[b-hebrew] Aleph-Yod-Lamed-Vav Names

jimstinehart at aol.com jimstinehart at aol.com
Fri Apr 29 09:45:32 EDT 2011



Aleph-Yod-Lamed-Vav Names

There are three proper names in the Bible that are aleph-yod-lamed-vav + ending in fullest form:  )YLW + ending.  All of them can drop the yod/Y, all of them can drop the vav/W, and two of the three can drop both the yod and the vav, as attested shortened Biblical spellings.  In reviewing these three names, we’ll include the Septuagint renderings, because as William Parsons aptly wrote on another thread:  “The LXX translators struggled to represent the Hebrew pronunciation as had been orally transmitted to Greek letters….  [N]ote that the transcription represents pronunciation, not spelling….”

1.  “Elath” or “Eloth”

With both yod and vav [fullest form]:  )YLWT, at II Kings 16: 6 second of three appearances

Dropping the yod [shortened form]:  )LWT, at I Kings 9: 26;  Ailon is the Septuagint version of Deuteronomy 2: 8.  [On one occasion that we will see later, the Septuagint has Aia- in Aialon, where the yod is clearly retained, as a separate syllable.  In most cases, however, as here, the Septuagint has Ai-, where the yod is not a separate syllable, but perhaps is in some sense implied, though treated in this post as the yod having been dropped.  In a few cases that we will see, the Septuagint has A-, where the yod has clearly been dropped for all purposes.]

Dropping the vav [defective spelling]:  )YLT, at Deuteronomy 2: 8;  also, II Kings 16: 6 first and third appearances

Dropping both the yod and vav [shortened form and defective spelling]:  Ailath, in Septuagint rendering of I Kings 9: 26 and all three appearances at II Kings 16: 6 and most other places in Septuagint

2.  “Elon” as a Person’s Name

With both yod and vav [fullest form]:  )YLWN, at Genesis 36: 2;  and [a different person] at  Judges 12: 11

Dropping the yod [shortened form]:  )LWN, at Genesis 46: 14;  and [a different person] at Numbers 26: 26 and Judges 12: 12, being the same person, though the name is spelled differently, as at Judges 12: 11;  Ailon is the Septuagint version of Genesis 36: 2;  Allon [no yod at all] is the Septuagint version of Genesis 46: 14;  one Septuagint version of Judges 12: 11-12 has Ailon, whereas another Septuagint version has Ailom

Dropping the vav [defective spelling]:  )YLN, at Genesis 26: 34 [same person, though the name is spelled differently, as at Genesis 36: 2]

Dropping both the yod and vav [shortened form and defective spelling]:  Not attested in the Bible.

3.  “Aijalon” or “Elon” as a Geographical Place Name

With both yod and vav [fullest form]:  Joshua 19: 42 [English “Aijalon”] and Joshua 19: 43 [English “Elon”], presumably being two different places, Aijalon and Elon, though identically spelled in unpointed text, but pointed differently;  “Aijalon” is spelled in this fullest form at many other places, such as Judges 1: 35, where Aijalon is associated with Amorites.  One Septuagint version of Joshua 19: 42 seems to reverse the first two letters:  Iaalon.  Finally, there is Aialon as the Septuagint version of II Chronicles 11: 10. [These last two cases are very important, in that they show that the Septuagint does not always drop the yod, but retains it as a separate syllable.]

Dropping the yod [shortened form]:  Ailon, being the Septuagint version of Joshua 19: 43 [“Elon” in English].  As to “Aijalon” in English, one Septuagint version of Joshua 19: 42 has Ammon [no yod at all];  Ailon is the Septuagint version of Joshua 10: 12 and Joshua 21: 24 and II Chronicles 28: 18 [“Aijalon” in English];  Ailom is one Septuagint version of Judges 12: 12 [“Aijalon” in English].

Dropping the vav [defective spelling]:  )YLN, at I Samuel 14: 31

Dropping both the yod and vav [shortened form and defective spelling]:  Ailim, being one Septuagint version of Judges 12: 12 [“Aijalon” in English];  Ailam, the Septuagint version of I Chronicles 8: 13;  )LN at Genesis 13: 18; 14: 13;  18: 1.

Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois





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