by lepavoux 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • lepavoux

    Yod He Waw He

    English pronunciation (left to right)

    He Waw He Yod

    Hebrew pronunciation (right to left)

    So it is the same pronunciation only spelt in opposite directions.

    Thank you again Robdar also Leolaia you did some good work on J Rutherford with his association with the two bethel women Berta and Bonnie (9/7/2004).

    We have the four consonants of the Divine Name, but why did Jehovah allow the vowels to be lost?

    Are the vowels lost with other Hebrew words also?

    Christian Greetings,


  • Leolaia

    Thanks, lepavoux.

    We have the four consonants of the Divine Name, but why did Jehovah allow the vowels to be lost?

    Technically, the vowels were never lost. Biblical Hebrew didn't mark vowels in general other than as matres lectionis (such as in brwch "Baruch" and dwyd "David", where the waw and yod respectively indicate vowels), but Yahweh was attested in other languages that do give regular phonetic values to vowels. So in Akkadian we have Ya-a-u and Ya-a-hu-u (attesting the shortened form Yhw) which show that the initial vowel was /a/. In Greek we have shortened forms attested as Ia (from Yh) and Iaò (from Yhw) and full forms Iabe (attested by Epiphanius and Theodoret) and Iaoue (attested by Clement of Alexandria). In addition we have a Copic attestation as Yawe (in the Nag Hammadi Apocryphon of John, where it occurs alongside Eloim) and an Ethiopic attestation as Yawe (in Bodleian MS Aeth. 9.5 6b, in a list of DNs alongside El and Elohe). All this indicates that the second vowel in the full form Yhwh was /e/. One must also note the Hebrew etymology of the name, which particularly makes sense with respect to the frequent title yhwh-tsb'wt which may be vocalized as yahwê ts e ba'ôt "He (who) sustains the (heavenly) hosts", which compares very well with yahwê shalôm "He (who) sustains peace" in Judges 6:24.

    Are the vowels lost with other Hebrew words also?

    The MT indicates vowels via niqqud (a system of pointings), but this Tiberian vocalization may not necessarily be the same as what was the case in earlier Hebrew; the MT dates to c. AD 900 and the phonology of Hebrew had undergone change since the books of the OT were composed (and there were dialectal differences as well). But the secunda of Origen's Hexapla did transcribe into Greek the Hebrew text of the OT, which attests the vowels of Hebrew at a much earlier date. Thus the Hebrew text of Psalm 18:29 (ky-bk 'rts gdwd w-b-'lhy 'dlg-shwr) is transliterated in the secunda as khi bakh arous gedoud oubelòai edalleg sour ("With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall"). Of course, proper nouns and toponyms were transcribed into Greek even earlier, in the OG and the LXX.

  • Robdar

    I adore you, Leo. Thanks again for your valuable research.

  • sabastious
    Interestingly, the two oldest Hebrew inscriptions, the 'Izbet Sartah abecedary and the Qeiyafa ostracon, have writing from left to right. The even older Ugaritic cuneiform script was also read from left to right. It is also possible that both were used at the same time; we know from early Greek inscriptions (the Greek alphabet was borrowed from the Phoenician alphabet, a cousin of the early Hebrew alphabet) that the order could snake around from left to right on one line and then right to left on the next.

    What could possibly be the reason that both styles were needed? Maybe to cater to the preference of different cultures?


  • moshe

    What can we learn from 3000 years of Hebrew? Pagan religions have always focused on the afterlife and what's in it for me. In comparison, the Torah directs Jews to focus on their present life/family and the life of the generation to come.

  • sabastious
  • Robdar


    Sabastious, you're killing me over here.

  • oppostate

    The pronunciation wasn't really lost. The Hebrew alphabet does use some of its consonants as helper vowels. Josephus says the tetragrammaton was written with four "vowels" not with any four letters or four consonants.

    Look at the word for Judah, which is Yehudah in Hebrew. It's spelled Yod-Heh-Waw-Dalet-Heh and the pronunciation sounds like Yay-hoo-DAH with the emphasis on the last syllable.

    If you take the letter Dalet out you're left with Yay-hoo-AH with emphasis on the last syllable. And if you take the Dalet out you have the letters Yod-Heh-Waw-Heh left which is the spelling of God's personal name.

    Now Yay-hoo-AH is very close to how it is pronounced in Arabic today, Ya-hoo-ah, and spelled with the same four letters in the Arabic alphabet which is derived from the same source as the Hebrew alphabet.

    Now the W letter has changed to V in many languages, and it did in Hebrew where David is no longer pronounced Da-weed, and in Arabic it's Daoud, but in Modern Hebrew David sounds like Da-veed, much like a Spanish pronunciation of David.

    So from Yah-hoo-AH to Yay-hov-AH as the change goes and in Latinized transliteration (from some medieval monk) you get IEHOVA, which came to English as Jehovah and Spanish as Jehová (Hay-oh-VAH).

    Okay, enough linguistics, but anyway that's my rationalization of it.

  • Robdar

    Very interesting. Thanks oppostate.

  • lepavoux

    Thank you every one, the information above has been very good, instructive, and deep.

    Now in Arabic the name of God is Allah, but is this a title?

    If two persons were talking in Arabic would they use the Divine Name in Arabic, if so what is it?

    Also in translating the bible from the English that uses the Divine Name into an Arabic translation would YHWH be used?

    Any thoughts on this anyone?

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