connection to a deity, if not a documented cult or religion associated with the three (or more) original letters or with later, extra-biblical similar lettering? A Yahwist cult or religion that predated the later Israelite one?

At what point can it be established that 5 letters Yod, He, Vav, Vav He,  started carrying any meaning, if any?

I recall a popular interpretative explanation given to me in early school years whereby it did stand for "was, is, will be" (Haya, Hoveh, Yihyeh), but it has always sounded to me as a much later, if not even recent attempts at endowing what might have been a mere name of location and its associated deity  a rather philosophical or theological "actual meaning".

And, can the J biblical level assist in tracing the origin of both the cult  (Irecall references to Har Seir etc.) but also the very early Israelites as opposed to the local "E" layer input that definitely came from local Canaanite & Phoenician origins, possibly as an ethnic component as well in the later "united kingdom"?

I recall also references once sent to me to southern Canaan Midianite and Egyptian copper mining that might tie this entire quest up as in, a southern ethnic element, with both Egyptian background as well as Yahwist cult following?



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