[b-hebrew] b-hebrew] Can YHWH at Genesis 3:14 [ in Codex L. ] be "correctly"read as"Yehowah"? [ RE-TITLED MESSAGE

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 08:39:56 EDT 2010

On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 4:39 AM, Dave Donnelly wrote:

> Why is the case that is written in the Encyclopedia Britannica
> Not acknowledged to be false up front, on B-Hebrew.
> Yitzhak Sapir: Do you believe that the case against Yehowah,
> made known in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1911,
> is valid? As it is presently written?

Dave, I don't know about the sentences following "When Christian
scholars."  However everything from the start of the entry to that
phrase is absolutely right, even though we're talking about an
encyclopedia entry from 1911.

I am in this case referring to the image you posted here:

> I have to acknowledge that I don’t claim to understand how the six
> variants of YHWH that occur in Codex L, might provide helpful information
> on this issue.
> Could you help me by explaining how the various variants of YHWH might
> help me to understand this issue.
> Certainly the variants of YHWH that are meant to be read as “Elohim” and
> which are written as “GOD” add information to this issue, but they
> haven’t convinced me to to believe that the Masoretes wanted
> [Yod-shewa-defective holem- waw-qamets-heh] to be read as “Adonai”

The vocalization Elohim is used next to the word Adonai to avoid having
Adonai Adonai twice in a row ("Lord Lord").  So because the vocalization
is changed next to Adonai, we know that the standard vocalization (when
not adjacent to Adonai) is Adonai.  Do you have a better explanation?

> If a hatef patah was found under the yod, in [Yod-shewa-defective
> holem-waw-qamets-he] I most likely would believe that the Masoretes
> wanted me to read “Adonai”
> YHWH FOUND IN THE VARIOUS HEBREW TEXTS. [Except one that Gerard Gertoux
> mentions in his paperback book]
> WHY IS THAT?????

No need to shout.

A hataf patah is equivalent to a vocal schewa in most cases.  Originally,
there was no hataf patah or hataf seghol or hataf qamats or hataf hirik.
However, at some point in order to clarify the pronunciation when it differed
from the most common case (short patah), the Masoretes began to use
hataf-vowel in place of the standard schewa to explain the vocalization
in that case.  They also used hataf patah in cases where the schewa
should be vocal but would normally be interpreted as quiescent.  In the
gutturals, they completely standardized the use and changed the schewa
under the guttural (this includes aleph) to the appropriate hataf vowel.
However, while making this change for words containing gutturals they
did not make the change for the tetragrammaton.  So the tetragrammaton
remained without a hataf patah for Adonai using the older convention of
a schewa in that case.  It has a hataf seghol in the case of Elohim because
this change was unrelated to the standardization of the gutturals.

So we have several steps in the development of the hatafim:

1) Using schewa
2) Using hataf-vowel when the pronunciation differs from standard
schewa (hataf-patah) and hataf-patah when the schewa is not quiescent
but normally would be read as such.  This includes the spelling Elohim,
but not Adonai.  Adonai is still spelled at this point with a schewa.
3) Standardization of the vowel spelling of the tetragrammaton
4) Standardization of the gutturals.  This includes the word Adonai, but
not the tetragrammaton.

> Hopefully other members of b-Hebrew will respond to your Post
> as I occasionally look on in Awe.

While perhaps I should be flattered, I would much prefer it if you took
an active part in this discussion.  I'm not sure if other members have
any input of their own to add (beyond what was discussed in the last
few days and in fact in all that has been posted on the subject on the
list).  But I really want to know if the answers above solve all your
questions.  Are you still skeptical, and if so, why?

I don't want you to go look at my evidence, read the discussions in
awe, and then in a month reopen the discussion without me knowing
what it was in my response that did not convince you.

Yitzhak Sapir

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