[b-hebrew] tetragrammaton in Aramaic?

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at historian.net
Wed Apr 6 13:42:14 EDT 2011

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike Gockley 
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10:27 AM 
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
Subject: [b-hebrew] tetragrammaton in Aramaic? 

Hello All,

I don't see the tetragrammaton in Biblical Aramaic. In Targum Onkelos I see
it as יוי, however I don't see that in Jastrow and I'm not sure whether that
is a translation or a circumlocution or other type of reference to the
Hebrew form.

I'm interested to know if it was possible to commit blasphemy by pronouncing
the name (m. Sanhedrin 7.5) in any other language than Hebrew.

Can anyone clear this up for me?


Mike Gockley

Clarks Summit, PA

Hi Mike:

In the “Aramaic Version of Ruth,” Etan Levine writes:

"Once the principle of non-pronunciation was established, and אֲדֹנָי
used for יְהוָֽה
the Tetragrammaton was freely used in written texts. Thus the Targums frequently use יְהֹוָה
where the Hebrew Bible uses אלהים

This does not say anything about how is was pronounced in Ruth such as Ruth 2:4 
 וְהִנֵּה־בֹ֗עַז בָּ֚א מִבֵּ֣ית לֶ֔חֶם וַיֹּ֥אמֶר לַקּוֹצְרִ֖ים יְהוָ֣ה עִמָּכֶ֑ם וַיֹּ֥אמְרוּ ל֖וֹ יְבָרֶכְךָ֥ יְהוָֽה

Dalman in “Words of Jesus” writes:
      ׃”When  κύριος or Dominus is met in the Apocrypha or Pseudepigrapha, that implies that the divine name יְהֹוָה 

was written in the original, which might be in Hebrew, and hence that there was no scruple in writing of this kind against employing the sacred name.

The sense that I am getting is that the name of God could not be used in any secular sense or narrative but perhaps in a blessing, as was the usage in Ruth.

Jack Kilmon
San Antonio, TX

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