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

dana densmore danadensmore at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 3 09:42:22 EST 2008


Dear Guy,You wrote:> 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".>Indeed, it does seem from the fact that the explanation presents itself in the grammatical structure of "past", "present", and "future" that it is modern---European or modern Israeli---rather than Biblical.  And it seems to convey either ignorance of Biblical Hebrew or disregard of the likelihoods of its linguistic patterns.  Or perhaps we should just call it midrashic imagination indulging in eisegesis.By the way, I gather that BDB believes that the masculine singular participle "hoveh" does not occur in the Hebrew Bible (they do show a feminine singular participle). If this is true (and perhaps those of you on this list who know the Hebrew text well can confirm or refute) it suggests that the "popular interpretive explanation" is even less likely.Dana DensmoreUniversity of Wales Lampeter


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