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

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Dec 2 14:47:23 EST 2008

Dear Guy or Gad,

Welcome to b-Hebrew. I hope that you both gain from and contribute to many 
fruitful discussions. However, please remember to sign your full name at the 
end of every post.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Guy Zed" <atdgz at hotmail.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:24 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Linguistic, historical, cultural origins of yahweh

> 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?
> Gad
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